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Here’s what your app development team should look like

When you build or renovate a house, you depend on a multi-talented team of professionals –– with different, but complementary skill sets –– to get the job done. 

The same is true of app development. 

For instance, if you are building a new home you will likely hire an architectural team to manage structural design and decisions. In app development, an equivalent role would be a solutions architect who figures out the best way to structure your application, based on your business and technical needs

Once the structural design of your home is established, you probably require a construction team to pour concrete and build a foundation. Comparatively, there are developers who focus on pre-work to establish the bedrock or back-end of your application before the rest of the build takes place. 

Metaphors aside, the structure (and of course quality) of your development team will make or break the success of your project. The talent involved in creating your company’s app and managing the overall development process determines the quality of your end-product and whether it is delivered on time and on budget

The structure of an ideal app development team

While there are some projects that require specialty resources, most of the time an efficient app-building team is made up of eight to 12 people. 

Here’s a breakdown of the key roles they fulfill:

Your primary app development contact

We call the main client contact on our team your customer experience manager. They are your point person. They function as the liaison between your team and ours, making sure you are kept informed about the development process and any relevant business insights.

As important as technical knowledge and skill are, strong communication and reciprocal engagement is very important in executing a project that meets your needs. 

The details person

Another team member you’ll frequently engage with is our project coordinator. They serve as the subject matter expert on our team, keeping track of all the small details you share that will inspire development decisions.

The success of a development process depends on us truly understanding your business challenges and goals, so that we can build an app that provides you with actionable solutions.

The keep-everything-on-track manager

While the coordinator makes sure our team has the background information required, our project manager oversees the technical aspects of the development process. From timelines to budgets to workflow, they make sure our developers are on the right path and have everything they need to tackle the job.

With client engagement, subject matter insight and day-to-day task/people management taken care of, let’s talk about the team members who build your app:

The developers 

Not all app developers do the same thing. 

Most focus on a specific type of work, which is why we group development roles into a few key categories:

  1. There will be one or two backend developers who create the overall structure and functionality of your app, by writing code that speaks to relevant servers. Backend work happens in the foundation of the app, and behind the scenes. It’s critical to make the app function, but it’s different than a frontend developer who will make the public-facing components of the app.
  2. Depending on whether you are creating an iPhone and/or Android app, we will have iOS and Android developers build the elements of your application that engage with the respective operating systems.
  3. We assign a UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface) developer to design the aesthetic and experiential elements of the app that users will see and engage with. 
  4. We bring on a front-end developer to create the web, mobile, or public-facing structure and content, as well as ensure everything is responsive. Front-end developers will build and create everything the users see rather than the code that runs the site or app. If the app is using WordPress as a platform, we’ll also ask our WordPress developers to build out functionality.

What makes a best-in-class development team? 

We organize our team this way because it is the best way to build custom software and mobile applications.

We need to glean a deep understanding of why you want and need an app to be built, as well as the problems we’re helping to solve so that we can ensure our build doesn’t replicate or create new challenges for you. 

This includes both a listening process –– where we learn from you –– and an educational process during which we provide informed, experienced suggestions on how to achieve your business objectives via the application. 

Ultimately, a best-in-class team takes the time to engage the right people to solve a problem, together.