Insight News

Feb 09th

Developing a winning development team

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Fall is the best time for sports! We have football, baseball, cross country running and there's hockey just around the corner. It's all good. But the team that makes your business a winner competes in a different league altogether... The IT League.

Employers who need to update their websites, online presence and technology may choose to pay a production firm to take that on. Or, they might choose to bring the work inhouse. If your company is taking it on internally, you'll need to build a solid team. Like every other aspect of your business, doing it right the first time will save you time and effort later on.

Start with a Web Manager. This person will own the entire web development process. The Web Manager is part third grade teacher, part banker and part evangelist: they will interpret and explain new ideas to multiple stakeholders (remember learning cursive?) and they will keep a tight fist on the team's budget, responding swiftly when the work is trending outside the game plan. This person will also keep everyone on board. Web development takes time and requirements can evolve; the Web Manager will keep people in the game even if it goes into extra innings. For this role, hire someone with deep experience managing projects in your sector. This person would, ideally, have tentacles into the developer and design worlds which will save you money and headaches when recruiting for those positions.

Designer? or Developer? Many people can do both. But should they? I can throw with my left hand and my right, but I'm better as a rightie. Determine whether a person's strength is development or design, and hire accordingly.

An excellent Content Producer deliver quality information to the site. Again, if you're small, hire someone who knows what they're doing because they have been there, done that, before. Hiring a Content Producer is straightforward because you will be able to view their content online on other sites. Look for blogs and articles published online, also.

Later, you will expand your team to include architects, marketing pros, and additional developers. Pay a little more for your first hires, so you can sleep at night knowing they know what they're doing. And - now this is really important - as the business owner/CEO/manager or major investor, keep close tabs on your code. Develop a rapport with your developers so you can begin to understand their work. Occasionally, ask outside developers to review the code so you can be sure it's clean. It happens all the time, a developer quits or gets hit by a truck, and the business owner is forced to start from scratch, with a new developer, because the new person can't interpret the other developer's work. Don't let this happen. Dive in, ask questions, and, like I said, rest easy. Your web presence will be up and running in no time.

julie desmondJulie Desmond is IT Recruiting Manager with George Konik Associates, Inc. Write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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