Mobile app development is a highly specialized skill set. While it’s not hard to find an app developer these days, it’s a challenge to recruit the right one, especially if you are not technical.
7 Factors to Consider When Hiring an App Developer
There are multiple factors involved in evaluating a potential app developer hire. Fortunately, you don’t need a computer science degree to use them.
Factor #1: Portfolio
Any mobile app developer worth talking to will have a collection of previous work. Inspect their portfolio to see if the apps are well-built and -designed.
Most people first notice aesthetics and layout- whether the app is pleasing to the eye. But also pay attention to the user experience. Is it easy to use? Can you quickly figure out what each feature does and how it works?
If you can find their app on the app store, check the reviews and see what users say.
Factor #2: Client references
If the developer did work on behalf of client companies (in a freelance capacity, for example), reach out to those companies and ask what the experience was like working with the developer. Follow the same process you would use to check another employee’s references.
What did they like about the experience? What challenges came about, and how did the developer handle them? Would they hire the developer again?
Factor #3: Level of project complexity
Consider your own needs as you review developer applications. What kind of project do you need the developer to do, and what is the scope? The project’s complexity will determine what level of skill you need the developer to have.
Will the developer be required to build the app from scratch, or do you need them to use a white-label development kit or a development template? Also, what mobile platforms will the developer be required to use? OS or Android?
Factor #4: Supervisor’s technical expertise
Managing a developer is much more challenging than managing another type of employee due to the highly technical nature of the work. This has to be taken into account when assessing developer candidates.
Suppose the hiring manager is not technical (or not technical in the right areas). In that case, they will have trouble knowing what questions to ask the developer and how to assess their productivity and output properly. In these situations, seeking out developers accustomed to working independently may be best.
Factor #5: Business perspective
Great app developers aren’t just technically competent and have good business sense.
This business sense helps them see how their project fits your business objectives. This strategic understanding makes it more likely they will develop an app that is useful for your customers and a joy to use.
Factor #6: Process and workflow
Get the candidate to explain their process for conceptualizing, designing, and producing a new app. Are they organized and thorough, or do they prefer to fly by the seat of their pants? When and how do they incorporate feedback from the project stakeholders?
The developer’s answers will tell you how well they will fit in with the rest of your team. Developers who are set in their ways will eventually cause internal strife, even if their process worked when they were working alone.
Factor #7: Interpersonal skills
You will, of course, be on the lookout for people with good social skills who will fit well in your unique office environment. But depending on the situation, the app developer might be called upon to present or demonstrate his work in front of a group–either management or the client.
This is more likely if his direct supervisor lacks the technical skills to present themselves (see Factor #4). So, some comfort in public speaking and large-scale social interaction might be good.
Finding the ideal app developer may take a lot of time and effort, but it’s well worth it. With their combination of UX, design, and development skills, your app developer can make a real difference in how your organization interacts with its customers.
So take your time, be thorough, and consider the above factors. They’ll be worth the effort!
About The Author
Shane is the Founder and CEO of the Los Angeles software development agency ClearSummit and the Co-Founder and CTO of TuneRegistry, a music rights SaaS platform. He also provides consulting services to startups and enterprise companies. Shane built news media backends before working in the agency space and was part of the FAA’s air traffic control system. He has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from UVA. He is passionate about efficiency and combining the best tech and design to solve complex problems.