Do you want to build a development team to ensure a successful software development process?
Good developers form a good software development team, however, to be successful in a competitive environment, being just good individually is not enough.
A successful development team includes team members who are more than technically competent; they are self-organized, team players, and eager to ensure the success of the software product.
In this article, we will discuss how to build a successful development team from such developers.
Building a Successful Development Team
For building a successful development team that helps you realize your software idea into a working product, you will need to go through the following steps:
Decide the Software Development Team Structure
Different software projects have different requirements for professional skills and competencies. Before looking for people for different roles, it is important to understand your software development project requirements and hire accordingly.
Generally, a software development team has the following roles:
A project manager manages the technical end of the software development process. Project managers are responsible to ensure that a software project is completed on time and according to the initial vision.
The agile methodology is commonly used in the software development industry. A project manager assists in implementing the required agile development strategy and supporting frameworks among the agile team so that the project meets the time and budget constraints.
A project manager along with senior developers set the sprint backlog. Sprint is a development iteration in an agile development environment. A working and deployable software feature is released at the end of each development sprint.
The project manager assigns tasks to scrum team developers and ensures the sprint goals are met. He or she also set weekly and monthly milestones so that the development team stays on track.
Moreover, project managers handle all the communication and interaction with the product stakeholder and business partners. They understand the software project specifications and delegate them effectively to the software development team.
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It is better that you hire a competent project manager with experience in managing similar software projects as yours. Software development projects can get complex, given the volatile user requirements and nature of the development technologies.
An experienced project manager is able to adopt the best possible development strategy and propose a workable solution in case of any roadblocks before any major loss occurs. A project manager also conducts sprint review meetings to discuss if the sprint goal is met and the related learnings for the whole team.
A business analyst ensures that the software deliverables are in sync with the project requirements. They work as an intermediary between business development and software development teams.
They work closely with the project manager to refine the software features so that they meet the business requirements. They generate reports, analyze processes, and work to improve them.
A UI/UX designer is necessary to design the front-end of the software application. There is a plethora of software applications in every niche. Users have a lot of options to choose from. In order to mark your share in the competitive user market, visual appeal and user-friendliness are of utmost importance.
A qualified UI/UX designer will help you design software that best reflects your brand in terms of color theme, interactive user interface layout, etc.
You will have to make sure that you partner with a software designer who possesses the necessary design skills, including the following:
User flows: It is required to map out the complete user journey on your software product or all the possible interactions between a user and your software app to achieve a specific goal. Such a user flow helps a designer to implement the best possible UI element placement for a specific user process.
Prototyping: Prototypes help designers test and verify the usability of their application designs. A prototype can be without any user interaction, like on a piece of paper, or highly interactive in the form of a software prototype that users can interact with.
Wireframing: A wireframe shows the placement of various UI elements to ensure the best possible user experience. However, a wireframe is not visually appealing.
Mockups: A mockup is a visually appealing and realistic model of the final software application.
UI/UX designers use multiple software tools to build the above interactive design models. You will have to ensure that you hire a UI/UX designer skilled in such software that includes Adobe, InVision, Sketch, etc.
A software developer is the core element of a development team, and their performance directly affects the performance and quality of the end software product. Software developers can be specialists in specific development technologies and frameworks or can be generalist team members qualified to handle various development tasks of a software project.
Mobile Application Development
The technical skills required by the software developers depend on the type of application you are developing. For example, if you want to develop a mobile application, you will likely look for native or hybrid mobile app developers.
A native app is a better option, given the high performance on mobile devices. Android and iOS are the top mobile OS with a huge userbase.
For Android development, you will need app developers experienced in Java or Kotlin programming languages, Android Studio or Eclipse development IDEs, and other supporting tools, like Android Jetpack, Android Emulator, etc.
The skillset is different for developing iOS apps. You will require developers proficient in Swift or Objective-C. Apple, however, recommends using the Swift programming language for developing apps for Apple devices. Moreover, these developers will be familiar with XCode or Cocoa Touch development IDE, etc.
Hybrid or cross-platform apps can run on any mobile OS. They are basically web apps wrapped in a native container to run on a specific device. Hybrid apps are usually built as a minimum viable product to test the viability of an app idea in the target market.
Web or Desktop Application Development
If you plan on developing a web or desktop application, you will have to look for developers skilled in specific programming languages like C#, Python, etc., and tech stacks. For example, to use a Microsoft tech stack, your developers should be proficient in frameworks like .Net, tools like DevExpress, SharePoint, IDEs like Visual Studio, databases like SQL Server, etc.
Your development team should also be skilled in the latest development trends like cloud computing. Cloud computing is developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining a software application using cloud resources.
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DevOps is another popular development practice that facilitates frequent testing and automation of development tasks wherever possible.
For example, continuous integration/ continuous deployment (CI/CD), a DevOps practice, ensures that software features are deployed in the market frequently by reliably automating tasks in the software development lifecycle.
Read our guide on the top DevOps tools available in the market that you can integrate into your software development process.
Quality Assurance Engineer:
QA engineer or a software tester tests the piece of software coded by the developers to ensure it works as required and meets the set functional requirements.
Although development methodologies like scrum encourage software developers to perform testing routines like unit test cases to verify their code, the quality assurance member in a scrum development team carries a detailed testing process, including various test procedures like integration testing, security testing, performance testing, etc.
This is an important role in the software development team as the quality of the delivered software is dependent on the knowledge, understanding, and skills of the software tester. You will make sure that you partner with a competent QA engineer who is able to convey improvements to the development team effectively.
Understand the Qualities of a Good Software Developer
Technical skills aside, the following skills in individual team members will help you build a successful development team.
Although the senior team lead developer is responsible for devising the final solution to a coding problem, agile practices encourage each development team member to contribute toward finding an optimal and efficient solution to a problem.
Your hired developers should be smart enough to look at the proposed solution critically and suggest improvements to it, if they have, rather than blindly follow everything.
Good communication skills are important to contribute effectively. Developers should be able to explain their work and ideas to each other and project managers. Effective communication helps in building a collaborative work environment.
Your developers should have enough knowledge and skills in the required field. They should be able to understand and follow the latest development practices in the particular field. Moreover, they should be eager to learn. This is possible only if they are passionate about their work.
Look for Competent Software Developers
Now that you know the required development team roles and responsibilities in your development team and the required technical and soft skills in the software development professionals, it is time to start looking for such skilled and competent professionals.
You will likely go through a few options to hire software developers, including an in-house development team, freelance software developers, and partnering with a software development agency.
Now, we will discuss the pros and cons of each option for building a software development team.
In-house Development Team
The first option is to hire an in-house software development team. You can post your job posts on job-finding apps like Indeed or LinkedIn.
This option might appeal to you, given that your development team members will be physically available in your office, giving their full time to your project. There will be less to no communication lapse as you will discuss ideas and delegate tasks face-to-face.
However, an in-house development team comes with some drawbacks, especially if you want to manage your budget effectively.
You will go through an elaborate hiring process and have to hire from a limited pool of talent available in a specific region. You may have to spend on the training of these employees in order to ensure a better quality of work from them.
There will be additional expenses for office space, utilities, installation and maintenance of equipment, various employee allowances, etc.
Freelance Developers Market
You may want to go for a more flexible team-building option due to the costly nature of an in-house development team. Freelance platforms are quite common today, given the flexibility they offer to employers.
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You can simply post your job requirements, and you will get multiple offers from freelancers willing to do the job.
However, be careful when opting for a freelancer option, especially for a software development project. You need highly skilled professionals so that you build the product as per your vision and using the latest technologies.
The drawback with freelance platforms is that they do not ensure the credibility of the freelance developer. You are yourself responsible for vetting the developer for their skills. In case there is a misjudgment, you suffer.
Also, freelancers are working on multiple projects to maintain a steady stream of income for themselves. There is a chance a freelancer is not giving his or her full-time and concentration to your work. Moreover, if they abandon your project midway, you cannot do much except for hiring another one.
Team management is another factor to consider when building your development team. While it is easy with an in-house team with all the team members under one roof, it is not so much with freelancers.
If you do not have experience in project management, it may get difficult for you to maintain effective communication and coordination between team members dispersed across various countries and in different time zones.
Partner with a Software Development Company
The route of partnering with a software development company experienced in developing products similar to yours saves you from many cons that the above two options have.
Such software development companies have experienced and skilled software engineers that you can hire for your project. You can also outsource your complete software development project to such a software development agency.
Project management is also easy and reliable with them. They assign senior lead developers to assist these developers in working on your project. Moreover, there are effective communication channels between clients and developers.
You can find such software development companies on websites like Clutch. They help you find the right company with the set of skills that you require. You can then visit the company’s website, go through their past projects, view the reviews from past clients, visit the profiles of their developers, etc.
When you find the right match for your project, you can contact them to further discuss their onboarding and project initiation process, interview their developers, etc.
DevTeam.Space is one such example of a community of field-expert software developers. These are managed by the company itself and vetted for their skills. You can be sure that the top talent is working on your software product.
DevTeam.Space also offers an AI-powered system to track the progress of your project and monitor the performance of your developers on a daily and weekly basis. There are also options to directly contact a developer if you wish.
Final Thoughts on Building a Successful Development Team
A competent and professional development team will ensure the success of your software product in the user market. A good software development team is not just a group of technical experts, it is driven to achieve the goals, fosters team playing, critically evaluates every problem, and is self-organized.
We have discussed more on what makes a good team of developers in our blog here.
To build such a good and successful development team, it is necessary that you know your project requirements for technical skills, and then you look for the required technical and soft skills in the right places.
One of our account managers will get back to you to discuss further how our community of developers and project managers can help you.
FAQs On How to Build a Successful Development Team
A strong development team is a domain expert, possesses the required technical skills, and can communicate effectively the business requirements and technical solutions to the stakeholders and each other. Such a team is driven to achieve the success of the software product in the marketplace.
In an agile team structure, there is a scrum master or a project manager, business analyst, UI/UX designer, scrum developer, and QA tester.
A successful development team is self-organizing, cross-functional, and encourages collaboration. Such teams are driven to achieve development goals.