At the heart of every tech enterprise lies its software development team—a critical force driving innovation and cultivating invaluable intellectual assets. Beyond the mere act of code creation, this team plays a pivotal role in sustaining a company’s competitiveness and relevance within the dynamic landscape of today’s economy. Crafting a high-performance team demands strategic recruitment of top-tier talent, meticulous structuring, the implementation of optimal processes, and, ultimately, the art of retaining this invaluable cadre.

In streamlining this procedure, we have compiled 16 astute recommendations from prominent figures in the industry, including CEOs, CTOs, and founders. Ranging from fine-tuning project requirements to discerning the optimal team dimensions, uncover the strategic steps advocated by these seasoned experts to craft an exemplary team.

Building Your Software Team: 16 Key Recommendations

  1. Optimize for Project Needs
  2. Build a Team Structure That Works
  3. Understand Project Scope First
  4. Hire for Attitude
  5. Define Project Goals
  6. Take the Rock Band Approach
  7. Conduct In-depth Interviews
  8. Start Large, Narrow Down
  9. Prioritize Team Cohesiveness
  10. Focus on Achieving MVP
  11. Integrate Effective Communication Tools
  12. Establish a Professional Hiring Panel
  13. Assess Emotional Intelligence
  14. Define a Decision Hierarchy
  15. Research Qualifications and Certifications
  16. Determine Ideal Team Size

Optimize for Project Needs

My one tip is, “Know what you optimize for.” When selecting a software development team for a project, you must know what you’re optimizing for. Speed or detail? Pick based on that.

Know your project span. Is it short-term? Get a team that adapts fast. Long-term? Pick a skilled, steady team. Location counts. Close teams bond well, while far teams can bring more skills.  Cultural fit is also key—a good fit boosts work joy and output.  Always check past work, as it shows skill and trust.

In sum, match your aim with the team’s skill, project type, location, culture, and past work to hit project goals.

Eyal Cohen, Owner, Eyal Cohen

Build a Team Structure That Works

Regarding optimal team size, I follow the ‘two-pizza rule’ advocated by Jeff Bezos. Our optimal team structure includes five to seven members, fostering creativity and productivity. Effective communication is critical in smaller teams, as outlined by Harvard professor J. Richard Hackman’s ‘link management’ principle.”

By strategically balancing senior, midlevel, and junior developers, we create a lean, efficient, and cost-effective team while also fostering internal growth and mentorship. We recognize the unique strengths of junior developers and integrate them swiftly into our methodology. Our team’s success is built upon our dedication to the right team structure in the ever-evolving landscape of software development.
Nirav Oza, Chief Strategy & Customer Officer (CSO & CCO), Ace Infoway

Software Development: Best Practices of Build Your Own Team (BYOT)

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Understand Project Scope First

Selecting the right software development company is a pivotal decision that can significantly influence the success of your project. Before hiring team members or a third-party development team, I recommend first gaining a full understanding of the needs of your project.

Clearly define the scope of your project—whether it’s a mobile app, a web platform, or a complex integrated system, knowing what you need is an important step before creating the team. Next, list out the specific technologies, platforms, or frameworks you want to use or integrate. This will help ensure the team you hire will have the expertise necessary to complete the project successfully. Additionally, have a clear understanding of your budget and be transparent about it with potential partners or hires.

Once you have a comprehensive understanding of the needs of your project, it will be crucial to select a team that aligns with your company’s values, quality standards, and project requirements.

Sergiy Fitsak, FinTech Expert, Softjourn, inc.

Hire for Attitude

Hiring people with great attitudes is the best way to create the right software development team for your project. As a technology expert and editor, I’ve always loved working with people who have great attitudes.

Having technical skills without a good attitude is not worthwhile. Look for people who are competent and eager to take part in the process of building great software. A good team should be ready and enthusiastic about being part of a great team. Showcase your culture and opportunities for professionals to expand their careers, but choose the ones who seem to be positive about the software development initiative.

On most occasions, the hiring team focuses on technical expertise, but it’s necessary to consider personality traits and willingness for a person to blend into your company culture. Simply, look for forward-looking and enthusiastic professionals to be part of your software development team.

Jack Vivian, Chief Technology Officer, Increditools

Hire for Attitude

Define Project Goals

One key step is to define your project’s specific needs and goals clearly. This clarity helps in assembling a team with the right mix of skills and experience to match the project’s requirements. Look for professionals who not only have the technical expertise but also fit well with your company culture and can see your success as their own.

David Stellini, Co-Founder, All Front

Take the Rock Band Approach

When you’re assembling a software development dream team, think of it like building a rock band. You need a mix of talents—each star playing their instrument perfectly but also grooving in harmony with the band.

Start with a core of seasoned pros who not only code like wizards but can also jam with the rhythm of your project’s needs. They set the tempo, whether it’s cool jazz or high-speed metal, guiding the newer talents and making sure everyone hits the right notes. Balance expertise with fresh energy, ensuring there’s a mix of experience levels because sometimes the rookies bring a beat nobody’s heard before that changes the game.

 And remember, communication is the melody that keeps the music flowing, so make sure everyone’s tuned into the same frequency.

Alex Stasiak, CEO and Founder, Startup House

Conduct In-depth Interviews

When the need arises to bring on additional talent to your team, it’s important to conduct interviews where you can delve deeper into the candidates’ thought processes and problem-solving abilities.

While new employees do not need to be proficient in all areas, their ability to think critically and adapt to different tasks is of utmost importance. This approach ensures that the team is not only qualified but also versatile and ready to meet the unique requirements of the project.

Alex Sheplyakov, CTO, Wiserbrand

Start Large, Narrow Down

Start with as large a team as possible, then winnow down your options. It’s easier to make cuts than it is to add someone midway through development. Give those grunt-work introductory tasks to employees just to see how their thought processes mesh with other members of the team.

Over time, you’ll start to see cohesion. Thinking styles will overlap, and team camaraderie will develop naturally over time. The members who don’t fit the team will usually self-identify and depart of their own volition, leaving you with the dream team capable of developing your best software yet.

Mark Varnas, Principal SQL Server DBA and Consultant, Red9

Prioritize Team Cohesiveness

When building a software development team, many people think relevant experience is the most critical element. They want to see an on-point experience that directly aligns with the scope and nature of the project at hand. However, my experience has been that it’s a better approach to build teams based on cohesiveness.

After having overseen several software development projects, the best results I’ve seen have come from teams with superb working relationships. I would much rather have a team of very average developers, who communicate well and have a good flow, over a team of uber-talented individuals that prefer to work alone, unbothered. Those lone-wolf teams always hit roadblocks. To the extent you can hire or find developers who have worked together effectively in the past, start with them.

John Ross, CEO, Test Prep Insight

Prioritize Team Cohesiveness

Focus on Achieving MVP

In today’s fast-paced development environment, the ability to deliver products and features quickly while staying focused on essential requirements is crucial. When evaluating your development team, prioritize identifying members who can maintain a sharp focus on the ultimate goal of achieving a minimum viable product (MVP) for user acceptance.

To gauge this focus, consider asking developers how they would strategically break down the project into actionable tasks and meaningful milestones. This will help ensure that your team is aligned with the project’s MVP objectives and can efficiently steer the development process toward its successful delivery.

Ben Bozzay, Founder, Tech Lockdown

Integrate Effective Communication Tools

An important step in structuring a dedicated software development team is to integrate tools that enhance effective communication. In my experience, insufficient communication can lead to project failure. Therefore, establishing clear communication channels requires a productive environment for the dedicated software development team.

To this end, the team needs to adopt various collaborative apps like Zoom, Teams, Slack, Skype,, and more. These platforms enable instant messaging, which is significantly faster than email or discussing tasks in project-management software, allowing the team to swiftly exchange feedback, voice concerns, and discuss both the positive and challenging aspects of their work.

Regular open conversations and thorough project reviews help to close any communication gaps within the team and foster a culture of trust, replicating the feel of an in-house team atmosphere, despite the physical distance between us.

Precious Abacan, Digital Marketing Manager, Softlist

Establish a Professional Hiring Panel

Just like for any other SaaS company, the software development department stands as the linchpin of our operations—everything more or less depends on the quality of our hires. Of course, we have quite an elaborate recruitment process with multiple test tasks and technical interviews.

However, the key to creating a successful team is having a highly professional hiring panel. It’s crucial to have multiple decision-makers (more than three) who are ready to put their time and mind into interviewing a potential employee. More importantly, the decision to hire a person should almost be unanimous. While minor doubts from one-panel member are acceptable, if two or more people are questioning the validity of this choice, the candidate should not proceed with the hiring process.

Daria Erina, Managing Director, Linked Helper

The Advanced Guide on How to Hire Developers for Your Business


Assess Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is indispensable when assembling any kind of team. Software development usually has several phases that need particular kinds of people for success. That’s why being able to assess a potential team member’s capacity for long hours or repetitive tasks can mean the difference between delays and success.

That’s why when I choose team members for software update development, I look at how they handle pressure and assign them tasks according to their skills and experience. However, the stages of development they work on are determined by how well they handle stress. This is where emotional intelligence works best.

Team size, project scope, and expertise needed are all important. But creating the right team needs to go beyond just cost and skills. You need emotional intelligence to determine the right mix of different stress levels.

Alister Wood, Owner, VisitUs

Define a Decision Hierarchy

Software development teams need a clearly defined decision hierarchy. Minimally, there needs to be a leader who can cast a deciding vote for or against a particular issue. Infighting and programmer debates can slow projects down to a level that they are not even worth doing. The shelf life of software is short because of a fast-changing market. Speed should be a core value that is prioritized.

Trevor Ewen, COO, QBench

Research Qualifications and Certifications

One tip to take when looking to create the right software development team for your project is to research qualifications and certifications. The best way to make sure your software development team has all the necessary qualifications for success is to look into certifications that may be required for them to do their job effectively, such as Certified Software Developer (CSD) or Microsoft Certified Technology Professional (MCTP). 

Doing thorough research on certifications helps ensure that those who join your team have enough experience and understanding of industry standards, which can save time troubleshooting issues later down the road.

Aslam Rehan, Marketing Assistant, SMS AutoForwarder

Research Qualifications and Certifications

Determine Ideal Team Size

The size of your team can have an even bigger impact on your results than the people you choose to work beside you. Small teams tend to be tighter-knit, collaborate well, and face lower miscommunication risks. Larger teams have more human power and more diverse skill sets, but it’s much harder to coordinate and connect with so many moving parts.

If your project is complex and will require a ton of labor, you may choose a larger team size than the project manager with a small but vital project that requires people to work together closely. A hybrid team allows you to break large project teams into smaller working groups to gain the benefits of both. Determine your ideal team size so you can build your team’s structure first and start filling those slots with the teammate who fits the role best.

Hardy Desai, Founder, Supple Digital

Wrap Up

Building a strong software development team requires the same level of precision as putting together a championship sports team. Each member must understand their role, their place in the team, and the overall objectives. The team members should work together seamlessly, like the pieces of a puzzle fitting perfectly. To create a strong team, it is important to invest in the recruitment process, establish clear standards and best practices, and support team members during their growth journey. By taking these steps, a team can be built that exudes strength right from the start.

Recognizing the challenges and time commitment involved, we’re ready to simplify the process for you. With our certified software developers, we promise zero lead time delivery. Our team understands your business needs, operates in a client-centric timezone, and ensures structured and timely communication. Stay innovative with our updated use cases and the latest web development technologies, all while being adaptable to budget constraints. Start building your dream team by reaching out to us today!