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 Top qualities of a software development team 

 A tightly-knit, synchronized team which is aware of its skills and the best way to use them is a highly proficient team. Software development professionals need to shine both individually and as part of a team by showcasing:

  • Inter-operable technical skills and an ability to keep them up-to-date
  • Critical thinking and an ability to ask the right questions
  • Flexibility and willingness to step in and out of roles
  • Short onboarding time and resilience to context switching

Software teams as a proficient lattice

A lattice is a net or network of regular, geometrical, diamond-like shapes that are interconnected. The power of a lattice stems from its regular, repeated arrangement of elements. Proficient software teams are like a lattice in many respects:

  • Predictable: well-organized and data-driven
  • Strong: technically savvy and autonomous
  • Accountable: detail-oriented and ownership-ready  

Software teams acknowledge that they need to:

  • Have a mix of people with different skills that contribute to the overall project quality: developers, managers, DevOps, QA, UX
  • Excel at communicating goals and concerns, and at clarifying requirements
  • Manage their time and break down work into tasks
  • Balance factual understanding and empathy
  • Stay united as one entity meant to cooperate and collaborate to deliver the expected results 

Software team qualities

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Software teams are made and grown over time, with guided action from inside and outside the team. Here are a couple of pointers to look into.

 

Technical Knowledge & Task Breakdown

Good software teams need to share the same vision and understand how they can make that vision come true technically. Performant solutions need to meet client requirements to the fullest, which is no easy feat.

Software teams stand out if they:

  • Demonstrate professional knowledge of programming languages, algorithms, and decision-making based on assessing requirements against their knowledge
  • Embrace learning about the most recent developments and best practices
  • Incorporate the practical knowledge brought in by their hands-on work
  • Have clear roles and responsibilities, but they also ensure that everyone has the big business picture
  • Commit to delivering features in a transparent way without promoting bugs as features
  • Automate repetitive and static tasks or tests to improve performance
  • Keep track of processes, versions, changes and document features

 

Critical Thinking & Decision Management

Good software teams need to make the right decision at the right time based on clear insight. The ability to extract insight is driven by a team’s ability to ask the right questions and to signpost ambiguity and inconsistencies that can result in bugs down the road. 

 Software teams stand out if they:

  • Detect conflicts or knowledge gaps between requirements and technical capabilities 
  • Deflect simplistic or superficial ways of approaching problems
  • Determine the dependencies impacting business logic and technology
  • Double down on collaboration tools that maintain single-sourced assets

 

Flexibility & Communication

Good software teams need to keep themselves and the clients in the know at all times. When requirements and implementation need to be adjusted, constant communication with the client and the use of Agile methodology allow for integrating change naturally as part of the regular development cycle.

Software teams stand out if they: 

  • Empower members to express concerns, propose ways of working, and explore alternatives
  • Reconcile divergent opinions and identify the best moment to drop an initiative in favor of another
  • Enforce feedback loops with clients and other members to make communication less rigid and more immersive 

Resilience & Exquisite Delivery

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Good software teams need to deliver features which work, which solve client problems, and which make user’s life easier. Overcoming the challenges that appear in the development process requires a team to show stamina and resilience.

Good results cannot be reached on the fly.

Software teams stand out if they:

  • Design systems that can accommodate change and practice refactoring
  • Use integrated platforms which enforce collaborative review, branching, automated deployment, and rollback 
  • Set clear, quantifiable tasks that can be traced back and tracked in terms of progress

 

In brief

Software development teams must work as ONE team focused on:

  • Understanding client requirements
  • Translating requirements into features
  • Linking development to usability

To achieve these goals, developers must showcase various skills: 

  • Technical expertise: clean code, tools for writing and testing the code, integration, deployment
  • Critical Thinking: SWAT analysis, knowledge gaps, user journey vs. technical implementation, identify dependencies and keep them in check
  • Flexibility: convey business value accurately, communicate and plan tasks efficiently, adjust to change and respond to feedback 
  • Resilience: deliver on time, offset ambiguity, develop new and cross-functional knowledge, anticipate client needs, measure performance to improve