Software developers spend a tremendous amount of time and energy focused on building software systems and products. More often than not, these products are results of efforts from teams, not just individuals. So, the long-term success of a software product relies more on the strengths of the team than that of an individual.
To learn more about what traits make a software engineering team successful, we interviewed Kevin Yu, Co-founder & CTO of Socedo, who talked about the positive behaviors a strong team possesses and how excellence is not only about experience.
Reliable and consistent
Startups, needing to balance between moving fast and having a stable product, demand reliability, and consistency from its engineering team. Each member is expected to move quickly while being aligned with the business goal to enable the company to eventually shift towards product stability. Having reliability and consistency can create both speed and stability.
Most startups cannot afford to provide standalone, dedicated training to their people due to either funding or time restrictions. Despite this, a strong engineering team can pick up new technologies easily and roll them out quickly. A good way for the team to gain new skills is to take advantage of on-the-job training and online tutorials. Someone on the team can pick something up with these methods, then bring the rest of the team up to speed.
Disciplined and Determined
It does not matter which industry you are in; you need to have the discipline to succeed. One may not always get the support s/he needs, especially in startups. But software developers are nevertheless still expected to thrive and deliver results. Regardless of how skilled you are, if you have no discipline to execute and determination to get things done, then it will still all be useless.
A strong engineering team has passion – and the passion for making an impact is far more important than the number of years of experience. Having a passionate team also helps startups with recruiting when competing for talent with tech giants, like Facebook, Google, Amazon or Microsoft. Passion is also needed for a team to deliver exceptional products.
Open and transparent
Diversity is promoted by many companies as it creates variation and contrast, opens possibilities for check and balance, and creates an environment susceptible to all kinds of ideas.
However, with varying ideas and points of view, clashes and disagreements are bound to happen. Only strong teams who embrace openness and transparency can truly reap the benefits of a diverse team. These teams allow their members to express their opinions in a safe environment that makes finding the best solution possible.
Technical leaders pride themselves in thinking ahead. They truly understand the products or services they offer, what their market wants and needs, and how they can satisfy market needs. They know if and when a new technology is required to deliver extraordinary value to their customers and make technology their competitive edge.
There is no one specific way to measure the strength of engineering teams. More than knowledge or experience, the right attitude needs to be emphasized. Success starts with prioritizing a shared value system that makes everyone work with purpose and opening up the lines of communication as far as they go.