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Top 10 Expert Freelance Developers to Hire in 2023
| Web Developer
| Android Developer
Nikita has over 5 years of experience as a mobile app developer. He specializes in Android Kotlin.
| iOS Developer
Pavel has over 5 years of experience as a mobile application developer for iOS. He is an expert in Swift, SwiftUI + Combine, and Objective-C.
| React Native Developer
Roman has over 5 years of experience in mobile application development. He has built countless high-quality mobile apps using React Native and Expo.
| iOS Developer
Victor is a senior mobile app developer and a team lead. He has 12 years of experience in software application development and is an expert in Swift.
| Flutter Developer
Bakhrom has 5 years of experience as a mobile app developer. He is an expert in Flutter, Web3, FFmpeg, and computer vision technologies.
| Web Developer
| Android Developer
Dmitry is a senior developer with 6 years of experience in mobile app development. He is an expert in Kotlin, Clean Architecture, and MVVM.
| Web Developer
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How to Interview and Hire Freelancer Developers
Freelance developers are more than just random software engineers whom you hire arbitrarily for a quick, low-quality requirement job. Some freelance developers actively play an important role in aiding you to build a powerful digital product that yields maximum user engagement and lets you achieve the sort of success your hard work deserves.
However, there are lots of shady freelancers out there. For that reason, careful attention must be paid to ensuring that you select a freelance developer who has the correct skill set.
Who Needs to Hire Top Freelance Developers?
If you have a software project, big or small, you ought to consider hiring a top freelance developer. While you may get by with a sub-par freelancer or even assuming the responsibility on your own by watching some online tutorials, if you want to guarantee the successful completion of a beautiful, compelling, secure, and scalable digital product, then you need an expert developer.
This guide is for:
- Business founders (present and future) and CEOs of digital businesses
- Product owners or recruiters searching for talented software developers for software projects
- Business owners looking to expand their digital footprint
Expert Freelance Developers: Better Than the Rest
Freelancers occupy a unique position in the world of online business. Nowadays, it has become such a common practice to hire freelancers that even some of the biggest companies have started to get onboard.
While there may be some shady freelancers out there, expert freelance developers are unique in the assets they offer businesses:
- Flexible working hours and schedules (across multiple time zones)
- Varied contracts (fixed project or hourly rates)
- Easy virtual communication (Slack, among others)
- Fruitful remote collaborations
Top freelance remote developers have the skills needed to build you a minimum viable product (MVP) in next to no time, integrating, in turn, the features and customizations you wish to scale as your customer base grows. That way, you end up saving money in the short term while increasing your long-term earnings.
The Difficulties With Finding Freelance Developers For Hire
Software development is one of the most in-demand skills on the market today. For that reason, it comes as no surprise that the market is teeming with freelancers of various sub-niches who are offering their services in software development. Surely, when you try to find a developer, you post your project on a freelance platform, job board, or freelance marketplace.
When you include a job description that contains keywords like full-time developers, app developers, and on-demand web developers, to name a few, there’s no doubt that you receive a tidal wave of applications from candidates who promise you high-quality work for rock-bottom rates. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is.
You also have the added problem of having to verify qualifications from applicants on these platforms. While some candidates appear great on paper, they might very well be the ones leading your project to disaster.
Luckily, despite the frauds that tend to flock to these freelance platforms, there are still several qualified freelance developers out there who are ready, willing, and able to take on your software project successfully. It’s just a matter of figuring out where to find them.
How this Interviewing Guide Will Help
We will begin by going through the factors which differentiate top freelance developers from their junior counterparts, as well as the elements which characterize a great dev team. Then, we’ll proceed with a step-by-step breakdown of the process you can use to source talented freelance developers.
The purpose of this step-by-step process is to allow you to secure these developers without investing much time or money in the actual recruitment phase.
Consequently, the objectives of this methodology seek to:
- Quickly eliminate unfit applicants from your candidate pool.
- Get a thorough understanding of how deep a candidate’s knowledge is in the issues which affect your business.
- Attract the best freelance developers by presenting your project as one which they would wish to work on.
What Separates Expert Freelance Developers from the Rest
Onboarding a cheap $20/hour freelance developer with an acceptable-looking portfolio may seem like a logical idea now. However, make no mistakes: the risks associated with this type of hire can cost you lots of time and money in the long run. While they may charge you rock-bottom rates, a non-expert may:
- Be limited in their skill set
- Take way too long to complete determined tasks
- Completed tasks outside of the estimated deadline
- Have difficulty understanding instructions
- Struggle to communicate effectively
- Try to cover up mistakes instead of fixing them directly
- Not be able to solve complex problems that are specific to your business
- Not have the in-depth knowledge and know-how to make helpful suggestions
Expert freelance developers won’t have these problems. However, before moving on, it is important to state that expertise or seniority cannot be measured by years of experience and qualifications alone.
Believe it or not, there are several well-qualified freelance developers out there with 8+ years of experience who ought to be considered juniors.
Similarly, there are also freelance developers out there with minimal experience and next-to-no qualifications who are already at the forefront of software development.
Essential Freelance Developer Skills
Instead of relying on traditional methods to evaluate competency, here is a list of what truly characterizes a top freelance developer.
1. Breadth and Depth of Technical Skills
To be a freelance developer or software engineer, you must have a decent technical skill set as well as an acceptable understanding of the industry in which you are operating. Unlike in-house developers who usually form part of a team and can call on another developer within an organization for assistance, freelance developers are expected to be more knowledgeable and willing to resolve problems on their own.
The essential technical skills are:
- Additional programming languages that are of interest to your business
- Knowledge of debugging and testing procedures
- Databases, cybersecurity, SQL, APIs, SQL
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Integrating social media platform icons and functionalities within websites
More Advanced Skills:
- Knowledge of how to build websites based on best UX/UI design practices
- Can implement products that perform well across multiple operating systems and platforms
- Mobile design practices (Material Design)
- User investigative research
- Building scalable websites
- Best SEO practices
- Setting up data analysis software, customer behavior tracking, and adding features like payment gateways, etc
However, in the event that your project is more complex in nature, your best bet would be to go with a freelance development team.
While it may sound like a big jump from a single freelance developer, remember that a small team can get the same work done as one single developer but in a fraction of the time, thus allowing you to save time and money. Every day lost in production is lost time that can never be regained. With an expert freelance dev team, you don’t have to resign yourself to that fate.
2. Communication and “Soft” Skills
In addition to hard, technical skills, it is equally as important for a freelance software developer to have solid soft skills. After all, it is pointless to hire someone who has fantastic technical skills yet can’t communicate effectively, much less to do freelance work.
Instead, you need a freelance developer who has:
- Sound communication skills
- A tendency to adapt to changes quickly
- A strong spirit of teamwork
- A positive attitude
- A good work ethic
- Common sense
- Critical thinking
Check out this article on developer soft skills for more details.
3. Has A Solid Understanding of The Online Business Arena
Freelance developers can have an impact on the success of your online business: experts even more so. That’s why the very best freelance developers ensure that their strategic and business skills are up to date as well as their technical skills. These include:
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to predict performance bottlenecks
- Gauging and measuring scalability
- Efficiently use cloud computing technology to cut costs
- Search engine optimization (Google, among others)
- Optimizing user experience
- Innovative and creative solutions to complex issues
Tips for non-technical people:
An expert freelance developer will have these qualities:
- The ability to break down their technical skills to you in simple terms. They don’t use overcomplicated language to explain what they do or why a particular program, software tool, or plugin is the best choice.
- The ability to communicate effectively, keeping you duly informed on every significant update in the pipeline of your project’s execution.
- The ability to understand your project vision and bring it to life. They are independent, autonomous professionals who do not need you to spoon-feed them or hold their hand along the way. They get work done and offer useful insights to you to guarantee your project’s success.
What Makes an Expert Freelance Dev Team?
If you have an ambitious, complex software project to create, then your best bet is to go with a professional dev team as opposed to a single freelance developer.
Several companies out there offer this type of service. The key is to do your research and subject any applicants to the right line of questioning to figure out who’s the best match for your specific project.
The individual members of a stellar freelance dev team should have a host of skills, combining them, in turn, to deliver the best result. Here are some of the factors you should keep an eye on when judging a team:
1. They Work Perfectly as a Unit
In the same way that the very best sports teams have to work together to achieve greatness, so too do the members of any successful freelance dev team have to work hand-in-hand to stay on top.
Every single team member must have a clearly defined role with responsibilities that they need to adhere to. A leader is assigned to ensure that there is accountability within the team as well as someone who bears the responsibility of regulating communication both internally and externally. These are the facets that form the backbone of a solid freelance dev team.
2. They Have Solid Internal and External Communication
As already mentioned, communication within a freelance dev team is crucial to their success as a unit. All members ought to be duly informed with regard to important novelties in a software project such as changes, timelines, task completion schedules, and follow-ups. Needless to say, this will also encompass ensuring that everyone submits their tasks in a timely fashion.
In the same vein, external communication from designated members of the dev team to the project stakeholders, managers, or interested parties is also important. There needs to be a constant flow of communication between both groups. Otherwise, that can form the breeding ground for conflict.
Expert freelance dev teams go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that distance is never a factor in determining the success of a project.
3. They Have a Positive Team Culture
Swell-headed individuals can destroy the morale and spirit of camaraderie of a team.
Arguments, fights, petty conflict, and poor communication are recipes for disaster that waste time, reduce productivity, and cause projects to fail.
A team’s culture should be based on fraternity, togetherness, helping each other out, and constant collaboration until success is achieved.
Working with a Team vs an Individual Freelancer
It is common for businesses to work with individual freelance developers and integrate them into their teams. If your project is small-scale, then in all likelihood, this would be the ideal solution for you.
However, if your project is large-scale and characterized by complex software demands, then you ought to consider expanding your recruitment efforts and sourcing a freelance dev team.
Working with an individual freelancer can be challenging. As discussed, if you assume the entire vetting process on your own instead of leveraging a community of tried, tested, and proven developers who have already met high entry requirements, then you may end up making an unfortunate hire.
Similarly, while working with a development team sounds attractive, if you are not careful in your recruitment efforts, you may fall victim to a shoddy partnership.
What are the important points to consider before you hire freelance developers?
Before you hire freelance developers, take a look at the following key considerations:
A. The best tech talent has a depth of skill and not just breadth
When you hire developers, you might be looking for developers with many skills. That’s often impractical though.
A web developer might not have expertise in mobile app development. That’s normal. Look for depth in one skill area. If you look for a breadth of skills in too many areas, you might not get the best developers.
If you need multiple skills, then you should create different job postings. Make each ad on job boards specific to one major skill area. You have a better chance of getting applications from relevant job seekers then.
First of all, get clarity over your major skill requirements. They could be as follows:
- Web development, mobile development, etc.;
- Android and/or iOS developers;
- WordPress developers;
- Full-stack developers;
- React developers;
- Python developers;
- Frontend developers;
- Machine learning developers;
- Backend development experts.
- Create specific job ads for each major skill requirement.
B. Smart software developers need a thorough knowledge of software development processes
Reliable, performant, and usable software programs don’t get created magically. Tech companies and academia have collaborated for decades, and they have created comprehensive software development processes.
Your chances of project success improve considerably when you follow well-established processes. This is especially true for mission-critical projects. Implement a rigorous screening process to gauge software development process skills.
C. Capable software developers understand the important software development methodologies
You need developers with a solid understanding of software development methodologies. This is especially true for senior software engineers. They should know how the important methodologies work, and they should know how they differ.
Companies working on mobile and web development services often use the agile methodology. You should expect the developers to know about this methodology and the scrum framework. Developers should also know about popular methodologies like “Waterfall”.
D. Good developers should understand software quality management
You want developers to deliver high-quality code. Software quality management is important for this. Software engineers should know enough about code review, testing, and coding guidelines. Assess these skills during the interview.
E. Developers must understand DevOps
To be sure, we don’t mean that web or mobile developers must also be DevOps engineers! However, developers in agile projects should have a clear understanding of the DevOps processes, methods, tools, and practices.
Mobile apps, e-Commerce websites, and other web apps undergo frequent enhancements. DevOps is key to the success of such projects. Assess whether the candidates know enough about it.
F. Good developers should need industry domain knowledge
Modern software development projects are more about providing a solution to clients. Backend developers, full-stack developers, mobile developers, etc. are still important. However, industry domain knowledge is important too. Check whether the candidates have enough experience in your target industry.
G. You need robust vetting processes when hiring freelance developers online
Hiring freelance software developers can be a gamble. To be sure, there are expert freelance software engineers. However, finding committed and experienced freelance programmers can be hard.
You must have a thorough screening process to find skilled freelancers. Provide as many details as possible in the job ad so that you get applications from only the relevant freelance professionals. Focus on hands-on skills during the interview, which helps to find developers with the right experience.
H. Technical interviews should focus on the relevant app development experience and not on the theoretical knowledge
Evaluate the experience of candidates. Don’t focus on theoretical knowledge only. How developers solve coding/debugging problems is more important than the theoretical knowledge of languages and frameworks.
I. Communication is important when you work with remote developers
Remote coders can offer a distinct competitive edge to you. You get to access a global pool of talents when you hire remote developers. However, it can be hard to work remotely. Remote workers need clarity about the organizational goals, project objectives, and tasks.
Set up a robust communication process with remote coders. In projects requiring frequent client interactions, establish a communication model that connects clients to the remote team.
J. The right organizational culture is crucial for even the top developers
Software engineers with skills and experience can make a positive difference to your project. However, they can deliver tangible and sustained results only if you have the right organizational culture. Foster an environment where your team focuses on clients. Encourage collaboration, integrity, innovation, and openness.
K. Leading companies consistently engage their developer communities constructively
Even the top developers need to feel a sense of belonging in the project team. Software development is a human endeavor. Human beings can effectively work in an organization only if they are adequately engaged. Proactively engage your software developers. Consider it as an investment towards organizational success.
L. Choosing the right hiring platform has far-reaching positive consequences
Your hiring decisions today impact your current projects, however, that’s not all. A successful hiring approach can help you with long-term projects too. After all, your organization would like to reuse a hiring channel that offers the best on-demand talent.
Hiring freelance developers from questionable talent platforms can pose risks to your project. On the other hand, hiring freelance talent from trustworthy companies like DevTeam.Space will bring project success.
Our rigorous vetting processes help you to get the right software engineering team. Renowned companies in the tech industry trust us. Leading brands from other industries trust us too. Go for a risk-free trial and hire a developer that does the job for you.
Mitigating risks of hiring freelance software developers
We foresee a few risks when you hire freelance developers. These risks and the corresponding mitigation measures are as follows:
A. Online hiring platforms might not facilitate a thorough evaluation of skills when interviewing candidates
When you hire a developer from a freelance platform, you are responsible for interviewing the candidates. Online freelance platforms don’t have their own developer communities. Individual freelancers sign up with these platforms.
Freelance platforms don’t really have a hiring process as we know it. Generally, they don’t take extensive interviews to judge the technical skills and competencies of freelancers.
Freelancers might work remotely, therefore, you will likely interview them over video conferencing. This often doesn’t allow you to evaluate their skills sufficiently. That could leave a gap in your entire hiring process.
Hire developers from trustworthy companies like DevTeam.Space. Such companies have stringent vetting processes of their own. Such a process substantially mitigates your risks.
B. Freelance full-stack developers might lack a thorough understanding of software architecture
Often, companies create technical solutions for their projects on their own. They make the architectural decisions, and they choose an architectural pattern. Organizations might hire a developer from a freelance platform only for coding tasks.
They look for freelancers with adequate skills in the relevant programming languages and frameworks. Freelancers might not get any opportunity to study the architectural decisions of the mobile or web development project. Therefore, they might often lack sufficient understanding of software architecture.
Do you need to hire a developer with a sound understanding of software architecture? Hiring tech talent from reliable partners like DevTeam.Space could be your best bet.
C. Freelance remote developers might not have a competent leadership
You might choose to hire remote developers that are freelancers. After all, many organizations successfully utilize remote developers.
Freelance remote developers need a capable team leader though. That’s not surprising since even the best developers need competent team leaders.
Freelance platforms provide individual developers. They can’t provide a smart team leader though. Hire a developer from a hybrid software development company like DevTeam.Space to mitigate this risk.
D. Freelance developers might lack an in-depth understanding of the strengths of modern programming languages
Organizations often hire developers from freelance platforms to expedite a few low-visibility work streams in their projects. They utilize their in-house senior software engineers and best developers to complete the high-visibility work streams.
Therefore, freelancers might only get to use limited capabilities of programming languages and frameworks. Assess the complexity of modules developed by the freelancers to mitigate this risk.
E. Freelance developers might not have sufficient exposure to the complexities of mobile and web development projects
Many companies often see the freelance industry as an avenue to augment the strength of their teams on a temporary basis. They depend on their in-house tech talent to navigate the complex parts of their projects. These companies create freelance job postings to get a few medium-complexity programming tasks done.
As a result, freelancers often don’t get to work on the real complex work streams in a project. Their exposure to complex projects can be limited. In order to mitigate this risk, you need to ask very pointed and specific questions to evaluate their relevant project experience.
Interview Questions and Answers to Identify Top-Level Developers
You ought to divide your interview process into clearly marked stages.
Each stage serves to eliminate unwanted or unfit candidates from your pool of talent, allowing you time to feel out each freelance developer so you can make the perfect hire.
- Basic screening stage – Preselecting candidates who meet the minimum requirements
- In-depth technical knowledge and ability – Identifying applicants who truly get the challenges confronting your business.
- Strategic knowledge – Zoning in on the top talents who can take your project to the next level and beyond. This signals the end of the interview stages and signals the beginning of the hiring process.
Step 1: Basic Screening Stage
This first stage consists of eliminating any and every applicant to your job posting who doesn’t meet the minimum requirements. For that reason, the questions included in this initial stage should be related to logistics such as rates, language requirements, location, and experience.
- How well do you speak English (or whatever language you need)? 1 – 10
- How well do you write in English? 1 – 10
- How many years of experience do you have working as a freelance software programmer/coder?
- Do you have any examples of software projects you have worked on?
- Are you familiar with (specific technology, e.g.WordPress)?
- Have you ever built an Android app?
- Where are you based?
- How many hours a week are you willing to work?
- Would you be interested in working full-time?
Questions for Teams:
- Who will be the point-of-liaison between myself (project manager) and your team? Do they speak English?
- What is the name of the project management tool(s) you use? What files or documents will you provide me access to?
- Are you familiar with agile?
- Is your dev team full-stack (in other words, do you have great backend and frontend developers)?
- How many people on your team have more than 4 years’ worth of backend experience?
Once you’re done filtering candidates based on the responses provided, you can then commence with basic technical questions to continue the vetting process. These questions are unique in the sense that they require either a right or wrong answer. That way, you know which candidate is legitimate or not.
Example Technical Questions:
A: The concept of defining a particular set of coding, registering it, in turn, with a unique name.
Q: What does the acronym CORS stand for?
A: Cross-origin Resource Sharing
The first set of logistic questions require you to determine for yourself what is “wrong” based on your project’s specific needs. For example, if English is the vehicular language through which you need to communicate with the team if a candidate doesn’t speak English, then you can strike them off the list.
Keep this section short. While you want to weed out misfits, you also don’t want to bore true expert freelance candidates with easy questions that don’t require much brainpower.
Those whom you deem to have performed poorly in this round of questioning should be eliminated from those who make it to the second round.
Step 2: In-depth Technical Knowledge and Ability
This stage is where things get interesting. Now, you get to determine who on your talent pool list really deserves the privilege of working on your project.
The questions that you pose to candidates will aid you in determining who has the most technical know-how and attitude to make your project a success.
You may be tempted to ask highly difficult questions. This will get you nowhere. Extremely difficult questions will never allow you to distinguish an experienced freelance developer from one who just studied well for the interview.
Instead, the best solution is to ask open-ended questions about problems that you think may occur when working on your specific project, asking the candidate to describe how they would address that particular issue.
Vary the type of questions you ask, and be spontaneous in your approach. Don’t feel the need to structure your question series based on a particular topic that flows logically. The less likely a candidate can anticipate your line of questioning, the more likely you are to determine whether they’re truly right for the job.
- How do you go about making digital products scalable?
- How does scalability for mobile apps differ from websites?
- What are the most significant elements about user interfaces you bear in mind when designing them?
- When would you recommend a client to use a WordPress?
- Would you rank WordPress over another content management system (CMS) like Drupal?
- What steps would you take to improve page load speed?
- How large a role does user investigation place in the design process of a user interface?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. It is up to you to evaluate the quality of the response provided by the candidate.
Be sure to take into account the coherency, logic, and fluency of the responses provided. The more noticeable these characteristics are in responses, the more likely it is that you are dealing with an expert freelance developer.
In short, the more the answer makes sense, the more you should be inclined to proceed with these candidates to the third round of questioning.
Stage 3: Strategic Knowledge
Now that you’ve sized down your pool of candidates to a select few, it is time to subject the chosen ones to another round of questions. This time, the emphasis should be placed on figuring out which applicant can provide the most value to your business.
Ideally, if there’s a stage within the interview process that you should do either in person, by video chat, or by live message chat, this is the one.
Just like the previous stage, the questions should all be open-ended. Considering that your focus is on determining ideas for business growth, the topics you should cover can range from:
- Content Management Systems
- SEO strategy
- Content strategy
- Cloud technology
- Reducing expenses
- Key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Marketing strategy
- How would you combine cloud infrastructure with a Content Management System like WordPress to make a website more scalable? Which platform would you go for and why?
- How would you go about developing a Search Engine Optimization strategy for a website?
- What are the major drawbacks to using the type of technology you would suggest to complete this software project?
- Moving forward, can you think of any ways in which I can incorporate new technology to reduce expenses?
When it comes to interviewing freelance dev teams, the process will vary ever so slightly.
Once the team has succeeded in passing the minimum requirement tests outlined in the first round of questioning, then your priority should be to determine how well they communicate. This will give you an indication as to how they will perform as the project begins to unfold.
Have a group chat or video call to determine how best they operate and whether the communication skills they transmit are in keeping with what you think is ideal for your business.
Remember that top freelance developers show exemplary communication skills and clearly transmit their thoughts and ideas to you in a coherent manner. Bear that in mind throughout the totality of your interview.
Submit a Project With Zero Risk
All in all, freelance developers and development teams are in-demand professionals who you can use to jumpstart your next software initiative. Thankfully, despite the questionable freelancing providers who give freelancers a bad name, there are still qualified, capable professionals who are ready and able to give your project wings to fly.
There’s no better way to source the right developer than by filling out a DevTeam.Space product specification form so you can access the array of already-vetted expert developers who form part of our community. Submit a request and one of our account managers will get in touch with you to connect you to our developers.