Given the demand for Android development, you can find quite a few Android application programmers.
Do you have a complex project? In that case, you should engage a reputable software development company. You can expect such a company to provide you with competent developers.
We recommend that you think through your project requirements carefully first. You can then frame your thoughts well and decide what kind of an Android developer you need.
After you have done this, you need to ask yourself how will you evaluate your Android programmers? We suggest that you evaluate them against the following skills:
Native Android development skills
Without a doubt, native Android development offers the best user experience, performance, and speed to users. Native Android development utilizes programming languages and tools that are best-suited to the Android platform.
You can use the native features of the operating system best when developing native apps. Native apps make the best use of hardware features like the camera and microphone of mobile devices.
If you decide to develop a native Android app, then you should look for the following skills:
- Programming languages like Java or Kotlin: Java has been the mainstay for Android development for a long time. This well-established language helps you to develop secure Android apps, moreover, you can create performant and scalable apps. In recent years, Kotlin has emerged as a very popular choice for Android development. Kotlin helps Android programmers to achieve more by coding less, moreover, it eliminates several common coding errors by design. Our guide “Kotlin vs Java: Which is the best choice?” can help you choose between them.
- Native Android development tools: Developers need to use Android Studio, the popular IDE for native Android development. Native Android application programmers should also know about Espresso, the popular testing framework for Android.
- Android SDKs: As part of your project, you could use one or more leading 3rd party APIs. This could be for common features like mobile payment, etc. Leading 3rd party API providers typically offer Android and iOS SDKs. These expedite the development work, therefore, native Android developers should know about them.
- The knowledge of how to publish an app to the app store by following the Google Play store guidelines.
In some cases, you might need alternatives to native development. You could use React native, a popular mobile development framework in such a case. This open-source framework can help if you also plan to release an iPhone app in the future. Developing native Android and iOS apps can be a bit expensive since you will need to hire developers with entirely different skills. Your maintenance costs will also go up too.
React Native can be a viable alternative. While it can’t fully match the native user experience and performance, React Native does offer a near-native experience.
React Native allows a significant amount of code reuse. You can write an Android app and reuse the code for iOS app development. This keeps your mobile application development and maintenance costs down. For a mobile app developer, React Native is easy to learn too.
Depending on your business requirements, you might choose to offer certain complex features in your app. The good news is that modern technologies have made it easier to offer such features.
Based on what kind of capabilities you plan to offer in your app, you might choose to use technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Internet-of-Things (IoT), analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), etc.
The exact skill will vary based on the technology you use. For example, if you are planning to offer AI/ML-powered features, then you would need developers with Python skills. Analyze your project requirements thoroughly and look for the appropriate skills in your Android developer.
Mobile development on the Android platform requires several other skills too. These aren’t necessarily specific to Android development, rather these are more generic skills that a software developer needs. In this category, you need to look for the following skills:
You could process aggregate, anonymized data like Google Analytics data in your app, but that will only be for very simple apps. Most apps process some amount of sensitive information, which could include personal information of customers.
Given the growing concerns about data security, you need to proactively secure your Android app. You might need to comply with stringent data security and privacy regulations applicable to your industry.
You should look for programmers that know how to code secure apps. Developers need to follow applicable coding standards and best practices, which mitigate many key application security vulnerabilities. They also need to use modern techniques like multi-factor authentication, encryption, etc.
You will likely develop 1st party APIs so that the front-end of your Android app can access the backend using a consistent framework. Using APIs can also help you to scale your development process since this can help you to iterate rapidly.
REST, or “Representational State Transfer” is the de-facto standard for API development. You need programmers that know how to develop RESTful APIs. They need to use appropriate API development tools, utilize modern databases smartly, and create effective rules for API requests/responses.
Developers need to design the API endpoint URLs smartly. Finally, they need to secure the APIs they create using techniques like authentication tokens, encryption, digital signature, quotas, throttling, etc.
You should focus on the mobile app front-end and business logic. To do this, you need to find a way to spend less time and resources on the mobile backend. Cloud platforms can help.
Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) platforms are cloud platforms that help you to build and manage your mobile backend. These platforms are fully managed by cloud providers, and AWS Amplify is an example of an MBaaS platform.
MBaaS platforms manage cloud infrastructure, persistent storage, etc. You can use them to integrate APIs easily, moreover, MBaaS platforms can help you to scale your app.
Using an MBaaS platform can save considerable time, which allows you to focus on the front-end. Look for developers that have familiarity with popular MBaaS platforms like AWS Amplify.
You must plan to thoroughly test your Android app, however, you need to do more. Successful project execution requires you to identify bugs early, and code review significantly helps with this.
One example is application security. Several key application security vulnerabilities are hard to find during testing, however, experienced reviewers can spot them.
Code reviewers are developers too, however, they have gained considerable experience over the years. Working on complex projects gives them the knowledge of finding hard-to-spot defects. Look for developers that also know how to review code.
Technical skills are important, however, developers also need to know how to succeed in complex projects. The following examples illustrate this:
- While Android developers aren’t exactly UI designers, they need to know how to implement the user interface design in their code.
- A software architect makes the architectural decisions, however, a programmer should know how to code in line with an architectural pattern.
- Developers need to collaborate proactively with testers and DevOps engineers. This collaboration is a crucial element in establishing an effective CI/CD environment.
Look for programmers that know how to make your project a success. They should also have sufficient knowledge about the software development lifecycle.
How to find the best Android developer?
By now, you know the skills that you should look for when hiring Android app developers. You now need to take the following steps to hire such a programmer:
1. Decide what kind of platform to hire Android developers
There are numerous freelancer sites that provide Android developers. You can hire a freelancer on any of these sites. Since these sites allow you to directly communicate with freelancers, you might be able to negotiate a low rate.
However, remember that these freelance platforms have a few disadvantages. Firstly, they don’t provide any project management support, so you are on your own.
Freelancers might work on your project only on a part-time basis. A freelancer might work on multiple projects simultaneously to increase their income. You might not get as much time from a freelancer as you will get from dedicated Android developers.
Other freelancer platforms focus primarily on software development. This can be an advantage since you can get high-quality programmers.
However, you can’t get any other managerial support from such platforms once you hire a developer there. You need to integrate the work of the freelancer with the rest of your team, which can be both time consuming and problematic.
To get full-time developers, you should contact a proffesional app development company such as DevTeam.Space. A key advantage of hiring developers from our community of field expert developers is our streamlined hiring process that allows fast and efficient onboarding.
Not only will you hire using a transparent contracting process, but DevTeam.Space monitors the performance of all of our developers and we offer a replacement if the developer gets sick, etc.
We also provide management support, tools, and guidance to developers to help ensure they undertake their work in the most productive and efficient manner.
2. Interview the shortlisted candidates
Assuming you have decided on which type of hiring platform to use and shortlisted the best candidates, you now need to interview them. If you are a technology expert, then you already know which questions to ask to judge their skill level.
Gather Interview questions from the Internet if you don’t have technical expertise.
You can also ask a friend or associate to interview candidates on your behalf if they have the necessary technical knowledge. Remember to cover the various kinds of skills we have highlighted.
Gain insights about the work experience of the candidates.
Ask about the various projects they have worked on, how they achieved success, what kind of challenges they had to face, etc. When appropriate, ask the candidate to show the app they developed.
Explain your Android mobile app development requirements to the candidates in detail.
Ask them about how they would approach such a project. You should expect tangible and practical answers and not high-level statements.
You need to provide very detailed information about your project so that the Android developer can understand what they need to do. Explain the role and associated responsibilities.
You need to explain the communication process in your organization. The developer needs access to the project environment, moreover, you need to show them your code repository. Explain the project milestones, payment terms, review processes, etc.
While you must hold yourself accountable for the ultimate success of your project, you need accountability from your developer too.
Interview tips for hiring Android developers
Consider the following interview tips when you hire Android app developers:
A. Choose early between native Android development vs cross-platform development
To hire top Android developers, you need clarity over your requirements. Decide early on your Android app development approach. Choose between native development vs cross-platform development. Software engineers need vastly different skills for them. Channelize your efforts efficiently.
B. Think of the long-term aspects of Android applications
While you can use either Java or Kotlin for native Android development, Kotlin might just be the long-term choice. The creators of Kotlin designed it for native development. Many expert software developers believe that Kotlin is safer than Java. Consider the long-term aspects when hiring Android app developers.
Understandably, you need to focus on the functional requirements. Don’t cut corners concerning the NFRs though. Scalability, performance, usability, etc. are very important too. They make a sustained impact on the overall user experience.
Best Android developers know how to balance functional and non-functional requirements. Look for specialized Android developers with this knowledge.
You might find it hard to assess this skill and experience for freelance Android developers. Freelance Android developers might show you an impressive project portfolio. However, you can’t really gauge their true contributions to those projects.
Hire Android app developers from trustworthy hybrid software development companies like DevTeam.Space. We follow a stringent vetting process for our developers.
Look for software engineers with knowledge of app development processes. These include the software development methodology, quality management, software architecture, etc. Android app developers with knowledge in these areas improve their chances of success.
You could find it hard to evaluate these skills when interviewing Android development freelancers. That’s another reason to hire from companies like DevTeam.Space with a comprehensive screening process.
Sample interview questions to find Android developers
Ask questions to assess the relevant Android development experience. The following are a few examples:
A. How to set up an Android device for app development and testing?
Answer: Take the following steps:
Categorize your app as “debuggable” when your register it.
Activate “USB Debugging” on your device.
Follow the Android guidelines to make configuration changes for detecting the device.
B. How do you pinpoint memory leaks in Android apps when using Android Studio?
Answer: Use the Android Device Manager (ADM) in Android Studio. ADM helps you to pinpoint memory leaks. Launch the ADM, and you will find a heap sign. Active it, and it will help you to pinpoint memory leaks.
C. Mention some of the preliminary steps for troubleshooting an Android app that crashes often.
Answer: Take the following preliminary steps before the specific troubleshooting work:
Remove app data usage;
Clean up the memory;
Check memory usage;
Check for compatibility issues.
Review our Android interview questions for more examples.
Developing an Android app can be complex. You need competent Android developers with well-rounded skills and experience.
Finding competent Android developers for hire can be hard. We have explained the skills that you should look for, the various hiring platforms, and how you can interview.
Keep in mind that hiring individual developers and managing their work can take a lot of time and effort. However, you can save that time if you outsource the development project to a trustworthy software development company.
We recommend that you spend a few minutes and fill out the DevTeam.Space product specification form. This will help you to learn more about our field expert developer community. A dedicated account manager will contact you to tell you about our competent developers and the development services that we offer.