How To Build A Successful Software Development Team


A successful software project is dependent on the level of expertise and skills the team possesses. A common challenge among executives is hiring the right tech talent to build quality software projects and products. A recent report revealed that 77% of employers grapple with finding individuals who have the appropriate skill set for software projects. When building a software development team, understanding the scope of the project, the project estimate, and the deliverables is paramount. This will aid the development of team roles and members, aligning each team member to a common objective. As a leader, adopting the right approach to set your team up for success can greatly influence the outcome of the project and boost the team's morale.

The overarching aim of a great software team is to deliver efficiently on software goals, but this can seem like a daunting task when you don't know where to start. Do you need a software developer who codes in C++ or Java, or do you need a QA specialist? To gain clarity on the specific roles you need and the composition of your team, you need a defined process. Software development teams don't just happen or build themselves; they require comprehensive planning and a well-thought-out process. In fact, 70% of IT projects fail due to a lack of proper planning and understanding of the project's requirements, leading to a waste of time, effort, and resources. When a team is not in sync with the expectations and goals of the project, the software project is likely doomed for failure.

In this article, we'll delve into the concept of software development, underline the importance of having the right software team, and discuss the key roles and responsibilities within such a team. We'll also explore the qualities that make a software team effective, outline the steps for building a software team, and provide insights on how to hire a dedicated software development team.

What is a Software Development Team?

A software development team is a group of individuals with vast skills and talents who work together to develop a software product or execute a software project. A software team can vary in size, from a small to a large group of people, depending on the scope of the project and the estimated timeline for delivery. But importantly, a software team should include all the fundamental roles needed to build a high-quality product or deliver the set outcomes.

The Roles & Responsibility of A Software Development Team

Beyond software developers and the CTO, there are other roles in a software team that are as important as the development itself. A dream development team is all-inclusive and operates under the understanding that everyone plays a crucial role in product development. Although a perfect product may barely exist, a perfect team filled with the right people can be achievable.

The following roles are essential in any software development team:

Scrum Master

In an Agile software development team, the Scrum Master whose role is slightly different from the project manager, is a great addition to a software development team. Unlike the Product Manager who focuses more on the product's strategic aspects, the Scrum Master is more concerned with the team's operational dynamics.

The Scrum Master's duties include identifying who is responsible for each task, monitoring the team's progress, and regularly reporting this to the stakeholders. They ensure that each team member has the resources necessary to perform their tasks and work on resolving issues that may hinder the team's progress. Their role is instrumental in facilitating the Agile processes and ensuring the team operates smoothly and effectively.

Software Architect

The software architect oversees the internal arrangement of software programs and integrations, ensuring they meet the technical requirements of the application development process. This individual plays a crucial role in communicating complex requirements, facilitating a seamless system for the databases, and more. Notably, the software architect brings the product vision to life by selecting the right tools and platforms, reviewing the code, reducing complexity, and ensuring the design quality of the product.

A great software architect knows how to manage people, communicates clearly, and offers technical support with a broad understanding of the technology stack that should be used for each project.

Business Analyst

A business analyst serves as the intermediary between the market/customers and the engineers. They translate the business needs and requirements into well-defined goals and have the responsibility to ensure the project is launched to the final consumers.

The aim of a business analyst is to ensure that the goal of the project is achieved and that it aligns with the company's overall goal. Importantly, a business analyst initiates the project, provides a clear strategic plan, and follows up on key deliverables and milestones in a software project.

When product managers have a heavy workload, the business analyst can assist in writing the requirements and creating the necessary documentation, highlighting the policies and procedures the product must meet before being launched to the market. Notably, the business analyst should possess strong problem-solving skills, foresight, and be data-driven to identify new markets and define strategies to meet stakeholders' goals. In most cases, product managers and business analysts work hand-in-hand to refine the product features, resolve technical issues between the technical team and product managers, and ensure the smooth progression of the project.

Product Managers

The Product Manager is a key role, saddled with the responsibility of directing the team toward a clear vision of the project. Their mission includes ensuring that the team meets set deadlines and expectations while mitigating any roadblocks that may arise.

The product manager works hand-in-hand with different departments, such as marketing, sales, and business teams, and aligns everyone with the overarching project goals. They take charge of market research, price policy management, and staying updated with industry trends and shifts.

Software developers

No software project can exist without software developers; they are like butter to bread. Software developers are responsible for coding the software using programming languages, frameworks, and libraries. Depending on their level of experience, developers range from junior to senior. The junior developers have 1-3 years of experience, the mid-level developers have 3-5 years of experience, and the senior developers have 8-10 years or more of experience. Each of them contributes significantly to the team and brings different levels of expertise, whether as a full-stack, back-end, or front-end developer.

The full-stack developers have a comprehensive understanding of both the back-end and front-end aspects of development. Meanwhile, front-end developers focus on making the interface crisp and user-friendly, and back-end developers manage the functionality of the app.

UI/UX Specialist

The role of a UI/UX designer is to create a user-friendly experience for customers. The User Experience (UX) focuses on the overall interaction with the product, while the User Interface (UI) oversees the design layout of the product. A well-designed software product should address user problems, prompting them to take the desired action. The UI/UX designer establishes a user flow strategy and experience that meet the product's requirements and supports the software development team throughout the project.

Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers

The position of the QA Engineer is to ensure the product works well without any bugs. This role is important because it allows the users to have a great experience without any hitch. A QA specialist can tell when a product is ready to be launched to the market and meets the quality standards.

QA engineers should possess proficient coding and testing theory skills to compile a detailed bug report that can help developers save time, correct mistakes, and avoid similar issues in the future.

In simple terms, the QA engineers have the final word on whether a product can be launched to the market because of their review of the product. They have the responsibility of guiding the developer through a QA process.

Engineering Manager

The engineering manager is a major point of contact within a software development team; they're akin to the oil in an engine, keeping the project running smoothly. They collaborate effectively with the project manager and business analyst, leveraging their proficiency in programming to provide structure, direction, and solutions to roadblocks for the team. They communicate with stakeholders and oversee the trajectory of the engineering team.

An engineering manager is responsible for implementing best practices and procedures and maintaining a detailed understanding of the overall project. Importantly, the engineering manager is attentive to different solutions proposed by team members and helps ensure optimal performance.

The Qualities of A Great Software Development Team

There are many qualities to consider when building a dedicated software development team, particularly because collaboration and communication are key elements when working on a project. Given the involvement of various stakeholders, from software developers, QA engineers, project managers, DevOps managers, UI/UX designers, to business analysts, it's vital to have common characteristics and a shared purpose for the software project.

Clear Goals & Objectives

Every team should have clear goals with defined objectives. Significant progress can only be measured when there are specific goals to reach. A software development team is no exception to this rule. Each team member should understand their individual roles and how they contribute to the overall objectives.

In addition, the team as a whole should understand its collective goals, which could range from developing new features, improving software performance, or even increasing customer satisfaction rates. By setting and striving towards these goals, the team can maintain focus, enhance productivity, and achieve their desired outcomes more efficiently.

Effective Communication

Communication is key in delivering a high-quality software product. A two-way interaction, where both the team members and the leaders can brainstorm and engage in transparent communication, will accelerate the project's progress.

Moreover, a clear connection to the main goal of the project, coupled with each team member understanding how their role ties to the bigger picture, will create a safe environment and foster a healthy communication culture.

A software development team that communicates effectively cultivates a space where each person has a sense of belonging and feels comfortable sharing challenges.

Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving

When assembling a software team, it's essential to identify critical thinkers and problem-solvers. These individuals can propose innovative solutions and may even challenge some of your approaches constructively. Their unique perspectives can stimulate discussion, promote creative problem-solving, and ultimately lead to a more robust and effective software development process.

Domain Expertise

An indicator of a successful software development team is the presence of team members with extensive expertise in different areas. A well-rounded team does not only write code but also keeps a common goal in mind — connecting their daily tasks to the end user. Members with domain expertise bring their knowledge and skills to the team boosting the quality of the final software product.


An effective software development team must exhibit a degree of independence in achieving tasks and completing projects without micromanagement. This autonomy allows the team room for experimentation and overcoming challenges.

A self-reliant team will enhance the speed of the project. Fostering a company culture that allows individuals to thrive in their skills can help them operate autonomously.

If you're operating an agile software development team, they'll function well when given a level of independence from both clients and managers that don't stifle their creativity.

Steps for Building A Successful Software Development Team

As previously mentioned, building a software team goes beyond coding and developers, but is highly dependent on each of the skills and members that make up the team. Engineering leaders have the responsibility of ensuring that each of their team members understands the business goals and aligns their individual tasks to a common goal to withstand challenges that may come with developing a product or executing a project.

However, to build an effective software development team, here are some imperative steps to follow:

Implement a Well-defined Hiring Process

The hiring plan and process of your organization are as crucial as the people who will fill those positions. Having a plan that defines the job description, beyond merely listing required skills, will broaden your talent pool. For instance, if you decide to use a software vendor like Devsu, which boasts a pool of over 200+ tech talents, a comprehensive job description will aid in selecting the right skill set for your team.

Having clear business goals allows you to identify precise business needs and objectives, thereby aligning engineering skills with the overarching business goal.

To enhance your hiring process, identify four to five measurable tasks that a candidate can connect to their expertise, using these as the core requirements of the job.

Pro tip: Implement a clear hiring process that facilitates the selection of the right tech talent.

Hire Passionate People

The tech industry has the highest turnover rate, at 13.2% with a shortage of qualified tech talent which gives larger tech companies an advantage in acquiring top talent and passionate professionals. However, a myriad of opportunities and talents exist at Devsu. Therefore, when hiring, it's crucial to seek out passionate individuals who align with your software product's vision and are committed to building the right software for your customers.

During the screening process, identify passionate tech professionals who exhibit enthusiasm. For instance, they may have personal projects, share their knowledge through teaching, or engage in passion projects for fun.

Pro tip: Hire someone who has a great attitude towards work, and domain expertise, and can collaborate well with other team members.

Develop A Great Software Team Structure

Selecting tech professionals who are suitable for the project will drive project success. This can be done by having a software development team structure that will improve the team's effectiveness. Each team member will pull their weight and add valuable contributions that will assist other team members. The three major categories your software team structure should have, are:


These are people who have knowledge in different areas and can proffer solutions to the team, however, they are not specialists. As generalists, they are versatile and have knowledge of different technologies making it easy for them to work on various projects, adapt quickly to new projects and technology, and troubleshoot issues seamlessly.

A major advantage of generalists is that they understand how a product works and can focus on product development. Although they lack specific expertise, they are valuable to have in a team. Examples of positions that can be classified as a generalist are product owner, product manager, and business analyst.


An ideal technology team possesses specialists who are experts in specific areas such as frontend, backend, UI/UX, QA testing, and many other technical roles. Majorly, these specialists have strengths in different programming languages like C++, Python, Java, etc. These specialists can be software developers and programmers who are proficient in their chosen areas.

One of the benefits of having specialists on your team is that they have a vast knowledge of product development and can build quality software products that can beat the competition in the industry. As specialists, they work independently with little to no supervision because they have profound knowledge in their field.

One disadvantage of specialists' team structure is that they may not understand the roles of other team members due to their independent nature, and this can lead to miscommunication. Also, they may lack expertise in other technologies and languages.


The hybrid software development structure is most times considered the best because it incorporates both the generalist and the specialist's approach. While the generalists focus on the overall project needs the specialist will focus on the core components of the project. This gives a good balance to the team.

An advantage of the hybrid team structure is that it allows the specialists and generalists to thrive in their domain expertise, giving them the flexibility of developing a quality product without a missing gap in skill sets. Importantly, the hybrid structure allows for improved collaboration and increases the performance of the team.

However, this team structure can be expensive and is often considered time-consuming. For example, a developer who works on two different projects may have more knowledge in coding in Python than in Swift or Java. Therefore, demanding the same level of expertise or output from that developer on both projects may slow down their ability to work on specialized tasks. The hybrid structure is excellent for teams working on complex projects that involve different roles and specialties.

Pro Tip: Select a team structure that is effective for your project. Consider aligning your project requirements to the most suitable team structure to eliminate the failure of your software project. To save cost, time, and effort, most companies opt for a software development company that has each of these roles on-demand and can increase the speed of the project according to business demands.

Provide Communication Tools & A Collaborative Work Environment

In addition to defining your software development team structure, you should outline clear communication principles for your software team. This includes documentation, guidelines, and deadlines which are crucial for the effective operation of your team. To achieve this, have communication tools at your disposal. For example, at Devsu, use Slack for daily communication, Jira for project management, and Google Meet for meetings.

If you're managing an agile software development team, you'll experience different phases such as sprint planning, daily standups, sprint reviews, and product backlog refinement. Clear communication, thorough documentation, and comprehensive guidelines are essential during these phases to ensure a successful product development lifecycle.

A good communication tool and process will be of great advantage to any team specifically if you operate remote teams who work in the same or different geographical locations.

In terms of documentation, maintain a shared document containing all project requirements that each team member can access. It's also important to have software documentation that describes the software utilized in building the project, along with instructions for deploying and using the code.

Pro Tip: Consider hiring a team of people who are time-zone aligned and can operate during your organization's work hours to enable faster collaboration among teams and improved results.

development team coding

How To Hire A Dedicated Software Development Team

With the shortage of tech professionals and the lengthy recruitment time, most companies prefer to use software development companies that have the skill set they need on demand to save cost, time, and effort.

What Is A Dedicated Software Development Team?

A dedicated software development team is a team of professionals who are responsible for planning and implementing long-term project needs to satisfy the users and solve the client's challenges. Clients can choose the number of people and the specialized skills required for a project for a specified period of time. With a dedicated software team, clients have the flexibility to augment or reduce tech professionals on the project as needed.

When You Need a Dedicated Software Development Team

As a start-up, the best time to hire a dedicated software development team is when you're building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An agile software development team will speed up the launch of your product to users.

For a mid-sized business, consider hiring a dedicated team if you're aiming to scale your product or develop and refine your product to encompass new features and functionalities.

As an enterprise company, a dedicated software development team would be ideal if you're seeking to transform your digital products, scale your products, or develop new ones based on your business needs.

Devsu, Your Software Development Company

Choose the best software development for your project. Choose Devsu for a robust skill set with over 10+ years of experience in building top-tier technology products for businesses.

Contact us today for all your software needs.


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