This article is for: both technical and non-technical software startup founders as well as developers who want to build a software development communication bridge between the technical and non-technical sides of the business. This will improve workflow, accelerate development timelines, clarify expectations and reduce frustration.
Written by: Alex Senson, Ashley Burton, Tyler Boulanger
Running a startup that’s based around software requires “all hands on deck” from a diverse team. That can include founders, developers, sales people, and more. With such a varied collection of knowledge and skills coming together in collaboration, communicating ideas and instructions effectively is integral to success. Software development communication goes far beyond just building a product together; it is needed for commercializing, maintaining, updating, and growing the product as well. The following three articles outline some helpful techniques for communicating with your software startup team.
- Software Outsourcing: Communicating with the Developers
- Technical Communication Skills for Software Startups
- Business Communication Skills for Engineers at Startups
Software startups on a budget often can’t afford to hire an in-house development team right away. As a result, they outsource software development to freelancers or a software development company. Especially when outsourcing is done offshore, there can be a variety of communication issues that occur including language differences, time zone differences, or a lack of in-person synergy. This article explores the development communication issues that can arise when outsourcing and some of the solutions to help you overcome these problems. This includes some of the main software tools that startups use to stay in touch with their development team. The article also goes through effective ways to set expectations, give better instructions, and maintain a long-term relationship with third-party development teams.
Communicating with developers can be difficult for non-technical business leaders whether they work in-house or are outsourced. Keeping up to date with development and passing along customer requests are difficult when you don’t have the sufficient technical language. In this article, nine case studies of people who have worked with or at a software startup can shed some light on the topic. It explores the importance of getting a technical background, how to illustrate customer insights to developers, some strategies for staying in the loop, and how these ideas fit into a growing company. Overall, most found that working directly with developers was the best course of action.
As much as it can be frustrating to non-technical people to not be able to understand their more technical counterparts, it is just as frustrating for developers when they can’t clearly communicate with business or sales reps, or understand their perspectives. Communication between these two parties is key to turning customer feedback and requests into new software features. However, these requests can often get lost in translation or be too vague for a developer to use. This article explores tips for engineers to build a stronger relationship with sales and business reps at a software startup. Another important part of development communication as a startup leader is pitching to potential investors. This article also looks into tips for technical representatives taking part in pitches.