To say that everyone wants to start a software company these days would be an overstatement. But let’s face it: an astonishing amount of people do! If you’re one of them, then you need to know what employees you need to hire. Whether you’re building websites, video games, or other interactive tools, you need to have these people on your side.
A lot of people assume that the developers are the designers. Sometimes, this is true. In fact, some companies do have employees doing both. This is often the case in website building. “Web design” and “web development” are often interchangeable. But even in this pursuit, that’s pretty rare. The fact is that you will probably need someone who is able to design the system you’re making without having to worry about coding. The two will, of course, have to work very closely together. But the two disciplines can be too time-consuming to trust to one person.
The ones sitting at their computer for hours, typing away, writing in a strange language. These are your coders or developers. (Actually, a lot of them prefer to term programmers.) These are the people that are going to build the designs. Great developers can usually code in several languages, and also have an in-depth knowledge of design. Often, they’re computer science graduates. Before hiring a developer, you need to make sure they’re ultra-productive. Check out their portfolio closely.
You might be tempted to have the developers test their own code. Well, it’s true that developers should give their code a quick test before submitting it to the draft builds. But thorough testing is a very time-consuming activity. It’s also an extremely important one. In a lot of tech companies, the testers are often the most under-resourced. People tend to underestimate just how much information and how many tools can help testers do their jobs. They should have access to the documents that designers make, the ones that developers work from. You should check out this amazing list of software testing tools to see if you can find something of use.
They don’t code, they don’t design, they don’t test. (Although I’ve certainly known many producers who have had to step in to do all three at times!) These are the people who oversee everything about the project. They’ll use project management tools to assign tasks and make sure everyone’s working to schedule. Often, they’ll be able to approve of or veto certain design decisions. The producer is the person who keeps everything together. They’re also often the ones who end up working late into the night. Try to keep processes as streamlined as possible so they can get home at a decent time!
You need to have someone there who can help promote your product! A business developer is one of the most underrated forces in software development. While everyone else builds that mammoth project, the “biz devs” get out there and network. They secure funding. They research the needs of the market. They may even be able to get your company hired for some outsource work. This is where a lot of studios make a lot of their income.