Software development roles supported by Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps Services | Azure DevOps Server 2022 - Azure DevOps Server 2019

If you're a sole developer or work in a small setting, you track issues, plan features, code, test, build, and deploy.

If you work in a large setting, you might be more focused on a specific set of tasks that aligns with specific roles. These specific roles could be software development, product and scrum management, or DevOps.

The following article describes the features and tasks available to you, based on your role.

Contributor roles

Team members are contributors who have access to the following areas and more:

  • code base
  • work item tracking
  • Agile tools
  • build pipelines
  • test tools

If you need to lock down specific areas to a select set of contributors, see permission management.

Software developers

Developers use Visual Studio or other tools to develop their applications. They then check in their changes to a Git or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) repository hosted in Azure DevOps. From the web portal or a supported IDE, they can view repositories, check history, and more.

To get started with using Git, see one of the following resources:

To get started with using TFVC, see one of the following resources:

Product owners

Product owners typically plan the feature set to deliver, set priorities, and track the status of work, code defects, and customer issues. The suite of web-based Agile tools in Azure DevOps provides product owners with the views and features that they need to do these tasks. All work gets captured within a work item. Each work item represents a specific type such as a user story, task, or bug.

  • Use the product backlog to quickly define and prioritize user stories, features, and other work items
  • Use the sprint backlog and task board to implement Scrum practices
  • Use your board to work with Kanban methods
  • Use queries to list and update work items, create status and trend charts, and post charts to dashboards
  • Use dashboards to share information, status, and trends with your team or organization

For more information about getting started, see About Azure Boards and Agile tools.

You can integrate Microsoft Excel with Azure DevOps to plan and track your work. For more information, see Bulk modify by using Excel.

Scrum masters

Scrum masters help to facilitate scrum to the larger team by ensuring the scrum framework gets followed. They're committed to the practices, but stay flexible and open to opportunities for the team to improve their workflow. Scrum masters utilize the same features as product owners.

DevOps: builders, testers, and release managers

An advantage of working with Azure DevOps is the suite of tools and integrated functionality that support build, testing, and deploying software applications. See the following general DevOps-associated tasks that Azure DevOps supports.

  • Define builds
  • Unit test your code
  • Run tests with your builds
  • Perform exploratory tests
  • Define, manage, track, and approve releases
  • Deploy applications to Azure, a virtual machine, Docker containers, and more

To get started, see the overviews in Azure Pipelines and Azure Test Plans.


With Stakeholder access, anyone in your organization can check project status and provide feedback. Stakeholders can track project priorities and provide direction, feature ideas, and business alignment to a team. Stakeholders also contribute to plans by adding and modifying work items. They can't, however, contribute to the code base or exercise test tools.

Stakeholder access essentially provides free access to a limited set of feature to project sponsors and supporters. To learn more, see Work as a Stakeholder.

Administrator roles

A distinct advantage to working in Azure DevOps Services is the reduced overhead of server maintenance. But there are several administrative tasks required to support a collaborative, integrated software development environment.

The main tasks are grouped as follows by membership in a security group or role.

Team administrators

Responsible for configuring team settings, which include:

  • Backlog and board settings
  • Team areas and iterations (sprints)
  • Team members
  • Team dashboards
  • Team work item templates
  • Team alerts

To get started, see Manage teams and configure team tools.

Project administrators

Responsible for configuring project-level resources, including:

Organization owners and Project Collection Administrators

Organization owners are automatically members of the Project Collection Administrators group. Responsible for configuring organization-level resources, including the following tasks:

  • Manage billing
  • Add and manage projects
  • Manage collection-level permissions
  • Customize work tracking processes
  • Install and manage extensions

To get started, see Manage organizations and Settings.