How to Build a Successful Software Development Team
A group of professionals who are put together to work on a common software development project can be called a software development team. Sounds like a no-brainer. Still, there are lots of pitfalls you can fall into if you don’t know the right formula for building and running a success-oriented development team. Before we present it to you, let’s consider the main question, which starts with why.
Why Do You Need a Development Team
To answer this question, it’s important to put a line of demarcation between developers with the right expertise who suit your project and a cohesive group of professionals, where the skill of every person complements the collective expertise of the others.
The common mistake in building a software dev team is hiring qualified individuals instead of a qualified group. According to PMI research, “measured perceptions of team development variables predict measured perceptions of project performance.” What this means is there’s practical evidence that the success of a project directly depends on the who you employ and how the process is organized. That’s why an extensive focus on collective values and collaboration can be a life-saver.
How to Find Software Developers
Once you have the idea for your project, know your target audience and the key goals, it’s the prime time for you to start looking for developers. Before you dive into the hiring process, do some homework:
- Explore the market: It depends on the environment and your target niche which can be defined as “a good developer.”
- Set the budget: You should know for sure how much you can pay developers for their work to plan for specific expertise and scopes accordingly.
- Decide on a recruitment tactic: There are three common ways in which you can organize recruitment: 1) hire people for in-house work; 2) recruit freelancers on a project basis; 3) entrust recruitment to an outsource service provider.
What Skills You Should Focus On When Hiring Developers
The primary step to hiring a developer should be a tech interview. Taking into account a proficiency level (junior, middle, or senior) and critical skills (front-end, back-end, or full stack), look at the following criteria:
- Knowledge of a programming language.
- System design.
- Algorithm and data structure analysis.
- Soft skills: time management, problem-solving, continual learning.
Structure of a Development Team
If you know your project through and through, you should know how to organize software development team, so that it works best. First, pick the size. According to the latest Scrum Guide, the optimal size is 7-9 people. You can follow the recommendation or experiment with smaller and larger groups, based on your project requirements. If you need more than 10 people to work on your project, create small goal-focused squads. For small projects, hire one team for everything. Finally, dive into the structure of each group. For instance, a basic dev department should include a project manager, UX/UI specialists, software engineers, and a QA.
There are tons of online spaces where you can find skilled developers. If you’re hiring specialists directly, look at portfolios on StackExchange or Elance, as well as explore their LinkedIn profiles. Next, go to GitHub accounts to check the repositories and track the activity of the selected candidates. Depending on what expertise you expect to get, organize live coding or regular programming tests to evaluate the technical skills. Once you have a shortlist, prepare contracts and NDA agreements with clearly identified expectations, payment agreements, and project specifications.
Alternatively, you can go for a dedicated team (DT) model. This is a better choice in terms of time-efficiency. What’s more, if you cooperate with an outsource provider, you can expect to get a consistent group with the expertise you need for your project. The whole recruitment process will be handled by the team of professionals with a good understanding of DT principles.
How to Build a Great Software Development Team?
People are the driving force. Although it’s hard to predict how well will new hires work together, you can create the conditions that will stipulate productive collaboration. Below are some valuable tips on how to build a software development team that resonates with your goals and values.
Corporate Culture is Important
First and foremost, corporate culture is not about coffee machines in the office. To create an environment where people feel happy, enthusiastic, and involved, you have to figure out what drives your new hires. Suggest collective meetings on Friday, set up the most convenient work schedule for your team – it’s all about trust and efficiency.
Build Gender-diverse Teams
According to the recent study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, male/female balance in dev departments can be associated with higher productivity. Strive to align the hard and soft skills of both genders in your team to achieve the best results.
Consider Employee Skills and Personality
Ensure your development team is diverse not only in terms of gender but also in how they can contribute to the project. While technical skills matter the most in the short run, it’s important to balance between development expertise and personality traits when you’re hiring people for the more extended period.
Get a Lead
No matter what the size of your team is, never ignore the necessity to have a tech lead controlling the whole process. Not only should this person know how to run a software dev team, but also understand the business goals of a client. Tech leads have the power to take any engineering approach they consider reasonable to hit project milestones.
Create a Good Organization in a Dev Team
One of the core tasks is to organize your dev team, based on the expertise needed. Evaluate project requirements and decide on the mode of work. You can choose between a team of generalists who specialize in a wide range of development practices, specialists – focused on specific techniques or methodologists, and hybrid.
Why Outsource is a Better Way for Building Software Development Team?
Because all projects are different and require versatile expertise, the process of recruitment is of paramount importance. To get coherent staff, specially selected based on project requirements, hire via a reliable outsource service provider. From time and cost savings to enhanced compliance and supervised work, you get all the perks. Get started with MWDN – an outsource service provider that correlates with your needs.