Why a Team Is Valuable for Your Development Needs

How App Development is a Weak Link Sport

A Team is Better Than an Individual in App Development

During my commute, I often pass the time by listening to podcasts. I was recently influenced by an episode from Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, where he discusses his “weak link versus strong link” theory.

In his podcast episode, Gladwell illustrates how some sports are “weak link” in nature, as outcomes are dependent on the overall quality of the team. Take soccer, for example, where teams filled with players with complementary skill sets can outpace those that are reliant on one or more superstars. As a contrast, Gladwell illustrated how basketball is more of a “strong link” sport, where success can be defined on the opposite dynamic—who has the bigger superstar.

I like to think of software development as the former—a weak link sport. Our founder, who has seen a few teams come and go in nearly 20 years in business at CrossComm, often tells me that we currently have the best team he’s seen yet. When he mentioned this to me again recently, a comment that intersected with my podcast listen, I set about thinking of the attributes that a team would need to have to cover all the bases of app development.

Skills Required In Quality App Development

Each app development project is different as each has its own unique business logic and requirements. Regardless of the app, there is quite a list of skills and services that you may not realize developers need in order to produce a quality app:

Soft Skills

  • Intelligence and empathy to understand the client’s business logic
  • Communication of work required coupled with the ability to estimate costs and timelines appropriately
  • Listening and interpreting client business requirements into technical tasks

Technical Skills

  • Data modeling
  • System architecture
  • Selecting appropriate technology platforms

Visual Design/User Interface Skills

  • Wireframing
  • Styling/graphic design

User Experience Skills

  • Interview skills that to understand and identify target users
  • Ability to design UX with user in mind, not the technology

Server-side Data Management and Storage

  • Creating API's and Negotiating with 3rd parties
  • Scaling apps for more users and greater capabilities
  • Deploying builds and maintenance of server-side technologies

Launch Skills

  • Submissions to appropriate stores (Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Fire)
  • Consulting on best practices for quick acceptance/market uptake

It’s pretty easy to see from this rather exhaustive list of skill sets that it takes a lot of expertise across a wide range of fields to bring an app from concept to market. As you were reading the list, do you think it’s more likely that there’s a LeBron James of app development out there, or a Real Madrid? If you’re thinking it’s easier to find these diverse skills within a team than in one person, you’d be right. At a minimum, depending on the size of the project, you’d need at least half a dozen folks to share the skill load that I listed above.

I can show you such a team—I’m fortunate to work with them here at CrossComm. We don’t claim to be a team of superheroes, nor do we need to be. Where one of us is weak, others are strong, and vice versa. While each of us has our unique human and professional limitations, the team together is strong. If you’d like to meet them, contact me today because two heads are better than one.