Just like a captain cannot handle an around-the-world cruise alone, you won’t be able to ship out your application without a professional app development team. In order to get to your destination safely, i.e. launch your app on time and on budget, you need to hire and retain qualified experts across several fields.
In this article we will cover the most important skills you need on-board as well as the ways to find and hire the right people. First, let’s define the basic roles within an app development team and their responsibilities.
Even if you have a background in design or engineering, it might take years to build a full-featured product by yourself from scratch.
The core roles in your software development team:
- The Project manager is the client’s main point of contact, coordinating the work of the whole team. The PM reports directly to the customer or his/her authorized representative, usually a product manager.
- Designers create the app’s user interface and they map out how the user will experience the app. Most often referred to as UX/UI experts, they are responsible for the visual representation of your ideas, the product’s usability and its overall look and feel.
- Developers create the backbone of your application: They write the code and build the product’s inner architecture so that it meets your functional requirements. Depending on the type of project, the number of developers and their fields of expertise may vary. To build a mobile app, you will most likely need a dedicated mobile (iOS, Android, or cross-platform) expert and a backend developer to handle the server-side programming, including database management. If you need an admin panel for your app, you will require some front-end coding skills.
Software architect skills might be required to build extremely complex, multifaceted systems. They help create a solid inner structure so the product can handle heavy loads and is scalable in the future.
- QA engineers take care of the testing and ensure the best quality of the final product. Working in close cooperation with the engineering team, they check your app against the initial functional and non-functional requirements and make sure that all the bugs are fixed before the app is released.
Except for the listed ones, there are two more roles you might need to fill, depending on the situation.
- Business analytics/consultants are typically involved in the early stages of app development, helping you finalize product specifications and optimize your app for a better performance from the point of view of your business.
- A product manager might be needed if you are not able to actively participate in the development process. He/she acts as your authorized representative, communicating your requirements and feedback to the project manager.
As the demand for the skilled IT specialists has grown over the last decade, many executives worldwide are reporting a significant skill shortage. Thus, it will become even harder to find and retain the right talent for your project.
Right now there are several options for staffing your own product team:
Hire your own in-house team
Unless you already have some IT experts in-house, you can always invest in finding the right people to join your team on-site. This is a good solution for a long-term or ongoing product development, or when you have a number of projects in the pipeline.
Among the benefits of such an approach is having full control over the staff and immediate face-to-face communication with the product team. However, in this case you will require a dedicated staff or third-party agency to manage the recruitment and HR processes. In addition, you will need to make sure you have the capacity to provide a good working environment and technical facilities for the whole team.
Read also: How much does it cost to make an app
Hire freelancers online
While freelance and remote work trends have been quite strong recently, many startups have taken the opportunity to source global talent at a lower cost. Indeed, this model allows you to hire the best people regardless of their location and keep your business lean. You don’t need an office or large staff to manage such a team. There are hundreds of tools, designed specifically to make remote work transparent and efficient.
However, as freelancers might be located in different time zones, it could be difficult to set up efficient communication within your team. Coordinating their work will take time and effort, even if you decide to hire a project manager separately.
Freelancers are more likely to drop out in the middle of the project as they are often not legally bound by any contract. Even if you work through a marketplace like Upwork.com, there is very little you can do, except for writing a bad review. Therefore, such an approach is best used for small projects, or even task-based cooperation, when you don’t need a long-term commitment from your team.
Read also: How to Create a Mobile App Specification
Hire a dedicated team
In terms of ROI and efficiency this solution seems to be the best option for long-term projects and complex product development. By appealing to the services of a professional software development company (be it a local or an offshore agency), you get a handpicked team of specialists with the required skills and experience, who are well-coordinated and managed by a professional project manager (PM). Your dedicated PM is responsible for ensuring efficient cooperation within your team on-site and reports to you on a daily/weekly basis, keeping you informed about the development process.
To learn more about outsourcing read this article
A dedicated team model is best suited for long-term product development from scratch. It gives you access to all the required skills at a lower cost (with an outsourcing company), but without the risks associated with freelance workers. It is also a cost-efficient alternative to an in-house team.
The success of your product depends largely on the people you entrust with its development. With a 98% customer satisfaction rate and an average of 5.5+ years of experiences in the field, Eastern Peak is the company of choice among many startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. Our vast experience in building mobile apps from the ground up and our individual approach to every project allow us to provide unparalleled results, keeping the process transparent and clear.
Need help building a mobile application, but don’t know where to start? Contact us now to get a free consultation.