The Seven People You Need On Your Software Team

Ok.  So you want to make an app.  You have some idea for custom software.  Whether that is custom software for your business or some app you want to release for consumers or other businesses to use.  Who do you need on your team to make it happen?

Of course you need to hire developers.  But you need to know what kind of developers you'll need and you'll likely need more than one  Also, you can't just hire developers.  You'll also need to hire a few very important people to support the developers too.  

Developers

Let's start with developers though.  The first type of person you are going to want to hire is a...

Backend Developer

Backend developers specialize in writing code that runs on a server.  No matter what kind of app you are going to make - whether it's a mobile app, a web app or even a game - you will almost certainly need a server.  You'll need a database and you'll need code that interacts with that database and you'll need a place to store photos and other files.  Backend devs are the ones who write this kind of code.  You can think of them as the foundation of your dev team.

Of course, before you hire a backend developer, you'll want to decide on a backend development stack.  You'll want to pick a development framework so that future backend developers that you hire will be able to jump in and work quickly.  We'll be making videos about development stacks in the future.

Ok, so you got a backend dev.  What other kinds of devs do you need?  The second type of developer you want to hire is a:

Frontend Developer

Backend Developers specialize in writing code that runs on a server.  Frontend developers specialize in writing code that runs in a web browser.  They are the guys who can take a design from a program like photoshop and Figma, and turn it into actual code that runs in Google Chrome or Safari.

Good frontend developers have to know HTML, CSS and Javascript. They probably will use a frontend framework like React, Vue or Svelte.  (Another decision you'll need to make before hiring.)  They also need to know how to make their code responsive so it works on different screen sizes and accessible so people with disabilities can use it.  

Most of the time, good front end developers have a different personality and background than good backend developers.  But, it's pretty common to find someone who is good at both and these devs like to call themselves Fullstack developers.

Ok.  So you have frontend devs and backend devs.  Who else do you need to hire?  Well there is a third type of dev that is very important and that is a...


Mobile Developer

If you want to have an app that runs in the App store on iOS or Android (and most apps do these days) then you need to hire a mobile developer or maybe a bunch of mobile developers.   Mobile developers are like frontend devs - but they write code that runs natively on mobile phones or tablets.

The problem with mobile developers is that Android development is very different than iOS development.  They use two totally different programming languages and systems.  

So you either have to use a cross platform framework like React Native or Flutter or hire different Android devs AND iOS devs.

Now you have a small army of devs now.  Frontend, Backend, Android, iOS.  Are you done yet?  No.  We are less than halfway there.

The fourth kind of developer you are eventually going to want on your team is a

Devops specialist.

Devops developers are the guys who setup and monitor the infrastructure your app runs on.  They setup servers (or cloud servers), email servers, database servers and make sure they have maximum uptime, security and scalability.

The good news is that with the advent of cloud computing and tools like Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure (or smaller platforms like Digital Ocean or Linode) you don't need to have a warehouse full of servers anymore.  But those tools are still very complicated and they still take knowledgeable people to setup them up and make sure they are running correctly.  You can probably get by without one of these guys at first, but eventually as your app grows, you will need one or more of these specialist on your team.

Non-Developers


Let's get into the non-dev players that you need to make your development team work.  In addition to developers, you are going to need to have designers.  Just as there are different types of developers there are different types of designers.

You will need a

UX Designer

UX stands for User Experience.  User Experience designers are really good at going from concept to concrete idea.  They usually work in the realm of ideas and help transfer those ideas to wireframes and user stories so that the other designers and developers know what to do.  It's tempting to skip this step - but a good UX designer and good UX design processes will save you tons of development time and greatly improve your application.

You will also need a

UI Designer

A UI designer takes the wireframes and user stories created by the UX designer and turns them into pixel perfect prototypes that look amazing and match your branding.  They make these prototypes in apps like Figma or Adobe XD and the prototypes are then used as a bridge and guide for the frontend or mobile developers.

UX designers and UI Designers can be the same people.  UX designers tend to focus on concepts and UI designers tend to focus on visuals.  They are both important and often require different interests and personalities.

The good news is that you usually need less designers than you need developers.  We have over a dozen developers on our team, and only three designers.  But when you need them, you really need them.

Alright, so you have different types of developers, dev ops, designers is your team complete?

No.  You still need one very important player on your team and that is the...

Project Manager

Project managers make sure that they work is being done.  They make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing, that they are doing it in the right order, that there are no questions, and that there are no bottlenecks.

Project managers manage the backlog of work that everyone on the team is doing and communicate it to stakeholders.  They have to be extremely well organized and get along with everyone on the team and have a big picture overview of the whole project.  You can think of them like a general contractor on a construction site.

Conclusion

Obviously hiring a team like this is very expensive.  In the US, each of those seven people could require a 6 figure salary plus benefits.  If you just had one of each, you could be looking at a million dollars a year just to keep this team working on your project.  That's one of the reasons why it makes a ton of sense to hire an agency like Build Online to build out your project.  We have a very good team of all these different types of devs, and designers.  You don't need to train us.  You don't need to pay us benefits.  We are easy to hire and fire.  It's kind of a no brainer.  

If you'd like to talk to us about a project, you can setup a free initial call by clicking the "Ready to Get Started?" button on the top of the page.

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