How to choose the right developers for team augmentation

Bartłomiej Zaczkowski - Delivery Manager

Team augmentation is a fantastic option when your team doesn’t have the full range of expertise necessary for your project. It means quick access to precisely the talent you need without the costly hiring process. But just like during a hiring process, you should make sure that the developers joining you for the project’s duration will be a good fit. Here are our tips on how to make the vetting process simple and effective.

What is team augmentation?

Also known as team extension, this cooperation model is prevalent among software consulting firms. It involves the firm providing you with a developer or developers who become a part of your team for as long as they are necessary. On paper they are external contractors, and you are not their employer - you just reap the benefits of their work as though you were.

Let’s say you’re building a web app, and you have all the necessary design and frontend experts, but no one to build the backend. You can contact a company like iRonin.IT, look through our developer profiles and choose a Ruby on Rails expert. You will pay for the developer’s involvement counted in man-days or hours, and you’ll retain ownership of the code they produce (unless specified otherwise in the contract).

In contrast to recruitment agencies, a software house offering team augmentation has added benefits. Most recruitment agencies don’t focus on the quality of service each developer is going to deliver. They make money from finding somebody for the job who will be onboard for at least a minimum period (e.g. a test period of 3 months or so), but the product’s code quality doesn’t really affect them. A software house, on the other hand, benefits the most from established partnerships and long-term cooperation. They offer developers and know-how, as well as a quality-oriented approach. They also focus on achieving the client’s goals and making the client’s team happy.

What are the advantages of team extension?

Compared to its major competitor, the dedicated development team model, as well as internal hiring, team augmentation offers a number of benefits:

  1. You can scale your team as you go, adding new developers (and other experts, such as QA specialists) as the timeline progresses and the project’s needs change.
  2. You don’t invest in internal recruitment processes and aren’t restricted by your internal headhunting performance.
  3. You get to choose from vetted experts with a proven track record. And once you successfully cooperate with a software consulting company once in this way, you know they are trustworthy and can return to them for an even faster engagement next time.
  4. You benefit from the software company’s know-how and experience. After all, their entire job is to make sure projects like yours succeed.

The fundamental value of working with vetted developers within this cooperation model is that you don’t need to spend time and resources on verifying each developer’s skills. Even if your team’s current technical skillset is lacking, you can still safely extend it through the services of a trusted partner. And it’s a fantastic option for companies that don’t currently have the funds to be competitive as employers. Experienced software developers are picky while looking for a new job, making recruitment for developer positions costly and time-consuming.

How find the right developers for your project

  1. Find a trusted technology partner
    You might think that team augmentation is very much like hiring freelancers, but this is not the case. If you employ developers from established companies, you are much more likely to have a good experience. Working with a company means more security, and it’s simpler. They will have stable processes that support cooperation, communication and development, allowing you to focus on your project.

  2. Make sure your partner uses a solid vetting process
    If you approach a company and find out they don’t employ strict vetting as a part of their recruitment processes, that’s a terrible sign. The quality of their employees is directly linked to the quality of service you will receive. So, make sure that their process includes:

    • team fit assessment,
    • technical interview,
    • pair programming,
    • code samples review.

  3. Look through developer profiles
    Your partner should provide you with candidates’ bios and summaries. These should include information such as the candidate’s education, a skills list, past commercial experience, certificates, and anything relevant to their specific field. It’s important that you know exactly who will be joining your team - it’s the main point of the team extension cooperation model!

  4. Establish direct communication
    Your technology partner should offer direct contact with each developer you will work with, ideally through several channels. At the very least, you will need direct chat (Slack, Teams) and email. Again, the point is that you want to work with specific people, not the company that employs them. They’ll be like any other team member.

If the company you want to work with seems to be lacking in one of these three areas, working with them might be risky.

Want to talk about team extension for your software project?
Let’s chat. We have a very thorough vetting process and we’ve participated in 30+ successful collaborations.


Let’s get in touch
Author's Bio
Bartłomiej Zaczkowski

Delivery Manager

Passionate about technology and innovations. He is a data-driven and insightful business developer who searches for meaning, areas to improve/optimize in everything he does. Constant learner and pondering analyst. Believes that people, culture, and knowing your own 'why' are the most important things in business and life. The self-organization and discipline are his superpowers.

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