Technology Jun 25, 2021

Software Development Project Team Roles and Responsibilities

Working on a product of digital software development can be extremely problematic. It is a task that requires a skilled and well-organized team of experts. Before starting your project, you need to determine if all the crucial stakeholders are on the same page. Moreover, software development roles must be distributed correctly.

The software development team is at the core of any technology company. Not only does it create valuable intellectual properties, but it also helps the business remain competitive and relevant in an ever-changing economic environment. Building a high-performance team involves recruiting the right talent, creating the proper team structure, establishing the optimal process and, ultimately, retaining the team,

as Christopher Yang, a Vice President at Corporate Travel Management N.A, puts it.  

All the company's projects are designed differently, so actually, there is no correct formula for an ultimate software development team. Still, some parts of the group are essential for a successful result. The average number of a perfect team is said to be between 5 and 8 people. 

If you are new to this field, it might be difficult to embrace all the details. We are going to help you to understand this practice better. What are the main roles in software development, and how to build a team outstanding? We will explain all of these points in this article on the development team roles and responsibilities.

Project Manager

The PM plays one of the critical software development team roles. They must provide the equal distribution of duties between stakeholders while working with a team. PM provides that all the working tasks are optimized and that the product meets the customer’s expectations.

Among the PM’s duties are:

  • assigning software development team roles and responsibilities, 
  • creating a plan of development practice, 
  • recruiting new employees on the project if needed, 
  • determining teamwork methods,
  • indicating deadlines and budget,
  • delegating some different tasks to other members,
  • ensure their management or customers with timely updates on the project. 

For example, if you are eager to work as a Project Manager at Amazon, you should have:

  • 7+ years of relevant engineering experience
  • 3+ years of people management experience
  • Experience in partnering with product and program management teams
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering
  • Experience with OOD and object-oriented languages.

You will be ensured to solve the main problems. The PM should also be customer-oriented.

We can see that Banner Health is looking for a PM to create their own website and a mobile app, and their requirements are: Bachelor’s degree, at least five years of experience of work in the field, and four years of experience in application or website development. PO should also have the possibility to develop plans, provide sketches of the future product, and have high communication skills.

Product Owner

The product owner is a software development team member who presents as the end-user or company the whole team is working with. They are in charge of the appropriateness of the final product in use. They usually use agile methodology in their work, concentrating on continuing changes in the working process. The product owner also decides on features and characteristics of the future products as he is working with the main user group and the customers.

Agile methodology is based on four main values:

  • team interactions and individual communication are more important than processes and tools;
  • working software stands before the comprehensive documentation;
  • Cooperation with the user is more critical than contract negotiation;
  • responding to a changing environment by following a strict plan.

Product Owners are also in charge of prioritizing backlog and expanding the ROI. One of their software development roles is gathering and cataloging user stories and requirements for the final result. According to Zippia, 63% of product owners have a Bachelor’s degree, and most (31%) of the POs stay in their positions for 1-2 years. The vast majority (43%) of product owners are 40+ years old. However, 20% of POs are in their 20-30s. 44% of the big companies (over 10,000 employees) hire product owners, and only 1% of small companies (50-100 employees) have their POs.

Team Lead

One of the other development team roles we should mention is team lead. The team leader is usually one of the developers responsible for the communication inside the team of software developers. They also are the messengers between the team and the management or clients. 

A team lead is not always the most experienced or skilled developer. This person should possess great communication and management skills. Team leaders monitor the team’s productivity levels and ensure smooth communication.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of a developer team lead in the US is $140,237 per year. It is the most popular vacancy in New York City, NY, and San Mateo, CA and Boston, M. 

As an example, a Team Lead requirements for a Zendesk company are:

  • 6+ years of data engineering experience with very large datasets
  • 1+ years managing and leading software engineering teams
  • Good understanding of Hadoop, MapReduce, Spark, and SQL
  • Enthusiasm for solving tough data platform problems and data-driven product
  • A background in shipping high-quality data products
  • Great communication and collaboration skills
  • A passion for sustaining a healthy and effective work environment
  • A team-first mentality

Tech Lead

As opposed to the team lead, the tech lead should be the most skilled and experienced in engineering matters. They are usually responsible for software development project roles and responsibilities distribution in their team. Tech leaders can clarify the issues connected with the coding, hardware, network problems, other external providers, etc.

They also provide developers with the best technical solutions to all the issues and give the estimated dates and budgets to the project managers. 

According to Indeed, Tech Leads gain around $111,169 per year, and the job outlook is expected to grow by 11% between the years 2018 and 2028.

If you dream of working as a Tech Lead in a big corporation like Nintendo, the requirements are following:

  • Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or related field
  • 2+ years of professional software engineering experience
  • Basic understanding of fundamental engineering concepts
  • Basic understanding of development tools and processes
  • Strong understanding of C#, Python, and JavaScript
  • Experience with cloud computing, AWS is preferred

And among your responsibilities are:

  • Practices and implements writing code to defined specifications
  • Debugs own code
  • Assists with triage and remediation
  • Understands functional requirements, use-case scenarios, and design goals of their assigned tasks
  • Learns and adheres to established software development workflow and systems
  • May give input on feature design for their part of a module
  • Documents work according to defined processes

Full-Stack Developer

A full-stack can be a developer not specialized in any particular part of the development process. For example, they might take roles of front-end or back-end developers, combining their expertise to solve issues on the verge of different architectural layers of the system.

Full-stack developers are an important part of a software development team. They can provide a unique solution for the front-end or back-end development from their comprehensive point of view.

As per FullstackAcademy, the most popular programming languages for a Full-stack developer position are:

  • Javascript;
  • Swift;
  • Scala;
  • Go;
  • Python;
  • Elm;
  • Ruby;
  • C#;
  • Rust.

Front-end Developer

In the development team roles and responsibilities system, front-end developers deal with the software interface available for users. They link the product itself or the business presented by this product with a customer or user. Front-end developers’ responsibility is making sure that the user has the smoothest and most seamless interaction with the website and the application, as only front-end developers deal with the part of the software that users interact with. 

According to SkillCrush, the most useful skills for a good Front-end developer would be:

  • JavaScript; 
  • jQuery; 
  • JavaScript Frameworks; 
  • Front End Frameworks; 
  • CSS Preprocessors; 
  • RESTful Services/APIs; 
  • Responsive/Mobile Design; 
  • Cross-Browser Development; 
  • Content Management Systems; 
  • Testing/Debugging; 
  • Git/Version Control.

Back-end Developer

The back-end developer deals with the layer of the system that is not available to the customer but extremely important to maintain the whole project afloat. These programmers deal with the marketing logic and layers of data. If there are more complicated systems, back-end developers help to manage data and optimize queries. Nevertheless, if the system is not correct in the work it is lying on the back-end developers, and they are essential members of the software development team.

Techgig named the top 5 programming languages for a Back-end developer:

  • PHP;
  • Python;
  • Ruby;
  • Java;
  • Rust.

QA Lead

Quality Assurance lead plays one of the most important software development roles. They need to make a team of QA engineers and perform its management. In addition, they distribute QA team roles and ensure communication between the team and other experts. 

As a QA engineer, the QA lead collects customers’ feedback on the new systems and tries to improve them. Similar to team leads, they are responsible for the communication and relations inside their teams.

Amazon has the following responsibilities for the QA leads and QA Engineers:

  • Defining quality metrics and implement measurements to determine test effectiveness, testing efficiency, and measure the overall quality of the software;
  • Implementing Test Automation leveraging test automation frameworks;
  • Knowledge of professional software engineering practices;
  • 4+ years of experience delivering test frameworks, test tools, leading the QA projects and initiatives;
  • Working with Product Managers, Developers, TPMs and review technical artefacts to understand the technical architecture and derive test strategy;
  • Exceptional writing and verbal communications skills;
  • Ability to engage and influence senior leaders via Amazon quality documents, data, and verbal/written communication;
  • Experience with OS stack and HW dependent feature testing;
  • Success in delivering high quality, innovative products based on rapidly evolving technologies;
  • Help writing test plans, test cases, and provide suggestions in improving the QA processes;
  • Help tackle cross-platform engineering challenges and contribute creative ideas to the engineering teams;
  • Ensure our products meet high standards of quality, performance, and reliability.

QA Engineer

QA engineers provide a high level of quality of the project. They are also preparing the product to be in use by the customers. They arrange tools that will allow auto processes of checking the quality. In simpler words, they check if new functions and systems don’t have any errors and bugs and if new and old features work well together. 

QA engineers facilitate the work of the rest of the software development team. As if the issues are fixed in the early stages, developers won’t have to do that once the product is ready, and project managers won’t have issues with the customers.

There are 3 main types of QA Engineers in software development:

  • Manual QA Engineer
  • Automation QA Engineer
  • QA Lead

Manual QA is trying to find bugs in the system by manual testing. They try to imitate the user’s experience and find the algorithms of actions that may lead to the app's crush.

Automation QA is writing scripts to find and record a bug in the application. They usually have a higher set of skills than manual QA Engineers. Their main aim is to optimize their teams’ processes and minimize time and efforts to find errors.

QA Leads have a wider list of tasks as they are also responsible for the performance and take main decisions in unusual situations.

Source: Hackernoon

QAs directly impact the user’s experience, as many customers won’t even return to the app if they have experienced any bugs or crashes. QA Engineers are one of the main players of the software development team. Overall, their knowledge and experience are highly appreciated. According to Glassdoor, the average yearly salary of a QA Engineer is $85,777.

Manual Tester

Manual testers or Manual QA Engineers are part of a QA team. Usually, they perform routine but essential tasks. Among their tasks is handling manual tests, checking if all the features are working properly and if the user’s unusual actions won’t ruin the whole system. In addition, testers should investigate and analyze the algorithms of actions that lead to an error and recreate this consequence. All the fixed errors at the earliest stages of the product creation practice ensure the smoothness of the user’s experience in the future.

Despite automation tests being more productive and less time-consuming, manual tester vacancies are still in demand. According to Forbes, this job will still be relevant in the future as manual testing is cheaper, algorithms cannot replace the human approach to testing. Moreover, some systems have too many parameters to be tested automatically.

UI Designer

In software development team roles, UI designers work on preparing the interface for different devices. They arrange and transfer all the available styles, graphics connected with the client’s side of the project with the internal system. They can make templates of the user interface of an app.

According to GlassDoor, the tasks of a UI Designer are:

  • Improving the look and feel of interactive computers and product software;
  • Creating overall concepts for the UX;
  • Ensuring all experiences will be simple, intuitive for your users;
  • Analyzing clients responses and website data to determine high traffic web pages and why some perform better than others;
  • Designing the aesthetics to be implemented within a website or product, from the layout menus and drop-down options to colours and fonts;
  • Building storyboards to conceptualize designs and convey project plans to clients;
  • Accounting for and track the HCI element of a design;
  • Creating surveys for research through various social media platforms to gather feedback on user's ease of use;
  • Performing testing of completed applications, websites, and software to Assess user experience.

As for the UI Designer job’s needs:

  • At least 3-5 years of experience in implementing UI design;
  • Proficiency with programs such as Adobe Photoshop;
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment to create top-performing interfaces;
  • Experience creating storyboards and site mapping;
  • Advanced problem-solving abilities and knowledge to optimize data for the best possible outcome;
  • Professional written and interpersonal skills;
  • Experience with coding and ability to troubleshoot using HTML, CSS, and comparable languages.

UX Designer

So, UI designers are responsible for the interface, then UX designers’ field of work is user experience. Among their main tasks is ensuring that the user will have excellent interaction with the app or browsing a website. 

UX designers analyze the user's behaviour to guess which sections to add or which existing functions need an upgrade. 

GlassDoor gives the next list of UX Designer’s responsibilities:

  • Conducting testing of sample applications, websites to Assess UX and ease of design;
  • Using recent studies and findings to establish the best overall design elements to include in UX design experiences;
  • Building storyboards to conceptualize designs to convey project plans to clients;
  • Creating surveys for research through various media platforms to gather feedback on user's ease of use and satisfaction in interfacing to company websites and products;
  • Designing the aesthetics to be implemented within a website or product, from the layout menus and drop-down options to colours and fonts, allowing for interface edits as needed;
  • Analyzing customer responses and website data to examine high traffic web pages and determine why certain web pages perform better;
  • Enhancing the UX by creating seamless navigation through various digital programs and interfaces within the company;
  • Combining interface design concepts with digital design and establishing milestones to encourage cooperation and teamwork.

And as for the needs for this position, to be a good UX Designer, you should:

  • 3-5 years in creating and implementing UX design;
  • Proficient with visual design programs such as Adobe Photoshop, etc.;
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment to create top-performing interfaces for clients;
  • Coding skills and ability to troubleshoot using HTML, CSS, and comparable languages
  • Continued education and research into UX trends and current design strategy and technologies;
  • Professional written and interpersonal skills when talking to users;
  • Creating storyboards and website mapping.

Building a Perfect Software Development Team

We have discussed all the existing roles in software development. And so you can get that all employees are critical in-process and have their own software development project roles and responsibilities.

Here in DataXDev, we have a perfectly balanced team of the best specialists ready to start and complete your project. So in case you are looking for a company to create and launch an application for your business, drop us a few lines, and we will be glad to hear your ideas!

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