Quickly scaling a software development organization

I recently responded to a question on LinkedIn that I wanted to share on my blog — this is a tough nut to crack, and lies at the core of many organization’s success or failure.

Question Details:
Quickly scaling Software Engineering organizations – what is the best way?

I have some clients that need to rapidly ramp up their engineering capability, and do so with “high quality people”. (who ever asks for “low quality people”?) What is your experience in doing this? What works best? How much does location matter? Do you target a few “people magnets” or set a wide net yourself? Any insight you have would be timely and helpful.


One thing to keep in mind is that when you bring people in quickly, the average level of quality is going to be lower than you want. Even organizations willing to throw significant amounts of money at people acquisition have to spend a lot of time to build up their teams.

You might consider bringing in a development team from an outsourcing company (find a company that already has an integrated team of people that can come as a group.) With this (presumable high quality) group of people as a core, you can get started right away, and continue to hire permanent employees and accrete them onto the structure with an emphasis on training them to take over in future.

This gets you started quickly, and quality people for the long-term. One caveat is that contracting team’s goals (get paid big $ and keep the employers ‘needy for future services’) are often divergent from the employer (quickly build a well documented scalable and stable application, keeping architectural options open for future needs).


Kevin Ready

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