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    5 Criteria for Building a Software Development Team

    If your only strategy is to Google “custom software development companies” and pick one off the list, you’re in for a long day of sorting through your options—all 252,000,000. And how will you know if you’ve made a wise choice? You could build an augmented software development team to write software for you.

    After 20 years of experience working with software development firms in the IT industry, I developed the following criteria that every software development team must meet.

    Experts Only

    There are developers in the software industry who would refer to themselves as “Swiss Army Knife” engineers. They have a little experience in front- & back-end development, architecture, QA, and UX, but they aren’t experts in any area. It might be tempting to hire people who know a little about a lot, but it doesn’t work all the time.

    When building teams to develop your custom software, the “Swiss Army Knife” type should not be an option – especially if your project is complex. If you want the job done right from day one, you’re better off with a small army of developers who are experts in their fields.

    Similarly, hiring junior-level developers may cost you more in the long run by pushing back release dates & introducing bugs into your software. Hiring senior-level, specialized engineers is the only way to ensure the timely delivery of quality software.

    CTO-Level Expertise & Guidance

    Unless you’re a CTO, you’re probably unfamiliar with the potential hurdles your project will face from a development perspective. In that case, you need expert guidance from someone who would listen carefully to your goals and provide a fresh perspective on the best ways to accomplish those goals.

    You don’t want a developer who drops everything you say into an SRS sheet, gets your signature, and delivers the “finished” product six weeks later.  You need CTO-level expertise to guide your software requirements, shepherd it through development, and invest in the long-term success of your software.


    Too many software engineers have a strong affinity toward certain technologies. Sometimes, such attachment hinders people’s ability to evaluate the situation objectively, keeping the software’s end goals in mind. 

    You want the development team to make decisions that make the software effective in the long run. You want to build a team that is more committed to providing top-quality solutions than forcing their favorite tech on your project. Doing so mitigates risk and tends to build longer-lasting solutions.

    Problem-solving Mindset

    Finding people with direct experience in building precisely what you need is impossible. There’s a good chance that at least a part of your idea is unique and never solved. Instead of wasting time looking for a direct comparison to another project, look for people with experience attacking complex software challenges head-on and emerging victorious with elegant solutions.

    Partnerships, not projects

    The trick is to build a development team that will invest mentally and emotionally in your business. It is challenging but worth every effort. It is about building a culture where success isn’t simply completing all the requirements by the deadline. You want the team to go the extra mile instead of ticking off boxes on a checklist.

    My experience with custom software development teams has taught me that a good resource is someone who:

    1. Listens to understand your business model, your customers, and the problem to be solved
    2. Explores your ideas for solving the problem and presents creative solutions of their own
    3. Understands the development process and the technologies involved in building the software
    4. Can grasp technical and business aspects of building software
    5. Works through any bumps in the road with transparency and a strong bias towards win/win solutions

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    About the Author

    Kamal Rastogi is a serial IT entrepreneur with 25 yrs plus experience. Currently his focus area is Data Science business, ERP Consulting, IT Staffing and Experttal.com (Fastest growing US based platform to hire verified / Risk Compliant Expert IT resources from talent rich countries like India, Romania, Philippines etc...directly). His firms service clients like KPMG, Deloitte, EnY, Samsung, Wipro, NCR Corporation etc in India and USA.

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