Critical Roles In Software Development

Critical Roles In Software Development

Software development has emerged as a crucial part of enterprise growth strategy worldwide. With the global revenue of the enterprise software market hitting a whopping $209.4 billion in 2020 – the market is poised for further growth.

enterprise software market 2020

Developing any software has several moving parts that do not necessarily follow a pre-defined linear timeline. Leaving the whole process on a team consisting of highly-specialized developers is a recipe for disaster. Even if they are the best at what they do, they will be hampered by their narrow skillset. A professional software development team needs inter-disciplinary expertise in various fields, not just confined to coding.

Several critical roles combine to create the perfect software development team that can deliver exactly what the customer wants. Let us explore what these are!

Types of Software Development Teams

Types of Software Development Teams

Two key methods determine a team for software development. They both work, but selecting one between them comes down to which method is more suitable, given the nature of the project.

Scrum team structure

Without a designated leader, every member has to manage their tasks. Increased autonomy can have positive results, though any more than nine people engenders conflict and confusion.

Traditional team

The typical hierarchy you see in most organizations allows for greater control over the team. Capable of addressing surprises and maintaining consistency, traditional teams have a clear sense of direction because members will always have someone to make critical data-driven decisions and delegate tasks.

7 Critical Roles in a Software Development Team

Studies demonstrate how 60% of IT projects fail due to the absence of properly trained teams. The risk of over half your projects failing is something that no CTO or project manager can stand. So let’s examine the roles and skills crucial to have on your software development team.

Business Analyst

Before software can even begin to be created, you first have to identify a need for it. This is where a business analyst comes into play. Their primary task is to plan business goals and prepare a detailed feasibility report.

This role is essential because a business analyst understands the technical side of development and has a firm grasp of the financial and economic angles. Their expertise helps generate business value when developing software.

Product Owner

A product owner has a deep and thorough understanding of the project, clients, and even end-users. Their task is to bring the software to fruition as per the requirements and guidelines set by the business analyst.

In addition to occupying an analytical role, a product owner must also be creative in their approach. Innovative solutions and quick responses to any challenge require an out-of-the-box mentality. Product owners can ensure that the project is being completed aligned with current business trends as well as helping the development team execute tasks in a fast-paced environment. They must extract the maximum value out of their team’s potential and deliver it to the customer.


Number of Software Developers Worldwide

The life force of any development team, developers are the ones who make the software possible. According to a study, there were 24.5 million software developers in the world in 2020. Moreover, this number is set to grow exponentially, seeing approximately 28.7 million developers by 2024.

Developers are tasked with writing codes that bring software to life. In order to do so, a good developer will have strong logical reasoning skills and critical thinking skills. In addition, rigorous training in methodology enables them to execute solid coding.

Conventional wisdom argues that a healthy and talented team of developers must include fresh graduates and seasoned veterans. The former brings creativity and imagination, whereas the latter adds expertise and complexity. By complementing each other’s skills, they can produce brilliant software code as a result.

Quality Assurance Engineer

A quality assurance engineer is the warden of the software team. QA ensures that each requirement set out by the BA or product owner is met. They generally operate as the “perfectionist” of the team and ensure the software’s specifications are met before they move on to the next step.

QA can help your development team identify bugs and improve the stability of the software to provide the perfect end result.

UX Designer

UX designers put themselves in the shoes of the end-users. They’re tasked with ensuring that consumers will be satisfied with the product’s experience. Guaranteeing stability, functionality, and usability, UX designers are vital to clearing any glitches in the program.

UI Designer

Arguably the most creative position in any software development team, the user interface designer is tasked with pre-empting what the user will want from the end product. Although this may seem like an impossible task, UI designers are specially trained just to do this. They incorporate visual design and branding, ensuring that all aspects of the end product will live up to the user’s expectations.

If the final software is easy to navigate and visually appealing, it means the UI designer has succeeded in playing their part for the team.

Software Architect

The software architect is the one that makes the high-level design choices and ensures that the coding complies with the requirements set by the product owner and business analyst. They also review the developers’ codes, optimizing the software for end-users with regards to their functionality.

This position is vital, establishing the standards necessary to produce high-quality end results. By addressing complex non-functional requirements and implementing changes, software architects hold the team together and focus on their tasks.


There can be several additional members to a software development team, but the ones mentioned above are must-haves. To have robust, functional software that meets the organization’s standards and satisfies consumers, you must hire only the best for each of these positions.

So the next time your organization is given a software development project, make sure that you have all the essential roles filled before taking on the challenge.

Ryan is the VP of Operations for He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations--delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.
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Ryan Nead