The image of people working in the IT field has changed in the last years. Ridiculous stereotypes about programmers have been broken and now it is really cool to be able to code and programmers have become the elite of the 2010s. However, when we talk about IT professionals, we do no talk only about software engineers. IT projects require different kinds of specialists not only with a technical background.
Here at Smartum Pro we deal with projects from various industries such as healthcare, logistics, eLearning etc., requiring different approaches but the basic aspects of our application development process usually stay the same. Our team includes professionals with various roles who work towards achieving the best intelligent solution that meets client’s goals and requirements.
In this article we will talk about 6 key professional roles that are necessary for a quality application development project.
Business analysts get involved in the project development process at the first stage, right after the sale has taken place and sometimes even before. The basic duty of a business analyst lies in the communication both with the client and the dedicated development team. Clients usually think in terms of their goals. Programmers think in terms of features and code lines, focusing on how to do what the client wants. The gap lies between the actual features and elements that must be implemented and the client’s goal. The business analyst (called shortly BA) must exactly define what the customer wants and needs. The BA collects the client’s requirements to the desired product, analyses what the product should look like and what features should be implemented as well as why and what should be done for this.
The business analyst conducts competitor research together with marketing specialists to make sure that the client’s project will be viable and competitive with the already existing products of this kind. He also defines the target audience, creates user personas, wireframes and writes software requirements specification unless it has been fully provided by the client. Thus, the role of the BA is in planning the optimal development process, interpreting the client’s requirements, preparing documentation and providing effective communication between the client and the team.
When the client’s requirements are collected and interpreted appropriately, that’s where the project managers (shortly called a PM) comes into the game. The basic task of the project manager in the development team is obviously managing the project. To explain it more explicitly, let’s talk about the basic tasks of a PM. Like the BA, the PM can also be involved in the communication with the client, although the main duty of the PM is working directly with the team. The project manager distributes the tasks among the software engineers, plans the workflow, motivates the team, controls the process and coordinates the actions of the team.
The project manager is also responsible for time management, considering and managing risks and unpredicted situations. The PM also has to make sure that the development process goes according to the plan. In Agile methodologies that also involves ensuring that changes recognised to be necessary during the development process are introduced correctly so that the client can approve them and the team doesn’t get stuck on the project.
That’s who the major part of creativity in the project comes from. The main responsibility of the UI/UX designer is making the product look good and be convenient and pleasant to use. The designer uses wireframes created by the client or the business analyst to “draw” mockups and create mobile application interface design (or user interface, UI) according to the valid guidelines and trends. The designer also plans the app flow and thus user experience (UX) that will make the product easy to use.
At Smartum Pro our designers use the InVision software to create dynamic prototypes that represent how the real product will behave, allowing to test the prototype on a real device prior to development. This is useful for the client to see a model of the desired product and absolutely necessary for the programmers who are to write the code for the product. It is like a design model of a room for professionals with an explicit field of experience who are actually to decorate it. At Smartum Pro our UI/UX designers also provide graphic elements for application stores, mockups and the logo of the desired product.
They are the core of the team, people with explicit experience. Programmers are a kind of “translators” who are to translate the human language and the language of graphics into the language of digital technologies that computers and technical devices can understand and thus execute what the client wants. There are different levels of software engineers that include junior, middle and senior developers depending on their working experience and level of expertise. All of them also have different fields of expertise, different languages they code in and platforms they work with. That’s why there is a great “variety” of software developers even working on one project. For instance, a regular software development project of a mobile application requires at least an Android developer, an iOS developer as well as a backend developer.
Quality assurance specialists are crucial for every software development process and secure a high-quality product. They test the product, go through the whole app flow and define bugs and flaws with the further report to the development team that is to conduct bug fixing. It is important to detect errors before completing the product and exposing it to real users for it will save the face of the product and guarantee positive user experience. Other responsibilities of QA specialists include not only general testing of the product, but also checking its corresponding to the customer’s requirements.
Marketing professionals deal with the product on post-development stages and they are essential almost to every product unless you’ve developed a software system used only within your enterprise. The team have developed a great product but what is the point in that if nobody actually knows about it?
Thus marketing specialists conduct market research on the first stage of web and mobile applications development as well as prepare and launch marketing campaigns after the release, search distribution channels, conduct social media marketing (SMM), write texts and articles (SEO writing), product descriptions (content marketing) etc. to promote a product and make it successful. They are also responsible for application statistics analysis, product further development and enhancement meaning determining new features to implement, measuring user reaction, and so on.
To sum up, one should remember that software development team roles are not only about programmers. At Smartum Pro we have a cohesive team of professionals who are responsible for all stages of the desired application development and make sure that you receive a high-quality product.
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