Roles in Software Engineering


The process of software engineering is a complicated one that involves careful planning, a talented team of IT professionals, and collaboration among all the project team members. To ensure that a software project is successful, first, an organization must identify the key project roles and delineate them according to their job responsibilities. Only when all the key stakeholders are perfectly aligned and in sync with one another can a software development project run seamlessly and achieve its end goal.

Every software development project has certain specified job roles who come together to design and build quality products. They are:

Project Sponsor or The Client

A Project Sponsor is someone who provides the requisite resources (primarily financial resources) for a software development project and guides the team members in the right direction. He/she works in close collaboration with the project management team and offers actionable advice on pivotal project issues like scope, the pace of progress, approval of major deliverables, and so on. Being the final decision-maker for a project, the Sponsor leads the entire project through to the final stage, that is, the evaluation and selection process of the end product.

Project Manager

The second-most important person in the administration level is the Project Manager. Essentially, a Project Manager is entrusted with the responsibility to keep complete knowledge about the software project – the “who, what, where, when and why”. A Project Manager must be able to effectively communicate with all the team members to ensure that everyone understands clearly what they have to do. Some of the job responsibilities of a Project Manager are:

  • Create and develop the software project plan and the project budget.
  • Manage all the deliverables in accordance with the project plan and budget.
  • Recruit the team professionals best-suited for the project at hand.
  • Lead and manage the project team.
  • Assign tasks to all the team members.
  • Determine the methodology to be applied to the project.
  • Regularly update the senior management about the progress of the project.

Technical Lead

A Technical Lead is someone who converts all the business requirements into actionable and effective technical solutions. He/she collaborates with the project development team leader and the developers to chalk out proper technical estimates needed for the proposed solution. This information is then passed on to the Project Manager who uses to design the Statement of Work for the project. It is the duty of the Technical Lead to both establish and enforce the standard practices and norms for the software development team.

Database Administrators (DBAs)

A Database Administrator designs and builds the tables and databases that are required for a software solution to run. DBAs need to develop the database design that will best suit – the optimal solution – the business requirements of the project at hand. Apart from determining the overall design of the solution, they also carve out the infrastructure of the solution including screens, programs, reports, data requirements, and other such essential elements.

Software Developer

Software Developers (both front-end and back-end) are the people who shape the final solution according to the technical dictates of the Tech Lead and the Statement of Work. These professional programmers basically function as ‘translators’ – they translate the human language into a language that is understood by the computers (binary).  Software Developers are categorized into Senior, Middle, and Junior Developers according to their level of knowledge, experience, and the area of expertise. Each of these classes is entrusted with specific job responsibilities. 

Software Testers/QA

Once the software development team builds the solution, the job of the Software Testers begins. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that a solution is free of errors and bugs and that it meets all the business and client-specific requirements. Software Testers are required to identify test environments and build test designs, test cases, and specifications of the test procedure. The software testing process involves analyzing, reviewing, and assessing the design as well as the technical requirements of the solution by the Software Testing team.

While all these job roles within a software project development team are precisely outlined, they are very much interdependent on one another. Even the slightest incoherence between the different teams could adversely impact the progress of the project and ultimately, compromise the quality of the end-product. Thus, as we mentioned in the beginning, it is very important that all the stakeholders in a project effectively communicate and collaborate with each other.

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