How to Hire a VR Developer – The Ultimate Checklist

Estimated read time: 11 minutes
how to hire VR developers
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Want to know how to hire a VR developer?

You’ve found the right place.

According to a study, “The global AR and VR market is expected to grow over $250 billion by 2028.” As you would expect in view of the growing market for VR, there is a high demand to hire a VR developer. The following reports on the job market illustrate this:

  • US businesses find it hard to hire a VR developer, according to this CNBC report.
  • A Quartz report puts VR development skills right at the top of skills in high demand.
  • An ARPost report states that the demand for AR and VR game developers increased by 93% back in 2018 alone!

This means there is a huge requirement for VR developers out there. Finding the right ones can be challenging.

How to Hire a VR Developer?

hire vr developer

I will now explain the skills and competencies you should look for to hire a VR developer, and these are as follows:

1. Deep knowledge of software development life cycle (SDLC) models

A VR app development project can be a high-stakes project in the organization with very high visibility, moreover, it can also be a project to develop customer-facing web and mobile VR apps. Competent VR developers should have in-depth knowledge of the following SDLC models:

  • Waterfall: High-stakes projects would typically have well-defined requirements and such projects require thorough reviews after key milestones. The waterfall is the right model for such projects, with phases like requirements analysis, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
  • Agile: The business might launch customer-facing web and mobile apps as “Minimum Viable Products” (MVPs) and enhance them based on market feedback. This calls for iterative development and Agile is more suitable for such projects.

At DevTeam.Space, we have considerable expertise with key SDLC models, and I have explained these models in “What is software development life cycle and what do you plan for?”.

2. Experience in working with prominent managed cloud services platforms

Businesses are increasingly gravitating towards managed cloud service platforms since they can innovate at scale and have a predictable cost model. VR developers you hire should have hands-on experience with the following prominent cloud offerings:

  • Amazon EC2: Amazon Elastics Compute Cloud (EC2) is the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering from AWS, and many businesses use this solution to build their apps. AWS has considerable cloud capabilities, however, using an IaaS platform requires more work since the provider only manages the infrastructure.
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk: AWS Elastic Beanstalk is the Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering from AWS, and here AWS manages cloud infrastructure, networking, storage, middleware, operating systems, and runtime environments. VR developers you hire should have experience with integrating 3rd party APIs, databases, DevOps services, etc.
  • AWS Amplify: This is the Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) offering from AWS. It can help the project team to focus on the design and development of the front end since they don‘t need to develop and manage the mobile backend.

3. Expertise with popular VR SDKs/APIs:

SDKs and APIs help in incorporating key features in your app, therefore, you can expedite your project. The good news is that you have several VR SDK/API solutions to fast-track your development, and you should hire developers that are experienced with these.

Look for developers that know the following VR SDKs/APIs:

  • Oculus VR SDKs: Oculus is a popular provider of VR platforms, and the company offers SDKs for developing VR apps for systems like Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest, and Oculus Go. More information about its SDKs is available here.
  • Google VR SDKs: Google VR SDKs are available for several platforms, e.g., Android, iOS, Unity, and Unreal. These SDKs can be downloaded from here, and the documentation for them is available here.

4. Node.js skills

You will very likely launch a web app as part of your VR app development project, and Node.js is a great runtime environment for web app development. This runtime environment has many advantages, e.g.:

  • js is open-source, and a thriving developer community contributes plenty of open-source sharable tools and frameworks for this runtime environment. Developers using Node.js typically have high productivity due to this.
  • js supports asynchronous, event-driven programming, and this improves the scalability of the app. Scalability should be an important consideration for a VR app development project.
  • This runtime environment is good for streaming, and for a VR app development project, this represents a key advantage.
  • JavaScript is a popular language and many programmers know it. Node.js is based on JavaScript, and this drives high productivity for developers.
  • Web apps developed with Node.js are performant.
  • Modern NoSQL databases like MongoDB use JavaScript, therefore, it‘s easy to use them with Node.js.

We, at DevTeam.Space, have significant expertise with Node.js, as I have earlier explained in “10 great tools for Node.Js software development”.

5. Experience in developing scalable web apps

As I have mentioned earlier, a VR app needs to scale well, therefore, you should look to hire programmers with a credible track record of developing scalable web apps. This requires the following expertise:

  • First of all, programmers should know how to define scalability objectives using the right metrics.
  • Scaling a web app requires using the right Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solutions, and developers should know how to use them.
  • Using the right PaaS platform is key. You can hire programmers familiar with the popular AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
  • When you form your team, look for IT architects with deep knowledge of architectural patterns since selecting the right pattern is key for web app scalability.
  • Developers should know the right frameworks that help in scaling web apps. For this project involving Node.js, I recommend using js, which is a lightweight framework that improves scalability.
  • Using the right database is important for developing web apps that scale. PostgreSQL is an RDBMS that helps to scale apps, and MongoDB is a good NoSQL database option for scaling. Developers you hire should have expertise with these.

Developing scalable web apps is a key area of expertise for us at DevTeam.Space as I have earlier explained in “How to build a scalable web application?”.

6. UI design expertise

You will need to hire UI designers for a VR app development project, therefore, you should look for designers with experience in the following:

7. Experience with Android app development

The VR app development project will most likely involve an Android app development, therefore, you should look for Android developers with the following expertise:

  • Developers should know how to code an Android app using Java.
  • They should also know how to use Android Studio, i.e., the popular IDE for Android development.

8. iOS app development expertise

You will likely target the iOS platform also for your VR app, therefore, you should hire iOS developers with the following expertise:

  • They should have experience with Objective-C, which has been the mainstay of developing apps on Apple platforms for a long. Many developers working on Apple’s platforms know this language, and Objective-C has powerful features. We at DevTeamSpace have considerable expertise with this language, as I have explained in “How to convert an app from Swift to Objective-C?”.
  • Programmers you hire should have familiarity with Xcode, i.e., the popular IDE for developing apps for Apple’s platforms.

9. Experience with testing frameworks

You need to hire testers for this project, therefore, look for the following expertise:

  • Testers should know how to use popular open-source testing frameworks like Selenium.
  • They should be familiar with Espresso, which is a popular framework for testing Android apps.
  • Testers also need experience with XCTest, which is used for testing iOS apps.
  • Testing with a wide range of browsers and mobile devices is important, therefore, testers should be conversant with testing solutions like pCloudy. pCloudy offers a wide range of browsers and mobile devices on the Cloud.

10. DevOps expertise

You will need competent DevOps engineers for this VR app development project. Since I recommended AWS platforms like Elastic Beanstalk and Amplify for this project, you should look for DevOps engineers with experience in AWS DevOps tools and infrastructure.

11. The willingness and capability to collaborate

Modern-day software development projects take place in fast-paced environments, and a VR app development project won‘t be an exception. An effective Continuous Integration (CI) environment is key for the success of such projects since it enables analyzing, building, testing, and deploying an application continuously.

Building an effective CI environment requires modern DevOps tools, however, tools can never do the job fully! An effective CI environment requires close collaboration between developers, testers, DevOps engineers, and the scrum master.

Developers, testers, and DevOps engineers you hire must be willing to collaborate, moreover, they must have the maturity and capability to do so.

Read more about the importance of this in “5 common pitfalls of CI/CD—and how to avoid them”.

12. 3D Modelling and VR Environment Creation

Visualization and the ability to understand 3D models are a must. After all, it is the developer’s job to get the 3D environments created by the team to work on the VR equipment being operated by the user. 

13. Comprehensive Knowledge and Experience in VR Software Creation Tools

Everything up to and including game engine optimization is part of the role that all members of the VR development team are involved in. Many developers have experience creating mixed reality AR applications too, something which can be a great help.

All VR programmers should have comprehensive experience with VR creation tools like Unreal Engine and Unity3D, etc.

These tools not only help take on a huge amount of the weight of creating complex VR applications but they also help to cut down on development time and costs.

Who to Hire as a VR Developer? Freelancers vs. Field Expert Teams

I have explained the skills and competencies you should look for, however, you also need to decide whether you should hire freelancers or field expert teams. VR app development projects tend to be high-visibility ones, and you would want to mitigate delivery risks.

Hiring freelancers would mean that you will hire individuals, and you will need to integrate their work. This requires far more project management effort than it would require if you work with a field expert development team.

You will also need to manage the schedule of individual freelancers, therefore, you need to mitigate the risks of freelancers taking unplanned time-offs.

In the case of a field expert development team, the software development company providing this team takes accountability for mitigating such risks, as I have explained in “Freelance app development team vs. field expert software development teams”.

Planning to Hire a Virtual Reality Developer for Your VR Project?

VR is making a big impact in the world of business. Marketing campaigns have benefited from VR since the technology allows new modes of campaigns according to experts.

Large enterprises are increasingly using VR to train their employees on key hands-on business operations while industries such as healthcare are using it for vital ‘hands-on’ training.

While I have explained various aspects of hiring virtual reality app developers in this article, a successful VR app development project requires much more than just developers.

VR technology is changing at such a fast pace that it is important to choose developers with lots of VR experience and with skill sets in everything from creating accurate 3D models to how to create software for all the latest hardware such as VR headsets like the Gear VR, Microsoft VR Hololens, and the Google Cardboard.

The process can get complex to create VR apps, therefore, you might need end-to-end project management support. Consider engaging a reputed software development company and its virtual reality developers for such projects.

Read our guide “How to find the best software development company?” for more information or simply fill out our project specification page and a dedicated account manager will get back to you to show you how DevTeam.Space’s top VR developers can solve your problems for you.

All of our VR/AR developers have years of experience creating top VR applications that deliver the best virtual reality experiences.

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FAQs on How to Hire a VR Developer

1. What is VR development?

VR development involves the creation of 3D environments that allow user movement and interaction. As such, it is considered very similar to 3D game development.

2. How do I get started in VR development?

There are many challenges in VR development that require different types of developers. Some are more design and environment focused while others are backend focused. Master whichever field you choose and start applying for jobs.

3. Where to start hiring VR app developers?

Since VR development is a niche development field, you should skip the freelancers and hire virtual reality developers straight from companies, such as DevTeamSpace, that have developers with extensive experience in VR development. This will save you lots of headaches.

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