Bill Gates had said once, “If your business is not online, you better be out of business.” Today, it is the time to modify this statement and say, “If you do not have a mobile app for your business, you better be out of business.”
The extensive use of smartphones has brought mobile apps into prominence. From buying your grocery, to making important financial transactions, everything is done over simple mobile apps. That’s why according to LinkedIn mobile app developers are the most sought professionals on this Microsoft owned professional network.
According to Statista, the number of android apps released per day in the first quarter of 2018 was 6140. Now that’s huge! Importance of having a mobile phone app for your business and the mass availability of professionals in the field, makes hiring mobile app developers more critical. In order to find the best, a lot of precision is required while hiring.
Do You Really Need a Mobile App Developer?
Although there are easy ways to create mobile apps on your own using amazing tools on the internet, it is not something a business would want to consider. It is primarily due to the level of flexibility that these platforms provide is not optimum.
People argue that there are four main options to get a mobile app developed, but in reality, only one of them works well in favour of a business. People suggest:
- Searching for a business partner who can double up as an app developer.
- Hiring in house team of designers, developers, and QA professionals.
- Hiring a freelance app developer
- Seek services of a dedicated mobile app development agency
Generally, the option which you should consider depends on your objectives and the size of your business. A partner doubling up as an app developer or a freelancer are fine for those who are just there to try out their luck with a new idea that they feel would work.
For a serious business venture, whose primary domain is not IT, or their major revenue share does not come from an app, hiring a mobile app development agency is ideal and preferred over hiring an in-house team. Although, it stands true mostly for the SME segment, there are great benefits harvested by using this approach. This is because the costs involved in hiring a full-fledged team are quite high and at the same time, potential labour hours that the team can put in would not be utilized.
The agency not only works on the allotted project, but they also bring in its solid experience on the table. This means that you are all set to get wonderful recommendations as they start working on your mobile app, or even prior to that. Once the app is developed, the after service that the agency is going to provide will be cheaper as well.
With an in-house team, you are likely to invest resources which will give you very low ROI. At the same time, hiring in-house app developers is challenging, and you might not quite get the candidate you want unless you are yourself an expert in the field.
How do You Find an App Developer?
Now, every software engineer does not know how to build apps. It requires technical knowledge about coding in this particular niche, and a skill he can’t afford to miss is creativity. Since a mobile app developer in most instances designs the app too, he must be an artist at heart. If you have a business partner that can develop apps for you, it’s good. He will take care of your hiring. Even if you do not, don’t worry! You have the internet, the mother of all solutions to help you out.
The general thumb rule is that you Google something like ‘need mobile app developers’ and you’ll get a curated list from Google. So, fortunately, there is no shortage of app developers in the world for you to hire. All this makes it seem like finding app developers is easy, but it is not so in reality. We thought of taking the complexity out of this affair, so we are putting forth a few principles for optimal hiring.
● Know the Basics
You should know what languages app developers use for creating mobile apps. At the same time, you should be aware of your target audience. The complexity of your app determines the language of the code you use. iOS requires a different code than Android and there are coding languages that work on both, so that is something you need to be sure about. You would also want to know the wages of mobile app development of different sorts in the market.
A good mobile app development agency would be there for help. While discussing your project with them, they will be in a position to tell you which language and style would work for you.
● Check the Experience
It is natural for you to look for an experienced mobile app developer or an agency. No one would want to hire a novice when the project at hand is crucial. The hired professional need not be an expert, but having experience is a must. You can also ask for samples of the codes and details of the work they have done in this field. Interview him once you are satisfied with his previous work.
If you choose to go along with an agency, you should be particular about their previous projects and the type of clients they have served.
● Communicate Your Needs
If the mobile app developer does well in the interview, you need to guide him to your needs. The app developers know how to design and develop apps, but they do not know your business and the customers you cater to in your industry. Hence, it becomes imperative to build up relationships with your app developers and communicate with them. You need to be particular about the type of business you are. You also would need to introduce the mobile app developer with your competitor apps.
At this stage, if you have some favorite applications that are relevant, it is a wise decision to expose the developer to them.
An important thing to note here is that a well-rounded mobile app developer should be familiar with both the front end and the back-end design and development of an app, but experience tells us that a ‘full stack’ mobile app developer may not be a reality. Generally, a mobile app developer might be good in either of the two, design or development.
Understanding the Mobile App Development Project
As with the development of any other IT Project, mobile app development takes place in phases. There is a stage when you design the layout of the app. Then you would shift to coding it and then you need to do all the backend integrations. Finally, it will come down to testing. And mind you, testing must be intensive. So, it is an amalgam of skills that gives shape to a perfect app.
While planning your project, go into as many details as possible. This will not only lead to more accurate processes but will also help in estimating the budgets for hiring a developer more realistically.
Details that are needed would be forming a creative brief, design style, specifications, additional requirements, and technical specifications. Determining all this would give you more clarity on the kind of developer you would really need.
Creating a Job Description
All the information you have gathered while you tried to understand the project holistically will come into use here to create a detailed job post. A good description here will help you get a better match. There are three things that should clearly be mentioned:
- What do you expect from the app and the developer?
- Clarify the project duration or the deadlines.
- Specific skills and experience that you think are a must to do the job well?
Just a point to note here is that it’s important to mention both API and Design specifications. This will help you in keeping the wrong candidates at bay.
Where Can You Find iOS and Android App Developers?
As you go deeper into the process of hiring app developers, you would need to find places where you get the best mobile app developers. A lot of app developers are available on specialized online directories like They Make Apps and so on. If you are looking for hiring a expert developer for iPhone app development, you can try in these directories also. Similarly, for hiring Android app developers, Android forums or AndroidPit are the best places for hiring Android app developers. Apart from this, you may google out the various places where Mobile App Developers are located.
Web services like LinkedIn, Upwork, and Toptal are also suitable locations to search for app developers. If you are fine with the skills and the expertise of the developer, the natural next question that can come to mind now is the cost of hiring app developers.
Cost of Hiring App Developers
A lot about the cost of hiring app developers depends on the type of mobile application you require. There are different types of apps such as database app, messaging app, social networking app, a gaming app, and so on. Each of these apps requires specific techniques. Some of the apps can be comprehensive which need more time for creation. Naturally, the app development cost for such apps will be more.
Researching some freelancing forums can you give you an idea of the cost involved in hiring Android app developer and also in hiring an app developer for iPhone. A point to note here is that different job markets will have professionals willing to work for different rates.
Must Use Tips for Hiring Mobile App Developers
- Ask for the app developer’s portfolio: It will give you an insight into the app developer’s clientele. You can directly phone up one of the past or present clients and obtain feedback. Usually, app developers have their websites. Check out their sites, primarily to gauge the UI/UX aspects. User experience is a vital aspect of any mobile app.
- Look for creativity: You would like your app to stand out from the others. Therefore, creativity plays a vital role in selecting app developers. Your interpersonal and communication skills come to the forefront here. Choose an app developer who is ready to walk the extra mile along with you. It helps in building up a tremendous rapport.
- The flexibility of working: It is possible that your app developer might be living in a country having a different time zone. Therefore, your communication tools like Skype, email, phone, and so on gains importance. The time difference can also be a defining factor.
- Payment terms: You would have a budget in mind. Now, you have an idea of how much these app developers charge. Does it synchronize with your budget? It is better to clarify things beforehand. There can be issues like additional costs for developing security systems. Remember that the cheapest option is never the best one. As you need a decent product, be ready to shell out decent money as well.
Mobile App Development Companies
App development is not a ready-made product. It is a service. Therefore, when you are looking to hiring an app developer for iPhone or hiring Android app developers to set up your own in-house team, do evaluate the possibility of hiring a mobile app development company instead.
An app development company is more reliable as they have far more resources, experience and expertise at hand. But, hiring app development companies can be expensive as compared to hiring freelance app developers, but certainly won’t be as costly as hiring a full team of in-house developers. So, it depends on you, you can discount the pricing for quality and experience or vice versa.
Better quality, lower cost and reliable experience are not the only advantages of hiring a mobile app development agency, you can also save a lot of time. An inhouse team would need to be oriented, trained and might need some time to settle. However, an agency is all set up to work on your brief as soon as the deal is closed.
Questions you Should ask While Selecting App Developers?
Now, we shall look at some of the fundamental questions that you should ask while searching for app developers. This will give you a perfect idea on how to initiate the conversation with your app developer.
- Will you be able to provide a list of past and current customers?
It will get you an idea about the quality of work the app developer has maintained in the past. You will also understand the kind of projects he has worked on.
- Which platform are you an expert at?
Some app developers are comfortable with building Android apps whereas some prefer the iOS platform. Know in advance about the area of expertise.
- Can you recommend any additional features for the app? Will you be able to do it?
You can test the app developer’s creativity. It will help you stay ahead of the competition.
- How do you propose to conduct the testing?
Testing your app is vital. Usually, app developers have their methods of testing. It is better to ask them beforehand.
- Will you be able to submit the app to app stores?
App developers must know how to submit the app on the app stores and resolve any concerns raised by them. Submitting an app on the app store properly is critical for the success of your app to get visibility and downloads for your app.
- Can we sign a copyright agreement?
The copyright of the app should rest with the client and not the app developer. Owning the copyright of the app will give an option to file the patent if required. It will ensure that the app remains unique.
- What will be your fees and payment terms?
Developing an app requires a lot of effort on the part of the app developer. Naturally, you need to pay for their efforts. Knowing the details in advance is always better.
Also read: How Long Does It Take to Make a Mobile App?
Do’s and Don’ts in Hiring Best Mobile App Developers
- The cheapest option of a mobile app developer is never the best one. At the same time, the most expensive one is also not necessarily the best as well. Choose the option which is based for you based on your requirements.
- Experience counts a lot. It is better to hire app developers that have experience in developing similar apps.
- Have a budget for developing an app. Set aside a specific sum of money for the purpose. Btw, you must have budget for promoting the app.
- Decide on the timeframe in advance. You cannot wait for an eternity for the app developer to go on with their job.
- Always keep the option of hiring a mobile app development company open. It might give you way better results than an in-house app developer.
Hiring app developers is interesting, yet taxing. You get the opportunity of interacting with different people, with unique ideas. It automatically broadens your thinking and strengthens your judgment. The steps discussed above should give you an idea in helping you in hiring the right kind of app developer for your business.
– As Vice President for Global Business Development and Alliances, Shanal takes care of TechAhead business growth through new client acquisition and management of ongoing client relationships. Shanal has helped TechAhead to set new benchmarks in service quality by always keeping customers’ best interests in mind and providing extraordinary customer service.