How to Hire a Development Team: Everything you Need to Know about the DDT Model
Are you getting ready to hire web development team? Or are you looking for mobile programmers to expand your IT department?
The importance of hiring software developers is often underestimated, which can lead to scheduling errors and issues, low code quality, solutions that cannot withstand high loads, and so on.
With hundreds of vendors out there, you could spend countless hours trying to find the best software development team and still fail.
To note, outsourcing software development to a dedicated team is a very flexible and convenient method with which to proceed. We have created an in-depth guide on how to hire a development team, make wise decisions, and get more from the process. This guide covers:
- main principles of DDT (dedicated development team model)
- step-by-step process to hire web development team or any other team-set you need
- 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
Let’s dive into the article and learn how to hire a development team that will fit your needs perfectly.
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. The company can strengthen its IT department with new talents by finding the right candidates.
Alternatively, DDT can act as a separate, remote IT department. This software team works exclusively on your project from the beginning to the end. As well, if your project is limited in time, after it comes to an end you don’t need to worry about laying off the team or struggling to find them tasks inside your company.
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:
- Developers are the main driving force of your software development team. They are usually front-end, back-end developers, and full-stack developers. For example, if you decide to build a mobile app, you will need to find iOS and Android experts.
- QA Engineers are responsible for product testing and its final quality. By checking the product against the initial requirements, they hunt down all the bugs to make sure that they are fixed before the project launch.
As well, software development companies provide other specialists as you demand. These may include the following professionals:
- The Project Manager, if needed, can become the main coordinator of your project and point of contact between you and the devteam you hire. For example, if you hire a freelance web developer in India, it is most probable that you won’t get these services.
- Software Architects relate to the architecture for digital products, which will be able to withstand high loads, and offer a high level of scalability for future improvements.
- This is a necessary role for projects of all sizes. This is why, when you hire a development team, it might be a good idea to add this specialist to your talent stack.
- Business Analyst is an optional team member who can help with analyzing your business requirements, prioritizing features, understanding objectives and transforming them into functional specifications. The result of this work is a product backlog that consists of all the features and technical elements of the project and serves as a guide for the whole development team.
- UX/UI Designers – these specialists can work together with the business analyst and create the user experience (UX). Based on well-defined UX, designers then create the visual part (user interface) of the solution. UX/UI designers are responsible for making a product visually attractive and user-friendly at the same time.
All in all, an offshore development team is a more cost-efficient alternative to having in-house developers. You get access to a whole bunch of specialists and roles that are necessary to augment your project, save money, and avoid the risks associated with what freelance web developers for hire can offer.
Do you have a project in mind and think that a dedicated team would be the best fit?
Get in touch with our team so we can elaborate on your project, potential team-set, and estimate its cost. MLSDev is an experienced vendor serving businesses from all over the globe, that works on the DDT model, and that provides our clients with teams of professionals.
Where Can You Hire a Development Team?
When you first decide to hire a development team, you may feel puzzled about where to find capable developers.
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. Word of mouth works well when you need to find reliable partners.
Still, this approach does not always work when you need to hire web developers. This is why, in some cases, you will need to utilize some other approaches.
Surf the Internet
A Google search is also an effective tool to use when building a software development team.
Articles and blog posts by a company showing up at the top of your search results are often a positive sign. The use of good SEO practices and investment in this area indicates that a company values its reputation, works actively on its growth, and pays attention to bettering its performance.
Online Directories & Platforms
Clutch, ITFirms, and Software World are valuable sources of information about software developers for hire. These directories provide listings of development teams, and describe their specializations and provided services.
The use of online directories can save you a lot of time, as you can compare hourly rates and lists of provided services, and read customer reviews of different vendors.
It is possible to spend countless days trying to hire a development team that will be able to meet all your requirements. We decided to help you with the task and thus created the following article.
Check out 2020's Top Outsourcing Software Development Companies [US, EU, LatAm, APAC] for a detailed overview of the top companies available on the market. Make your decisions wisely and hire the right development team according to your project’s needs.
How Do You Hire Your Development Team?
The process to hire a development 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.
Let’s review each step in greater detail!
1. Prepare Your Requirements
Do you know what expertise your current software development team lacks?
Unless you know the answer to this question, you can’t really proceed with your project. Before you hire a web development team or other specialists, you need to have the following information on hand to evaluate the teams further:
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. A Request for Proposal is a document that lists all of the major details about your project, your specific needs, as well as a set of questions for which the potential IT firms should provide answers. Then, it is much easier to compare the teams and select the best one.
2. Study the Company's Website
The next step in hiring a development team should be a close investigation of 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, especially if you need further project scalability.
- 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.
Interested in hiring a DDT for your digital project?
MLSDev has 10+ years of experience providing software development services to companies worldwide. GoPuff, an on-demand delivery service, is a great example of what can be achieved with the help of a team of dedicated developers.
4. Get Information about Service Quality & Security
When you hire a development team, they become an integral part of your business. This is why it is crucial to know how the company handles data and server security. Make sure that the company has a well-established process for software coding, testing, and protection of these operations.
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.)
Discover how the company stores and tracks project documentation and how the information is exchanged inside the company. For example, whether it is located in securely hosted services like Confluence, Google Drive, and so on.
5. Look for a Tech Partner, not just Development
Hire a development team with a greater idea in mind!
Consider the team, not just as a vendor, but as a tech partner that supports your business. This 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
Cooperation based on the DDT model, like any other IT outsourcing partnership, is associated with risks and challenges that can undermine the success of your project.
By knowing what difficulties you might face in advance, you will be able to tackle them before they arise.
1. Budget Increase
Sometimes, after you have agreed on the prices of development services, some unexpected difficulties arise that may increase the cost significantly.
The solution to minimizing risks associated with estimate and project cost increases lies in the requirements elaboration stage.
First, the software development company makes a detailed list of all your technical and business requirements to highlight what professionals are necessary for the project. Then, after creating a portrait of an ideal candidate, they can provide you with the preliminary cost for these professionals.
All in all, it is important to reach common ground with an agency before the process of selecting the right candidates starts.
2. No Control Over the Project
When companies hire a development team, they are often worried about a lack of control. However, dedicated developers work according to the client’s guides and all the tasks are managed on the client’s side.
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
When you hire developers to handle your product, you might be worried that they will also work on other projects aside from yours. Professional agencies provide a complete overview of the completed work of the dedicated resources with a report from tracking tools (e.g. Harvest).
When you hire a web development team or other distinct specialists, you can easily scale your team to meet your project’s requirements. 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.
This way, your project will be released on time, even if you decide to add some complex functionality along the way.
4. Time Zone Difference
The difference in time zones can cause ineffective cooperation, which is a huge concern when you hire a development team.
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.
When you hire a web development team from another country or continent, make sure that you have a full overview of the communication methods used.
5. Differences in Culture
When working with a professional outsourcing company, you shouldn’t have any problems regarding cultural differences. To make sure that you hire a development team that has a proper business approach, 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
Some concerns may be associated with communication and effectiveness. Companies hiring software developers should pay close attention to the English level and availability of written documentation.
To make sure that you won’t encounter problems in the future, during the process of hiring a web development team or similar, talk over these aspects. Check the level of English and documentation to eliminate any misunderstandings.
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 when they hire a development team. Signing NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) is one of the ways to ensure the safety of your idea and business.
As well, it is possible to ensure limited access to documentation regarding your project and implement the best server security protocols. Professional outsourcing companies go out of their way to ensure that no one will get access to secret data and jeopardize your project.
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.
When you hire a web development team, it is vital to take into consideration the above aspects that can significantly influence cooperation with the vendor. You can mitigate the risks to your business by choosing a company with many years of experience and a vast number of successfully delivered projects.
Questions to Evaluate & Hire a Development Team
When you move on to the negotiation stage, you can further evaluate the professionalism and reliability of the vendor that provides you with programmers by asking a few questions like:
- 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?
Based on their answers, you will be able to evaluate how a company deals with the development and management processes, and how they address the potential issues.
Bottom Line: Hire a Development Team & Reach Your Goals
When you decide to hire a development team, you will need to choose between hiring individual developers or a team. The latter option is popular among businesses that need high-quality development.
Working with a DDT has a number of benefits, namely:
- Lower IT expenses – by working with a team of developers, you don’t need to worry about an office, equipment, taxes, and other associated expenses with new staff. You only pay for the development services and your vendor takes care of everything else.
- Wide choice of tech expertise – thanks to modern technologies, you are not limited in the choice of developers. You can work with specialists from all over the world and hire even the rarest talents.
- Full control – working with such developers is like having your own in-house software development department. This outsourcing model grants you full control over the development and transparency of all processes.
It is possible to enjoy all of the above benefits by choosing the right IT vendor that saves you money and develops high-quality products. You need to look for a company that will become your reliable tech partner through the years to come.
In MLSDev, we have a well-established process assembling the development team based on your project needs. Starting from requirements collection, selection and evaluation of the candidates till the parts related to legal, administrative processes, as well as integration of new programmers to your business environment - all these steps are covered.
Are you looking to hire a development team to become your reliable partner?
Contact MLSDev to outsource your software development activities and assemble a team of developers. We are a team of highly professional business developers, designers, QA specialists, and developers that delivered 200+ great projects.