No project can be successful without a skilled and seasoned development team. So one of your biggest priorities must be to hire the right specialists. But how do you do it properly?
Software development has grown into a massive industry over the last decades, reaching a market size of $474 billion in 2022. Yet of the innumerable projects released annually, only a few become really successful.
There are a number of factors that lead to the success or failure of a software project, but what’s beyond doubt is that an experienced and adept development team will make a huge contribution to securing a positive outcome.
In this article you will learn the peculiarities of different types of development teams, find out where to search for experienced developers, and understand how to secure their participation in your project.
What types of developers are out there?
Software developers can be divided into three categories: in-house developers, freelancers and dedicated teams. Let’s see the differences between them.
Gathering an in-house team is probably the first option that comes to mind when you think about building a software solution, as it will guarantee the developers’ full concentration on the project and interest in its success.
When building a team, you can personally check the qualifications and experience of each applicant and choose the best. Thus you can be sure that the team will handle the requirements of the project.
Team communication happens quite naturally among in-house developers as they usually share the same working hours and can reach each other either on the site or via the dedicated communication tools. In-house teams are also preferable from the security angle: when no vendors are involved, there is less chance of a data leak.
However, maintaining an in-house team is quite a luxury. Quite apart from paying salaries to your employees, there are also the costs of the necessary software and hardware, as well as office facilities. Also, in-house developers get fixed salaries, so you will need to pay out even if there are currently no active projects. In contrast, freelancers and dedicated teams are rewarded according to the amount of hours they spent working on your solution.
To sum up, an in-house team is the best option for companies that want to build a big project with its own ecosystem or already have an ongoing project that needs regular support and maintenance.
Freelance developers work independently and contribute to different projects. You can hire a freelancer for a particular task or as a temporary developer on a project.
Freelancers post their portfolio and details about their experience and skills on special freelance platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. This makes it easy and convenient to evaluate if they are a good fit for your needs. When a suitable candidate turns up, you negotiate the timeframes and rewards.
The paycheck of freelance developers is considerably lower than that of in-house employees, and there is no need to supply any tech or software licenses — all these are the freelancers’ area of responsibility.
However, the lower the price, the more reasons to worry about the quality of the code. That said, sometimes lower rates are a reflection simply of a lack of experience rather than skill.
When hiring freelancers you should also keep in mind that it is a short-term commitment. So if the project is lengthy, it is unlikely that the freelancer you hired in the beginning will stay with you all the way to the release date.
What’s more, be aware of the confidentiality issue. As freelancers lack any deep-rooted sense of loyalty to your business, they could easily share your project data with third parties. You need to take this seriously, and ask them to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
In addition, if you hire remote developers you should take the time zone differences and language barriers into account and decide in advance how you will handle them.
Freelance developers are a good choice when the budget is limited and the requirements are not very complicated — they’re a perfect fit for startups and small projects.
Dedicated development team
A dedicated software development team is the happy medium between gathering an in-house team and hiring freelancers. With dedicated developers you delegate the whole workload or certain parts of it to the vendor’s team.
A great advantage is that dedicated teams are fully staffed, so no time is wasted on bringing team members on board. Also, the size and specifications of the team are tailored to fit your project’s goals and requirements. And, as dedicated teams work on different projects, they can often boast very diverse experiences both in terms of tech stack and industries.
Of course, the salary rate is higher for a dedicated team than would be the case if you opt for freelancers. But it is counterbalanced by high production quality. Besides, you don’t need to worry about the equipment, software and working facilities: everything is managed by the vendor.
With regard to concerns about intellectual property, the process is the same as with freelancers — arrange a non-disclosure agreement to prevent the possibility of your project’s details leaking.
To ensure smooth communication and the project’s momentum, check if there is a time zone difference or a language barrier involved, and decide on a clear liaison strategy before the production starts.
Dedicated teams work really well for many different types of company, from startups to large enterprises. This is because the vendor modifies the team according to company requirements. Dedicated developers are also very useful if you lack experience in a particular sphere or technology, as they will bring the desired expertise and ensure the high quality of the product.
For a better understanding of the types of developers we have highlighted the key characteristics below.
What does a software development team look like?
Depending on the project and the chosen development methodology, the team composition will vary. Yet there are core roles without which no development is possible:
Quality assurance specialists are guardians of your product’s flawlessness, checking for all possible bugs and imperfections — all for the sake of user satisfaction. They also test the product’s accessibility and role play the various troublesome scenarios the solution can undergo to test its stability.
Find out how QA teams hunt for bugs in our blog article
The way the solution will look is determined by the UI/UX designers. These specialists make the solution interesting and engaging to interact with, and also make sure users across the board find the experience comfortable from the accessibility point of view.
Project managers are responsible for the effective and timely development process. They distribute the tasks according to the qualifications of the team members and control all processes within the team.
So now we have covered the main roles of any software development team. Additional specialists you may like to have in your team are business analyst, technical writer and Agile-specific roles such as Scrum Master and Product Owner.
Where do I find software developers?
Things have changed a lot since the days when vacancies and resumes could be found only in the newspapers. Now there are a lot of convenient online channels you can use to search for candidates:
Freelance platforms represent the most obvious option if you decide to hire freelance developers. They can be of two types: general, accommodating specialists across all spheres, and niche, where you will find experts in a specific field.
Another option is to seek assistance from a recruitment agency. Recruiters are the true professionals when it comes to tracking down suitable candidates, and they will take on all responsibility for the search activities. However, be prepared to spend some money, as this service does not come cheap.
Job boards are a great option because you can find developers of any type there. Candidates post their CVs and portfolios on job boards —you can look through them and pick out the suitable ones. Companies can also post vacancies on job boards and choose specialists from the applicant pool.
Social networks are now much more than just entertainment. For many of us they have become powerful working tools, especially when it comes to hunting for employees. You can ask your connections to share a post describing the details of a vacancy, or you can look for candidates in IT groups.
Conferences are not just an awesome source of new knowledge but also a great occasion for making some new acquaintances that can later develop into working relationships.
To find a real gem for your project, we recommend you try multiple search options — this way you will have a wide range of candidates and therefore more chance of finding a perfect match.
How to hire the best software developers
To secure your success in gaining skilled developers for your project, we’ve prepared a list of helpful steps:
Step 1. Define the idea. To engage the best developers you need to spark their interest in your product. Make sure you are precise about what you want to build and why your idea is a unique one.
Step 2. Determine the team you need. Understand clearly what and how many specialists you need according to the tech stack your project will be built with, and the timeframes until the release.
Step 3. Set an adequate salary budget. Do not be tempted by low salary expectations. It is natural that skilled developers will cost more, yet the expenses are more than compensated by high-quality performance.
Step 4. Conduct solid interviews. Take time to test the potential team members to make sure they are as qualified as they say they are. Also, pay attention not only to the tech expertise but also the soft skills, because the team environment is of great importance.
Step 5. Communicate your expectations. Openly discuss what you expect from your cooperation so that developers see the full picture, understand the goals, workflow and deadlines, and contribute accordingly.
What are the key aspects to look for when hiring software developers?
To make sure you hire the right people, you need to consider the following:
- Portfolio — the projects in a developer’s or team’s portfolio say a lot about their expertise. Beyond this, you can check whether they have worked on solutions similar to your project and whether they truly have the right specifications. And don’t forget to look out for any big names mentioned in the portfolio. If a few show up, it can be a huge indicator that the specialist or the team is well above par.
- Reviews — comments from previous clients are a great source of information. You can get them on platforms such as Clutch if you are thinking about a dedicated team or, if you are opting for a freelancer, you can check the comment section on a freelance platform.
- Team’s top management and tech experts — when hiring a dedicated team, you can get in touch with the company’s representatives to directly evaluate their expertise. This way you can find out about the team structure and workflow, and ask for the documents supporting the team’s qualifications.
- Website — the quality of companies’ and independent developers’ websites speaks volumes about their technical skills. Don’t expect great competence from someone whose website looks like it’s from the early 2000s.
- Proof of concept (PoC) — before heading off to build a full-fledged solution, you can ask for a PoC to make sure the developers can handle your requirements.
Never cut corners when choosing software developers. After all, they are the core ingredient in the successful implementation of your idea. A mistake can not only waste money but also spoil the opportunity to build a product that truly stands-out.
Who are IT consultants and do you need them for your project? Let’s find out
PixelPlex software development: success stories
Over its 15 years in software development, PixelPlex has built a variety of solutions across different spheres. We accomplish our own projects as well as help our clients turn their ideas into reality.
One such project is Glasshouse, a unique NFT marketplace that allows users to trade opals. The client is a great opal enthusiast yet did not have development experience. This is why he reached out to us for assistance.
As a result, our development team built a robust NFT marketplace equipped with all the necessary features for smooth user experience, such as payments in crypto or by credit cards and shipping service in the event that a user wants to have a physical opal. We also took care of the security issues, integrating KYC and AML procedures.
Another significant project we developed was an IoT app for BMW’s showrooms. We leveraged the iBeacons technology to make navigation in the showrooms effortless and implemented AI-powered tools that gather and analyze visitor statistics to help make visits feel more comfortable.
You should be very careful and picky when choosing the development team, as it is the chief determinant securing the success of your project. Depending on your goals, requirements and resources, you can choose to establish an in-house team, hire freelance developers, or ask for a dedicated team’s assistance.
Whatever choice you make, look out for skilled specialists that have the experience working with the technologies you want to implement in your project. Don’t neglect to investigate a developer’s portfolio and client reviews to be 100% sure that you will get a service of excellent quality.
At PixelPlex we have successfully delivered 450+ software solutions, leveraging top-notch technologies such as blockchain, AI, AR/VR and IoT. We are looking forward to building more ground-breaking products — so get in touch with us and let’s start the next amazing project together.