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The Lost Art Of Scaling A Developer Team Or How To Grow Your Left Leg

Table of content:

You (probably) don't know anything about development team scaling

Development team scaling is the Holy Grail of any successful IT startup. You've probably been through hell and you finally start to see the light. Now what? In the words of Mark Hanna from the Wolf of Wall Street – "You gotta pump those numbers up – those are rookie numbers!".

So, let's brainstorm a little. When I say that you need to scale up your developer team, what activities come to your mind? Hiring more people? Great, what else? Renting a bigger office? Cool! Buying better servers? Okay...

You got it all backwards. These are symptoms. It's like saying that to treat a flu you need to stop coughing. These are all useful things that will eventually come in time, but they are mere consequences of correct development team scaling. So, what is the root of the issue then?

Imagine you are a body (hopefully you don't have to put much effort in it, otherwise I really don't know why you need information on how to scale up your developer team, Mr. Holy Ghost). Now, imagine that you, as a body, decide to increase a particular limb in size. Very funny, now please take me seriously and imagine another limb that you want to increase in size. Like... your left leg, for example.

Grow too much skin and it becomes saggy. Grow too much muscle and the skin might pop. Grow too much bone and... ew. You have to be consistent in your approach. Step by step, cell by cell.

Bones

So, first off, before growing you need to prepare a solid foundation. If you don't, the devs will leave your company, deadlines won't be met, and everyone will be running around without any sense of direction. In you case, this foundation is a tested work environment, a set of project management tools, well-written documentation and a clear project roadmap. I insist, if you don't meet some of the criteria above, don't hire new people. All muscle and no bones is a snail. Snails are cute but they don't make millions.

Stuff to do:

  • Evaluate your team's strengths, weaknesses, and capacity
  • Identify bottlenecks or gaps in the existing workflow
  • Determine the specific responsibilities for the new hires.
  • Clarify the hierarchy and reporting structure within the team
  • Define clear objectives and goals
  • Determine the budget allocated for hiring new devs (salaries, benefits, recruitment fees etc.)
  • Draft detailed job descriptions
  • Design a structured interview process
  • Review and update the onboarding process
  • Prepare necessary documentation and resources

Muscle tissue

Now that you're a happy skeleton, you can take care of the muscle tissue – your software developers. They should be strong and healthy, but ultimately what matters most is that they seamlessly incorporate into your business structure. You don't want a bicep on your ass[1]. So hire accordingly – prioritise project requirements over experience, and relevant expertise over case studies. Don't forget about setting clear areas of responsibility – you might want to hire junior, middle and senior developers in order to guarantee maximum efficiency.

Stuff to do:

  • Advertise your job openings where you can
  • Actively search for potential candidates through networking events and online communities
  • Shortlist candidates based on qualifications, experience, and skills
  • Schedule technical interviews
  • Consider soft skills such as communication and willingness to collaborate
  • Reach out to references provided by candidates
  • Negotiate terms if necessary and handle counteroffers professionally

Nervous system

A beast of bones and muscle and no nervous system is a killing machine on the run. After scaling up your team, it's important to put the necessary mechanisms in place that will help you understand what's happening in the developer team – who is a productive team member and who is not, do you need to scale even more or are you at your maximum capacity? You don't wanna make educated guesses here, because as you scale up, so do your expenses. You need to know the facts. That's why you have to incorporate powerful reporting and feedback mechanisms after you hire new people. To know the facts.

Stuff to do:

  • Provide new hires with an onboarding program
  • Assign mentors or buddies to the new hires
  • Clearly communicate performance expectations
  • Offer opportunities for training
  • Establish regular performance reviews
  • Solicit feedback from both new hires and existing team members
  • Monitor team dynamics and make necessary adjustments
  • Use metrics and feedback to identify areas for improvement

Skin

Honestly, I can't think of a good example for skin. Were I talking about office work, I'd say something about decorating the office, but if you manage a remote team, I guess you can be pretty successful being a little skinless muscle-man.

Your lucky day

So if you're looking to grow your left leg, today is your lucky day. We are Match.dev – professional leg-growers, dev-team-scalers, candidate-vetters and after-another-successful-case-study-back-patters. We connect companies with experienced developers who seamlessly integrate into your existing team and make it glow like Radium. And all that under 48 hours (practically in the blink of a very slow eye). Drop us a line and let's discuss how we can help you scale up your dev team: team@match.dev

[1] Or do you?

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