What are the Roles of a Software Engineer in a Startup?

Written by Mehr Un Nisa

On January 7, 2021
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What are the Roles & Responsibilities of Software Engineers in a Startup?


Figuring out the balance between time and efficiency of product making if key towards building a more successful tech startup. If you’re imagining building a product or trying to solve a particular problem, it’s difficult that tech is not involved. So, wherever there’s tech, there are Software Engineers.

Talking about software development without discussing main contributors would be largely incomplete. How useful is software development in product development? What are the roles in technical startups of people working tirelessly behind the scenes? How Software Engineers help in Product making? What are the roles of software engineers’ in the AI industry? Let’s discuss that first!


Firstly, What Is The Agile Methodology? 


In 2001, a ground-breaking Agile Manifesto releases. It changes the way technology companies worked by penning down a list of values that went on to spearhead all their functional processes for years to come. The manifesto roughly focused on the following areas:


Key Values of Agile


key values of agile methodology


  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • Responding to change over following a plan.

These values contributed greatly in filtering out all bureaucratic practices from software development. Heaps of reports, failed end-products and pushing unneeded products towards the markets lead to wasted resources and time. All these practices fell under the traditional Waterfall Methodology under which the product development team created detailed reports before any actual development began. The process worked one-way, with no flexibility of improving repetitions. Thus, simple milestones converted into a huge chunk of redundant product deliverable that stretched the overall duration of the project.


Applications of Agile Methodology


Some of the applications of the Agile Methodology, interchangeably used by startups and enterprises alike, are as follows:

  • SCRUM Framework: The SCRUM Framework was for iterative projects with tasks published at the start of a sprint. These tasks are taken-up in collaboration with the product development team so that only what’s taken-up gets completed. Sprint can be any chunk of time appropriate for the project at hand, which is usually between 1-4 weeks. The Responsibility of the product owner is publishing and managing tasks in the backlog, which is as a notice board for upcoming events.
  • Lean Software Development: The Lean Development methodology empowers the businesses technical team members and front-workers to make swift decisions regarding the course of the project. The products development team focuses on the crucial features of the product which presents to the surface after timely, effective feedback from the end-users. Hence, being lean reduces wastage and all the excessive processes that lead to misuse of resources and time.
  • Kanban: It follows the same SCRUM rule by categorizing work into sections: what tasks an individual performed today and what is in process. After a task is completed, the next high priority task received from the backlog. It enhances collaboration and effectiveness in development teams because this way each member can visually see what the other is up to at that point in time. The difference between SCRUM and Kanban is that in SCRUM only tasks taken and agreed in the beginning of the sprint are completed. Whereas in Kanban, whenever tasks are completed, they’re replaced by newer ones from the product backlog.


Web Development and Data Science Teams


Web development teams are developers that create web-based applications. In simpler terms, they build websites and systems that run on the web. Web Developers have many responsibilities and their work begins after a UI/UX Designer has created the blueprint of the system. It is then that these product developers breathe life into the system and make it functional. So, although interrelated, both these fields are completely different in terms of work.

On the other hand, specialized Data Science teams forms especially in companies that are into using the data they’re collecting to make use of it. The effective and timely insights scooped out of insane amounts of data is what these teams focuses on a lot others which we’ve talked about in our articles related to Data Science and its business implications. They help in evidence-based decision-making rather than intuition.

One of the finest examples of specialized Data Science Teams is in Airbnb. It was one of the first companies to have a Data Scientist in its initial team. They regard data not just as insights but rather the voice of their customers and what they actually want. Following which, the company has catapulted into a Lodging Hospitality giant that has cemented itself as an unstoppable giant.


Types of Web Development Roles


Types of Web Developers


Front-end Developers


After a product development team receives designs from UI/UX Designers, front-end developers comes on to translate them into an interact-able interface. The core responsibilities of UI/UX Developers include:

  • Turning wireframes, mock-ups etc. into front-end code.
  • Implementing efficient solutions to technical front-end issues.
  • Work in cross-functional teams to devise improvements to the front-end, if any.
  • Request specific APIs from back-end developers that needs for certain front-end components.


Back-end Developers


The responsibility of Back-end Developers is handling all server-side of things. To put it into simpler words, these developers ensure functionality of an application. These bad boys handle everything that happens from a button click to you typing something in the search bar. So, where front-end developers create the interaction side of the system, the back-end developers provide functionality that will go on the platform. Other responsibilities of a back-end developer include:

  • Collaborating with front-end developers to construct a cohesive project that is functional and intuitive for the end-user.
  • Implement and optimize core functionality of a system.
  • Conduct system maintenance.
  • Collaborate with QA Engineers to ensure max system uptime.

Before moving onto the AI team, another special type of web developers are called Full Stack Developers; these devs are capable of handling the product development of both the front as well as back-end. These Software Engineers known for their ability to handle both ends of the spectrum which gives them a unique position in the software development world.


Full Stack Developer


A full stack developer is one who works on front as well as back-end. So at that point, he or she might be working on perfecting the user interface only to jump next towards adding columns to the Database feeding the web platform. Hence, the responsibilities of Full Stack Developers includes all objectives of the jobs mentioned above.


Core Members Of An AI Team


In What Is Data Science, we discussed the crucial areas of Artificial Intelligence for tech startups where each supplemented the growth of the next. In an AI team, like the one at MilestoneZero, we have a dedicated team of Machine/Deep Learning Engineers and Data Scientists that help us build the next generation of intelligent products. Software Engineers have many roles and are responsible for the making of many products. Some of the main components of our team are:


Machine / Deep Learning Engineers


The field of Machine/Deep Learning are subsets or to put it in even simpler words, breakthrough applications of Artificial Intelligence. Where a Software Engineer creates functional systems, Machine and Deep Learning Engineers make these systems intelligent through various techniques such as Neural Networks, Speech Recognition, Chatbots etc.

Classified as the hottest jobs currently in the market, these engineers are here to stay for a long time as things stand. Everything is getting more intelligent day by day and as they say it, software engineers are crucial for current advancements in technology.


Data Scientists


Other than ML / DL Engineers, Data Scientists classified as the hottest job of the 21st century. As their name suggests, these Scientists leverage the tremendous amounts of data produced on a daily basis to deliver insights previously only attainable after months of manual paperwork and calculations. They’re at the intersection of Software Engineers, ML / DL Engineers, Mathematics and Statistics which is why the role of data scientists is highly sought after in today’s market.


You’re Only A Few Software Engineers Away From Your Product


The caption perfectly captures it all. In this era and time, the importance of Software Engineers has plummeted to extents previously unknown. With the rise of certain new domains particularly Machine and Deep Learning and with many people gaining awareness that going digital is the way forward, the demand and supply for these engineers has grown exponentially. Software Engineers are highly qualified people.

So to conclude, if you’re thinking about a product, consider the products digital development first. Not only will this put you on the map real quick, you’ll be able to automate and increase productivity pretty quickly.

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All Rights Reserved | MilestoneZero Technologies | 2020

All Rights Reserved | MilestoneZero Technologies | 2020