Did you know, that only 46,5% of Microsoft employees are engineers? We're talking about one of the biggest software developers in the whole world yet still - less than a half of the people there are actually coding!
As a future app owner you might think, that all you have to do to make your software live is finding the right app developer. But that's not enough! Actually it's like asking a painter to build your house. Sounds ridiculous right? There are so many aspects that need to be taken care of during the app development process, requiring different set of skills that there is no way that the developer, even the most talented one, would do them right.
Luckily - that's what software houses have been build for.
Table of Contents:
1.What is a software development team responsible for?
2.What are the departments in a software company?
3.What are the positions in a software company IT Department?
4. What you have to do to get promoted in the software company structures?
5.What are the roles in the custom software development industry?
6.Pros and cons of having the whole app development team in one place.
What is a software development team responsible for?
It is commonly said that software houses are responsible mainly for the technical scope of work on applications and software development. But there is more to that. These teams are taking part in the whole process that starts long before the actual code is being written and does not stop there.
At the very beginning the development team meets the client’s project already when it’s being discussed in terms of the overall shape and desired functionality. This also gives a chance to pre-plan what kind of tech stack will be used to carry out the technological phase. Still development team activity at an early stage of the project may vary depending on the documentation provided by the customer. The more information the customer provides, the more efficiently the process is carried out. But nothing to worry! Even if you don’t have any documentation collected, thanks to our workshops and their extensive version called 'Discovery Phase', you are going to be surrounded by professionals from the very moment when your path starts. You can be sure that they will willingly help you turn your idea into real value.
After the whole documentation is complete there comes time for the price estimation. It is the moment when, based on collected information and materials, the time needed for development and the implementation of the project is predicted as accurately as possible. It’s now when all the stages of the project are divided into smaller tasks. Those are in turn successively assigned to appropriate specialists: Designers, Programmers, Project Managers. About them we will tell something more further in this article.
After the stages mentioned before are completed and when the customer gives the development team the green light, it is finally time to develop. We organize the whole scope of work according to the Agile methodology. It means nothing more than dividing the process into shorter sprints while earlier planned parts of work are carried out. The person responsible for every sprint is the right Project Manager who together with the development team implements the set goals.
After some time when the code is written, the product may be successfully launched. But actually it’s not the end of our journey. There are things happening next. Certainly the product must be regularly updated and maintenanced. Probably new features are going to be added to the existing platform in the future. Each of these tasks should be carefully planned, conducted and implemented. As you can see, the job of the development team does not end here - they’re still necessary to keep the business running.
Hopefully now it seems very obvious that the coding is not the only stage that the team of developers is involved in. As mentioned before, they are taking part in numbers of activities that help to properly plan the shape of the product, create the roadmap and estimate the budget. What is more, they are constantly in the strict collaboration with the Business Development team, and if necessary at early stages also with C-level managers.
What are the departments in a software company?
These are the people that are the foundation of every company. And according to their duties they create individual departments, such as:
It’s the core of every software house company. It’s created by the group of professionals who are doing the actual technical part of the project. Usually duties within this department are divided among Developers, Project Managers and QA specialists.
It’s here where the graphic part of the project is created. Graphic Designers develop artworks and wireframes based on data collected through meticulous sociological and psychological research. As a result they design the whole application and its individual components. While creating the product, they work closely with the IT Department.
Business Development Department
Usually it is the Business Manager who is the first to have contact with the potential customer. If you meet the representative of the company at trade fairs and industry events, there’s a big chance it’s him/her. This person is responsible for the entire client’s life cycle within the company. Starting from initial contact, through presentation of the offer, sales negotiations, as well as support during the implementation phase. Within some business departments there are dedicated specialists, Account Managers, who are responsible only for current clients. Business development department is not only responsible for ongoing customer service, but also for creating and implementing the company’s sales strategy, choosing the right tools and shaping sales processes.
Long story short they are responsible for creating the company's image on the market. Starting from the design of the website, through advertising, presence on industry portals and press releases. The main task of the marketing department is to make the company visible to a potentially interested customer.
Curious what else does marketing department in the software house? For example - they develop a content marketing strategy! You can see the video explaining it's importance in the video below (ENG subtitles available).
Their main objective is to create the best possible team of dedicated and reliable employees as possible. Not only to recruit the most relevant new ones, but also to train the ones already employed. They are also aimed at staff development programs, improvement of staff efficiency and career pathing. Moreover, the HR department plays an important role in creating and implementing health and safety regulations within the company.
Accounting and finances Department
This department mostly takes care of every financial aspect among the company. Also their aim is to control document flow and all settlements with partners.
Board of Directors
This is an operational center of the software company. It’s here where C-level managers handle the strategic decisions in the organization. Usually they report to the captain of the ship - Managing Director.
What are the positions in a software company IT Department?
Now that we know the departments in a software house, we can deal with another hierarchy present in such companies. These can occur in any department and are strictly connected with difficulty and complexity of performing duties.
As the beginning of one’s path we may consider internships. It’s time for those starting their adventure in the world of business and technology. What is more it’s an opportunity to take a closer look at the company's workflow and to come up with an idea for your career path. Interns are not only learning about the company and the field, but are also actively participating in daily work routine. Furthermore, thanks to mentoring programs, they are able to learn from field professionals.
The next stage after gaining some experience is to become a junior. Such a person is now like every other employee within the company. He’s got his own responsibilities and is performing his duties independently. However, still the most important thing is to gain as much experience and new abilities as possible. It is necessary in order to continue climbing the career ladder. Apart from everyday duties that help to develop professionally, it is also important to participate in additional training, workshops and conferences.
Once one is more experienced, becoming a middle developer, at a new level, must be able to understand the business requirements and translate them into technical solutions. A middle should be able to perform his tasks more efficiently than a junior, also faster and even more independently. Moreover, he knows what teamwork means and how to interact e.g. with the designer when the difficult moment appears. You want to become a middle developer as soon as possible?
Learn Those 5 Healthy Habits and Get Promoted Right Away!
Many falls and errors after, there is a senior. An experienced developer who learnt very well on his own mistakes. It is this experience that allows such a person to solve problems even before they appear. It is what usually distinguishes them from lower grades. Responsibility is no longer in performing single tasks but a bit in predicting the future and changing it. Of course becoming a senior is not an easy or quick path - it takes a lot of time and effort.
Now with even more effort a senior may become an expert. Being an expert implies having a specific knowledge of a particular area. Usually this deep knowledge is not used on a daily basis, but when a difficult task occurs, it’s time to unleash the expert. Without experts, carrying out any project wouldn’t be possible.
Next stage on one’s career path might be a team leader. His role is rather obvious. Apart from being an expert, he is also leading people. He knows technical solutions to the problems, but what is more important he’s got knowledge of effective process development, as well as task planning and enforcement.
There is one more thing to achieve - becoming a C-level manager. As a member of the Management Board, C-level manager is responsible for creating company strategy. He’s duty is to make the most effective business decisions.
What you have to do to get promoted in the software company structures?
Now we may give you some tips and tell you what you need to improve to be promoted to the next position. Before we even start, while trying to be promoted in almost every field today, as well as here, you always need to improve your English. Without the knowledge of this language it might be almost impossible for you to climb your career ladder. There are also some important soft skills you might want to develop.
First of all your knowledge and ability to share it will be verified. Of course in order to be promoted you need to gain more and more experience and be independent while performing your duties. Moreover what will also definitely be considered is your ability to communicate effectively with customers. You need some skills on varied levels for different positions. Certainly when applying for being a senior you don't need to manage a team as well as when you try to become a team leader.
Now we want to share it with you!
Apart from soft skills it will be expected from you to develop many technical skills. For every position you need to constantly ameliorate your analytical and problem solving skills. You must learn to pay more and more attention to detail. It will also be required to develop your knowledge about project/task management tools so you know what you work with. Since you know you need to be independent in performing your duties it is necessary for you to estimate, prioritize, plan and coordinate your activities.
Furthermore you are now working in the IT industry, so without knowing at least one programming language it might be very difficult for you to get around here. Of course, being an intern, your task is to slowly learn about everything about your future work. However, with time, to get promoted you will need to be able to not only fulfill the tasks entrusted to you, but also to build some projects from scratch yourself.
What are the roles in the custom software development industry?
Every project conducted in a software company requires the involvement of many people in various positions. They have different qualifications and responsibilities but everyone is equally important and plays his unique role. We will try to briefly describe each of them.
His work makes a key role for the whole development process. Among his duties is coordinating the creation process, as well as planning daily tasks for every member of the team. What’s also very important, Project Manager has to establish proper communication not only between the team members, but also in the contractor-customer relationship. It’s usually obtained from regular meetups. Moreover his job is to care about the quality and improvement of internal processes to make sure that the team works most efficiently.
Are you curious what kind of project management tools we use to make sure that our communication with the clients goes smoothly?
Check this article to find out!
A back-end developer builds and maintains the technology needed to power up components that enable a user-oriented side of the website to exist. User is usually not aware of the existence of those parts, and for sure those are not visible for him. These are: a server, an application, and a database. These developers are responsible for creating, maintaining, testing, and debugging the entire back end. This includes the core application logic, databases, data and application integration, API and other back end processes. Back-end developers are crucial for the existence of any website or application, because it’s them who make sure that all the data or services requested by the front end system of software are provided.
To help you understand the back-end developer work let us provide an example. As you can observe here, on our Shawarmer iOS & Android app example, extremely important turned out to be big data processing. Although it is not visible to the end user, appropriate algorithms used by back-end developers allowed for an easy analysis, synchronization and management of large amounts of data. All those were of key importance for our client's business.
This person is responsible for the visual layer of the design - the appearance and behavior of the elements of the page or application. Front-end developers also care about the correct display of applications on different devices (desktops, mobile devices) and on different browsers. In this respect, they cooperate closely with UX / UI specialists. While the Back-end Developer work is almost invisible to the end user, front-end developers take care of the entire user interface implementation.
In case of some projects, our front-end developers have to face the difficulties of integrating the backend systems with the user interface. It happens that an extremely large amount of data has to be analyzed, processed and, in the end, presented to the user. We have prepared such a solution for one of our partners succesfuly!
We need to start with distinguishing between UX and UI. Although the two names are commonly used interchangeably, there is a significant difference between them.
The UX specialist is responsible for the entire user experience of the application. Its purpose is to increase customer satisfaction from using the product by improving its functionality and usability. He aims in providing an easy-to-use product, ensuring "pleasant" interactions between the customer and the product. This is achieved by examining the needs and expectations of the potential user and then creating a plan to provide the most intuitive solutions. His/her work begins at the time of planning the overall shape of the application, defining the target group and focusing on reaching it effectively. He/her refers to current market trends, statistics, figures and target group preferences.
While the implementation of graphic elements into the application is the task of Front-end Developer, so it’s UI designer who designs the graphic interface of the application. He creates the overall visual style of the application, adds branding and art. It somehow complements the UX process with visual elements so that, apart from ergonomics of use, the application is also graphically attractive.
To help you imagine how the work of UX and UI designers is done, it’s worth your while to take a look at this project.
In the IT industry, the QA specialist main task is to check the software created by programmers. What’s meant by catching and reporting errors so that after publishing the application, the user can easily use it. During testing also graphics is verified - e.g. by checking whether the interactive elements of the application work properly. In a broader sense, next to testing, the priority for QA is to measure the overall quality of the software and to optimize processes and as the result the entire software lifecycle. Did you know that in 1998, neglecting Quality Assurance cost NASA $125M?! That’s a lot! Read more about why QA is so important in the article here.
If you want your app to be available for smartphones and tablets users then Mobile Developer is the one you need. This professional develops software for mobile devices - mainly for iOS and Android. Knowledge of programming languages such as Swift or Kotlin is most desirable here, and, most importantly, tracking current trends in the mobile industry. When it comes to mobile app development, the popularity of React Native framework rose pretty high lately, as it enables you to develop one app for both platforms at the same time. Yet, as Airbnb found out painfully lately - cross - platform app development is not perfect for every project. Read more about those two approaches (native and cross-platform app development) pros and cons in this Swift vs React Native article.
Pros and cons of having the whole app development team in one place
As you probably noticed, creating an application is not an easy task. The variety of tasks faced by team developers requires a number of skills and extensive experience. Starting from the planning phase, through the creation and maintenance of the product. This process requires at least a few people involved in the project.
Perhaps you were wondering if it would not be a better choice to commission the project to several companies or freelancers, each taking care about different aspects. Let me suggest creating a whole product from A to Z in one place. Why?
Best specialists in only one place
You do not have to worry about searching for professionals on your own.
Software companies such as Railwaymen make sure that their employees represent the group of best specialists. That is why choosing a proven software house you can be sure your product will be taken care of by experienced employees. They not only worked on demanding projects, but are also constantly improving their qualifications and are up to date with the latest IT trends.
Communication during the project is crucial. Not only on the software house - partner line but also within the team. Thanks to the developed processes and experience, all obstacles in communication are leveled. Thanks to this everything goes smoothly and according to plan and this allows you to reduce project costs and time.
Is your project based on sensitive data? Or perhaps you would not like the competition to know about your steps before launching the product. You can be sure that if you order your application from one company, only a small group of people directly involved will have access to the data. You don't have to worry about who your freelance graphic designer or programmer is working for - everything is done within one company.
Lower costs and smaller risk
Hiring several companies or freelancers carries the huge risk. At any moment any of them may resign from the project in the decisive phase and you are then forced to look for new ones to do the job. It might cost you much more time and money than you originally wanted to spend.
While choosing one software house to implement your project, you don't have to worry it will be abandoned due to e.g. the holiday season. The contract with one software company clearly specifies the time and cost of product delivery. Moreover weekly planning of team activities allows to reduce any risk of delays to minimum.
To sum up
As you can observe, the heart of every software house are people. It’s them, the best specialists with various skills, who build the structure of such a company. It resembles a precisely working mechanism and its task is to create high-quality applications as efficiently as possible. However, building such a machine is a very long and difficult process. Over the past 10 years, together with Railwaymen, we have successfully implemented over 100 projects for clients around the world. During this time, we have reached the level of know-how that is appropriate to share with our partners and we constantly do it. We have also developed an excellent communication process and we are constantly improving the quality of our services.
The good news is that you can also benefit from our experience! It’s time to forget about the tedious process of recruiting employees for your IT department. Stop worrying about freelancers who suddenly in the middle of the project stop responding to your emails. Save your time and money by working with one company that comprehensively takes care of your entire project from the scratch.
Thanks for your time! Do you want to explore the topic even further? Because we've just prepared a checklist of all of these elements that you should prepare as a business owner, to create a custom software right. Check it below!
Checklist - What You Have To Do To Start The App Development Project?