It’s no secret that right now, there’s a disconnect between demand for software engineers and available talent. In places like the United States, Australia and New Zealand, job listings can stay unfilled for months and in 2018, estimates said the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million workers by 2030.
That was even before the pandemic infiltrated just about every aspect of our lives, wedging an even larger gap between supply and demand of skilled software developers.
In any business – though we’re focusing on tech, specifically – productivity and efficiency come with hiring the right team. Team structures that don’t hit the mark account for the failure of around 60% of IT projects, so being sure you have a comprehensive development team that covers all bases is key.
The roles & responsibilities in a software development team
Every software professional has their own skills and specialisations. While there might be some overlap between what experts can do, it’s not enough to allow you to cut corners and hire a smaller team. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of people within your software development team (whether on-shore, nearshore or offshore) is the foundation of any successful project.
Business Analyst (BA)
Data-oriented and able to comprehend complex business processes, a BA always has their sights on business goals. They’re responsible for defining what’s needed to reach these goals, with a heavy involvement in feasibility.
- Documenting requirements, policies and protocols
- Ensuring deliverables and quality standards are met
- Defining project scope
Quality Assurance Engineer (QA)
A QA’s role is to prevent mistakes. This is all about ensuring the product meets specifications and quality requirements. And, while it can be tempting to skip the QA stage to get a product to market faster, a quality assurance engineer can actually help businesses to save time and money spent on fixing products further down the line.
- Making sure the product meets requirements
- Risk assessments
- Identifying bugs
- Testing products and analyzing test results
Project Manager (PM)
The project manager oversees the entire software project, making sure goals are achieved, supervising the team and communicating with stakeholders. It’s their job to ensure the project is completed successfully, and they’re involved in everything from planning to budgeting, execution and delivery.
- Developing the project roadmap
- Managing resources and budget
- Making sure the project stays on-track
- Updating senior management & stakeholders
The software developer is your person who actually builds the product. They’ll need to be a whizz at writing code, and be a problem-solver that stays up-to-date with the latest tech trends and best practices. A skilled, motivated and creative developer is the ticket to a successful project.
- Developing the defined features
- Keeping the project manager updated
- Estimating turnaround times throughout the project
A team usually has more than one designer, who collectively design the look of the user interface of a product or app. The UX (user experience) designer takes into account user behavior and needs to make sure the design sets the scene for the best possible experience. The UI (user interface) designer is responsible for designing the interactive elements, i.e. the screens that a user will move through to reach their goals.
- Analyzing and meeting the needs of the user
- Defining the product’s navigation
- Generating prototypes and documenting design decisions
A software architect is responsible for making high-level design choices. They’ll possess in-depth technical knowledge, while also being able to manage people. The architect reviews code and makes sure design is of a high-quality, and, because of the unique mix of hard and soft skills required, great software architects can be difficult to come by.
- Defining the product’s technical and functional architecture
- Assisting developers and designers during execution
- Developing critical components
Identifying the missing piece of your business’ puzzle
How can you spot the technical requirements within your business? Each project has a slightly different structure and aims, so uncovering what your business needs depends on your tech stack, tech environment and internal capabilities.
“Technical requirements” covers needs relating to performance, reliability, scalability, availability and security. The devil is in the detail, and properly ascertaining technical requirements early on in a project is how things run smoothly.
You’ll want to consider:
- Business goals and needs
- What the product should do in order to meet user requirements
- Functional and non-functional system requirements
Take a look at your tech stack and internal capabilities, to predict where you might run into some issues. Do you have the right skills, enough time or the budget to meet all requirements? Vague or missing requirements are a major source of project delays, and the later on in a project that issues are uncovered, the more expensive they are to fix.
To get started, build out a thorough checklist that covers the following key categories, and have business analysts, designers and developers collaborate to make sure nothing is missing:
- Performance requirements: How well the system responds to interactions, such as in relation to speed and mobile responsiveness.
- Availability requirements: Which features need to be available to the user at all times, and what’s the process in the case of an unexpected system crash?
- Scalability requirements: Can the system process more users, transactions, etc. easily and without downtime?
- Security requirements: Protection against unauthorized access, data protection, etc.
Before starting out on any software development project, dig deep into what’s required and don’t skip over details for the sake of getting work rolling faster. As many as 85% of internal software projects don’t reach a meaningful ROI, and you don’t want your project to be one of them.
Fill in the gap with a skilled remote software team
Recognizing the fact that your business doesn’t have the right talent, security measures or other capabilities to get a project off the ground and into the hands of users isn’t a bad thing. In fact, you might have just saved yourself from an expensive disaster further down the line.
Planning ahead and only getting started when you have the complete team in place to work on your chosen tech stack and project roadmap is the way to a smooth-sailing project. Contact Double Yolk to talk about your project requirements and begin building out a remote team made up of the best developers in India.