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Did you know that in this era of digital dominance, almost 60-70% of folks are wielding smartphones? That's right!
And with the number of mobile users skyrocketing, it's no surprise that app development skills are hotter than a summer's day in the Sahara.
Before we move on to how to hire app developers, first, let’s understand what an App is. The app, a.k.a. Application is a software program that is designed to run on smartphones and tablets; they are made by a specific type of developer to run specific tasks or functions.
Every activity, from posting on social media, ordering food, booking a ride, buying products, tracking health, to even entertainment, everything that we do on a smartphone or a tablet is because of apps. And that is why app developers are crucial cogs in the technology industry machine.
They are the ones responsible for designing, coding, and testing apps to ensure that they are functional, user-friendly, and meet the needs of the target audience.
Nowadays, every industry is looking for app developers. Even industries such as healthcare, finance, and education. So knowing how to hire an app developer becomes a necessity for people looking to hire.
Let’s understand the fundamental roles and responsibilities of an app developer.
Fundamental Roles and Responsibilities
Designing and developing mobile applications: The most basic and fundamental responsibility of an app developer is of designing and creating the structure and layout of the app. And then writing the code that makes it functional.
There are three phases involved in this process.
During the conceptualization phase, app developers work to identify user needs, define the app's scope and functionality, and create a plan for development.
In the design phase, developers create wireframes, design interfaces, and develop user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design.
In the development phase, the app is actually built and coded, often using specialized programming languages and development tools.
Testing and debugging: Testing involves checking the app's functionality, performance, and user experience. This may include conducting manual testing, automated testing, and user testing. Manual testing involves developers using the app to identify any potential bugs or issues that may affect the user experience. Automated testing involves using software tools to automatically test the app's functionality and performance. User testing involves gathering feedback from users to identify any issues or areas for improvement.
Collaborating with other team members: One of the major roles of an app developer is to collaborate with other team members, like designers, project managers, and even other developers, to ensure that things are moving the way they should be moving.
Maintaining and updating the app: A lot of times, after releasing the app, unexpected problems occur, so an app developer has to ensure that it continues to function properly, and meets dynamic user needs. Once the app hits the market, it's crucial for app developers to keep their ears on the ground and stay aware of emerging technologies and trends. It's up to them to keep the app fresh and updated with new features and functionality.
Optimizing performance: One of the key tasks of optimizing performance is to ensure that the app loads quickly and responds promptly to user actions. This may involve improving the app's loading speed by minimizing the amount of data it needs to transfer, optimizing the code for faster execution, and using caching and compression techniques to reduce the load time.
Now that you are clear about the roles and responsibilities of an app developer, the next step is to find a good app developer.
Where to find an App Developer?
Online platforms: The aptest place to look for an app developer is to look on websites such as Refrens, Upwork, and Freelancer. These sites allow you to find good developers, look at their past work, and ratings, and hire them according to your needs.
Job boards: Another best way is to put a job listing on job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn. You put what you are looking for, and app developers from all around the world will approach you.
Social media: Even platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can be used to find app developers. Just search for the right keywords, in this case, app developer, and it will show you all profiles of app developers who are active on social media.
Referrals: Asking for referrals is one of the most trusted ways of hiring someone. You ask people for their recommendations in your network and the community around you. Their recommendations are as real as they can get, and the trustworthiness of such referrals is just unbeatable.
Look at the app: Another creative way of finding a really good app developer or team of app developers is to look for a really good app, an app that is just like the one you want to make, and search for the creator/s of that app. This way, you are already sure about their ability to make exactly what you are looking for.
Local universities: Many students of universities, even though they are students, they have very good knowledge of coding and making apps. These people may lack experience but many of them have extraordinary skills. And because of the lack of experience, you can hire them at much lower prices than the market.
Scoring an app developer isn't rocket science - there are plenty of ways to find 'em. The real challenge lies in finding out the perfect match for your needs. To tackle this, you have to be sharp and savvy when it comes to assessing their skills and qualifications.
Criteria To Judge An App Developer Before Hiring
Technical Skills: The developer should have a strong understanding of the programming languages and technologies needed to develop the app. They should be able to demonstrate their knowledge through their portfolio, references, or by completing a technical test. When you look for languages, look for Java, Python, C++, Kotlin, or Rust, these are the most app development languages. You can even give them a small test project. It can be a good way to evaluate their technical skills. The test can be a small part of the app that you are looking to develop. Even their portfolio should provide a good indication of their technical skills and experience. Look for examples of apps they've created that are similar to the one you're looking to build.
Experience: Experience is the icing on the cake of skills. A developer who has experience creating apps similar to the one you're looking to build makes your work a lot easier. Ask them for their experience, they should be able to demonstrate their past experience through their portfolio, references, or by providing case studies of previous projects. You can ask the references given, about their experience and you will get some idea of their quality of work and their way of working. You can even look for the apps they have created on the app store or play store; use it and you will understand whether they have done good work in the past or not. Because an app is something that we use every day, we can easily identify a problem if there is one.
Problem-solving skills: App development is an art, every app is different, and each one will have its own set of problems. A good app developer should be able to identify and solve problems that may arise during the development process. They should be able to think critically and come up with creative solutions to challenges. You can judge whether they have problem-solving skills or not by asking them to provide examples of challenging problems they've encountered and how they solved them during a previous project. Their way of explaining, their way of creative thinking, and the kind of problem they have faced will tell you a lot about the way they handle problems.
Adaptability: The app development landscape is constantly changing, and the developer you hire should be able to adapt to new technologies and trends. Look for a developer who is able to learn quickly and stay current with new developments in the field. You can know whether they are adaptable or not by just asking them to give examples of times when they had to quickly learn and implement new technology or adjust to changes in a project. Additionally, you can ask them about their ability to troubleshoot and problem-solve, as well as their willingness to take on new challenges and learn new skills. Additionally, you can even check the developer's work history, and testimonials from previous employers or colleagues can give you an idea of how adaptable they are.
Proactivity: A good developer should be proactive. Being proactive means initiating endeavors to solve problems before they occur. Instead of reacting, it includes acting in advance of a future situation. If they are proactive then the unexpected occurrence of problems is going to be rare.
How To Craft A Job Post That Will Attract Talent
To prepare for hiring a mobile app developer and receive more precise estimates, it's crucial to establish your project's requirements in great detail. This includes indicating any preferences for platforms or programming languages.
Other essential details to include are:
The target platform(s) for your app development, whether it's iOS, Android, Windows, hybrid, or cross-platform.
Design specifications, including color palette, fonts, imagery, logos, and brand guidelines.
The project timeline, including milestones.
Expected Deliverables From An App Developer
After knowing whom to hire, the next is to clarify deliverables and timelines. These are very important aspects of any project, the more clarity on this will give a very smooth process.
Although the expected deliverables and timeline for an app developer will vary depending on the specific project and the developer's experience level. However, some common deliverables for an app development project include -
Initial app design and wireframe: The developer should provide a visual representation of the app's layout and structure, including the navigation and user interface.
Technical specifications: The developer should provide a detailed document outlining the technical requirements for the app, including the programming languages, frameworks, and technologies to be used.
App Development: The developer will create the app, including writing the code, testing, and debugging.
Testing and quality assurance: The developer should test the app thoroughly to ensure that it is functioning properly and fix any bugs or errors that are found.
App submission: The developer will submit the app to the appropriate app store(s)
Maintenance and updates: The developer should provide ongoing maintenance and updates to the app as needed.
The timeline for an app development project will vary depending on the complexity of the app and the developer's experience level. However, a typical app development project may take several months to complete, from the initial design phase to the final submission to the app store.
After finalizing the deliverables, it should be noted on a letter of agreement.
Letter of agreement
There should be a simple, easy-to-read document, which states all the terms of the arrangement. The written document helps to avoid misunderstandings, and in worse situations, it can protect your legal rights. It should have everything, from the scope of work to the expiration date.
It is very important that the scope of work is cleared from the beginning. What will be the deliverables from the developer’s end? What will be the measurable outcome? Everything clear before starting the project, makes the work much smoother and easier to execute.
And it should also include an expiration date. The time by when the project has to be closed and payment has to be made. This saves the developer from clients who don't reply or pay after some time.
In summary, deliverables, the scope of work, and the timeline, everything should be clear before starting the project and it should be written in a letter of agreement so that there is no chance of misunderstandings afterward.
Now, as you know everything there is to know before hiring a developer, you should also know the common mistakes people make while hiring a developer so that you don’t make the same mistake.
Common Pitfalls To Avoid While Hiring An App Developer
Not clearly defining the project scope: Before hiring a developer, it's important to clearly define the project scope, including the specific features and functionality that need to be included in the app. A lot of people make a mistake here, as they don’t think and decide what exactly they want, and failing to do so can lead to misunderstandings and delays later on.
Hiring a developer without sufficient skill and experience: In trying to save costs, hiring a developer who doesn’t have the skill or experience in designing the app that you want, then it is eventually going to cost you more. It can lead to delays and additional costs.
Not evaluating technical skills: It's important to evaluate a developer's technical skills and knowledge of the programming languages and technologies that will be used to create the app. Failing to do so can lead to a developer who is not capable of completing the project.
How Much Does An App Developer Charge?
The cost of app development can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the app, the platform it is being developed for, the location and experience of the developer, and the features and functionality required.
Generally, app developers may charge anywhere from $50 to $250 per hour. However, some developers may charge a fixed price for a project, which can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
It's important to research and compares different developers and their pricing structures before deciding on one. Factors such as experience, expertise, and communication skills should also be considered in addition to the cost.
Sample Ghostwriting Fees
AVERAGE FEES RANGE
Basic Business Apps
$5,000 to $10,000
$2500 - $5000
Social Media Apps
$20,000 to $100,000
Social Media Apps
$20,000 to $100,000
On Demand Service Apps
$50,000 to $250,000
$50,000 to $500,000
It is crucial to acknowledge that the costs presented are merely average figures and may vary depending on the intricacy and scope of the project. Additional factors that could affect the final cost include the type of mobile app you wish to create, the number of features you need to implement, the technologies required for your app, the level of user engagement, and many more.
FAQs To Ask An App Developer Before Hiring
Judging these things can be tricky at times, so the best way to go about it is to ask questions. Questions that can give you an idea of who they are, how they work, and whether they are the right fit for your project or not.
Here are some questions you may want to ask them before considering hiring them:
How do you handle security and user privacy?
Security and user privacy are critical components of any app development project. Ask the developer how they plan to handle these aspects and if they have experience with implementing measures such as encryption, secure authentication, and data protection.
What is your pricing and payment structure?
Discuss the developer's pricing and payment structure upfront, including hourly rates, fixed fees, and payment terms. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of what you will be paying for and how much.
What is your support and maintenance plan?
Ask the developer if they offer ongoing support and maintenance services, such as bug fixes and updates, and how they handle those services. Additionally, ask about their warranty policy and what happens if issues arise after the project is completed.
In summary, when interviewing potential app developers, it's important to ask questions that cover the developer's technical skills, experience, approach to testing, debugging, staying current with new technologies, communication skills, project management, understanding of the app ecosystem, problem-solving skills, and compliance.