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The Dev Review

The Complete Guide to Hiring an App Developer

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Everyone who has tried hiring an employee at least once in their life knows how difficult this task can be. And if you need to hire an app developer in today’s business environment, this task can seem simply impossible. With skyrocketing salaries, a lack of experienced candidates, and a slew of unqualified job seekers, now is arguably the worst time to be looking for an app developer. 

But don’t despair! If you’re looking for information on how to hire a mobile app developer?What are the skills a good app developer should have? Where can I find an experienced mobile developer? What is the step-by-step process for hiring an app developer? Don’t worry! We offer the answers to your questions in this article. 

Key Points

  • An app developer is an expert who design, code, test and deploy mobile or desktop applications that meet customers' expectations. It would help to watch out for technical and soft skills when hiring mobile app developers.
  • Technical skills an app programmer must have are knowledge of programming languages like Java and Kotlin (for Android developers) or Swift and Objective-C ( for iOS developers), coding, testing, debugging and fixing errors. Soft skills an app developer must have are communication and problem-solving skills.
  • There are three options to choose from when hiring a mobile app programmer. You can outsource your project to a software outsourcing agency, hire freelancers or hire an in-house app developer.
  • While hiring a freelance app developer can be a great choice to save money, you should remember that it takes more than one expert to build a functional app. The best option is to hire a nearshore mobile app developer from a software outsourcing agency.
  • To hire a mobile app programmer, you must determine the app's goal, set your budget, get more information about the developer or the software outsourcing agency and consider their communication culture. You can then proceed to sign a contract when you are sure you have gotten the skill you need.

What Is an App Developer?

An app developer is a programmer who designs, develops, tests, and updates applications for different operating systems like Android, iOS, Windows, or web apps. 

They are part of the technical team responsible for developing a product that meets users' needs. As part of their work, they release regular app updates to the end-users. 

Roles of a Mobile App Developer

The role of an app programmer ranges from planning the software to building the code, testing, debugging, and deploying. 

  • Meeting with clients to discuss the app and its features.
  • Brainstorming with the project management team for potential ideas to develop the application.
  • Scoping the app to identify all the deliverables.
  • Develop a project plan for building, testing, and deploying the app.
  • Writing the code for the application.
  • Updating an app with new features to provide enhanced value to users.
  • Test the mobile or web app before launch.
  • Debugging the app to find and fix errors.

What Are the Skills of an App Developer?

When hiring an app programmer, you must ensure you employ the best, which means engaging a developer with the right technical and soft skills. 

Technical Skills 

The skills required for your project depend on the type of app you want for your business. You need a programmer with Android development skills if you want an Android app. But if you want an iOS app, you must hire a software engineer with iOS development skills. 

iOS Developer's Skills

If you have decided to target iOS users, you need a programmer with the right skills to make your application. A good iOS software engineer should have the technical skills below: 

  • Strong knowledge of iOS programming languages like Swift and Objective-C.
  • UI and UX design experience.
  • Knowledge of IDE, MVVM architecture patterns, and REST/JSON/XML standards.
  • Ability to build apps for various iOS devices like smartphones, tablets, etc.
  • Experience in memory management.
  • Proficiency in Grand Central Dispatch
  • Software testing and debugging skills.
  • Knowledge of iOS back-end services.
  • Skilled in iOS frameworks like Core Data, Core Animation and Core Graphics.
  • Experience in Xcode IDE.
  • Skilled in unit testing and source control.


Android Developer's Skills

If you need an Android app, you must look for these skills to ensure that you hire the right fit. 

  • Solid knowledge of programming languages like Kotlin or Java.
  • Knowledge of Android Studio.
  • Familiarity with the latest programming language and Android Studio.
  • Strong understanding of the Android user interface and designing complex layouts with ConstraintLayout.
  • Android testing knowledge using libraries like Expresso, Mockito, etc.
  • Knowledge of Android NDK and architectural patterns.
  • Cross-platform application development.
  • Knowledge of Android database technologies to manage, edit and update the database.
  • Software testing and debugging.

Soft Skills

Aside from hiring the right technical skills, you must also watch out for soft skills. Below are some of the soft skills an app developer must have:

  • Communication skills. An application programmer must communicate effectively with their team and the client, conveying technical information to non-technical stakeholders in an easy way to understand.
  • Problem-solving skills. The developer must be able to brainstorm your project, interpret users' needs and deliver products that meet users' expectations.
  • Attention to detail. Paying attention to details is crucial in an app development project. A programmer should be able to identify all the deliverables, test the app and fix potential problems before launch. 

Hiring a Mobile App Developer: Three Options to Choose From

There are various options for finding the right mobile app developer to work on your project. You can:

  1. Hire from an outsourcing company with a dedicated dev team.
  2. Hire freelance developers.
  3. Hire app developers in-house.

Hire from an Outsourcing Company

Hiring mobile app developers from an outsourcing company or agency is one of the smartest and easiest options to get your app development project done per the requirement. There are three kinds of software outsourcing - onshore, offshore and nearshore outsourcing. 

  • Onshore outsourcing. In onshore outsourcing or onshoring, an organisation hires app developers from a company or an agency within the same country to work remotely.
  • Offshore outsourcing. The organisation hires programmers from a software outsourcing agency in a country far away.
  • Nearshore outsourcing. Like offshore outsourcing, nearshore development or nearshore outsourcing involves hiring developers from a country different from yours. But the difference is that you hire from a nearby country with similar work culture and time zone. 

This is one of the best hiring options if you outsource your mobile app development. It gives you easy access to developers who share a similar work culture as your organisation and can work in sync because you are within the same time zone. 

Many software outsourcing agencies have a large team of nearshore developers with the right skills and experience to build an app for your business or organisation. 

You can leverage the various benefits, like finding dedicated developers or building a full dev squad, when you engage a nearshore development agency like Deazy. 

Since you only have to share your project ideas, and they help you with things like vetting and onboarding, team management, project management and product delivery, getting the task done will be much quicker. 

Hire Freelance Developers

Another option to hire app developers is by engaging freelancers. If your app development project is not too complex, you can hire developers on a freelance basis. The advantage of engaging freelance developers is that it will help you save costs since you will spend less than hiring an in-house team. 

Also, you can skip paying for vacation and other benefits associated with employing an in-house team. But you can't rely on freelancers to see things through. App development projects require design, coding, quality assurance and security testing, which can only be done when you hire a team, not an individual. 

So, if you hire a freelancer, you have to outsource these tasks to different developers. This will lead to a lack of synergy, accountability, and transparency and hamper your app development process. 

Hire In-house Developers

Building an in-house team involves hiring app developers who work in an office or a hybrid environment and use the organisation's resources to perform tasks. The advantage of working with in-house app developers is that you can easily communicate with them and respond to their questions. 

But the downside of hiring in-house app programmers is that it is not cost-effective because you have to hire, onboard, rent office space and pay for all the resources the developers will use. This is minus additional expenses like tax, bonuses and vacation. 

Step-by-Step Process to Hiring an App Developer

Determine the App Development Goal

Why do you need a mobile app? While most businesses need a mobile app to make it easy for their customers to shop for their products, others need one to connect with their users. 

Knowing your app development goals will help you to be specific about the architecture, design and all the deliverables you want in the app. Also, you should know the type of app and the revenue model. You need an Android app to target users in the Android market. 

But if you target users on the iOS platform, you need an iOS app. Better still, you can get a cross-platform app to reach more users. Will your app be free or paid?

If your business is new and you want to build your roots with your audience, you can go for a free app and later monetise some features after receiving positive responses from your users. 

Determine the App Development Project Budget

How much do you plan to spend building a mobile app? When you know your budget, you will know if you are capable of hiring freelancers or from a software outsourcing company. 

One way to do that is to create a list of all the app deliverables and the platforms you want the developer to use. Look through the list to determine your spending limits. While most businesses will go for freelancers, others will go for more quality services by hiring a nearshore outsourcing agency. 

Never compromise your mobile app project because you want cheap services. Remember that it takes more than one developer to build an app, so hiring a team from a nearshore company will be the best option here.  

Gather Information About the Company

You should find out more about the agency if you hire an app developer from a nearshore development agency. One way to do that is to review the tech stack, specialisation and services the agency provides. 

While most nearshore outsourcing companies have a large ecosystem of app developers and can match one with your project, others don't. Considering the tech stacks will help you to know if they have developers with the right skills to build a specific app for your business. 

Aside from that, it would help if you looked at the portfolio, awards, case studies and experience from the company website. 

Consider Their Communication Culture

Except you hire an app developer in-house, you must take communication seriously when you outsource your project. This is because the app programmer will be working remotely from a nearby country (in the case of nearshore development) or a faraway country (in the case of offshore development). 

One thing to consider is if the developer is proficient in English or your business language. Of course, this is not a problem if you use the right nearshore development company because they will match you with a suitable developer. 

To keep communication open, you must get information about how the company arranged communication between team members and their clients. Aside from that, ensure that communication is transparent. The agency should be straight up about its capabilities and the payment terms. 

Hire the Right Fit

Once you have gathered all the necessary information about the company, you can begin signing contracts and hiring an app developer from its talent pool. 

Bonus Tip - Get Deazy to Help!

Hiring an app developer is not a task to joke with, especially if you don’t have the resources, time, skills, or knowledge to interview and hire the right fit during the vetting process. And while hiring freelancer developers will appear to save cost, that might not be the best decision if you want a scalable and fully functional app. 

Remember that it takes more than a programmer to build an app. The best way to hire an app developer is to outsource your software project to a nearshore development agency like Deazy. We can help you build a reliable dev squad from our ecosystem of candidates to ensure that you have the right team to develop your application. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Consider When Hiring an Android Developer?

Before you employ an Android app developer, you should check if the programmer knows programming languages like Java and Kotlin. Also, you should consider if the developer is familiar with Android SDK and has knowledge of SQL and databases, Android design, SDLC and version control. 

What Do I Need to Know Before Hiring an App Developer?

You have to know what it takes to hire the best fit. This means that you must consider the skills of the app developer above anything. Also, you have to know that settling for the cheapest option or freelancers will hurt your app development project. Identify the kind of app you need and determine if you need a developer with Android or iOS skills. 

How Do You Hire Someone to Make an App?

You can go for a freelancer on any freelancing platform to hire an app developer. But remember that you have to interview the programmer to know if that is the right person, which can be difficult if you don't know what it takes to create an application. The easiest way to hire an app developer is to engage a software outsourcing agency and build a dev team to work on your project. 

What Are the Roles of an App Developer?

An app developer is responsible for scoping the app to identify all the deliverables and developing a project plan for building, testing and deploying the app. Also, the app programmer will write the code and debug and fix errors while testing the application before launch.