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Everything You Need to Know About Software Development Team Roles

Everything You Need to Know About Software Development Team Roles

June 17, 2020

Bradley Vanderstarren

Anastasia Starovoytova

Content Manager

When you are launching a startup, you need to find a reliable crew, and finding the right people to fill software development team roles is never easy. As the excitement of a new idea becomes that challenge of bringing it to life, you may stumble upon a question – whom should you welcome aboard? 


To help you assemble your superheroes a.k.a software development team, we’ve decided to break down the roles and responsibilities of key team members the fun way by imagining that you’re looking for a ship crew. 


Project Manager: the Captain

The project manager takes the helm of the team, ensures a smooth workflow and reports on it to product owners and customers. It’s a role of great impact and authority. Being in charge of the development process makes project managers ultimately responsible for the product’s success or failure. 

The project manager is the captain of your crew. They make crucial decisions and keep the team together.

What does a project manager do?


The project manager's key responsibilities include:


  • Drawing up a development plan by setting up objectives, deadlines and budget
  • Analyzing the market, risks and business opportunities
  • Making a detailed pitch to stakeholders and initiating the development process
  • Leading the software development team and making sure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities
  • Keeping track of the process from start to finish with project management tools
  • Communicating with stakeholders and customers and serving as their primary contact
  • Making just-in-time adjustments to the plan and workflow
  • Evaluating the software performance and reviewing the product’s performance from the customer’s point of view. 


What makes a great project manager? 


Here’s a list of traits to look for in a project manager: 


  • Flexibility: A project manager isn’t afraid of change, quickly adapts to new circumstances and responds to them most efficiently 
  • Resilience: A project manager operates under pressure without letting emotions get in the way
  • Organization: A project manager stays organized at every step of the development cycle and implements the best agile practices
  • Communication: Whether it’s a meeting with stakeholders or a frustrated team member, a great project manager can get through to anyone
  • Strategic Thinking: A project manager leads the team with a bigger picture in mind. 

How much does it cost to hire a project manager?

In major US markets, an experienced project manager typically earns around $115,000/year. In comparison, in offshore markets such as Belarus an experienced IT project manager typically earns around $20,000/year.

With an offshore team at Satellite, we help you recruit, hire and retain great project managers as part of your offshore team. Learn more about our pricing here.


Software Architect: the Cartographer

Software architects find technical solutions to business problems and create a roadmap for the development team to follow. Their time is usually split between architectural design, coding and helping other team members. This is a critical role that can "make or break" a great team, as they're responsible for both the software architecture and mentoring other staff.


The software architect finds a common ground for technical and business requirements and works closely with the project manager while acting as a leader for developers. This role is a complex one as the person must be innovative, responsible and patient. 


What does a software architect do?


Software architects' key responsibilities typically include:


  • Transforming business requirements into software architecture and design
  • Developing product roadmaps in a clear, consistent way
  • Customizing and assessing the code according to the business requirements
  • Leading, encouraging and mentoring the development team 
  • Functioning as a resource person on technical matters for stakeholders and customers
  • Working closely with the product owner, product manager, Scrum Master, etc. to prioritize tasks and set up the agile development process
  • Monitoring the latest software news and technologies
  • Taking responsibility for the final product and decisions behind it


What makes a great software architect? 


Here’s a list of traits to look for in a software architect: 


  • Sharp Mind: A software architect is observant, thinks clearly and pays attention to detail 
  • Expert Knowledge: Deep knowledge allows a software architect to come up with innovative ideas and mentor other developers
  • Organization: A software architect sticks to the best agile practices, delegates tasks and keeps everything in check
  • Communication: A software architect is a good listener, explainer and mentor
  • Resilience: A software architect manages stress levels and stays unaffected by the turbulence of the development process.

How much does it cost to hire a software architect?

In major US markets, a software architect earns around $180,000/year. In comparison, in Belarus an experienced software architect can earn around $40,000/year.

With an offshore team at Satellite, we help you recruit, hire and retain experienced software architects as part of your offshore team. Learn more about our pricing here.



Software Engineers: the Mates

The software engineer builds software and functions as the heart and soul of the development process. They apply their expert knowledge of engineering and computer science to deliver smart products.


Software engineers form your development team just like mates on a ship. It’s impossible to launch a startup without them.


What does a software engineer do?


Software architects' key responsibilities typically include:


  • Developing software products according to the requirements provided by the product manager, project manager and software architect
  • Writing code using knowledge of programming languages
  • Building and enhancing databases necessary for work
  • Identifying technical problems to improve  software quality;
  • Documenting software products in detail to help those responsible for future maintenance
  • Deploying software using adequate deployment methods
  • Maintaining, troubleshooting and upgrading software products
  • Using agile software development best practices to come up with timely solutions.


What makes a great software engineer? 


Here’s a list of traits to look for in a software engineer: 


  • Fast Learner: A software engineer looks for new solutions and is willing to evolve as a developer
  • Team Player: A software engineer understands roles and responsibilities of every team member
  • Attention to Detail: A software engineer can detect coding errors 
  • Communication: A software engineer gets along with the team and expresses ideas clearly 
  • Patience: A software engineer is patient enough to execute even tedious tasks.

How much does it cost to hire a software engineer?

In major US markets, a software engineer earns around $155,000/year and a senior software engineer earns around $160,000. In comparison, in Belarus a software engineer earns around $20,000/year, and a senior one makes an annual income of $40,000.


With an offshore team at Satellite, we help you recruit, hire and retain experienced software engineers as part of your offshore team. Learn more about our pricing here.


Business Analyst: the Lighthouse Keeper

The main objective of the business analyst is to collect information from stakeholders, customers and developers. They identify the main business requirements and problems to help the team build high-demand software products.


A business analyst’s role in the software development process can be compared to the one of a lighthouse keeper. They point the way ahead, warn about possible dangers and help the team reach the shore in one piece. 


What does a business analyst do?


Overall responsibilities of a business analyst include:


  • Identifying business objectives, requirements, and potential risks
  • Using the resulting information to help build the software product
  • Keeping track of the market trends and news to transform them into business insights
  • Crafting a budget and writing timely financial reports
  • Reviewing the software product performance
  • Creating plans for performance improvement and business growth
  • Interacting with customers and stakeholders
  • Working together with data scientists to gather relevant business information


What makes a great business analyst? 


Here’s a list of traits that make a business analyst a perfect match: 


  • Analytical Thinking: A business analyst questions first and answers later
  • Presentation Skills: A business analyst is excellent at collecting and presenting data
  • Negotiating: A business analyst knows how to compromise
  • Communication: A business analyst has strong soft skills to converse with customers, developers and stakeholders
  • Attention to Detail: A business analyst is careful and pays attention even to small details.

How much does it cost to hire a business analyst?

In major US markets, a business analyst earns around $70,000/year. In comparison, in Belarus an experienced business analyst earns around $20,000/year.


With an offshore team at Satellite, we help you recruit, hire and retain great business analysts as part of your offshore team. Learn more about our pricing here.


UI/UX Designer: the Master Gunner

The UI/UX designer takes the role of a product design guru. They monitor the user experience of digital products, build user interface designs, identify areas for improvement and come up with user-friendly solutions.


The UI/UX designer is the master gunner on the team. This professional helps you take the right aim at users. 


What does a UI/UX designer do?


The key responsibilities of a UI/UX designer include:


  • Creating user-friendly designs for software products
  • Researching the market by analyzing competitors’ designs 
  • Designing graphic interface elements
  • Keeping tabs on overall trends and user preferences
  • Devising information architecture flows
  • Collecting and transforming design concepts into storyboards
  • Working together with the software development team to ensure flawless user experience
  • Taking part in marketing activities to help promote the product.


What makes a great UI/UX designer? 


Here’s a list of traits to look for in a great designer:


  • Creativity: Strong creative abilities help a great UI/UX designer develop smart products and think outside the box
  • Empathy: A UI/UX designer understands users and creates intuitive designs for them
  • Curiosity: A UI/UX designer is always looking for new references and ideas
  • Communication: A UI/UX designer is a team player 
  • Patience: A UI/UX designer perceives criticism calmly.

How much does it cost to hire a UI/UX designer?

In major US markets, a UI/UX designer earns around $115,000/year. In comparison, in Belarus an experienced designer can earn around $20,000/year.


With an offshore team at Satellite, we help you recruit, hire and retain great designers as part of your offshore team. Learn more about our pricing here.


Quality Assurance Tester: the Boatswain

The quality assurance tester (QA) ensures that the team delivers a quality product. Their work revolves around hunting bugs down before the solution goes live. To operate more effectively, testers get to know the product requirements and test software multiple times using different manual and automated methods. 


The role of a QA tester is similar to the one of a ship boatswain because it’s all about inspecting, fixing and reporting. 


What does a QA tester do?


The key responsibilities of a QA tester typically include:


  • Reviewing and analyzing product technical and business requirements 
  • Developing testing plans, procedures and best practices
  • Systematically testing software solutions using effective testing methods
  • Finding, analyzing and reporting software bugs
  • Working together with software engineers to improve product quality
  • Writing test cases and creating logs to document their testing experience
  • Helping with troubleshooting
  • Collaborating with business analysts, programmers, project managers, UI/UX designers to come up with scalable and bug-free solutions.


What makes a great QA tester? 


Here’s what to look for in a QA tester: 


  • Attention to Detail: a QA tester is superb at noticing bugs and doesn’t forget to write them down
  • Communication: A QA tester knows how to present the information correctly even when they have to be the bearer of bad news  
  • Patience: A QA tester is prepared to repeat mundane testing processes again and again
  • Fast Learning: A QA tester adapts to the agile environment and is willing to try out different testing methods
  • Resilience: Even if testing takes place close to the deadline, a QA tester keeps it together. 

How much does it cost to hire a QA tester?

In major US markets, a QA tester typically earns around $80,000/year. In comparison, in Belarus an experienced QA tester earns around $25,000/year.


With an offshore team at Satellite, we help you recruit, hire and retain experienced testers as part of your offshore team. Learn more about our pricing here.

The Bottom Line

The success of a software product depends on the people involved. It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation. Getting team roles and responsibilities clearly defined, you’re sure to pull the best talent in. 



Anastasia Starovoytova

Content Manager

Anastasia is the Content Manager at Satellite, covering technology, effective team building and latest IT news.

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