Observers estimated in 2019 that there were 6 million Android developers and 2.8 million iOS developers.
For companies and individuals who desire to create world-class mobile applications, finding and hiring top app developers in this huge pool of talent can be an enormous challenge that is fraught with danger.
Whether you are a small startup company that is looking to build its first app, an entrepreneur seeking to expand into the lucrative app market, a project and product manager, a CEO, or CTO, knowing what to look for when hiring an app developer is key. Understanding how to sieve out the best from the rest is crucial to ensuring that your project is completed on time and to a high specification, and without it being infested with bugs.
In the spirit of Henry Ford’s statement that “working together is success”, we decided to share our expertise by putting together this informed guide on how to find and hire app developers who will help you make your dreams a reality.
Statista estimates that the number of smartphone users will reach 7.690 billion in 2027.
This means that the majority of the world’s population will use an iPhone or Android phone in order to browse the internet, shop in the app store or online, play games, watch videos, listen to music, etc. Things that only a decade ago seemed unimaginable to do with just one device.
But, why do you need an iOS or Android mobile app if your website is already optimized for mobile?
Well, you’re wrong if you believe that simply having a mobile-optimized site is enough for today’s tech-savvy users, who are practically glued to their smartphones every minute of the day.
Today, not only do big brands such as AliExpress, Ikea, or Starbucks rely on dedicated mobile apps as an important element of their online marketing strategies, but businesses of all sizes do too.
Small and midsize businesses can greatly benefit from tapping into the mobile app frenzy.
- Improving brand visibility and awareness. Given that Americans, on average, spend more than two hours a day using their smartphones, it’s clear that having a particular mobile app on their phone will subconsciously reinforce your brand message. Every time they browse through their apps, they will see your logo, which will increase brand recognition.
- Creating a direct marketing channel. A mobile app can provide your customers with all the relevant information they require, including a description of your products or services, prices, promotions, FAQ, and even connect them with customer service agents. All this will be at their fingertips via a dedicated mobile app, something which can accelerate their purchasing decisions.
- Providing value to your customers. We live in a digital age, so instead of a point-collection card, automate the process and have your customers qualify for discounts by collecting points on their mobile app. Needless to say, this will generate more app downloads and a higher ROI.
- Increasing customer engagement. A dedicated mobile app is an excellent way of opening new lines of communication with your customers to allow them to reach you instantly. With this process being so simple, they are likely to use this means to get in touch when they need to solve any potential issues that they have with your products or services. This is essential for customer retention.
The mobile app market size was $106.27 billion in 2018. Market research reports estimate that this market will reach $407.31 billion in 2026.
It is safe to say that companies need top app developers and mobile app development services more than ever.
Though globalization has given us the ability to hire app developers from large pools of overseas developers, who are often willing to work for less money, none of this matters if these people are not the best app developers with both the motivation and expertise to get the job done right.
Fundamental to getting the best usable product is creating an effective mobile app development process and finding the right software development individuals or development team to make it happen.
Your web app developers will not be able to help you build a successful mobile app, you will need the right mobile app developer or developers to help you.
While hiring a remote app developer or dev team is not quite the same as taking on a new member of staff, there are many similar processes and techniques that can be used to recruit and test out suitable candidates. This goes for both Android and iOS developers alike.
When seeking to hire app developers any interviewer can successfully root out the right candidate when they have the right tools and methods.
When it comes to interviewing iOS or Android app developers, the main problem that most interviewers face is the gap in their own knowledge or experience.
Those with little to no background in coding and mobile app development usually have a hard time trying to find the best development engineers.
One of the things that companies learn very fast is that simply being able to code is not what makes a good developer.
In most cases, the developers who apply for the position that you are offering will almost certainly be reasonably good at writing code.
A top-notch developer will obviously have no problem when it comes to coding, but will also need to have all the other necessary skills too. In other words, your ideal candidate should be able to:
- Work well with others
- Communicate clearly and effectively
- Own and learn from their mistakes
- Understand what contributes to a good user experience
Most importantly, they should be passionate and reliable.
So, how can you find all this out in an interview to hire mobile app developers?
Well, the good news is that there are numerous techniques that can help you identify that perfect iOS or Android mobile app developer with an almost 100% chance of getting it right.
After years of interviewing developers from a variety of different backgrounds, we have amassed a wealth of experience and tricks to separate the best from the rest.
What follows is a step-by-step guide on how to identify the best mobile app developers based on a number of caveats that will determine their suitability for your particular project.
Don’t forget that just because one particular candidate might seem ideal at first sight, after conducting an interview based on the methodology we outline below, you may well find that they are far less suitable than you originally thought.
“I can write good code and always get my projects completed on time.”
Anyone who has ever tried to hire an iOs or Android app developer has most certainly heard a variation of this line.
The problem is that it tells you almost nothing about the individual you are interviewing.
To understand how to find an exceptional mobile developer, you must first understand what it means to be one.
If you are new to software development then it’s easy to gaze jealousy at other companies’ apps and fall into the trap of assuming they were created without any bumps in the road, as they say.
This is nonsense. No app project in history has ever been developed without having at least a few problems.
This is why you need a great mobile app developer who is not just good at writing code but also has the following strengths:
Your new hire should be excellent at writing code. That’s a must.
Establishing whether or not they are is relatively straightforward.
Just give them a test and see how they perform.
Another way to judge their knowledge of programming is by checking their previous experience.
Browse through their portfolio and run a background check on them with past employers to establish whether all that work is actually theirs.
Added to this, your developer should have a good all-round skillset. They should have good knowledge of all the main programming languages such as Objective-c, React Native, Kotlin, Java, and Swift for Apple systems.
Experience In iOS or Android App Development
As a general rule, the more experience an app developer has, the less likely they are going to run into unforeseen problems.
This gives project planners and managers much more flexibility, as an experienced app developer will be able to quickly modify problems or build additional features etc.
Experience in cross-platform Android and iOS development is also very helpful. Even if you are only planning on building an Android web app, it is likely that when it takes off, you will want to convert it to iOS. If your application developers have experience in both platforms, they will be able to build it with a later conversion in mind.
To gain a better understanding of an app developer’s general experience, you can ask to see examples of their past projects and coding (should someone on your staff be qualified enough to understand it.
Look for the following competencies when you hire an app developer:
- Passion for excellence;
- Commitment to the organizational/project objectives;
- Proactive attitude;
- Continuous learning and improvement;
- Communication skills; The ability to see the big picture.
A high-performing dev team is required to have all the traits that make a good software developer, though with a number of other additional caveats.
Firstly, it’s important for a dev team to have a well-oiled internal development process and communication policy that helps the project run as smoothly as possible.
Since the project owner is entrusting the fate of their app idea to the dev team, these processes should keep them in the know regarding the real-time progress of the project.
All too often, inexperienced dev teams neglect their clients by not keeping them regularly updated with their project’s progress, also often failing to inform them of any problems or issues that could affect or delay the project later on down the line. Another area of neglect occurs when they repeatedly take a long time to respond to client queries.
Since a dev team is often a group of individuals who work together in remote locations and not just in the United States, dev team managers are often unable to keep the project and its progress completely transparent, especially as many mobile app programming teams are working on several projects at once.
The fact that app programmers are often working in different time zones is why all the best dev teams have set processes, which include regular progress reports, in order to make sure everything is on course.
Keep the following in mind when hiring app developers:
A successful mobile app development team needs to achieve high productivity.
You can look at it in two ways. Cross-platform app development allows you to reuse code.
Neither do you need native mobile development skills. After all, web app developers can use frameworks like React Native or Flutter. You can think of this as a productivity gain. However, you can’t offer the native user experience, performance, and security.
Assume you will offer a native app instead of a cross-platform app. How would you achieve productivity gain?
The good news is that modern programming languages for native app development offer considerable productivity gain. Swift offers powerful features, and iOS app developers can gain productivity.
Both Kotlin and Java offer productivity gain. You can argue that Kotlin offers more productivity gain, however, Java doesn’t do badly either.
You need developers that know how to realize these gains though. It’s hard to find freelancers with such in-depth mobile app development experience. Therefore, hire mobile app developers from software development companies like DevTeam.Space.
You need an efficient software development team. You would want fewer defects, and debugging should be fast. Maintenance costs should be under control too.
You need mobile developers with thorough knowledge of good coding practices. However, it’s hard to evaluate if freelance mobile app developers have this knowledge. Freelance app developers might make tall claims. You will find it hard to evaluate the real experience of freelance app developers.
Hire mobile app developers from trusted companies from DevTeam.Space. They follow stringent screening practices.
Examples of mobile app development-related questions when you hire app developers
Ask questions to test the hands-on skills of mobile app developers. You can refer to the following list of interview questions offered by us:
- Android interview questions;
- iOS interview questions;
- Swift interview questions;
- Java interview questions.
Check out the following sample questions:
Answer: Swift has “superclasses”. Other classes can inherit methods, properties, and functions from a superclass. You can define a “base class” by not defining its superclass.
B. Explain the differences between vectors and arrays in Java.
Answer: Vectors in Java are dynamically allocated. They have dynamic lists of references to other objects. Vectors can hold data from different data types, and their size can change as needed. Arrays are static. They have a fixed size and fixed primitive type.
C. When should you test an Android app on a real device and not on an emulator?
Answer: You shouldn’t test an Android app on an emulator in the case of interrupted scenarios. These are as follows:
- Insertion and removal of memory cards;
- Incoming calls when the app is active;
- An incoming SMS when the application is active;
- Bluetooth connection;
- Low-battery notification.
Looking to hire an app developer for your app development team?
You should now have a much better idea about what makes a good mobile app developer. Remember that you should arm yourself with a good understanding of your product specification as this is key to finding the best developer for your needs.
When hiring app developers, try to avoid freelance app developers, instead, hire software developers who work full-time for the software development companies you hire from.
If you would like to learn more about our community of vetted field expert app developers then simply fill out a DevTeam.Space product specification form. Once you have done so, we will have one of our dedicated account managers arrange a call to answer any questions you have about hiring app developers.