Six key software development team roles that are irreplaceable for any IT project
The image of people working in the IT field has changed over the last years. Ridiculous stereotypes about programmers have been broken and nowadays coding is considered cool as well as the programmers themselves have become the elite.
However, when we talk about development team responsibilities, we do not talk only about software engineers that write the code using numerous technologies and programming languages. IT projects require different kinds of specialists, not with a technical background only. Project development team roles vary from project managers to marketing specialists.
Here at Smartym Pro we deal with projects from various industries such as healthcare, logistics, eLearning, etc., requiring different approaches, but the basic aspects of our application development process usually stay the same.
Our team includes professionals with various roles who work towards achieving the best intelligent solution that meets the client’s goals and requirements.
In this article, we will talk about 6 key professional roles that are necessary for a quality application development project.
Among agile development team roles, business analysts are one of the most important. Business analysts get involved in the project development process at the very first stage, right after the sale has taken place or sometimes even earlier. The basic duty of a business analyst lies in communication both with the client and the dedicated development team.
Clients usually think in terms of their goals. Programmers think in terms of features and code lines, focusing on how to do what the client wants. There is a gap that lies between the actual features and elements that must be implemented and the client’s goal.
A business analyst (shortly called BA) must exactly define what the customer wants and needs. A BA collects the client’s requirements for the desired product, analyses what the product should look like and what features should be implemented as well as what should be done for this.
He or she conducts competitor research together with marketing specialists to make sure that the client’s project will be viable and competitive compared to already existing products of this kind.
A BA also defines the target audience, creates user personas, wireframes and writes software requirements specification unless it all has been fully provided by the client.
Thus, the role of a BA is in building an optimal development process, interpreting the client’s requirements, preparing documentation and providing effective communication between the client and the team.
When the client’s requirements are collected and interpreted appropriately, that’s where project managers (shortly called PM) come into the game. The basic task of a project manager in any development team is obviously managing the project.
To explain it more explicitly, let’s talk about the basic tasks of a PM. Just like a BA, a PM can also be involved in communication with the client, although the main duty of a PM is working directly with the team.
A project manager distributes tasks among software engineers, plans the workflow, motivates the team, controls the process and coordinates the actions of each member of the team.
A PM is also responsible for time management, managing and mitigating risks, and unpredicted situations. Another task of any PM is to make sure that the development process goes according to the plan.
That’s who the major part of creativity in the project comes from! The main responsibility of a UI/UX designer is making the product look good along with making it convenient and pleasant to use.
A designer uses the wireframes created by the client or the business analyst to “draw” mockups and create mobile application interface design (or user interface, UI) according to the valid guidelines and trends. He also plans the app flow and thus user experience (UX) that will make the product easy-to-use.
At Smartym Pro our designers use InVision software to create dynamic prototypes that represent how the real product will behave, allowing to test the prototype on a real device prior to the development itself. It is useful for the client to see the model of the desired product and absolutely necessary for the programmers who will be responsible for writing the code for the product. It is like a design model of a room for professionals with an explicit field of experience who will actually be decorating it. Our UI/UX designers also provide graphic elements for application stores, mockups and the logo of the desired product (all of these elements as a whole are called a release-kit).
Out of all the software development team roles and responsibilities – developer’s role can be named the core of the team, these are people with explicit experience. Programmers are a kind of “interpreters” who translate the human language and the language of graphics into the language of digital technologies that computers and technical devices can understand and thus execute what the client wants.
There are different levels of software engineers, namely junior, middle and senior developers depending on their working experience and the level of expertise.
All of them also have different fields of expertise, different languages they code in and the platforms they work with. That’s why there is a great “variety” of software developers even within one project. For instance, a regular mobile software development project requires at least an Android developer, an iOS developer as well as a backend developer.
Quality assurance specialists are crucial for every software development process, they are responsible for security and high quality of a product. They test the product, go through the whole app flow, define bugs and flaws ending with creating a report for the development team that will have to conduct bug fixing.
It is important to detect errors before completing the product and exposing it to real users for it will save the face of the product and guarantee positive user experience.
Other responsibilities of QA specialists include not only general testing of the product but also checking its correspondence to the customer’s requirements.
Marketing professionals deal with a product on post-development stages and they are essential for almost every product unless you’ve developed a software system used only within your enterprise.
The team has developed a great product but what’s the point in that if nobody actually knows about it?
Marketing specialists conduct market research on the first stage of software development as well as prepare and launch marketing campaigns after the release, search distribution channels, conduct social media marketing (SMM), write texts and articles (SEO writing), create product descriptions (content marketing) etc. to promote a product and make it successful.
They are also responsible for application statistics analysis, product further development and enhancement meaning determining new features to implement, measuring user reaction, and so on.
To summarize this topic about roles in agile development teams, one should remember that software development team roles are not only about programmers who write the code.
Here at Smartym Pro, we have a very responsible approach to the team development process: we pick the most suitable members according to every project’s specifics and peculiarities. We have a cohesive team of professionals who are responsible for all the stages of a desired application development and make sure that you receive a high-quality product.