How to Choose a Software Development Team

August 21, 2023
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Kate Z.
How to choose a software development team | Read ilink blog

How to Choose the Right Development Team

Large-scale digital transformation has made software an integral part of most core business operations. It's hard to find a single industry that doesn't need digital transformation to improve customer experience, build e-commerce and cloud data solutions. Market leaders are implementing blockchain technology into their business processes. The continuous development of the technology inspires and sometimes forces companies to play by the rules of modern IT solutions.

To implement such a project, a professional team of IT developers is required. Everyone is looking for a strong team of specialists, from retail to the public sector. Every industry and company needs professional IT talent. The demand for developers is only going to grow.

In January 2023, US News & World Report named software development the number one job ( To compile the rankings, US News looked at many criteria. However, one of the key factors was identifying the job with the highest demand. As a matter of fact, it is likely that the demand for hiring IT professionals will remain high this year.

Dedicated team, Outstaffing, Outsourcing

Due to the lack of internal specialists, companies are increasingly turning to external solutions. We are talking about a dedicated team, outsourcing and outstaffing.

Working with a dedicated team implies long-term cooperation. This is a model of cooperation where the client is an organization that needs a software development team for a long-term project, and the services are provided by an IT company that specializes in this approach.

If the project is not long-term, it is worth considering outsourcing. Outsourcing means that you transfer certain responsibilities to employees of the provider company. Outsourcing usually has time limits and a fixed budget. This model of cooperation is suitable for project work when the company cannot afford to hire the right highly qualified employee and provide them with work after the project is completed.

There is another way to save the company's money – outstaffing. This is the formal dismissal of employees and their incorporation into the staff of an outstaffing company. This is a model of cooperation in which neither the place of work nor the tasks change for the employee, but they are legally registered as an employee of an outstaffing company. This is done when it is necessary to reduce the number of staff units without losing qualified and experienced personnel.

Software development company ilink provides ready-made dedicated teams of professionals in software and blockchain development, as well as individual outsourced specialists to fill gaps in your team.

In this article, we will focus on a dedicated team, as this is a reliable option for long-term cooperation. We will look at the characteristics and qualities you should look for when choosing a software development team.

5 Essential Traits of a Good Software Developer

It is not difficult to find a good developer among the many applicants, but you need to look for five characteristics, which we will discuss next. These are not the only criteria for choosing a dedicated team. Much depends on the project, the desired stack, and other subjective factors that we cannot predict. Below are the general qualities that make a professional stand out from the crowd.

  1. The developers never stop learning. To stop learning is to fall behind modern ever-evolving technologies. It is possible for some approaches to become obsolete. And the faster the process of technology modernization goes, the faster the information about these technologies changes. To keep up with the latest trends, a developer needs to keep learning. This can mean learning new programming languages, keeping up with best practices, working with current programs, and sharing knowledge with colleagues at forums and conferences. There are many ways to develop hard skills as a developer. IT professionals understand this and prioritize learning new things.

  2. The developers understand the tasks and the principles of the product vision. If a person does not work mindlessly, acting according to certain algorithms, but understands what tasks they are facing and what kind of product should be obtained, this means that you are working with a professional. Ideally, an IT developer should understand the goals of the product, what customer problems it solves, what ambitions the project pursues. By assembling a development team of such people, you can be sure that they will be motivated to deliver a quality result because they understand what end product they are working for.

  3. The developers are interested in innovation. Innovation provides solutions to specific problems and optimizes existing processes. This makes it possible to improve the quality of the product and the efficiency of the IT specialist themself. We have already mentioned the importance of learning new technologies. A sincere interest in innovation gives the developer an additional incentive to improve their skills.

  4. The developers are not afraid of difficult tasks. Ambitious IT talent knows that solving complex problems enhances professional skills. Challenges help developers improve their skills, expand their horizons, and explore new approaches and technologies. In addition to practical skills, challenging tasks develop creativity and increase self-esteem.

  5. The developers improve their soft skills. Keeping up with new technologies is important. But do not forget the soft skills. Good communication, time management, user understanding, and many other skills not only help improve interactions with colleagues, but also improve the quality of the product. If your development team ensures that their soft skills are developed as effectively as their hard skills, development success is guaranteed.

What Qualities Should You Pay Attention to?

Teamwork skills. Interactions within the development team occur on an almost daily basis. In addition, there is communication with other departments, analysts, and testers. In order for the team to work smoothly and efficiently, you should start by hiring specialists with teamwork skills. Behind every successful project is the exchange of ideas within the team and helping each other.

Be flexible. It is important to be flexible in your workflow. Changing conditions should not affect the performance of an IT specialist. Regardless of team restructuring, location changes, and changes in the team, the effectiveness of the developer should not be lost.

Quality assurance. Sometimes the software does not work as the specialist expected. Therefore, a developer who does not waste time blindly making changes, but carefully examines his code and analyzes possible problems is highly appreciated. In software development, it is important not only to work well, but also to approach the process in a quality and expedient manner.

Ability to automate. In keeping with the theme of a reasonable approach to work, a professional developer automates everything that can be automated. Proper use of automation in the development process can reduce development time, minimize the possibility of human error, and reduce development costs.

Communication skills. Good communication skills correlate with the improvement of the soft skills we wrote about earlier. A professional is able to clearly understand problems, break them down into hypotheses, and consistently propose solutions. In addition, it is worth noting that strong developers tend to speak several languages fluently and they are well-versed in English documentation.

How Our Software Development Team Can Help You

We hope that our tips on what to look for when choosing a dedicated development team will help you. If you need help with the implementation of your project right now and are looking for a professional dedicated team, let me recommend cooperation with ilink. Our team of specialists includes more than 100 mid-level and higher professionals. Each of our dedicated software developers is a team player. The cohesion, professionalism and diligence of our team are proven by the number of completed projects, of which there are currently more than 200. More details can be found in the project cases on the ilink website.

ilink also provides a blockchain development team with extensive experience in project development, who take into account not only the technical aspects of the project, but also the social consequences of their work. ilink's dedicated team follows the best software development practices and is responsible for creating high quality, efficient and secure software applications.

How to Choose a Software Development Company in 7 Steps

With numerous firms vying for your attention, knowing what to look for and how to sift through the options is essential. We break down the process into seven manageable steps to guide you in making an informed decision.

  1. Define project objectives and timeframe.

Before reaching out to potential software development firms, have a clear understanding of:

  • Purpose: What problem does your software solve? Who is its intended audience?
  • Features: What specific features and functionalities are required?
  • Budget: Establish a realistic budget range.
  • Timeframe: When do you want the project completed? A defined time frame can help filter out companies that may not accommodate your schedule.
  • Find software companies.
  1. Begin your search with:
  • Referrals: Recommendations from trusted peers or professionals.
  • Online directories: Websites like Clutch or GoodFirms that list and review software development firms.
  • Social media & forums: Platforms like LinkedIn or industry-specific forums can also be sources of reputable companies.
  • Assess their portfolio and experience in your field.
  1. Reviewing a company's past projects can give you insights into:
  • Quality of work: Are their solutions functional and user-friendly?
  • Industry experience: Have they developed solutions for businesses in your sector?
  • Client feedback: Look for reviews or testimonials to gauge client satisfaction.
  1. Find out their development methodology.

The development process can greatly affect the outcome. Understand if the following:

  • Agile: Flexible and iterative, allows for changes.
  • Waterfall: Sequential and structured, requires a clear definition from the start.
  • Hybrid: A mix of methodologies based on project needs.

Choose a company whose methodology aligns with your project requirements and management style.

  1. Find out their security practices.
  • With cyber threats on the rise, ensuring your software is secure is paramount.
  • Data protection: How do they safeguard sensitive data during development?
  • Coding standards: Secure coding practices can prevent vulnerabilities.
  • Certifications: Check if they have security certifications, for example, ISO 27001 or SOC 2.
  1. Request team structure.

Understand the composition of the team that will handle your project. Teams include:

  • Project manager: Will be your main point of contact.
  • Developers: Find out their expertise and experience.
  • Designers: If UI/UX design is part of the project.
  • QA engineers: Ensure quality through testing.

A well-structured team can efficiently manage and execute the project.

  1. Learn about software testing and maintenance.
  • Post-development support is crucial for the longevity of your software. Understand:
  • Testing protocols: What testing methodologies do they employ? Automated, manual, or both?
  • Maintenance and support: What kind of post-launch support do they offer? Bug fixes, updates, etc.
  • Warranty period: Is there a period during which they provide free support and updates?

By following these steps, you can ensure that you partner with a firm that understands your needs, brings expertise to the table, and delivers a quality product within your desired timeframe.


What makes a good software development team?

Here are some of the characteristics that define a successful software development team:

  • Technical expertise. A mix of front-end, back-end, full-stack developers, database experts, and other roles depending on the project's needs. The team should be conversant with the latest technologies, tools, and best practices.
  • Good communication. Clear communication among team members prevents misunderstandings, which can lead to mistakes.
  • Collaboration and team cohesion. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts when team members complement each other's skills and collaborate effectively. And mutual trust among team members promotes a positive environment and facilitates smoother project execution.
  • Problem-solving ability. The team should be flexible in adapting to changes or unexpected challenges.
  • Well-defined processes. Whether Agile, Waterfall or any other, having a consistent development process helps manage projects effectively. Regularly reviewing code ensures that it meets quality standards and is bugs-free.
  • Accountability and responsibility. Taking ownership of tasks and modules ensures that each member is responsible for the quality of their work.
  • Focus on quality. Incorporating quality assurance and testing at every development phase ensures a bug-free product.
  • Continuous learning and growth. Encouraging team members to share new techniques or tools they've discovered can uplift the entire team.
  • Customer-centric approach. Taking client or user feedback seriously and incorporating it ensures that the end product meets user expectations. Understanding and empathizing with the client's needs and concerns can guide the development process in the right direction.
  • Leadership and guidance. The team leader should have a clear vision and direction for the project.
  • Mentorship. New or less experienced team members should have access to guidance and mentorship.
  • Healthy Environment. A stressful environment can lead to burnout and decreased productivity.
  • Flexibility. Offering flexible working hours or remote working options can boost team morale.

A good software development team is not just about technical skills. It's about expertise, collaboration, communication, and a dedication to quality and continuous improvement.

What other factors should you consider?

When choosing a software development company, it's crucial to consider various factors to ensure a smooth working relationship and a successful outcome. Here are some of the key considerations:

  • Pricing. And it's not just about finding the cheapest option. The company should provide a clear breakdown of costs, avoiding hidden charges. Value for money. Ensure that the price matches the quality and scope of services offered.
  • Onshoring, offshoring, or nearshoring. Consider differences in work culture, ethics, and business practices. Time zone differences can impact collaboration and response times. Language barriers. Ensure the team can communicate effectively in a common language.
  • Hybrid model. Combining onshore and offshore teams can offer greater flexibility and round-the-clock productivity. So, utilize the strengths of both onshore and offshore teams for a more holistic approach.
  • Business acumen. Industry knowledge, business goals alignment and proactive suggestions.
  • Reputation and reviews. Client testimonials can offer insights into the company's strengths and weaknesses. And previous projects can showcase their expertise, style, and results.
  • Contractual terms. Make sure the intellectual property rights are clearly defined and favor your interests. Exit strategy. Understand the terms in case either party wishes to terminate the agreement.
  • Post-launch support. Will they be available for support after the product is launched? Can they provide periodic software updates to cope with evolving tech trends?
  • Scalability. As your business grows, will it be able to accommodate and support expanded needs? Do they have the workforce and expertise to scale up if needed?

Choosing a software development company is a significant decision that can impact the trajectory of your project. Beyond the technical aspects, it's about building a collaborative, transparent, and fruitful partnership.

What is a development team in agile?

In Agile methodologies, particularly Scrum, a development team refers to a group of professionals responsible for delivering potentially shippable product increments at the end of each sprint (typically a 2-4 week period). The cross-functional team has all the skills necessary to produce a fully functioning product increment.

An agile development team includes:

  1. The team has members with different expertise, including, but not limited to, coding, testing, design, and business analysis.
  2. Agile development teams are given autonomy to decide how to best accomplish their work rather than being directed by others outside the group.
  3. Team members work closely, often in the same physical location, to foster communication and collaboration. Daily stand-up meetings or "daily scrums" discuss progress and challenges.
  4. An optimal Agile development team size of between 5 and 9 members is often recommended. Smaller teams might lack the breadth of skills required, while larger teams can face communication challenges.
  5. After each sprint, Agile teams participate in a retrospective, discussing what went well, what challenges they faced, and how they can improve in the next sprint.
  6. In Scrum, there are no sub-teams or hierarchies within the development team. Everyone is considered a developer, regardless of their primary skill set. This doesn't mean everyone codes, but rather that everyone contributes to the product increment.

Outside the development team, Scrum identifies two additional roles: the Product Owner, responsible for defining product features and prioritizing work based on business value, and the Scrum Master, who facilitates the Scrum process and helps the team stay on track. In conclusion, the development team in Agile is a cohesive, self-organizing group of professionals with a shared goal of delivering high-quality product increments in short, regular intervals.

What is the best development team size?

The ideal development team size is influenced by specifics such as the project's technical requirements, domain, and expected delivery timelines. The sweet spot in Agile, particularly Scrum, is 5 to 9 members. This specific range is recommended because it ideally comprises a mix of roles: 2-3 developers (covering front-end and back-end development), 1-2 testers/QA professionals, a UX/UI designer, a business or systems analyst, and possibly a database specialist or operations engineer, depending on the project. Within such a team, communication remains efficient, diverse skills are present, and every member's contribution is visible, promoting accountability. However, larger projects with multifaceted needs or those in specialized domains like finance or healthcare might necessitate slightly larger teams or technical roles, emphasizing that the best size always aligns with specific project and organizational requirements.

How many members are in a software development team?

Let's delve deeper into the specific roles and potential numbers for each within a typical software development team:

  1. Developers:
  • Front-end developers (1-2): Focus on building the user interface and user experience.
  • Back-end developers (2-3): Handle server-side logic, databases, and application integration.
  • Full-stack developers (1-2): Work on both the front and back end.
  1. Testers or Quality Assurance (QA) professionals (1-2): Ensure the software is bug-free and meets the specified requirements.
  2. UX/UI Designer (1): Focuses on the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), ensuring the software is intuitive and visually appealing.
  3. Business or Systems Analyst (1): Acts as a bridge between stakeholders and the development team, translating business requirements into technical specifications.
  4. Database specialist (0-1): Manages complex databases, ensuring data integrity and optimization.
  5. Operations engineer or DevOps (0-1): Works on deployment, monitoring, and ensuring the infrastructure supports the software's requirements.
  6. Architect (0-1): Focuses on the high-level structure of software, ensuring scalability, maintainability, and integration with other systems.
  7. Version control specialist (0-1): Manages the versioning and merging of code, especially in large teams where code conflicts can arise.
  8. Security specialist (0-1): Ensures the application is secure against potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Remember that while the above list provides a breakdown of roles, many teams might have members who wear multiple hats. For instance, a full-stack developer might handle both front-end and back-end tasks. Not all teams will have every role, as the exact composition depends on the project's nature, size, and complexity.

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