Building your own software team is like making your own milk

by Trevor Cattle
UK CTO

August 30, 2018
Reading Time: 3 minutes

To make your own milk, firstly you need to know what you are doing. I have never made milk myself, but I doubt it is as simple as sitting on a stool with a bucket and just pulling the udders. I suspect there’s a knack to it.

You will have to get to the market and buy yourself a cow. With my farming experience being limited to the TV show Emmerdale (it used to be called Emmerdale Farm) I doubt I would be able to work out a healthy milk producer from a lame one.

​Transporting cows is not easy

You will need access to a braked twin axle box trailer and a 4x4 as it will take more than a Ford Fiesta and domestic trailer to transport close to a metric tonne.

You will need to house and feed your cow, which is not particularly small, and make sure she is kept healthy. Then you will need to figure out some way to hold her steady while milking her to save losing your front teeth. You will need a sterilised container to store your hard-earned milk. To keep it fresh you will need to pasteurise and chill it, which involves more expensive equipment.

Do not forget the glamourous task of mucking out the cows.

Forbytes building your own software development team manager cow illustration

Scaling milk production is expensive

If you want to scale the amount of milk you produce you will need more cows, more feed, more space and more equipment. I suspect you will also need to automate the milking process to avoid severe repetitive strain injury.

This all seems like a lot of hard work to make some milk. Personally, I would just go to the shop and buy some.

​Building your own software development team

As odd as it may sound; this is not that dissimilar to building a quality software development team. Firstly, you need to know what you are doing. I have built a lot of development teams and it is not as simple as putting a few bums on seats and expecting a result.

You need to recruit the right team, most likely that will involve recruitment fees. Then there is all the employment legislation, sick pay, holiday pay, national insurance, employers natural insurance, etc. They will need desk space, equipment, and most likely some training.

Motivating, gelling, and managing a development team is the really tricky part. I strongly suspect cows are easier to keep happy and working in harmony.

Forbytes building your own software development team milk carton missing manager illustration

​Choosing the right technology

You will also need to choose the right technology and software design. Getting this right tends to be the preserve of more senior, experienced, and expensive talent.

To scale the development team you will need more developers, more desk space, more equipment, and more structure and process. However, the more developers you have the harder it is to manage the team effectively.

Again, this all seems like a lot of hard work. Alternatively, you could have your software built by an outsourced development team.

​You cannot compare milk to software!

Ah, I hear you say, but what about the quality? Milk is milk, but software quality is not that clean cut.

Very true, but it can be if you find the right outsourced software development partner with a track record of successful delivery. The trick is to find a quality partner that will work closely with you to deliver your software and is a good cultural fit for your business.

Forbytes programmer manager building your software development team laptops plant books glass cow illustration

If you would like to know more about outsourcing your software development team; whether it be long term or project based, then contact Forbytes. We’re happy to have a chat and listen to your needs.

Related articles