All
HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL
DEVELOPMENT
 
TEAM
IN 2020

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Great team drives your business forward. Bad team drives you crazy.

We are sure you know this. Maybe you have already prepared a set of perfect crew’s characteristics. Can we try to guess them?
 

Everyone works in a mode of a full synchronization and harmony. Although each member does different tasks, they are constantly integrating. There’s no arguing and no whining. You will not hear ‘Can I leave earlier?’ and ‘I am tired’. They do not fail and make everything in time. Devs understand clients from the first seconds. They hear “ehm..would you please change the…”, boom! The basket icon is changed in 3 seconds and 20 milliseconds! What else? Oh, sense of humor! You don’t want to deal with bores, do you?
 

Sorry, not possible. We’ve just described robots. Do you want them? Then wait for the next 50 years and only then launch your project. If you want to initiate it now do not idealize. Read the following guide on how to build a software development team that is highly successful.
 

First things to consider when building a software development team:
 

  • Budget. No professional wants to be overworked and underpaid. Giving minimal budget and demanding beyond-great results is like asking cats to bark because you give them bones.
  • Time. “You, guys, do your job and I’ll go do mine” – not good. Your crew will not build itself. Be sure to make room for it in your schedule. They need to feel their leader’s support.
  • Adaptiveness. People have feelings, needs, and fears. When you ignore their feelings-needs-and-fears, they will ignore you. Working with people = adapting to their personalities and searching for consensus.
     

As soon as you’ve ticked all three paragraphs, it’s time to tell you the main aspects of a good team.

The Golden Mean Size

The team’s size depends on the project’s complexity. A small setup doesn’t require many guys working on it. For big one three people is not enough. Our experience shows that 5-6 people in a team is an optimal number, and it should be no more than 10. Say no to big crews. More people – less personal responsibility they feel. Let’s look at it in terms of maths.
 

Supposing responsibility for the project is 100%. Divide it by the number of people in a group.
 

  • 100% / 5 = 20% of responsibility by each member.
  • 100% / 15 = 6.6% of responsibility by each member.
     

It’s easier to ignore 6.6% than 20%, right? 6.6% are less noticeable for Jack. He is working in a large group and makes a lot of mistakes. The guy got used to the fact that his teammates would fix everything instead of him. Another example – John, who works in a small team and cannot ignore his 20%. He knows that his screw-ups will be noticed. This dev tries harder to make everything in the best way. This division also explains why bigger projects require more people. 20% of responsibility on a small project is okay. On a big one, it’s overwhelming.
 

You know the size of your project and the number of people in it. The next step is to determine your development team roles and responsibilities.

Software Development Team Structure

Imagine it as one organism. Will you function well without a liver? No. Same here. Take one part out – some important functions will not be fulfilled. Let’s make an analogy with the human body more vivid. The development team anatomy is at your disposal!
 

Project Managera.k.a brain, controls all other members of the team and sends them (neuro)signals (“Hey, John, fix your bugs!”)
 

Functions:
 

  • create a concise and manageable plan;
  • determine development team goals;
  • manage schedule and deadlines;
  • estimate budget;
  • monitor progress;
  • communicate with clients;
  • support members in terms of emergency (errors, bugs).
     

Engineers/Developers, a.k.a. muscles (with team lead as a heart). No muscles – no movement! Without them, the project would not keep going. Devs get the (neuro)signals from the PM and turn them into actions (intensive keyboard tapping and coding).
 

  • Front end developers convert data to a visual interface of a website (looks);
  • Back end developers build actual logic of the application (functions);
  • Mobile developers create apps with Android and iOS.
     

UX/UI Designers, a.k.a eyes, devise the visual part and are in a constant search for aesthetic. Usually, there are no separate UX and UI designers. One person fulfills the functions of both. Let’s say, the right eye is UX and the left one is UI.
 

Functions:
 

  • User Experience Design is about observing people’s behavior patterns and understanding their needs. UX designer determines what the user wants to have on the website and where it is better to place it. Convenience is the main aim.
  • User Interface Design is about creating a visual picture. Analyzing users’ psychology, UI designer combines colors, structures, and shapes to arise emotions. Good emotions, hopefully.

Business analyst, a.k.a. lungs, gives life to the project by exchanging the information (air) between the client (outside source) and devs (inside parts of the team). Analyses business requirements and ensures they are met. His work is not about “how”. It’s about “what for”. What user’s problem does the client want to solve by his product? The analyst finds it out.
 

Responsibilities:
 

  • identify clients’ and users’ needs;
  • determine the requirements necessary to create a future product;
  • tell programmers and QA about essential features the client needs during product launching;
  • elicit requirements in detail.
     

QA manager, a.k.a liver, filters the product from the bugs and checks quality at the final stage.
 

Responsibilities:
 

  • set service standards;
  • report quality issues;
  • monitor the quality of the product;
  • supervise staff in terms of quality.
     

Now that you have understood the structure of this coding organism, it’s time to create job opportunities!

Recruitment process

Hiring the right employees seems easy. Just share a post about the vacancy on LinkedIn or Facebook and wait for devs to call you. Not really. Recruiting requires professionals. What do recruiters do?
 

  • Analyze job features. Do you need a dev who is familiar with React or Angular? With 2 or 4 years of experience? Are there special emotional characteristics? Like resistance to critique or charisma. They pay attention to everything that may have importance for the future candidate.
  • Write a job description with all the important info. What are the requirements? Is it an in-house or outsourcing opportunity? What is the salary? What are the bonuses? It helps the right people to join your project/company.
  • Seek suitable candidates on LinkedIn, Facebook, platforms with job vacancies. Let’s not forget about word of mouth and personal contacts.
  • Research candidates’ resumes and professional background. It is important to know the frequency of job changes and reasons for leaving. Too many shifts from company to company is not a good sign.
  • Conduct interviews, and finally, understand whether the candidate is suitable or not.

Our recruiter Kate shared her experience in her interview. You can read on our Instagram page.
 

After hiring the right people, choose a performance plan.

Methodology

Methodology structures work. Good structure is the frame you need if you want to build a successful development team. It helps to track processes and control results. The most popular approaches are Kanban, Scrum and Waterfall.
 

Kanban. This method creates balance in work and helps to avoid situations where some members toil nights and days and some – complain about having no tasks. Kanban divides work into stages ‘To do’, ‘In progress’ and ‘Done’. They are shown on boards. You can create them with Trello. Then Project Manager checks productivity. If the task was on board for too long, it is not productive.
 

Scrum. Scrum methodology includes Product Owner (interlocutor between the team and the client) and Scrum Master (divides project into sprints). Yes, this method consists of so-called sprints. They can last from 1 week to 1 month. Before coming at a sprint, you define requirements and aims to achieve. When it begins, clients cannot change the process. Only after the end PM analyses whether it was effective or not. If not, PM implements changes. It might be inconvenient for the clients because they can see the results only at the end of the work. However, the team gets more flexibility because there is less control from the client.
 

Waterfall. The main principle of it is providing clarity of all processes to clients. Products have to go through several stages. First, we confirm the requirements and make sure we understand what our clients want. Then we make plans, choose devs, give them tasks and proceed to draft. After it is ready, QA checks a product’s quality. Finally, we are ready to launch the website. SapientPro has implemented a Waterfall methodology to structure our work. Below is the structure of it.

You have chosen methodology. Have we finished? No. Because the next stage defines failures and wins.

How to build a development team’s corporate culture.

Corporate culture depends on the behavior of leaders. It is how they act, react and treat their employees. With all of it, they influence future responses and choices of the team.
 

  • If leaders do not listen to concerns – no one voices concerns, people gossip.
  • If leaders overly criticize – people stop trying harder and think they will never be good enough
  • If leaders ignore employee`s needs – employees feel unsafe.
     

When we feel unsafe we either fight with the danger or escape it. This stress response is on the level of genes. In the workplace people either quietly protest and sabotage the work or leave the job. Staff turnover is a determinant of corporate culture quality. If many people leave the place, it means something is wrong with it. Sooner or later, all precarious ventures fail.

HOW TO LEAD A DEVELOPMENT TEAM WITH CORPORATE CULTURE?

  • Unblock constructive communication. Let people voice their concerns and speak for themselves. When they do, exclude passive-aggressiveness and sayings undermining the importance of your co-workers. A good leader celebrates constructive communication. Instead of saying “Why is there the same bug again and again?” try saying “Look, there is this bug again. Let’s try to understand the cause of it. Maybe there is something you don’t understand and I can explain it to you”. Do you feel the difference?
  • Embrace conflicts and solve them. If you pretend something doesn’t exist, it won’t disappear. Ignored emotions later burst into an avalanche of drama. When you notice a conflict, as a leader it is in your power to ensure the two sides talk it all over.
  • Value people. Do not treat them as filled vacancies, ways of earning money and, well, robots. We aren’t. Neither you are. Remember it every time you scold someone for minor faults.
  • Create a friendly atmosphere by team building events. It can be a movie session together or the discussions of the latest events at the parties.
     

Leading a software development team, SapientPro CEOs understood the importance of corporate culture. “Sapient pro is not about work only, it’s about people who do this work”  – our value. Here’s how we roll!
 

  • We have flexible hours, so people are not overwhelmed by being late;
  • The kitchen is always filled with all the devs’ necessities: coffee, tea, cookies, fruits, and marshmallows;
  • We have recently moved to a new cozy office;
  • On Tuesdays, we have toasts for breakfast together;
  • Each month we have gather-togethers in cafes;
  • We provide our teammates with the opportunity to study at courses, conferences, and summits;
  • We celebrate. Celebrate like it’s the last day of our lives. It might be if there are too many bugs, right?
  • We build a relax-room for our teammates. Effective work is not possible without a good rest.
     

To conclude, recall the story from the intro. A successful team is not a perfect one. It’s not automatized. It is a group of people who love working together because they feel Respected, Valued and Listened to.

DEVELOPMENTBACKENDTESTINGFRONTENDSAPIENTPROWEBDEVELOPMENTECOMMERCEMANAGEMENTARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCESaaSDESIGNCUSTOMERSBLOCKCHAINSTARTUPSEOMOBILEDEVELOPMENTTEAM BUILDINGELEARNINGQA/QCESTIMATIONNEWS MARKETINGDEBUGING
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SAPIENTPROHow to update your marketplace app in 2021?

Creating a successful marketplace application may seem a Herculean task to cope with. However, its maintenance is not a simpler task either. Here we come across the helpful app upgrades. But why do you need to upgrade your application and what features a renewed app should have? Let’s dig deeper into these questions.

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SAPIENTPROHow to upgrade your old website for 2021?

Living in a hectic constantly changing world, you can hardly ever find something that remains the same. This statement relates not only to daily routine, but also to any job issues such as keeping your website updated. If your site doesn’t adjust to the latest trends and you haven’t done any rebranding or upgrades for ages, you risk to appear old-fashioned and stagnated. Here is some good news, too. You can always come to grips with reality and start to develop your own upgrading plan for a website. In order to speed up this overwhelming journey, we recommend you to stand still for now and scan carefully the information presented in this article.

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SAPIENTPROHow to build a successful development team? (Part 2)

You have already got acquainted with the aspects of first and foremost importance related to forming a successful development team. Let’s proceed with our journey and dwell upon the matter of adequate maintenance of the enhancement team on a certain level. Which characteristics and skills should remain firm with the flow of time for your web development process to be successful?

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SAPIENTPROHow to build a successful development team? (Part 1)

When you begin to work on a new (especially large-scale) project, organizational moments themselves look quite intimidating. Despite all the possible challenges, take a deep breath, count 1,2,3 and think carefully about the particular task the team is supposed to solve and what’s the team role within the project frames? Clear targeting and coming up with first juicy ideas will set you a decent start on the way to forming a successful development team.

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DEVELOPMENTChoosing Technology Stack for custom eCommerce Development: a guide for the non-tech entrepreneurs.

If only there were an analogy of Hogwarts’ sorting hat for software development… Imagine: you enter your idea of the product, how much budget you have, and get the list of the technology stack and contacts of the development team that would work ideally with your niche! In the real software development world, choosing a technology stack requires planning, discussions, and analysis. Some technologies will work better with your project, and our task is to detect which ones. However, you also need to understand that the tech stack is not something fixed. As your product grows, there comes the need for new and better tools. This way, software development requires flexibility. Thus, prepare that your initial technology stack may not stay with you forever. You may need to scale your project or implement new features and store more information. There may be better versions of some tools available. Prepare to be flexible. Prepare to change and alter things when the upgrades require it. That’s what will make you competitive from a technological standpoint of leading an E-Commerce business. In this article, we will tell you about the most popular technologies that power E-Commerce products. Next time you communicate with your development team, you will know all the essential information and, most importantly, you will ask the right questions.

Kate

8 min read

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SAPIENTPROCommunication in the software development workplace

IT office jungles are filled with computer forests, cable lianas, and rivers of coffee. The temperature varies between 24 and 27, depending on who keeps the conditioner remote control. The sunlight mainly comes from computer screens and lightbulbs. Developers are working like bees: they take the pollen of code and create honeycombs of apps. It is a beautiful environment filled with the magical power of innovation, creativity, and agility. However, this ecosystem only works if there is one more component. This component is communication.

Kate

6 min read

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DEVELOPMENT10 reasons to update your website

The day has come. Your once successful and well-performing website wears off. And you know what? It is okay. It happens to the best of us. Even while you are reading this article, we are revising our website to improve your experience with it. So let us explain how the updating process works, and not just because we are a software development company but because we understand. Right now, our designer is creating a fresh way of delivering cases, and our backend developer is engaged in the improvement of the admin panel.

Kate

7 min read

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DEVELOPMENTECOMMERCE REPLATFORMING GUIDE: SWITCH FROM ONE CMS TO ANOTHER

Outdated CMS may be among the reasons why your business hit a plateau.Developing and launching a website is not where the work stops. Besides, you have to maintain it constantly and implement profound changes. As for the latter, sometimes you may need to do something more than a simple redesign, and that may be a switch from one CMS to another. If your e-commerce business is continuously evolving and growing, it brings along more work to do. New technologies are always here to make your life easier. When it comes to CMS, there is also a great variety of opportunities you can use. In this article, we will walk you through the reasons, things to consider, and steps of CMS replatforming.

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DEVELOPMENTGUIDE TO BUILDING SEO FRIENDLY E-COMMERCE WEBSITE IN 2020

Let us be clear, the absence of SEO may result in the absence of website visibility.What people usually do when they need to find some information? Of course, they google it. The same goes for online shopping. When someone wants to buy or just compare prices for a certain product, Internet users simply open their devices to find necessary items online. Although you can now hardly find a person, who doesn’t have a computer or a laptop, people still use mobile devices more often. Thus, 93% of all internet activity starts with a search query. This number is for you if you doubt the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

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DEVELOPMENTHOW TO BUILD & IMPLEMENT DYNAMIC PRICING FOR E-COMMERCE

Bear in mind, the whole purpose of dynamic pricing isn’t all about making sales.Price is among the key priorities when the consumers make their final decision whether to buy a product or not. Too expensive or too cheap offers can easily avert the buyers from your store. What if other stores have smaller prices? Or similar products of cheaper brands attract visitors more? The solution for not losing the client base is keeping track and controlling the costs on your website with the help of dynamic price strategies.

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DEVELOPMENTCOSTS OF E-COMMERCE PROJECT REDESIGN

The rise of sales, increased traffic and positive reviews are just a couple of benefits you may get from a website redesign.If you want your e-commerce business to grow and develop (we believe you do), you need to keep track of events in the online retail industry and, of course, implement on-time updates. Sometimes, small changes are not enough, then significant renovations should take place. Those may include changing the offers you provide and product lines, updating the website and finally redesigning. The question of redesign should be taken up seriously, as the first impression is what most people rely on when it comes to the Internet and its tough competition. Be ready to invest enough effort and budget to the renovation that will increase your business’s value. To know how to determine your budget. It’s important to consider at first the features, reasons, and type of changes, necessary for your website in the process of redesign.

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DEVELOPMENTADDING AN ONLINE STORE TO YOUR WEBSITE: DETAILED GUIDE

Adding an online store to your website will cost you less than developing it from the ground up.Selling online is never a bad idea, especially nowadays, when people wish to buy everything they need right from their cozy homes.What if having a ready website a business owner decided to sell something? Good news! There is no need for you to start all over again. There is a solution – adding an online store to the existing website. The opportunities of eCommerce are growing as fast as the customers’ demands.

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DEVELOPMENTHOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUILD AN E-COMMERCE WEBSITE IN 2019-2020

The e-commerce development company you choose will certainly affect the money you have to pay.The e-commerce website can definitely enhance the profit you receive from your business. But how much does e-commerce website cost? The figures you will hear in an answer to that question can vary a lot. Even after development, you will have to invest money into maintenance, improvement and adding brand-new features that are constantly appearing on the market. That’s in case you want your e-store to be attractive and profitable, of course. It’s even difficult to tell the average cost of how much should I charge for an e-commerce website. The numbers will vary due to different factors. In this article, we’re going to discuss them all in detail to help you grasp some idea about the money you need to pay for the e-store. First of all, you need to decide what you want your e-commerce to offer the customers. It may be anything from small business e-store up to a large website with a big amount of integrated (useful or just good-looking) features. It is also a good idea not to wait until everything becomes outdated. We strongly recommend to update all the features continuously and save money for more innovations.

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DEVELOPMENTGUIDE TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING FOR E-COMMERCE

To avoid the negative consequences, start with determining what you intend to achieve.The popularity of e-commerce is growing at a blistering pace. Many companies around the globe regard the internet as a powerhouse with high commercial capacity and opportunities to boost their business and attract more customers. Those companies are completely right – more and more people prefer clicking the mouse over walking for hours when they need to buy something. Online stores nowadays provide their customers with more possibilities for less effort. But how to make people buy on your website, not any other? The answer is in thorough planning and management of e-commerce.

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DEVELOPMENTWEB DEVELOPMENT TEAM STRUCTURE AT SAPIENTPRO

We don’t say there isn’t enough knowledge, because our specialists are always broadening their abilities, delivering first-rate products and making the customers satisfied.Being a client of a Web Development company doesn’t mean you have to know all the ins and outs of the development process. However, what may be interesting for you is the stages and main characters of the project delivery. You cannot address front-end developer directly if you need to add a new payment method. Even this, as you may think, simple task involves a well-thought teamwork. So, here is a brief insight into the mechanism of SapientPro Clockwork.

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DEVELOPMENTHOW IT OUTSOURCING MAKES UKRAINE ATTRACTIVE FOR BUSINESSES AROUND THE WORLD

If a customer wants to find a development company they can work comfortably with, the staff becomes a really important point to encounter for making a choice.Without any doubt, while visiting some websites, buying goods online or even using a digital map to reach your destination you don’t think of the fact that Ukrainian IT specialists might have taken part in the development of these apps. A great number of companies around the world choose to outsource web development to Ukraine and they do have strong reasons for that. So, let’s give a detailed look at the biggest of them:

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DEVELOPMENTMAIN FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE COST OF THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

As software development is a many-stage process, every its element contributes to what you have to pay for an application.Before starting something new, people usually ask: “How much will it cost me to do this?” If you expect to hear the exact sum once you come to the software development company, here is something you need to know. The factors to be considered for the cost estimation are numerous and most of them depend on how you want your website or app to look like.As software development is a many-stage process, every its element contributes to what you have to pay for an application. Let’s have a closer look at three most important factors that affect the client’s budget.

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