What Is a Software Development Team?
The Software development teams collaborate to create a technical project or product. Everyone on the development team contributes to this and should be held accountable for their efforts.
The most important aspect of software development teams is that they should be self-organizing and cross-functional. Individually structured and efficient work improves the overall performance of the development team.
At the same time, teams need to work together to interact and carry out their shared responsibilities.
To achieve this cohesiveness of team structure and empowerment, development teams must have the following features:
- The development team is normally self-organizing, with collective contributions determining productivity.
- Teams are well-equipped and cross-functional; they have all of the team skills needed to continue the product through all stages of development.
- Even though individual members of the development team may have highly specialised skills and areas of focus, responsibility is shared by the entire software development team.
In terms of software engineering team culture, Effective development teams have members of the team who:
- Leave the existing code cleaner just as they found it.
- Know and share their customer’s interests.
- Rather than criticising individuals, they criticise their ideas.
- Share your past and current experiences to provide new team insights.
- Have fun with one another and put your trust in each other.
Factors that influence a software development team's size and structure?
There is not a single approach to assembling a development team. What tends to work for one project may not work for another – or even for multiple projects within the same company! The size and structure of your development team will be influenced by a number of factors.
The software you are developing can have a significant impact on how you structure your software development team. This is due to the fact that each software programme has its own unique technology and requires specific skill sets to function. Many of today’s technology professionals have specialised skill sets, so you’ll need to find the right people for the technology you’re working with. Many Agile programmes use a hybrid team approach to bring everything together, employing both specialists and generalists.
Your budget may limit the type of talent and team structure available for your project. When evaluating your budget, you must be realistic about what you can afford and decide how to use your budget most efficiently.
If your project is small, you will most likely need fewer development team members to complete it. Smaller projects are more likely to employ generalist teams, in which each member has a broader skill set and can handle a variety of tasks. To complete each task on a large project, you will usually need to hire more specialists.
Scrum Team vs Traditional Team
First, let us describe two alternative project management methods that are de facto methods of project team building.
SCRUM Development TEAM
There is no organisational leader in a Scrum development team; it is self-managing. There are team roles that do not overlap with IT positions, and software development team members decide on their own work principles.
Because of significant degrees of autonomy and a lack of external control elements, it is an enjoyable form of project management from the perspective of team members. However, scrum development teams cannot be large (maximum of 9 people) and cannot accurately estimate labour costs for long-term projects.
Although the scrum development team is self-managing, you do not need to manage it. The Scrum team structure ensures that there is a person in charge of the project’s flow and that everyone works according to a plan.
TRADITIONAL DEVELOPMENT TEAM
A traditional development team, on the other hand, is built on a proper hierarchy of team roles, so there are leaders and managers on a relationship tree.
Through analysis, such a development team structure gives the project manager more control. This also allows for the possibility of anticipating threats.
As team members’ frustrations grow over time, the team as a whole may feel less at ease. On the other hand, it is always clear who is responsible for critical decisions and what everyone’s responsibilities are.
Software Development Team – Key Roles & Structure
To allow for effective development, software development teams must clearly define their collective roles and responsibilities.
The following are the most important business and technical roles and responsibilities for any software development team.
1. PROJECT MANAGER
Works at a higher level of abstraction and is in charge of budgeting, risk management, scheduling, and contract management. It is very likely that project managers are unfamiliar with the product they are developing. They employ various methodologies and are primarily concerned with project management.
A project manager will ensure that no changes are made that are incompatible with the specifications.
2. PRODUCT OWNER
This type of person is similar to an analyst in that they focus on a product and its features. Their primary responsibility is to maximise business value (suitability of the product to use). Because agile methodology is used, product owners are focused on constant changes.
3. TEAM LEAD
Generally, such a role is assigned to one of the programmers, who may or may not be the best or most experienced. This person should be a leader who can maintain communication between remote development teams and clients.
Team leads ensure that the team has adequate performance levels and are also in charge of conflict prevention and resolution.
4. TECH LEAD
We used to call them architects instead of tech leads. Nowadays, ‘analyst’ is a better fit. But who exactly is this? It is, in fact, the “lead example” in terms of team members’ technical knowledge.
Tech leads can resolve issues that are unrelated to the development process, such as issues with integration with external providers or hardware.
5. FULL-STACK DEVELOPER
It is a programmer who is not specialised in one area. As a result, a full stack developer may appear less accomplished than a front-end or back-end developer. They can, however, produce a plan on every architecture and design layer of the system due to their extensive knowledge and skills (view, business logic, database).
A full stack developer is essential in less complex, demanding projects where cost is a major factor.
6. Frontend Developers
Frontend developers are in charge of creating the part of the software that the user sees. The developers are the software development team members who write code and manage the project’s technical aspects. They take the designer’s concept and create the user interface. They also collaborate with backend developers and other team team to make sure that the front end and back end are properly integrated.
This team member is ultimately responsible for ensuring a positive user experience. They must consider all possible user interactions with the programme and account for any potential challenges. If the software will be available on multiple platforms, the frontend developers will create code for each platform.
7. Backend Developers
The backend development team is responsible for the software program’s behind-the-scenes functionality. While consumers do not see the backend of the software programme, it is critical for the software to function.
Backend software developers have extensive coding experience and are frequently specialists. They collaborate closely with other members of the development team to bring the app’s functions to life.
Furthermore, in the case of larger, more complex systems, such developers’ abilities to build data queries (i.e. SQL) and optimise them are extremely valuable.
8. UI DESIGNER
The UI designer’s primary responsibility is to prepare, or design, the user interface. This entails transferring client-related content, style, and graphics to a system presentation layer. Using prototyping tools, such a person can create a template of the application’s user interface in collaboration with a client.
Later, this member will collaborate with a UX designer and a front-end developer to provide a solution that meets expectations and requirements.
9. UX DESIGNER
Unlike the UI designer, it is a function that is distinguished by a less ‘digital’ approach to a user interface. The UX designer (UX stands for User Experience) must ensure that end users have the best possible experience when using an application.
Such person-centered work entails more than just analysing user behaviour. It also considers what the competition is doing and the constantly changing human-computer interaction methods.
10. Business Analyst
Business analysts serve as go-betweens for the technical and business sides of development. They collect data in order to improve processes and generate reports.
Product managers and business analysts collaborate with a technical lead to further refine and define product features so that they are ready for development.
Business analysts may:
- Clarify the product characteristics.
- Solve disagreements between the technical lead and the product manager.
- Ensure that business fluff does not interrupt developers.
11. Quality Assurance Manager
Simply put, a quality assurance tester’s understanding of feature requirements and subsequent feedback can make or break a product.
Those in this role have the final authority on whether project/product features are satisfactory or not.
Among the key responsibilities are:
- Declaring that developers meet the requirements’ criteria and conditions.
- Actively involving and guiding the development team through the quality assurance process.
12. DevOps Specialist
DevOps is a short form for “development” and “operations”. DevOps specialists are versatile technical specialists who keep software programmes running. They begin by establishing a stable environment in which software developers can work. They also optimise and streamline the software development process, making it faster and easier for developers to complete their They also oversee the security of the software programme throughout the development process and after it has been released. Deploying the software programme is one of the most important tasks for the DevOps team. They plan the deployment process and ensure that the software runs smoothly when it is released. After the software is released, the DevOps team ensures that it runs tasks safely and smoothly.
These are some of the most common roles in a software development team, but they are by no means the only ones. Depending on the project, some teams will have additional specialist roles or will not have one of these main roles.
What to Look for When Making a Software Development Team?
Picking the right software development team is among the most important decisions you will make as a business owner.
Finally, the team you put together will decide whether your company succeeds or fails.
Putting together the right software development team entails more than just having employees who will work collaboratively and develop your project. When you select the right members of the team, you are selecting the business partners who will help you realise your vision.
Make absolutely sure you develop an understanding the roles for the software development team for which you are hiring. Who would be in charge of the team? How many programmers will you have?
Remember that software development and collaboration can last anywhere from a few months to several years, so it’s critical that the team you put together is a good fit for both the project and your company.
When it comes to hiring for your software development team, the following advice will point you in the right direction.
1. Critical Thinkers
Ideally, you should choose a software development team that can provide you with the best solution and the most efficient way to achieve it.
This could mean that your team disagrees with your initial ideas. However, saying ‘no’ can be more effective than agreeing to everything. It demonstrates a willingness to seek out the best solution rather than simply following the instructions.
2. Domain Expertise
Each software development project is a complex process that entails more than just coding. Your software development team should be able to meet business requirements while also keeping the end user in mind.
Look for experts with strong professional backgrounds who can bring their expertise to the table when it counts.
3. Previous Projects
Previous projects completed by possible future team members are an indication of the quality of their work. You can see the types of clients they did work with and how they met the project requirements to solve the given problem.
Do not however forget to check potential partners’ references. Experienced IT firms will gladly provide you with case studies, overviews of completed projects, and any other information you require to make an informed decision.
4. Sensible Pricing
High-quality work comes at a cost, and going with the cheapest offer isn’t always the best option. Cheap work does not always imply poor quality.
Poor communication, a lack of experience, poorly written code, a lack of tests, and poor documentation are some of the issues you may encounter if you simply go for the lowest price.
Custom software development projects are more expensive than off-the-shelf software solutions, but the advantages they provide are well worth the cost.
Agile Team vs. Traditional Team
There are numerous advantages to using an Agile framework when forming a software development team. Agile principles incorporate both efficiency and flexibility, allowing teams to maximise their potential and accomplish more. Here are some of the primary advantages of working with an Agile software development team.
SCRUM, as a tested Agile framework, works well in software projects that require cyclic verification of progress and the introduction of necessary changes to the chosen direction.
The Agile framework motivates teams to collaborate and work as a unit. While each team member is assigned specific tasks, the team as a whole is evaluated. The team also prioritises each member’s unique skills over titles or hierarchy. This fosters an environment in which teams are encouraged to collaborate toward a common goal.
Team members have a great deal of control of their own work process because performance is an important principle of the Agile framework. While the project manager guides the team and provides guidelines, each team member is ultimately responsible for their own work. Giving the team more control over how they work allows each member to work in the most efficient way for them.
Agile sprints are intended to maximise workflow efficiency. To maximise work quality, software development teams focus on one task at a time. While teams do document their work, they do so in an efficient manner in order to keep the work flowing.
Agile allows software development teams to adjust their scope, goals, and workflow in collaboration with the product owner throughout the process. It recognises that things can change during the work process and allows for change in a way that is beneficial to the end goal.
Find a Reliable Remote Software Development Team
Are you prepared to hire a Scrum software development team for your upcoming project? Or maybe you have some questions before you make your final decision?
Because you now understand the roles and responsibilities of a software development team, you can make more informed decisions about the structure of your development team.