Are you planning to develop an Android app for your business? If so, you are probably wondering how you will go about it.
Most startup founders and non-technical managers will ask - how will I hire an Android app developer? Where can I find an Android app programmer? What are the skills of an Android app developer?
Asking these questions is crucial to the success of your Android app development. This article provides all the answers and a complete guide on hiring an Android developer to build the best mobile applications for your business.
- An Android app developer is an expert who specialises in building mobile applications for the Android operating system. Aside from developing apps, the developer will test to find and fix bugs and work with cross-functional teams.
- Finding an Android developer is challenging because few experienced programmers are available, most startups have limited budgets, and writing the project requirement is challenging for non-technical managers.
- An Android programmer's skills are knowledge of coding languages like Java and Kotlin, XML, Android Studio, database management and security, debugging and testing, etc.
- You can hire freelance, in-house or outsource your Android development project to an outsourced team.
- The four steps to hiring an Android developer are writing al;l your project requirements, verifying the developer's skills and experience, choosing a hiring option and conducting interviews.
What Is an Android App Developer?
An Android developer is a software engineer specialising in designing and developing mobile apps for the Android platform.
The Android platform is a Linux-based mobile operating system that runs on mobile phones and tablets. It has always been at the top of the mobile application development market, with its popularity and uses growing by the day.
That is why having an Android app will help you reach more users.
What Are the Responsibilities of an Android Developer?
- There are several tasks an Android developer must perform to build an application. Below are some of the responsibilities of an Android programmer.
- Design and develop applications. The programmers use coding languages like Kotlin or Java to code the functionalities of mobile applications.
- Work with a cross-functional team. Android developers collaborate with various stakeholders and team members to plan and build the application.
- Test the application. The software programmer will test the app before deploying it to ensure it works properly.
- Find and fix errors. As part of the testing process, the programmer will debug the Android application to find and fix errors to improve the app's performance.
- Maintain and update the app. Your app needs maintenance to improve user experience and fix security issues that arise.
Why Finding an Android Developer Is Challenging
While finding a programmer is not difficult, finding the right Android developer is challenging for three reasons.
- There are few experienced Android developers in the job market, so finding a suitable one with the skills required for your project can be a problem.
- Experienced programmers are in high demand, making it less likely for startups to hire one. This means that organisations with better offers will quickly pick expert developers with their juicy offers.
- Hiring an Android programmer is problematic for non-tech managers. If you can't scope your project and list all the deliverables, engaging programmers with specific skills for your business will not be easy.
This article will outline how you can hire an Android programmer even if you are a non-tech manager. Also, we will list the skills of an expert programmer so that you will know what to look for when hiring.
What Are the Skills of an Android App Developer?
Developing Android apps requires a deep understanding of coding languages, Android Studio, UI design, etc. Here are some skills to watch out for if you want to hire Android app programmers.
Knowledge of Java or Kotlin
Java is a powerful and robust object-oriented coding language used for different purposes like creating Android apps, server apps, etc. Kotlin is statically typed coding language developers use to build Android applications.
Knowledge of those programming languages is essential for creating an Android app. So, when hiring a programmer for your Android development project, you should ensure the dev has a solid knowledge of either Java or Kotlin.
Knowledge of XML
XML is an acronym for extensible Markup Language. It is a way of describing data by using text-based documents. Developers use XML to define the UI layout of the app because it is flexible and extensible. You should ensure that the programmer you hire to build your Android app has solid XML knowledge.
SDK is an acronym for the software development kit. Android SDK is a collection of tools, libraries, debuggers, emulators, sample code, documentation, and tutorials. Knowledge of Android SDK is a must for any developer that wants to build an Android application.
Android Studio is the integrated development environment (IDE) used by programmers to build Android applications. It has many features like code autocomplete, a debugger, and advanced tools like memory and CPU monitors. Knowledge of Android Studio is necessary when hiring an Android developer.
API is a set of tools that allows software programs to communicate with one another. For example, Google Map API allows you to get the location of your users if you want to display users' specific content. An Android programmer must be skilled in integrating API during the development process.
Another Android developer skill is database management. The database makes it easy for your mobile application to manage a large amount of data and control access to your app. The programmer should be able to use Structured Query Language to store, update, and delete data from the mobile app database.
Android has built-in security features that help to protect the user's privacy and secure the app from a data breach. Implementing security features is essential when hiring an Android app programmer.
Communication is another soft skill of an Android programmer that ensures that the programmer collaborates with all the stakeholders involved in building the app.
A software engineer that develops mobile applications must have time management skills. It will make it easy to complete a project on time before the deadline.
What Are the Experience Levels of Android Developers?
Aside from checking for skills, you must consider experience when hiring an Android developer. There are three types of Android programmers based on experience - junior, middle and senior.
- Junior Android developers. They have less than three years of experience because they are just starting their career. Junior programmers can handle small and less complex Android development projects but need the supervision of a senior developer.
- Mid-level Android developers. They have more than three years of experience building Android apps and can confidently handle less complex tasks independently because they have enough skills.
- Senior Android developers. With over five years of experience working on various Android development projects, senior programmers have the skills to handle complex projects. Aside from that, they can lead a large team of developers and can supervise big projects. So, which experience level is right for your project? Hiring a senior Android programmer with diverse skills is a good idea if you want to employ someone to build your app. Employing mid-level devs is a great way to start if your project is less complex. You can hire a junior developer if you are forming a dev squad consisting of a senior developer.
No matter whether junior, middle or senior, ensure the Android programmer you employ has at least:
- Technical knowledge or skills,
- Soft skills,
- Experience building a ready-to-market product for customers
What Are the Different Types of Android Developers?
After determining the skills and experience level you need, you should decide what type of hiring model is best for your business. App programmers can work as freelancers, with a large outsourced team, or from your office space.
The various types of Android developers are
- Freelancer Android developers - these professionals are self-employed and work for different clients.
- In-house Android developers - in-house programmers work from your office space once employed.
- Outsourced teams - Android developers in these teams build your app from another company.
Let's consider the different hiring models to help you select the best for your business.
Hire Android Developers from an Outsourced Team
One of the most convenient ways of hiring Android programmers is by outsourcing your project to an outsourced team.
There are three types of software outsourcing.
- Onshore development. In onshore development, you will outsource your Android project to an outsourced team within your country. While onshoring ensures that you can collaborate because you are in the same time zone, it is more expensive than the other two options.
- Offshore development. In offshore development, you outsource your project to a team of developers in a faraway country. While offshoring might be the best option for some, it isn't easy to collaborate because you and the developers are in different time zones and may not share the same language.
- Nearshore development. Nearshore development differs from the other two because you hire Android developers from a nearshore country who understand your business culture and share a similar time zone.
A well-established nearshore development company like Deazy have lots of software engineers with enough experience to build your Android app. And you can scale whenever you like. For example, if you need more than one Android developer, hiring more is easy.
Aside from that, you can build a squad of devs that cut across different technologies.
Hire Freelance Android Developers
Freelancers are self-employed and work with different clients. The advantage of engaging freelancers when building your Android application is that you can reduce costs as much as possible. But with that comes different setbacks.
Most freelancers are known to finish a project late. If you can't manage them, there is a great risk of your project deployment extending beyond the deadline.
Aside from that, since you need the best Android programmer to work on your project, you have to screen them yourself, which is an uphill task.
If your project requires more than one Android programmer, getting different freelancers to work in sync will be a problem.
Freelancers are ideal for small tasks, not complex projects.
Hire In-house Android Developers
In-house Android developers work from your office. This option is popular with large companies with enough budget to put up more office space and resources the programmers will use.
The advantage of hiring in-house software engineers is that you have full control over your project and can communicate with your team quickly. Also, your dev team will become familiar with your product or service. But what if you are a startup with a limited budget? Hiring in-house developers may not be the best option.
Aside from that, even if you have the budget, finding a suitable Android programmer can be challenging if you have skill shortages in your location.
Hire Android Developers in Four Steps
Now that you know the skills of an Android developer and the various engagement options, let's consider the four steps to hiring an experienced Android app programmer.
Define Your Requirements
You have to specify the objective of your app and select a monetisation model. Do you want your users to subscribe to your services with your mobile app? Will your mobile app require third-party API integration? What programming language do you want the developer to use?
Remember that your project's complexity and requirements affect the budget. Also, complex Android development projects require the skills of an experienced software programmer. It would help if you could create a list of all the functionalities you want in your project and convey them to the dev team.
Consider the Skills and Experience
There is no gainsaying that skills and experience matter when hiring a software developer to build your Android app. If you have a complex project, it is recommended that you hire a skilled developer with years of experience building go-to-market apps for clients.
One way to examine the skills and experience is by looking at past projects. If the programmer has done something similar to your software product in the past, you can proceed to hire.
Choose a Hiring Option
You can choose between hiring freelancers or in-house Android programmers. Or, you can hire Android developers from an outsourced team. Any option you choose should be best suited to your business.
Interview the Android Developer
Before finalising your hiring decision, you should interview the programmer to assess their skills and experience. Ask questions about hard and soft skills.
- Do you have experience developing an Android app?
- Can you tell me about the last project you worked on?
- Can you describe the Android framework?
- What database is used for Android apps?
- Can you name the tools for developing an Android app?
- What is the Android SDK?
- How do you test and fix issues after developing the app?
- How will you update me about progress and challenges?
- Which coding language does Android support?
- What is the lifecycle of Android activity?
Once you are sure that the programmer has the skills and experience to build your project, you can sign an NDA and a contract.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an Android Developer
Prioritising Price Over Skills
While cost is an important factor for startups working on limited budgets, it should be the primary basis for your decision. When you hire cheap Android developers, you get what you pay for; low-quality services.
Of course, you will pay more to hire experienced software engineers to build your Android app, but you will get the best quality product for your business.
Failing to Confirm Skills and Experience
Most startup founders will not verify skills and experience before they employ the programmer. This is a big mistake because hiring the wrong developer can break your project.
Before you sign a contract with the Android programmer, you must verify all the skills needed for your project. One way to do that is by reviewing portfolios and interviewing the developer.
Hiring Android Developers that Don't Have Business Knowledge
Technical and soft skills are must-haves for an Android developer. But they don't guarantee that the programmer will build an app that works for your business. Hiring developers with no business knowledge is another mistake to avoid. Why?
With business knowledge, programmers can make better recommendations because they understand concepts like monetisation strategy and usability and can use them to build a product that meets your customers' expectations.
Failing to Consider Cultural Fit
Another mistake to avoid when hiring an Android developer is not considering cultural fit. Cultural fit is the likelihood that a developer will be able to conform to your organisation's core values.
It is important because you will work with the developer or the outsourced team for months, which is only possible if the relationship is collaborative and productive.
An Android developer must be able to communicate complex ideas to all stakeholders involved in the development process, whether technical or non-technical. The programmer you hire must be able to convey why they make the decisions regarding tools and techniques used.
Hiring the best Android developer is challenging but possible. You can get the best programmers in the market if you hire based on - technical and soft skills, experience relevant to your project, the best hiring model, and vet the developers by interviewing and reviewing past projects.
Are you ready to start your Android development? Outsourcing to a nearshore development company like Deazy guarantees that the best Android developers work on your project. Also, you can hire a dedicated team of Android developers to build your app from start to finish.
Book a call with our team today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does an Android Developer Do?
Android developers write software programs for the Android operating system. They build mobile applications that run on the Android platform using programming languages like Java or Kotlin and tools like Android Studio, SDK, etc., and test and update the app after development.
What Are the Skills Required for Android App Developers?
Android app programmers must understand coding languages like Kotlin and Java to build the app's functionalities. Also, the developers must be able to build the UI and test the app to ensure it works properly. Knowledge of databases like firebase and how to work with data is a must for app developers.