How Many Developers Does It Take to Build an App?

Building an app is all about creating vibrant displays that complement easy navigational tabs and user interface. Although apps are generally easy to use and provide convenience to the user, how many developers are actually involved in creating these innovative and essential products?


Building a mobile app is a process that is best-suited for between 5-6 developers to ensure a user-friendly application. A mobile and back-end developer is crucial for the app’s main operational capabilities, while a designer and QA specialist are needed to provide a well-functioning product. 


A strong development team is the key to success for mobile applications. Each team member provides an essential service to the creation and functionality of the app. Read on to learn more about each of these roles. 

App Development: The Basics

Apps are unique and individual pieces of software. There are simple apps and complex apps based on the app developers’ intended use and the target audience that the app is geared towards. 


Some apps only use a bare minimal amount of functions, and there are apps that use many different functions. App building may sound simple for such an easy to use kind of software—but the development stage must be perfect. 


For apps that are specifically designed for mobile use only, the process can be done with a smaller development team in a less amount of time. However, apps that are made to exist on multiple platforms, such as streaming apps and retail apps, the development process can take many months to complete. 


This is where having a strong development team comes into focus. A development team can take the necessary time to go over the requirements needed to design an app from scratch. 


Designers and back-end specialists are the core units of a successful app development team. These developers design the app’s functionality and ensure that all of the required data syncs to the user interface. 


Each developer plays a key role, and no app development team is complete without a project manager to ensure project completion. 


Here is a video that provides a brief overview of the app-building process: 


App Development Team

Despite many platforms that try to persuade app developers that one person can successfully build an app, this is simply not true. It takes a team of people to ensure that your app is not going to be a drop of water inside an ocean of competing apps on the market. Let’s take a look at the core six positions in a successful app development team. 

Mobile Developer

A mobile app developer is a type of software developer that takes their mastery of coding and applies it to application development. Mobile developers are skilled in creating and developing new technologies for smartphones and tablets. Additionally, a mobile app developer will also know how to scale apps for desktop and smart tv applications as well. 


Since apps are becoming an integral part of everyday life, from shopping and social media to entertainment and even the workforce, mobile app developers are able to think large on a small scale. Source coding for apps takes a lot of skill, and a mobile developer is a glue that holds the entire project together. 

Back-End Developer

The back-end developer for a mobile app is responsible for the smooth and efficient integration of the app’s database and operating system. A back-end developer must ensure that the servers operate in sync with one another to offer a quick and glitch-free user experience. 


The back-end developer will also oversee the app’s database, which includes building a network of seamless dynamics that respond immediately to user requests or search terms. The back-end developer will also be responsible for ensuring that all of the front end dynamics immediately respond to the back-end software. 

DevOPS Specialist

A DevOps specialist is crucial to ensure that the coding initiated by the mobile developer is released and integrated properly into the overall functionality of the app. An app needs a successful DevOps specialist during the app development cycle’s pre-planning and testing phase. 


This team member can easily answer questions during the pre-planning stage related to automation techniques that correspond to the planned software and how functions can relate to the planned software. 


The DevOps specialist also works in coordination with the quality assurance specialist in detecting bugs in the app that may have come from improper coding or flaws in the design process. 


The designer is responsible for all of the graphics that give the app its unique appeal and overall life in a sea of competing apps. This team member is responsible for providing the shiny exterior to a mass of algorithms and code. Most designers can also be referred to as front end developers depending on how much work is required for a designer on the team.  


App designers will typically focus their design ideas on a smaller scale that also doesn’t lack visual flare. The designer is responsible for the app’s layout, and along with the mobile developer, is a required team member during the app development process. 

Quality Assurance Specialist

A quality assurance specialist is an integral part of the app development process from the beginning to the end. This position always has the user in mind during each step of the process. The QA specialist will chime in with ideas and suggestions based on how a cross-section of the target audience is likely to respond to every feature. 


QA specialists will also rigorously be involved during the testing phase of the app. Bugs and glitches will be detected and sorted out to ensure an app is ready for the development process’s last stage. Since developers are typically focused on the final version of the project, the QA specialist is on board to catch any problems that arise and point them out for immediate repair. 

Project Manager

No software project that requires more than one person is complete without the oversight and guidance of a project manager. This may seem like a position that could easily be cut to bring down development costs—but that would be a mistake. 


The project manager will take every step of the development process into account and then devise a smooth and easy plan for assigning each applicable project to the corresponding team member. During the development process, the project manager will also consider business goals and budget constraints and find effective ways to manage all these concerns. 


In practice, the project manager is the director of the development process. This position usually comes with a working knowledge of each of the other positions, which allows the project manager to be ready at a moment’s notice if any problems arise in any of the other positions. The project manager can also tap into resources to develop a plan to hire more developers if needed. 


App development is all about finding the right team of developers to adequately bring all of the required components of an app to life. Since apps are plentiful and regularly saturate the market, one way to ensure your app stands out is to have a 6-person team that covers all of the essential bases. 


A project manager is a great option to oversee the entire development process from its early stages to the final touches. Apps may seem simple because they are used regularly each day, but the process is complex and cannot be done without a professional team.

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