In the information technology world, startups help bring new ideas to life. There are many strategies for how to launch a startup properly. And, perhaps, the most beneficial technique is the lean startup method. Described by Eric Ries in 2011, this method, however, had existed long before the bestseller was released. The cornerstone of a lean startup is the development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP development agency often includes a team of specialists in various fields — programmers, designers, testers, marketers, project managers, and so on. All of them can be combined under one term — MVP developers.

Given that many perceive the MVP developer as a niche specialist dealing with a product at its earliest stage, questions arise regarding their further career opportunities. In this article, we will discuss possible promotion options for an MVP developer. But let’s start by specifying the role.

Who Is an MVP Developer?

This can be a specialist of any related expertise level and qualification. If we take startups, a full-stack developer is often responsible for creating basic front-end and back-end parts of the product. In addition, such a specialist will most likely have good knowledge of UI design. It is also very important despite a popular belief that design can be abandoned at the MVP stage.

The advantage here is that even a beginner can become an MVP developer. Yes, the experience is needed to guide the entire development process. You have to analyze the market and highlight the main features that will be emphasized in the MVP. However, basic knowledge will be enough to complete the first stages of development and design.

Where to Grow?

Given that the list of responsibilities of an MVP developer is large, there are several career paths that they can pursue for further growth.

Development Path

One of the most obvious growth areas for the MVP developer is to improve development skills. The unique experience that a specialist gets during the MVP development process helps to better understand the entire cycle of creating a product, and divide it into main stages.

Depending on the specifics of the product, the chosen technology can serve as a starting point. For example, if the developer was creating basic algorithms for MVPs with the React Native framework, then the logical growth path would be expanding the JavaScript stack.

In general, even a novice developer who took part in writing code for an MVP can consider this a successful experience. Such a specialist understands the importance of focusing on only what is needed right now, which is a useful skill.

Design Path

Experienced professionals know that design is crucial for the success of any MVP. We agree with this, considering the main tasks of a designer in the process of MVP development. These may include analyzing the target audience, developing wireframes, prototypes, creating user guidelines and user journey maps. Such skills are indispensable for a good designer. So the emphasis on them in the context of MVP development comes as no surprise.

Statistics show that the annual salary of web designers is around $48,000, which is an average rate in the IT market. A specialist who took part in the MVP design is considered an expert since the process required solving the main tasks that a typical designer faces every day. Therefore, such a specialist can grow beyond the MVP design and deal with the design of full-featured products.

Business & Marketing Analytics Path

MVP development also includes non-technical tasks like analysis of the market and competitors, assessment of their promotional strategies, and so on. This information serves as the foundation for further MVP building. The development process requires teamwork. Business and market analysts cooperate with developers to determine the must-have features of an MVP. Sometimes, the developers themselves are engaged in analytics too.

With such skills under the belt, a specialist will be successful in the development of marketing strategies, leveraging business intelligence, etc. That’s why we have decided to highlight this area as one of the supposed ways of growth for the MVP developer.

In Conclusion: Is Sticking to MVP Development the Best Way?

Practically, there is no such title as an “MVP developer”. By its very definition, it encompasses a number of allied roles. Therefore, in terms of this article, we divided it into three main areas — development, design, and analytics. But the MVP development remains the main direction in which the growth for such specialists is possible. 

This process is extremely specific. An experienced professional can have a bit of skill in each area, be it design or development. But they may still fail to be an expert in one particular niche. From our point of view, the most appropriate way to grow for such specialists will be to gain expertise within MVP development. This is a unique segment in the market that requires a special approach and mindset. And if you are fortunate enough to be part of a successful team, it is worth seizing this opportunity and advancing in the sector. It is even possible to create your own team that will carry out the full cycle of MVP development.