7 benefits for the team - The combination of a software development company and a product company work model.
Is there a universal work model that every IT specialist can find? Programmers, UX/UI designers, and testers face a difficult choice, "where do I want to work?". Where can they discover the most benefits for themselves and the rest of the team?
Software development company vs. product company
The software development company specializes in creating software for external clients and implements many IT projects at the same time.
Working in a software development company is characterized by high variability of projects, openness to changes, and flexibility. Each new project means we implement the client's vision within a specified time and budget. We influence how we design a given solution (UX / UI designer) or program it (developer), but as contractors, we can rarely contribute something extra to the client's product. Occasionally, developers do not have the time allocated to unit testing or documentation for such projects. Each project allows you to broaden your horizons, learn about new technologies and gain experience for your portfolio.
The product company creates, promotes, and sells digital solutions to customers independently. Employees can observe how all the elements that focus on the product work, including marketing and the customer service department.
The dynamics of projects in a product company are slightly lower than in a software development company. It's a different approach to design and implementation, as priorities are disparate. Here, you focus on working on one product, devoting your full attention to it, and carefully analyzing each problem.
Features of working in a software development company
- high variability of designs
- openness to changes and design flexibility are necessary
- realization of the client's vision in a limited time and budget
- work with various technologies
- gaining new experiences for the portfolio
Features of working in a product company
- creating one solution/system/application
- less dynamics of work = one project
- less multitasking
- devoting 100% of attention to one project = time for testing and creating documentation
- workplace experience that focuses on product promotion
- specializing in a specific technology and product
Combining the advantages of working in a software development company and a product company
There is also a model in the IT world that combines the advantages of both types of business models. It works in the Team Extension model, i.e. expanding the existing group of people working on the product with new specialists or a well-coordinated team.
Working in the Team Extension model for programmers in practice means entering the project of an external client (in most cases of a product company) while still being employed by the software development company in which he worked so far.
The product company reports its need to expand the internal team to work on the project with another qualified person or squad of specialists.
Programmers go through the recruitment process and enter the client's project, support the company in achieving its goals, integrate with the new team, and become part of the other organization for the duration of the team extension project. Working in this model, employees can benefit from both companies - e.g. integration and making friends in two teams, support for HR teams, and mentoring.
The product company employs experienced employees, often for many years, who know the entire product "inside out". Therefore, cooperation with them means contact with highly targeted, specialized people - experts in the specificity of the product. And thus - the opportunity to learn about a product faster and better.
What are the benefits of combining these two approaches in team extension?
1. Attention to detail and unit tests
Due to the allocation of more time, the product approach gives the people involved in the project space the to focus on details and introduce new things to the technological stack. Developers can also write unit tests or project documentation more freely. We often hear that programmers working in software development companies would like to write unit tests, but they do not have time for this on projects - and the team extension to a product company allows them to do so more and more often.
2. A real impact on the code and functionality of the product
Team extension as an approach that unites the software development company and the product company allows you to combine the advantages of both solutions. A recruited team of programmers and designers from a software development company can decide whether they want to work on a given project in a product company for a longer period and gain experience in working with a new approach. It is also crucial that programmers working for a product company have a real impact on the code and functionality of the product that will go to the end user, and gives the motivation to work.
4. Working on one big product instead of working on several smaller projects
In a product company, developers focus all their attention on one product. A software development company works on several projects, so it happens that developers also work on several of them at the same time. Less multitasking Working on team extensions in a product company is an opportunity to work on one project over a long period, even several months. The new, long-term project is an opportunity to focus on one customer and product, a chance to get to know and learn new technology, and to gain valuable experience with the help of new people.
5. Possibility to change the design
Working on one project over a long period will certainly be appreciated by those who may be tired of a large variety of projects over several months. If, on the other hand, the development team on the team extension indicates that they do not like a large project for various reasons - they can easily abandon work on it, go to the bench, and then they will be implemented in another project. It applies not only to individual employees but also to a team of several people who can go to work for another client together. For them, the comfort of changing the project may be higher because they know each other as a team and it will be easier for them to "acclimatize" to a new project.
When working on a project in a typical software development company creating software on behalf of clients or working in a product company, programmers who do not like working on the project often have to leave the company to look for a project that will suit them. The team extension model, therefore, allows them to switch from one project to another.
6. New challenges and development in the team
Working in a software development company or a product company at some point (e.g. after a few years) may "reduce the speed" of the growth of specialists in our team - developers, testers, and designers. Using a job offer in the team extension model for an external company and another project is an opportunity to accelerate the development of specialists again and open up to new solutions.
7. Contact with experts and exchange of knowledge
It is determined by contact with other people with different design ways and working with other clients. We can consult them. Thanks to the presence of other experienced developers, our specialists can gain knowledge faster. They help and advise our specialists on a new projects. Working in a new environment allows developers to learn about other technologies, tools, and design patterns, but also to see what the organization of work inside another company looks like.
Summary: Benefits for the team from the team extension from the software development company to the product company
We have already written about the benefits of team extension for business in our previous articles. The benefits received by software development company specialists who work with a product company allow them to develop faster thanks to cooperation with experienced people in the client's team, interesting challenges, and a chance to learn about and use new technologies in stable, long-term projects.
At HighSolutions, we work on software projects and we expand teams for product clients.