How to Set Up a Development Team in 2021

March 23, 2021

How can you set up a Development Team quickly and professionally, and what are the most important developer skills needed at the moment? The “secret sauce” for success in these areas was shared by Csaba Szirják, Head of Software Engineering at VCC Live, during a presentation as part of the IOK 2021 Online Conference organized by the HTTP Foundation on 27th February. 

In terms of hiring, VCC Live has grown by over 50% in the past year, with 2020 seeing the company grow from 65 to 99 employees. VCC Live’s development team alone hired 20 people, screening more than 200 applicants in the process. 

Szirják explained that it was only with proper planning and a well-organized team structure that such a challenging task could be successfully completed.

As a result of the rapid growth in the development team, VCC Live decided to restructure the development team by setting up sub teams. As a result, the team now consists of squads, squad leads, product owners, tech leads, chapters and chapter leads, all with different responsibilities and newly-introduced names. 

Szirják highlighted that, apart from software engineers, there are many exciting roles to explore within a development team. “All our sub groups offer exciting roles within the industry, and diverse career opportunities to students who study software engineering”, he stated.

He continued his presentation by reflecting on the current situation of the industry, highlighting that there is still a lack of software engineers in the market. From an applicant’s point of view there are many factors that contribute to whether they accept a company’s offer, the most frequent being salary, the opportunity to grow professionally, the product itself, company culture, and office and remote work possibilities. 

However, it’s not that easy to be hired by a good company. Aside from technical knowledge, companies require a range of soft skills as well.

According to Szirják, the most important soft skills developers need are problem-solving and planning skills, as well as teamwork abilities, as developing is not done on one’s own, but rather within teams working and solving problems together. Other important factors include the applicant’s future potential and leadership capabilities. 

As for hard skills, Szirják suggested that students study both frontend and backend development, as otherwise they will always need to rely on someone from the “other side” to guarantee a project’s success. 

Szirják finished his presentation by sharing his key findings: “The most important thing for companies is to look for developers who are willing to continuously learn. And the most important thing for developers is to get used to the idea of continually educating themselves, in order to stay ahead of the latest trends. This is the biggest value for the industry. I recently thought that a developer must study for at least 5 years before they could join our company but I realized that things have changed in the industry. With continuous self-learning and commitment, anything is possible.”

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