How to Hire a Development Team: Everything you Need to Know about the DDT Model
Are you getting ready to hire a web development team? Or are you looking for mobile programmers to expand your IT department?
We have created an in-depth guide on how to find the necessary software development team that covers:
- main principles of DDT (dedicated development team model)
- step-by-step process to hire a software development team of any team-set
- main challenges of working with a remote development team + hot tips on how to overcome them
- key questions to ask during the IT vendor pre-screening process
What is the DDT Cooperation Model?
The dedicated development team model entails that you receive necessary programmers and additional expertise to streamline your business activities. At the same time, you have full control over the software development process.
Alternatively, DDT can act as a separate, remote IT department.
Moreover, when you hire a web development team offshore, in some instances, it can save up to 50–70% on your development budget.
The DDT model is the best solution for mid-sized businesses and enterprise clients, and in some cases for companies of a smaller size.
Generally, this cooperation model is the best fit for:
- companies that want to cut cost on IT operations
- companies that need to strengthen their own teams with new talents
- development of complex projects that need the use of various technologies and integration with multiple third-party services
- projects that require hard-to-find talents
- projects with strict requirements that may become more difficult over time
- projects that only take a few months or years of development and hiring developers inside the company is too much trouble
- those who want to share or have complete control over the project implementation
Usually, when you hire a team of developers it can be comprised of specialists performing the following roles:
- QA Engineers
- Project Manager
- Software Architects
- Business Analyst
- UX/UI Designers
Where Can You Find a Software Development Team?
When you first decide to develop software, you may feel puzzled about where to find capable programmers.
One of the best ways to find software developers is to ask for a recommendation from friends and acquaintances who have already digitized their business. In some cases, you will need to utilize some other approaches.
- Surf the Internet
- Online Directories & Platforms
How Do You Hire Your Development Team?
The process to find a necessary team usually consists of five steps: creating a list of requirements, investigating companies’ websites, studying portfolios, collecting information about the provided security and quality of services, and, the most important, to search for a partner rather than just developers.
1. Prepare Your Requirements
Project outline — your goals, business and tech requirements, the budget you are ready to spend, number of specialists you need, and so on.
Evaluation scorecard — select metrics and criteria, and decide on the points you need to look at when hiring software developers.
Pro advice: A good idea is to create an RFP (Request for Proposal)
2. Study the Company’s Website
Here are a few points you need to pay attention to:
- Read their blog and check out the provided services to make sure they meet your demands.
- Check the information for relevant experience, company size, and years on the market.
- Learn about the number of developers the company has and how the development process is managed.
- Check whether the company can offer extra services you may need like business support, copywriting, marketing analysis etc.
3. Study the Portfolio
Closely study the company’s portfolio to make sure they have completed projects in your domain.
For example, MLSDev has significant experience in creating healthcare software, eCommerce, and on-demand projects, which allows us to deliver great results and apply the best development practices.
Our team helped to scale the GoPuff, on-demand delivery project, from scratch and into a key service that operates in 20+ US States.
4. Get Information about Service Quality & Security
Ask for details, namely:
- Coding standards and code review practices
- Code refactoring
- Version control of the technologies
- Server administration capabilities and security practices
- Processes of keeping project documentations and vulnerable data
- Security of information inside the company (e.g. set permissions, regular password changes, use of secure services, etc.)
5. Look for a Tech Partner, not just Development
Tech partner should add value to your project and be able to:
- back you up
- help with matching your goals with technological implementation
- challenge you with lots of questions that lead to better results
- offer you extra ideas and recommendations
MLSDev team acts as a partner and helps to grow and expand the business of our clients through innovations and modern technologies. The image below illustrates some of the references from our clients.
Working with a DDT: How to Overcome the Potential Challenges
By knowing what difficulties you might face in advance, you will be able to tackle them before they arise.
1. Budget Increase
The solution to minimizing risks associated with estimate and project cost increases lies in the requirements elaboration stage.
2. No Control Over the Project
For example, at MLSDev we use the following tools, that you can grant access for project management:
- JIRA for project task management
- Harvest for time tracking and billing
- GitHub and GitLab for source code management
- Jenkins and GitLab CI for Continuous Integration
A good team of developers should be able to quickly adjust to the model that you use within your company. These teams are aware and have experience of working according to the well-proven software development methodologies to control the process, namely:
Scrum — suitable for medium to large projects that last from 4 months to years, utilizes 5–9 developers
Kanban — used when you need to quickly deliver a security patch, fix bugs, or add a new feature to your app
Lean — ideal for a rapidly changing environment that requires a high level of flexibility with project requirements that change often
3. Limited Resources
Professional agencies provide a complete overview of the completed work of the dedicated resources with a report from tracking tools (e.g. Harvest).
Professional IT vendors usually have a pool of accessible developers and a well-settled process to hire and augment your team with extra resources on demand.
4. Time Zone Difference
The difference in time zones can cause ineffective cooperation.
At the same time, it can become the main advantage. For example, when working with a team from Eastern Europe (e.g. Ukraine) and you provide your feedback, developers get it early in the morning and can fix them right away. This way, you get the necessary updates directly the next day.
5. Differences in Culture
Pay attention to the following aspects:
- proven software development processes and experience working with different clients from all over the world
- readiness to undergo the technical assessment and complete tech tasks
- ability for fast team scaling with highly professional specialists
- guaranteed employee retention
- readiness to undertake all operational and administrative processes
- on-demand expert assistance from other specialists like Software Architects, Development Leads, etc.
- provided consultation services for continuous product improvement
6. Сommunication Issues
Companies hiring software developers should pay close attention to the English level and availability of written documentation.
Besides, we live in an era of digitalization where time differences can be handled with the help of modern collaboration tools:
- video conferencing and screen-sharing tools (e.g Zoom, Google Hangouts, Slack)
- project management tools (e.g. JIRA)
- document-sharing for revision (e.g. InDesign, Figma can be shared to check designs at any time)
7. Issues with Security & Data Privacy
What if my idea is stolen or code is reused somewhere else?
Many businesses ask these questions. Signing NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) is one of the ways to ensure the safety of your idea and business.
For example, at MLSDev we store all source code in privately hosted security repositories powered by GitLab, and use securely hosted services like Confluence, Google Drive, etc. We are also ready to sign an NDA to ensure that all the materials you share with your team will be kept confidential.
Questions to Evaluate a Development Team
- What is the pool of specialists that you have access to?
- How do you ensure the retention of developers working inside your offices?
- Are you able to quickly scale the team without losing the quality and abiding to high standards?
- Can you guarantee that team members won’t leave the project underway?
- Are you ready to undergo technical assessment and perform test tasks?
- How do you approach operational and administrative processes?
- Do you provide on-demand assistance from other specialists?
- What is the process for dealing with time zone differences?
- Can you describe the process of communication between developers and my company?
- How does your company deal with cultural differences and differences in language?
- What processes and solutions do you use to ensure the safety of my project idea?
- How do you ensure that my code won’t be reused anywhere else or sold to someone?
Bottom Line: DDT Helps Reach Your Goals
Working with a DDT has a number of benefits, namely:
- Lower IT expenses
- Wide choice of tech expertise
- Full control
Note: This is a summary of a guide.
Check out more details and recommendations to build an eCommerce website inside the complete article on the MLSDev blog.