If you are going to launch an IT start-up but don't have programming skills, you have to find a tech expert who can bring your idea to life. Certainly, you want to hire the best app developer who can make everything exactly as you see it in your mind. But how to find him?
According to Evans Data, a global developer population is steadily growing and estimated to top 25 million by 2020. Nowadays, developers are located all around the world, which makes it even harder to pick just one of them. To cite some figures:
- North America accounts for 4.1M developers,
- South America - 1.7M developers,
- EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) - 6.7M developers,
- APAC (the Asia-Pacific region) - 6.5M developers.
So, when you face the necessity of choosing a developer for your project, you inevitably run across the question: How can I pick a good, reliable app developer who will fully understand my needs, will be able to implement them and won't put me at risk of having my idea zuckerberged?
This article provides some tips on how to find the right developer for your app.
Choose an app development location
There is a rule that works not only for app development: "You can have it fast, good and cheap - choose any two." Though the development cost is a decisive factor for many start-ups, it's necessary to remember that too low price increases the risk to get a poor app in the end. When evaluating different options, you should keep the balance between cost and quality.
Choosing a local developer from your country is attractive for several reasons. When you are in the same time zone with your development camp, there won't be meetings in the night or early morning. You will avoid communication issues associated with the language barrier or differences in cultural values and, if something goes wrong, it will be easier to manage conflicts. However, it may happen that the domestic developers don't have enough experience to handle your project or rates at your local market are too high and the development cost runs over your budget.
In their turn, offshore developers have substantial benefits too. In the international IT outsourcing market, there are many reliable and seasoned professionals who know the specifics of building apps for your sector, which is crucial for building high-quality apps. The time difference will not necessarily be a problem as it's usually enough to have 1 or 2 overlapping work hours to do effective communication with your foreign development team. At the same time, since the salaries of tech specialists in countries like Ukraine or Belarus are much lower compared to those in Western Europe, USA or Australia, the developers outsourced from these countries can charge less without sacrificing on quality.
If you want to create a fairly simple app that requires, let's say, 400 working hours, you may easily calculate the cost difference using the following average rates:
- North America - $120-150/hr,
- Central and Western Europe - $100-140/hr,
- Eastern Europe - $30-50/hr,
- Asia - $25-40/hr.
Where to find app developers?
After choosing the location of your future app development team, you will face another question: Where exactly can I find developers? There are several options.
The first and probably the easiest way to search for a developer is to ask your friends. It would be great if someone from your surroundings had a good experience with some developer. You friend can tell you about strengths and weaknesses of the developer as well as other things you should pay attention to.
Another option is to look for tech talents in your local universities. If you have a small project that doesn't require a big team or skilled programmers, it may work for you. Talk to professors, they will be happy to connect you with the best students, as it's a great opportunity to get a real-life experience. It will take more time to develop your app this way because students need time for classes and have to learn new things on the fly. However, it will help to keep your costs down and you will probably meet some talented and motivated young engineers.
If you failed to find an app developer through your friends and hiring students is not for you, the best way is to search the Internet. There are many online platforms specifically designed to help you find an experienced development team or a developer with specific skills. Let's take a look at most popular and helpful of them:
- Freelancer - the biggest marketplace with 22M+ registered users from 247 countries. It's a good place to hire a freelancer or a team. You can find developers for a small project or a large one, have a fixed price or hourly rate.
- Upwork - another big freelancing website with 12M+ users. Handy search options make it easy to find a suitable developer.
- Clutch.co - this one is quite different from the resources mentioned above. Clutch is a research and review platform that helps to opt for the best software firms in the technology and marketing sectors and provides various ratings of tech companies. Here you can check app developer's profiles and read verified reviews from their clients.
- Vendordb.com - is a website similar to Clutch where you can find reviews on companies and service providers.
- LinkedIn - a business and employment-oriented social networking service. It's not aimed at finding freelancers but can help you to get connected with the right people.
Freelancers vs. software development companies
The choice between a freelancer and a software development company is a controversial point. Hiring a freelancer is considered cheaper because freelancers are self-employed while companies have many overheads. Individual developers are good for handling small tasks but with bigger projects, you may face some problems. Building an app usually requires participation of several IT specialists, e.g. designers, front-end developers, back-end developers, QA testers, DevOps, etc. This means that you will have to hire several freelancers and make them work together. However, it's a troublesome task to organize the efficient collaboration within a distributed and remote working team. Besides, freelancers tend to overload themselves and may have several projects at a time, which decreases the quality and speed of their work. They can drop your project for another job or may not be available when you decide to continue the development after a pause. If this happens, you will have to look for another freelancer and put him in the way of things.
Hiring a software development company will save you from many headaches. A company has many employees with different skills and can handle the entire development process. Companies have much bigger expertise than an individual freelancer and can provide you with skilled experts to sort out any of your issues. They usually have project managers to help you communicate with your devs, guide the team and solve organizational issues. Companies care about their reputation, have in-house QA teams and more resources than a single freelancer which makes them more beneficial in terms of security, meeting deadlines and long-term collaboration. So the advantages of hiring a development company are obvious, aren't they?
How to choose the right app developer?
Once you have shortlisted a few candidates, you should check them to select the app developer who can meet your expectations. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision.
First of all, visit their websites to learn more about their technology stack, development approach, goals and values. If a developer's website is well-designed and user-friendly it's a good sign that they can make a great app for you. Pay special attention to a portfolio section as it can give you an idea of developer's skills and areas of expertise. Keep in mind that experienced app developers can have hundreds of successfully delivered projects and they can't put all of them on the website. However, they are always happy to provide the list of relevant projects on request. So, don't hesitate to drop them a line and ask to send you the list of apps they have developed.
The next step is interviewing the selected developers. A Skype call will help to make sure that the development team is capable to create the app of your dream. It's also a good opportunity to check their communication skills and ask the right questions. The longer the company operates in the market the more reliable it is. Check how many years of experience they have and ask to provide references. The real feedback from the company's current or former clients will let you better understand how qualified, responsive and responsible the development team is.
Another important thing to check is the transparency of the development process. Question them about tools used to track the progress, reporting approaches, communication options and your role in the development, e.g. whether you will be able to talk to each member of the team, test the app and request changes on the go.
App development is not a one-time activity. If your app succeeds to win the hearts of users, you will want to add new features and it won't be easy to change the development team on the way. So, look for developers interested in long-term collaboration and capable to offer the whole package of services.
Hopefully this article will help you hire a development team that will be the right fit to turn your vision into an app. Be clear in your requirements, research different channels, don't be afraid to ask questions and choose wisely.
If you have an app idea but don't have good developers yet, contact us! We have a lot of experience in creating great apps and we'll be happy to hear from you!