What’s the most critical aspect of building a new software application? Of course, you have to ensure that it’s equipped with all the right features to fulfill the client’s business requirements. You also have to optimize the code to boost its performance.
You even have to build a robust software security strategy to ensure that the application doesn’t contain vulnerabilities that would expose the end-user to data breaches and other security threats. Likewise, you need to constantly implement new features to meet the changing needs of the client.
While all these steps are crucial for creating powerful software applications, you can’t perform any of these tasks without building your software development team. In the absence of a well-defined team, even the best project strategy would fail to deliver the desired software product.
Why Build a Team for Software Development?
It’s crucial to understand that building software applications isn’t a one-person job. Just like any other project, it involves various tasks, such as budgeting, scheduling, monitoring, client liaison, etc. You also need to test the software at various stages to ensure that that it meets the client’s needs.
That’s why it is essential to create a semblance of a hierarchy in every software development team. Apart from developers, a software development project involves other roles, such as the project manager, business analyst, quality assurance (QA) lead, etc.
Each role is associated with distinct tasks and responsibilities. When every team member manages their individual responsibilities with precision, the end result is an outstanding software application that addresses all the client’s needs.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at the different personnel involved in software development and the key responsibilities for each role. Let’s get started.
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Software Development Project Roles & Responsibilities
It’s worth mentioning at the outset that the exact roles for various team members would depend on the software development methodology you’re using in your project. For instance, if you’re using an agile development framework, such as Scrum, your team won’t need a project manager at all.
In the following sections, we’re going to discuss the roles that are typically part of a software development project. Let’s take a look.
1. Product Owner
The Product Owner is usually a senior-level executive who has a clear vision of the end product. They have a firm grasp on what purpose the application needs to fulfill and why it’s being built. They’re also responsible for ensuring seamless communication between the client/end-users and the development team.
In an agile framework, the Product Owner is responsible for identifying essential features and functionalities to deliver the best value to the client. Also, they’re the ones to decide what features need to be prioritized at any given time. They’re the person who is accountable to the client for the finished project.
2. Business Analyst
A Business Analyst acts as the bridge between the product owner and developers. As the name suggests, their job is to assess the client’s business requirements and translate those into actual product features. They’re also responsible for outlining a roadmap to prioritize and re-prioritize different business needs.
A Business Analyst usually interacts with project managers and technical leads to monitor the project status and communicate technical requirements. It’s also up to them to liaise with the client/product owner and resolve any queries the development team or project managers might have.
3. Project Manager
This is one of the most critical roles in a software development project. Simply put, the Project Manager is responsible for supervising the team and ensuring the desired deliverables are ready at the right time. They’re the glue that’s going to hold your software project team.
The job entails a wide range of other tasks, such as calculating the project budget and outlining the delivery schedule. Other key responsibilities of a project manager include:
- Selecting the right development methodology/framework.
- Creating a project plan.
- Performing risk assessment.
- Assigning specific tasks to individual team members.
- Maintaining project documentation and reports.
- Scheduling and supervising team meetings.
- Providing developers, designers, and testers with the right infrastructure and tools to perform their job.
- Monitor and analyze team performance.
- Update senior management about the project status.
It’s worth mentioning here that the Project Manager doesn’t always need to know the granular details of what and how features are being implemented. Instead, they have to lead and motivate project team members to excel at their jobs and successfully build the desired application.
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4. Technical Lead
Often abbreviated as a Tech Lead, this role is perceived as a person who has the best coding skills in the team. However, this is not the case in real-life development teams. A Technical Lead is usually a developer with strong leadership qualities.
Their job is to act as a point of contact between the developers and the Project Manager/Business Analyst. The benefit of assigning a Tech Lead is that it saves other developers from the hassle of interacting with managers and analysts.
Instead, they can focus on developing the software, while the Tech Lead handles all the questions and queries from upper management. They’re usually the main representative of the developers in various team meetings. This role requires a thorough understanding of the product features being implemented at the moment.
The quality and skills of developers in your team will dictate the fate of the project. It’s crucial to build an army of experienced and talented developers who share your vision of the project.
If you’re working in the Scrum framework, make sure your team doesn’t include more than 9 developers. Also, if your team has more than 8 developers, it’s wiser to split them into different groups and assign individual tasks to each group.
So, what exactly is the developer’s role in creating an application? To begin with, they’re the ones who will write the code to implement different features. In other words, they breathe life into the client/Product Owner’s vision of the project.
Apart from coding, a developer is responsible for sending timely updates to the Project Manager and Tech Lead. They have to closely work with other team members, such as designers, security engineers, and testers.
Typically, a project team comprises three kinds of developers:
- Full-stack developer.
- Front-end developer.
- Back-end developer.
A front-end developer primarily focuses on the view layer of the project (that is, the interface). Also, they should ensure that there is seamless communication between the view and business logic layers.
On the other hand, a back-end developer writes code for the business logic and database layers. A full-stack developer doesn’t specialize in any particular layer of the software architecture. However, their expertise comes in handy when implementing different features and resolving bugs and errors.
6. UI/UX Designer
As the name suggests, a UI designer takes care of building the user interface (UI) of the application. They’re given the responsibility of determining how the application is going to look. It’s up to them to consult the Project Manager and Tech Lead to determine the color palette and graphics they’re going to use.
A UX designer, on the other hand, has to ensure that the application delivers a seamless user experience (UX). This involves optimizing various aspects of the software, such as navigation, speed, performance, etc. They have to check how the application is working to identify and resolve UX issues.
UI/UX designers must closely work with developers to ensure that the final product fulfills the client’s vision. Also, they should collaborate with testers and security engineers to identify potential usability issues and vulnerabilities in the application.
7. QA Lead
A QA Lead does for the Quality Assurance team what a Tech Lead does for the development team. It’s their responsibility to coordinate with QA team members and ensure that the product is being tested at various stages of the development cycle.
Also, they have to represent the QA team at project team meetings and ensure that the final product meets the client’s expectations.
8. QA Engineer
A QA engineer is tasked with the crucial job of developing the right tools to automate software testing and detect regression errors. In other words, it’s their responsibility to simplify the job of testers.
The job of a tester is to carry out manual testing to identify bugs and errors in an application. This role involves various tasks, such as identifying and implementing the right testing protocols, as well as collecting the data from various tests. Also, they have to choose the features/components that need to be tested.
10. Software Security Engineer
When you’re focusing on software development, it’s easy to ignore the importance of software security. However, given the growing number of cyberattacks on businesses, it makes sense to recruit a Software Security Engineer as part of your project team.
The main responsibility of this person is to organize various software components and identify potential security threats. Also, they have to work with developers and build an incident response plan to minimize the impact of security threats.
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What approach did you use to build your software development team? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.