Scaling your Dev Team

Greg Thomas
5 min readJul 10


When your team is doing well, the questions that ultimately arise are — “Can you do more?” or “Can you fix this project?” or “What would you need to accomplish this?”

All those questions are rooted in scale and in replicating what you have done with your immediate team. This is a good problem to have and it’s great to be asked these questions.

Conversely, you might be looking at scale from another point of view — “We need to get these features out the door to win this client to keep the lights on” — the same problem, different reasons, maybe not the same emotions.

Whatever the origin, people want more.

Scale can mean many things to many people and when approached with this problem, it’s important to understand what the final goal it is you are trying to achieve (i.e., throwing more people at your team, doesn’t necessarily get the scale you might be needing).

For all the options below, I’m assuming a team of four developers and one dev manager.

Scale by Minimalism

“What can I take off your plate so you can do more on this?”

This is the best way to start scaling discussions because it’s through here that we figure out what might be holding you back to deliver more. Scale by Minimalism is the process by which our focus shifts from doing many things to doing more of those that we are truly good at. Startup software teams grow very quickly and the question of scale comes up, it’s good to start here and identify just what they are truly doing and what can be removed from their plates to help them do more.

  • Is the team doing its own QA?
  • Who is supporting the product?
  • Are they doing UI/UX design?
  • What tasks are taking them the longest?
  • Are they the ones managing the company’s infrastructure?
  • What meetings are they being pulled into that don’t affect them?

Looking at the above-limited list, all we have focused on is getting work off their plates. There might be four developers on the team, but with all that extra work, the fourth developer isn’t contributing to code development.



Greg Thomas

Software Architect, Developer, Author and Leader helping organizations build scalable software delivery teams and implement cloud-based solutions

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