The 10 Roles in Software Development Teams

March 1, 2021

The 10 Roles in Software Development Teams

Is there a software, website, or app you’ve been thinking about? Most likely, you need more than two people to achieve a well-rounded product. Hence, teams in software development are a must!

Today’s competitive workplace asks for more than ever from its software development teams. The demand for speed and collaboration has never been higher, and the expectations for quality are only getting higher.

If this is your first time building a development team, you may wonder what roles you need to include. That’s why in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the in-demand roles on software development teams and the steps to start your development project!

The Roles in Teams in Software Development

Like building a house, a software development team has its own set of roles that help it run smoothly. Usually, these roles are occupied by experienced professionals with the skills and personality to excel in their positions.

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Below, we will identify and describe the most in-demand roles on software development teams so that you can better understand the dynamics at play.

Here are the ten roles in a development team and their key responsibilities:

1. Project Manager

Sometimes called the “traffic cop,” the project manager ensures that the project stays on track and meets deadlines. Additionally, they are the ones who distribute work assignments, organize job duties, and update the project status to the client.

If you are looking for a project manager for your team, they need to have the following skills:

  • excellent communicator
  • superb organizational skills
  • handle stress well
  • ready for unexpected challenges

2. Business Analyst

The business analyst is responsible for understanding the client’s needs and translating business requirements for the software development team. In a way, they are the bridge between the client and the team.

Some of the skills that business analysts need to have are:

  • clear communication
  • technical writing
  • data analysis
  • modeling
team lead quote

3. Team Lead

Before we identify the members who build the technical and functional architecture of your software, you have to know the team lead first.

Sometimes called a tech lead or software development manager, this role is given to one of the developers, not necessarily the best or most experienced. They help put together the team, provide guidance, and ensure the quality of the deliverable.

This person should have these in their resume:

  • leadership qualities
  • background in software development
  • experience in the field

4. Full-stack Developers

Now, we get to the heart of any software development team: the software developers. We’ll start with full-stack developers because they are the ones who have a comprehensive understanding of both front-end and back-end development.

software engineers team

Nowadays, most applications are accessed via two methods: the client side and the server side. Fullstack developers can code for both of these software aspects.

They know the software architecture, like databases, servers, and cloud integration for web-based applications and mobile apps.

On top of that, they should know the following:

  • back-end programming languages such as Python, NodeJS, PHP
  • set up a server
  • optimize databases
  • leverage external libraries

Essentially, a full-stack developer is an all-inclusive developer. But if you’re looking for someone with more specialized skills, other developer roles might suit your needs.

5. Front-end Developers

The team member responsible for the appearance of the digital solution is the front-end developer. Everything that the user interacts with on the screen, such as the buttons, links, drop-down menus, text, and images, are contributed by these developers.

Your front-end developers are the ones who create the look and feel of your software, so it’s important to collaborate with them to get the specifications that you want. With one glance, they can identify possible issues for the users.

In connection with this, they make strong recommendations and codified solutions to solve probable problems in the design. They have the following skills:

  • mastery of HTML, CSS, and Javascript programming
  • collaborating with user experience analysts and designers
  • ability to code for different browsers and devices
  • producing high-quality visuals

A front-end developer is like an interior designer for a software development project. And if you’re not satisfied with the way your software looks, it’s probably time to consult with a front-end developer.

6. Back-end Developers

If the front-end developers are in charge of the interior design, the back-end developers are the ones who build the house. They’re the coders responsible for putting together all the project pieces and developing business logic and data layers.

coding

You definitely want them on your development team as they ensure that your software can handle all the user requests and data. Also, they keep your technology online, maintain it, and regularly check databases for errors.

Compared to other team members, they use different computer languages, tools, and qualities. These are the qualities of an ideal back-end developer:

  • fluent in server-side programming languages like PHP, Python, Java, Ruby, and .NET(whichever applies to a certain digital product)
  • mastery of databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Cassandra
  • ability to code for different platforms
  • a clear understanding of scalability issues

You are slowly approaching the finish line. The house is almost finished, and all you need is someone to ensure that your windows, doors, and appliances work well.

7. UI/UX Designers

A development project would be nothing without UI and UX designers. These are the team members who make sure that your digital product is not only functional but also easy and pleasant to use.

Team members in this category are often mistaken that their role is limited to the design. While it’s true that they’re in charge of the aesthetics, their job description is much more than that. They’ve studied to understand how people interact with technology and what makes a product user-friendly.

Though they are both integral to a digital product, there is a significant difference between a UI designer and a UX designer.

A User Interface (UI) designer deals with:

  • the graphical layout of a website or app
  • the fonts, colors, and buttons
  • the overall look and feel
engineering manager

A User Experience (UX) designer role includes:

  • the overall experience someone has when interacting with your company
  • study and understand user behavior
  • analyze data to identify areas for improvement
  • come up with solutions to improve the user experience

8. Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers

As its name suggests, a QA engineer is responsible for the quality of the software. They make sure that the product is error-free and has no bugs. To do this, they create test plans and cases, execute them, and report any bugs to the development team.

This is a critical role as they are the ones who can identify issues that the users might encounter. A software project is not complete until the QA team members approve the final product.

To do software testing, a QA engineer must have the following:

  • patience and attention to detail
  • analytical skills
  • a deep understanding of the development process
  • familiarity with different types of testing (functional, non-functional, regression, etc.)

9. Software Architect

A software architect is a person responsible for describing the entire architecture system of a project. They are like the blueprint of a construction project because they dictate coding standards with tools and platforms.

product owner meeting

A perfect software architect must have the following responsibilities:

  • creating a complete architecture system
  • preparing tools and platforms
  • defining coding standards
  • ensuring that the system is scalable
  • overseeing the development process

10. The Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is one of the key roles of the Agile methodology. They are responsible for making sure that the team adheres to the Agile principles and practices.

The Scrum Master is not a project manager in Agile teams. They are more like a coach who facilitates the teams. They don’t tell the team what to do and when to do it. Instead, they facilitate communication and collaboration between the team members.

The Steps in Starting the Software Development Process

While there’s no perfect team or workflow that can guarantee a successful software development project, there are certain steps that you can take to increase the chances of success.

Here’s how you can start your development process:

development lifecycle

1. Define Your Project

Whether you want to develop a new product or improve an existing one, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. As much as possible, you want to put this in writing.

It should answer the questions:

  • What is the problem that you’re trying to solve?
  • Who are your target users?
  • What are your business objectives?
  • What features do you want to include in the product?

2. Create a Prototype

Once you have a clear idea of your software product, it’s time to create a prototype. This will help you visualize how it will work. Prototyping is also a great way to get feedback from potential users.

3. Assemble Your Software Development Team

Now that you have a prototype, it’s time to find skilled individuals that will fill in the software development team roles that we discussed earlier. Typically, you wouldn’t need all 10 members in one team. Depending on the size and scope of your project, you can have a smaller team with only the essential roles.

Here are the types of software development teams that you can assemble:

  • Dedicated team – this is a team of full-time employees that are dedicated to your project.
  • Extended team – this team is a mix of your full-time employees and part-time or freelance workers.
  • Virtual team – this team is composed of remote workers.

3 Tips to Find a Software Development Team

So, how do you find the right software development team for your project? Here are some tips that can help:

Start within Your Network

You can never go wrong with starting with your personal and professional network. If you know someone who has worked with a great software development team, that’s a good place to start.

QA team meeting

Consider Their Portfolio

Check the complex projects, tools, programming languages, and frameworks they’ve used in their old projects. This will give you an idea of their technical expertise and see if they can handle yours as well.

Check Online Directories

If you still need to figure out the development team to hire, you can check online directories like Clutch and GoodFirms. Here, you can find ratings and reviews from past clients.

Develop Your Software with Us!

For businesses to stay afloat, they must constantly innovate and keep up with market trends. And bringing these innovations to market is a collaborative effort. Your startup should have all the resources to achieve that!

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StarTechUP, a software development outsourcing company based in the Philippines, can provide you with what you need. Our development team is talented and experienced, and we can create the product of your dreams!

If you want to know more about what we can offer, book a FREE consultation with us today!

About the author: Andrea Jacinto - Content Writer

A content writer with a strong SEO background, Andrea has been working with digital marketers from different fields to create optimized articles which are informative, digestible, and fun to read. Now, she's writing for StarTechUP to deliver the latest developments in tech to readers around the world. View on Linkedin

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