How Many Developers Does Your Project Need?

developers, hire developers, software developers, website developersSo you’re working on a project and you have a nightmare of a workload. You need assistance but you don’t know how to estimate the amount of effort (person, time and money). Here’s how:

How many developers do you need?

Based on the experiences of project managers in Southern California, it depends on the difficulty of a project as to how many software developers and/or website developers you need. For a complex project like a warehouse management system, you’re probably dealing with more than 250,000 lines of code. In this case, you need 6 developers.

  • One lead developer– Head honcho, the guy in charge.
  • Three senior software developers – Being skilled and motivated is a must.
  • One for javascript – For the front-end stuff.
  • One for devops – You can also consult him if you want to optimize the project.

You can combine some of the roles if you can, by the way. For a less complicated project like an online marketplace, you’ll need 3 developers for the trial version and you need to keep that team of three when you’re going to run the first version. Also if you want to protect it and keep it running well for a long period of time, you need to add two more. So in total, you need 5 developers.

  • One lead developer
  • Two senior developers
  • One for security
  • One for maintenance.

Again, you can combine roles whenever you can. It’s actually possible to keep the software development team to three developers if they can learn the other roles. Keep in mind though that if the workload adds too much stress to one developer, it’s best to split the role between two people.

How much should you pay them?

Believe it or not, you can hire developers for free. You can get interns but there’s no guarantee they’ll give you good results. You can get developers for a lower rate as well, and there are lots of them who go for $20 to $35 per hour but they’re likely inexperienced and might be difficult to communicate with. But if you want developers with top-notch skills, here are their estimated salaries based on Labor Department reports as of 2012:

  • Lead dev – $110,000 – $130, 000
  • Senior dev – $90,000 – $100,000
  • Other devs – $60,000 – $80,000

How much time do they need to finish a project?

The time of completion depends on the size of the project. If it’s a smaller one like an online marketplace, it can take about three months to finish the prototype. And it will take another nine months to release its first version. But if it’s a bigger project like the entire IT infrastructure of a global insurance company, it will take about one and a half years to complete the entire project.

How to pick the right developers.

No one likes to waste time and money. So if you’re going to get new developers or development team, here are the things you should consider:

  • Experience – Experience can determine the competitiveness of a developer. Awards and diplomas are good, but they are not enough. You need someone with veteran smarts because he knows what’s good for your business.
  • Rates – Never pick the cheapest developer. If your developers’ rates are low, that means he’s incompetent. So to avoid getting your project in trouble, you should hire someone with high value. It might cost you more but a high value developer is more reliable and can guarantee better results.
  • Ability to Communicate Well – You need to communicate to your developer regularly to make sure you get what you want. He’ll also bring up issues earlier, avoid unnecessary firefighting later on.

The great things is, we can actually do all of these things for you. If you want help estimating how many developers you need for a project as well as how much it’ll cost you in terms of developer salaries, feel free to contact our Get[Devs] director for some free advice.