Building Tech Startup Team

Right geek for right gig

shot by Mascotize

Building tech team for a technology startup is the biggest challenge. Founders are always confused about what kind of and how many geeks they should hire to build an amazing and lean team. There is always a war between domain expert, full stack and hipster.

This post is my attempt to answer this with my own experience of working with startups and building end to end products.

Web development is basically a three step process if we choose to remove noises.
Web development phases

Skill-sets required:

  1. Designer — Someone who can design screen flows and graphics. Not having this skill in your team will mean shipping 90s site with blue and red colours blinking all over.
  2. Front-end dev — Someone who turn your designs to code. Not having this skills in your team will mean web elements all over the places and your site not opening in some browsers.
  3. Back-end dev — Someone who can write server logic of your product. Not having this skill on your team will mean not able to scale up when you need to or not having a platform at all.
  4. Designer & front-end Glue: Someone who may not be an awesome designer or awesome front-end developer but understand both the aspects. Because it is a must for designing a product in a way which is development friendly. not having this skill on your team will result in your designer screaming, pixels over and over again.
  5. Front-end and back-end Glue: Someone who understands front-end and backend both. API architecture, browser performance and MVC should be his cup of tea. Not having this skill in the team will result in chaos where your back-end dev will struggle to integrate the dummy HTML , front-end developer going to pass on.

Building team:

Now to set up a right team all you need is a right balance of these skills. You just have to make sure all skills are there.

Start with writing down 1 through 5 and put up brackets to assign a geek. Few possible combinations for a right team are here, but you can do some math to have a team that fit your resources and workspace.

  • TEAM A: (1*2*4*5) + 3 — Team of two people with one designer & front end dev who understand about the backend as well and one core backend dev.
  • TEAM B : 1 + (2*4*5) +3 — Team of three people with one designer, backend dev and front end guy who understand other worlds as well.
  • TEAM C : 1 + (2*4) + (3*5) — Team of three people with one designer, backend dev who understand front end and front end guy who understand backend.
  • TEAM D : (1*4) + (2*5) + 3- Team of three people with one designer who understands front-end, front-dev who understands backend and can help in integration and a back-end guy.

There can be many combinations, but I think B and C are easy to find and are kind of balanced. So when you are on your next talent hunt try to fill this equation.

Wish you a happy team Building ☺