Partnering With a Dedicated Engineering Team: What, Why And When?
Jeremy Stephan | Oct 06, 2022
What does a normal hiring process for an in-house development team look like? Generally, you’ll lay out all your requirements for the product/service you want to develop and the technologies it will require, and then you’ll look for the right resources with the right skill set for your new development team.
After that, there’ll be an overwhelming number of resumes and several candidates to interview for every position you need to fill. Even after doing all the above, if you manage to hire all the specialists for your team, you’ll still have to take care of HR admin tasks like holidays, contracts, sick leaves, and ensure cultural fit.
The point we’re trying to make here is that hiring an in-house development team is exhausting and expensive. But an in-house team seems to be the best option for development projects, right? After all, they align with your goals and adapt to your needs in the best way possible. True!
But what if we told you that there was a better option? What if you could hire talented experts without wasting time and at a fraction of the cost of hiring in-house employees? Seems too good to be true? Well, that’s entirely possible. We’re talking about dedicated development teams.
Want to know more about dedicated development teams and how they can help you achieve your goals without putting in much effort and money? Keep reading to find out!
A dedicated team, or a dedicated development team, is a group of technically proficient individuals that you drive and who will be collaborating with your existing team to develop a functional product. This dedicated team could be your entire engineering department or they can add skill and scale to your existing team. You can hire a dedicated development team based on your requirements without worrying about HR admin tasks, such as hiring, recruitment, onboarding, and training efforts and costs.
While you can build dedicated teams for designing or testing your application, the best use case is engineering and development because that’s the part that takes the most time, effort, and overall resources.
Dedicated development teams are also affordable. Because, unlike your in-house employees, all you pay for is the work they do (hourly wage or a mutually agreed upon price) and not for hiring, recruitment, retention, insurance and other infrastructural expenses.
While hiring a dedicated development team may sound similar to off-shoring it’s a bit different. Off-shoring is hiring a remote team from a different country. Off-shoring usually refers to working with developers who are further away than your own, often crossing multiple time zones. Off-shoring gives companies the chance to build a team of remote developers for less money than hiring in-house.
However, just like putting together an in-house team of developers, building a remote, off-shore team yourself can be tricky. You’ll need to make sure you hire all the necessary team members to cover all aspects of your project. Depending on where your developers are located you could run into language and cultural barriers. And if your developers are in a time zone several hours ahead or behind you, communication can be really frustrating.
While building your own off-shore development team is one way to build an app and save money, at Cheesecake Labs we’re big believers in the near-shore development model. We work with clients in adjacent time zones to our headquarters in Brazil making us the perfect partners for companies in the US and even Western Europe.
And when you work with a dedicated team as we offer at Cheesecake Labs, we’ll make sure you’ll have access to all the right experts for every stage of your project.
While the number of team members and their roles will vary, here are those roles that could be brought in to create a dedicated development team usually looks like (but of course, it all depends on your needs):
Product managers help plan and execute the entire product lifecycle. They identify the customer needs and other business objectives you aim to fulfill with your product and ensure that it lives up to your standards.
Project managers help plan, execute, control, monitor, and finally complete the project on time and, most importantly, within the budget.
Backend developers handle development aspects and manage the server.
Frontend developers focus on the client side of the product/app. They work on what users see and interact with, including the user interface (buttons, text fields, etc.). Their work on the UI helps define the UX of the app.
All dedicated development teams must have a Quality Assurance Tester. QA testers help the developers find and fix bugs and UI issues. They help create test cases and run them repeatedly, ensuring a glitch-free, high-quality end product.
DevOps is a set of industry best practices that significantly shorten and improve the software development process. And a DevOps engineer implements DevOps throughout the software development lifecycle, including, but not limited to, responsibilities related to CI/CD pipelines, architecture, cloud computing, IT security, etc.
UI designers decide how an application looks. On the other hand, UX designers focus on the user experience. They interact with the app like a real user and suggest improvements to improve the end-user experience.
Dedicated development teams come with lots of great benefits. Here are just a few:
The dedicated team model lets you access expertise that your in-house team might lack. Once we know your needs, we can choose experienced professionals from our pool of talented developers that perfectly fit your project. Also, the experts you’ll hire will devote 100% of their time to your project and nothing else. And both these things (expertise and devotion) will help you develop a better-quality product.
Hiring dedicated resources experienced in what they do will help you improve efficiency and reduce development time significantly. This could help you bring your product to market more quickly.
With a dedicated development team, you’ll have access to dedicated software developers and other resources who will add or remove features/functionalities based on your feedback, offering complete flexibility. And dedicated development teams let you add or remove resources as needed, making scaling easier.
Hiring in-house employees can get expensive because you have to take care of admin tasks, pay a competitive salary, cover insurance, set up infrastructure, go through employee onboarding and more.
Hiring remote dedicated development teams is affordable because you only pay for the work done — saving you money and managing your financial risk.
If you’re hiring a reliable, dedicated development team, they’ve probably worked together on similar projects. Since the team has worked together before, they’ll know what tools and processes work best for them. This existing structure gives them an upper hand when understanding, planning, and executing your project, which means better results for you.
A dedicated team can help you no matter what stage your project is at. We often work with clients who already have a roadmap and a plan, clients that have wireframes and UI, and clients who have just started the Product Definition phase.
That said, it can vary. Let’s say you’ve already completed the product definition and product design phases and have just started product development but you need to work faster than your in-house team can manage. A dedicated development team can help you pick up the pace and achieve your goals faster.
No matter what app-building phase you’re in, you can reach out to a dedicated development team and improve your app-building process.
And, of course, different companies use dedicated development teams to meet different goals. For example:
The decision of when to hire a dedicated team is ultimately up to you. No matter where you are in the development process, a good dedicated team will be able to work with you, as an extension of your own team, to help you finish your project as smoothly as possible.
While dedicated development teams bring lots of benefits, you need to choose the right team. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a dedicated team:
Dedicated development teams often operate in different countries. You may find a team speaking an unfamiliar language or struggling to speak English fluently. In either case, you won’t be able to communicate well, which can be a huge mess. After all, how can you achieve your goals if you can’t communicate with your team?
That’s why, at Cheesecake Labs, all our experts are native English speakers, so you can communicate seamlessly and ensure there aren’t any communication gaps.
Another aspect of “speaking the same language” — you need a team that really gets your business. If a team can’t wrap their heads around your goals, they’re probably not the team for you.
Confirm that everyone is on the same page by checking out a dedicated development team’s portfolio and booking a consultation call.
Hiring a dedicated development team in a vastly different time zone than yours can cause issues. If your working days don’t align, you might run into problems with missed messages and slower response times.
Try to work with a dedicated team in your time zone or adjacent ones with enough overlap, so you still share about half of the working day. That way, you can still catch up on progress and resolve issues in real-time.
At Cheesecake Labs our teams can easily work with clients in Western Europe all the way across to clients in the Western United States.
Identifying how your dedicated development teams will communicate with you is important. Some teams opt for regular meetings, while others rely on asynchronous discussions (recording their end of the conversation to update you). However, asynchronous discussions can lead to unnecessary delays and communication gaps.
Look for teams that use multiple communication channels. For example, at Cheesecake Labs, our dedicated development teams hold regular video calls, give updates in a dedicated Slack channel, and communicate via email. And if our clients have a preferred way to communicate, we’ll include that in our approach.
The more ways you have to communicate with your team, the smoother the process will be.
The cost of hiring dedicated development teams depends on your requirements, like how large or complex the project is, what technologies you want to use, what experts you need, how many, and for how long. But whatever the cost is, it will be far less than hiring a remote team of individual developers or hiring a team of in-house developers.
The best way to get an accurate estimate for your project is to get in touch with your dedicated team provider. If you’d like to know how much it would cost to develop your project with Cheesecake Labs, reach out and we can chat!
At Cheesecake Labs we’ve been offering dedicated development team services for almost a decade and have completed lots of exciting projects in that time. We’re a team of over 100 designers, project managers, engineers, and tech enthusiasts who work together to help you create digital solutions for real-world problems. We have the experience and the skills you need to develop a successful product.
We work across the US and Western Europe time zones and have fluent English speakers in our dedicated development teams. We also hold regular meetings and set up a dedicated slack channel for each client to promote better communication.
Most importantly, we work with you however you work best to make your idea a reality.
To learn more about working with a Cheesecake Labs dedicated development team, read our two-part guide: Why work with a dedicated team of engineers? and How do dedicated team services work at Cheesecake Labs? And to get started with your own dedicated team, contact us today and tell us about your idea!
Jeremy Stephan is no stranger to building digital products. In fact, he's worked with Disney, NBC, Mercedes-Benz, HotelTonight, and many other companies in helping to guide them through the app design and development process. Jeremy has led client engagement in the digital space for over 10 years and served as a mentor within the TechStars network.