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10 Key Roles in a Software Development Team: Who is Responsible for What?

Chief Business Development Officer
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Expert in offshore development strategies for technology companies and startups. Legal background in M&A, IP rights, and contract law.
21 June 2022
9 min

Product development is a compound process where tech specialists are its conductors. The roles in a software development team outline its members’ responsibilities that ensure proper work management and lead to overall performance. That’s why managers should properly organize their teams and reach a win-win team composition. In this article, I will focus on every role that will help you to assemble your perfect team in detail.

 

Typical Team Roles in Software Development 

 

 

To drive your product to success, you need a team of tech talents that is made up of these key roles:  
 

  • Product manager  
  • Engineering manager  
  • Software architect  
  • Software developers 
  • UX/UI designers 
  • QA engineer 
  • Business analyst  
  • Scrum master 
  • Testers 
  • Team lead or Technical lead
     

It’s important to mention that every team structure has different software development team roles. Thus, project team roles and responsibilities are not the same as in a product team. In this article, I will dwell on the product team structure that follows Agile fundamentals, as our company specializes in building in-house engineering teams for product tech companies. So, let’s move to the detailed descriptions of specialists you need for your own product team. 

 

Your perfect development team

 

 

 

 

10 Roles in a Software Development Team 

 

 

1. Product Manager

 

A Product Manager is the person who supervises the development process and its market entry. Their range of responsibilities are quite vast: devising / implementing strategies and product KPI planning / monitoring.  As a rule, product managers set the goal of reaching the company’s targets and objectives via its product. For this, PM specialists pay special attention to competitors and study the market thoroughly. Product managers also generate ideas, manage pricing policy, plus control and plan the tasks. PMs closely cooperate with developers, the product owner, marketing specialists, sales representatives, and stakeholders. Since PMs collaborate with everyone, they are also in charge of holding meetings and taking care of meeting facilitation. Extra typical duties include accepting and rejecting ideas, facilitating technical implementation, documentation and maintenance, etc.

 

2. Business Analyst

 

Business Analysts study and gather all information about the product, outline the target audience’s needs, and act as a bonding agent between the market and engineers. They analyze users’ behavior / concerns, and then compile recommendations on product enhancement and development. As soon as the product is ready, BAs analyze whether this product actually resolves market problems and its importance for end users.    

  

3. Engineering Manager

 

Software development team roles and responsibilities also presuppose engineering managers. As managers, they work with every team member face to face, thus these specialists have an understanding of the team’s performance dynamics. Notably, engineering managers also establish trustworthy working conditions, so that all team members feel free to pitch their ideas and share feedback. They also optimize the software development team structure when new developers join the team, plus participate in their coaching. A strong technical background is a must, since these team players choose the best engineering solutions for product realization. They also analyze potential challenges and avert them with the help of tech instruments.  

 

4. Software Architect

 

This specialist plays the role of a decision-maker when it comes to the internal arrangement of the software in accordance with product requirements and procured resources. On the basis of business needs, architects outline technical and functional instruments required for product development. In addition, they’re involved in the development process, since one of their key responsibilities is to design the system. These people must have a strategic vision as they take care of planning the software enhancement, extending, and adding new features. A perfect software architect can find an optimal technical solution that suits your product the best. 

 

5. Software Developers

 

While speaking of important roles in a software development team, developers cannot go unmentioned. These are people who code the software first-hand. For this, they use various programming languages, frameworks, and libraries. Due to their experience, coders have three rungs: junior (1-3 years of experience), middle (3-5 years of experience), and senior (8-10+ years of coding). The scope of work depends on the level of expertise and usually product tech companies employ mostly senior and middle engineers. Juniors join the team at the stage when there are many simple tasks that seniors don’t have time to take up.  Software engineers also have certain specializations, so they can be full-stack, front- or back-end developers. All of them closely collaborate with other team members such as designers, testers, the product engineer, and other core team members, so that everyone works in parallel.

 

 

6. UX/UI Designers

 

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are closely united but are still different notions. What these directions have in common is that they both require creativity and technical skills. UX designers make sure that the browsing experience and features are accessible for users, analyzing the target audience’s behavior. They also take care of all interface elements so that it’s natively clear where to click to sign in, or set the filters, etc. In a nutshell, a UX designer’s task is to guide the user through the product and make this journey convenient. UI designers deal with the layout and visual design, where fonts, colors, forms, sounds, and animations are his/her instrumental. Although these are two team roles in a software development process, the UX/UI designer is generally one specialist.

 

7. QA Engineer

 

These specialists are in control of the testing stage of the development process. They ensure that the software works properly and conforms to quality standards. Quality assurance automation engineers must be aware of the testing theory and types as well as have coding skills. QAs test the software with the help of the script they have written, making the testing process automized. After this, they conduct some analytics and compile a bug report – where they describe all actions that led to this or that bug. A well-written report saves plenty of time and prevents the developer from making further mistakes.

 

8. Scrum Master

 

Following agile principles, these specialists apply scrum ideas to guide the team. A scrum master organizes daily stand-ups, gathers feedback from team members, and conducts one-to-ones. Apart from this, they iron out the obstacles that hinder a team’s performance and progress. By applying scrum methodology, scrum masters help the team plan sprints, their duration, and tasks to be done within these cycles. During the sprint, they control backlog via putting the tasks assigned on tracking boards such as Trello or Jira. After this, the scrum master and development team overview and analyze the previous sprint, taking into account all pitfalls and successfully completed tasks. Then together they define the next one and the procedure repeats. Motivating the team and establishing communication among its members are also included in a scrum master’s duties.

 

9. Testers

 

Roles of team members in software development also include testers. They handle the manual part of the testing stage, reflecting a user’s operating habits and patterns. Thus, testers, as well as QAs, share the responsibility for product quality.
 

10. Team Lead or Tech Lead

 

These roles cover two essential spheres – technical & people management. The tech lead is an experienced programmer who is responsible for tech tasks. This role implies code review and ameliorating the team’s technical skills via mentoring the coders. They also work with tech risks and solve practical problems during the development stage. Team leaders, in turn, prioritize the tasks, maintain cross-team connections, compose and organize the working process. To allocate the tasks reasonably, team leads must be well-versed in roles and responsibilities of a software development team. They also boost team motivation & morale, give feedback, and cover routine questions of vacations / days off. As you might surmise, these two roles are about being a leader from different perspectives.

 

 

Consider Alcor BPO Your Trusted Partner in Hiring a Software Development Team 

 

Samsung, BigCommerce, and SBTech have already assembled their software development team via an external provider. 

 

Alcor is an international recruitment service provider that hires developers from Poland, Romania, and other Eastern European countries. Our headhunters use their own vast internal database and engage other premium resources to fill the positions you need for your own engineering team. Alcor’s IT recruitment services include organizing and conducting full-cycle interview procedures: sourcing, technical pre-screening following your requirements, and outlining the candidate’s ambitions & motivation. After all of this, we compile a transparent candidate profile and the final decision is up to you! 

 

We also act as your business shelter, taking care of all legal frameworks plus payroll & accounting activities. Our back-office operations include hardware arrangements for your development team, payroll management, advising on insurance packages, and any type of legal consulting. We also assist in establishing your own software research and development center! In a few words, Alcor is an all-in-one-place service provider with exclusive focus on recruitment services to help you find your team! 

 

One of our clients that develops products in the healthcare domain reached out to us for recruitment process outsourcing. Alcor’s recruitment team managed to hire 16 specialists for the Ukrainian team which included both software development and implementation team roles: Full Stack developers (Node.js, React), one C++ developer, QA automation engineers, a Product Manager, a DevOps, and even the Director of Engineering. Our recruiters started with the Engineering Manager position and filled it within a month! This specialist has been working for the company for more than one year already (with both him and the company happy about each other). Read more here about other companies’ experiences!

 

 

Now that you have a fuller picture of the key roles in a software development team, don’t hesitate to build your own research and development center with a team of developers in Eastern Europe. Alcor is there to find the best dedicated IT specialists for you!

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FAQ:

💡 How many roles are there in a software development team?

A well-organized development team has nearly 10 key positions. They include implementation and software development team roles like software developers, QA engineers, product manager, software architect, and designers, etc.

💡 What roles are a must for a software development team?

For proper and trouble-free product development, the team must include a product manager, team lead, and the core development team (software engineers, quality assurance specialists & designers).

💡 How should I build a software development team?

To assemble a good team, you should think about the software development team structure first. For this, tech entrepreneurs must consider the following aspects: the management methodology, budget, scope of work, plus roles & responsibilities in the development team.

💡 What are the main roles in a software development team?

A software development team is made up of these key roles: product manager, engineering manager, software architect, software developers, designers, testers, and team / tech leads.

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Contact us to receive a free analysis of your positions!

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