How to structure a software development team

- Updated June 19, 2018


software development team


The software development team is a unity of creative individuals working together to satisfy user needs. Traditionally, software developers worked in silo environment, worrying only about the technical part of the development process. But, user needs change rapidly, which is why most software development companies rely on agile methodologies to keep up the pace. That’s why, nowadays firms try to work in a cross-functional environment, where duties overlap and IT professionals of complementary fields join their knowledge to get the accent on the human side of the systems.

Even though software systems are a technical solution, they are meant to be used by people. Therefore, characteristics like being user friendly and have an interface that optimizes user experience.  Here are the minds behind every successful software solution.


Software Developers

Software developers are the IT professionals doing the coding of software application. They use different development technologies and languages to build the technical solution. in cross-functional teams, they also provide their expertise on why and how a one technical solution is better than the other one. They think the logic behind the application functionalities, which is why they need analytical, logical and math skills.


System analysts

A systems analyst is a person with a set of technical and operational skills, combined. This is the person who investigates user needs, by using fact-finding and elicitation techniques, like interviews, user surveys, reviews documentation etc. After he collects the information, the system analyst develops a functioning process model that shows the data and processes with a graphical representation. This model, is given to developers who then have to code the application. Therefore, the system analyst is in direct contact with users and developers, all the time. Analysts help translate business requirements into IT projects.

Nowadays, this role is overlapping with the business analyst product manager, or a project manager role. When assigned to a systems development team, an analyst might help document business profiles, review business processes, select hardware and software packages, design information systems, train users. He plans projects, develops schedules, and estimates costs. To keep managers and users informed, an analyst conducts meetings, delivers presentations, and writes memos, reports, and documentation.


Database administrators

Database administration involves database design, management, security, backup, and user access. The administrator, often uses specialized software to store and manage data. Therefore, they need to know how to use structured query language (SQL) and database management systems (DBMS). In many organizations, database administration is one more responsibility for the software developers. However, in large companies, this is a separate role, with dedicated IT professionals set to it.


Web designer

A web designer is the person who takes care of how the system works and feels to the user. He is the one who selects not only the colors displayed on the screen, but also actively participates in how the elements on the website are organizes, to ensure a better experience for the user. Web designer is the person who works with software developers, and the marketing team, to make the system look and work more user friendly, so the user will do its tasks more easily, and use the system functionality. A web designer You don’t always need qualifications to become a web designer, but you’ll usually need to show that you’ve got skills in: visual design, UX (user experience), coding software like HTML and CSS, design software like Photoshop and Illustrator.


System support

Systems support and security provides vital protection and maintenance services for system hardware and software. The systems support and security group implements and monitors physical and electronic security hardware, software, and procedures. This group also installs and supports operating systems, as well as ERP systems, database management systems. In addition, systems support and security technicians provide technical assistance to other groups in the IT department. The systems support group often includes a deployment team that installs and configures the workstations. This professional has to possess general knowledge of computer hardware and an understanding of how it integrates with computing systems and databases. Awareness of capabilities, limitations of various configurations, network connectivity, integration and protocols.


Web support

Web support specialists are often called webmasters. They maintain and support company’s Internet and intranet operations. Web support involves design and construction of Web pages, monitoring traffic, managing hardware and software, and linking Web-based applications to the company’s existing information systems. Reliable, high-quality Web support is especially critical for companies engaged in e-commerce, since a large amount of traffic goes through the website.


QA engineers

Many large IT departments also use a quality assurance (QA) team that reviews and tests all applications and systems changes to verify specifications and software quality standards. The QA team usually is a separate unit that reports directly to IT management. A quality assurance engineer creates tests to find any problems with software before the product is launched. They identify and analyze any bugs found during testing and document them. They also must to pay very close attention to detail and coach their team on managing testing tools, reporting results, and motivating process improvement.


Customer service

User support specialists answer questions, troubleshoot problems, and serve as a clearinghouse for user problems and solutions. Traditionally, companies offered user support through phone, but new trends enable more alternatives, like e-mail, live chats, social media. Their primary focus is user productivity and support for user business processes.

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