You’ve come up with have an idea for a mobile app and now the next question to ask yourself is how do I find a mobile app developer to make it. Finding the right app developer for your idea is a crucial step. The right mobile app developer can mean the difference between your startup success and failure. And the startup failure rate is staggering.
Finding an app programmer for hire isn’t difficult, the market is booming and a simple search in Google will return thousands upon thousands of results. But finding a mobile app developer that understands your idea, can deliver what you need and within the time frame you need it can be a difficult task.
The options include costly developers working for the top iPhone and Android app development companies, mid-size mobile app development companies, and cheaper freelance mobile app developers.
The following steps will help you find the right mobile app developer and give your business idea a fighting chance in the competitive mobile app market.
1. Your Mobile App Idea in a Nutshell
You need to summarise your mobile app idea and be able to explain it quickly and precisely. A lot of startups use an elevator pitch to convince friends, relatives and investors to back their idea. The elevator pitch is designed to convince investors and users that your idea is worthwhile.
You need to do something similar for the sake of finding the right developer for your mobile app. It’s a useful way of summing up your solution to a problem and allows you to put your business idea into perspective.
No matter how complex you think it is, It’s important that you can describe your idea. This is not only essential for ensuring your mobile app developer implements what you want, but it’s also important when it comes to convincing the public that your app is worth downloading.
Sit down, strip your idea down to its bare bones and write a short summary. This will help you understand what kind of mobile app developers you’ll need. The summary will provide the basis for a Request for Proposal (RFP) and help your prospective developer understand what they need to do and provide you with accurate costs and time estimates.
2. Freelance Developers Vs. App Development Company
There are three possible solutions when looking for a mobile app developer for your business idea. You can opt for freelance developers, go with a small or medium sized app development company, or a big development company. Each comes with its pros and cons and it will depend on the complexity of your mobile app idea and how big of a budget you have at your disposal.
The advantages and disadvantages of hiring freelance developers are well documented. In general freelance developers are cheaper and more flexible than large development companies. However freelancers are hard to pin down and it’s extremely difficult to know that they are good are they say.
Big mobile app development companies provide more expertise and better project management than freelance programmers. They are generally well organized, have a history of work that you can check and can afford to hire niche developers for complex tasks. Of course big companies do come with their drawbacks. They are usually more rigid about the workflow and there is little flexibility. They are also a lot more expensive than freelancers.
Small to medium sized development companies are the sweet spot between freelancers and a huge overpriced development company. They are flexible, reasonably priced, and can afford to hire project managers and a range of developers with different specialities.
3. Matching Your Passion for the Project
The developer you choose to transform your idea into a working app should share your passion and understand your vision for the project. A developer shouldn’t treat your app idea as just another job and this can happen when you hire a large development company. Developers that are working for large multinational companies are usually bored of doing the same work day in and day out, treating new clients with disdain or indifference.
It can be difficult to hire someone to build an app and be sure that they’ll care for the project as much as you do. Talk with your prospective hire and try to get a feel for them. Talk to them about their past projects and ask which project they enjoyed the most. That way you’ll find out all about their enthusiasm and passion.
4. Outsourcing or Homebred?
Outsourcing your project overseas or deciding to hire a local developer to make the app depends on your specific needs. Outsourcing is cheaper but it can be hard to find developers that you can trust.
Developers in India can be hired for between 15-25 dollars an hour, a fraction of what a developer in the US will charge you (anywhere between 100 to 180 dollars an hour). The outsourced developers in India are generally good for creating simple templates but not with complex projects. By hiring a cheaper alternative you run the risk of hiring an experienced developer who will not be able to deliver what you need.
Try to find the sweet spot between staying local and paying too much versus going too low overseas.
5. Shop Safe Online
The old saying goes that on the Internet you can be anybody. Anonymity exposes you to risk. As a startup entrepreneur you’ll be no stranger to risk but to be a successful startup owner you need to know how to manage and curtail risk.
Developers can and do disappear, leaving you with an unfinished project and out of pocket. There are a number of actions you can take to reduce the risks when working with developers online:
- Keep a copy of the code at your disposal
- Breakdown the project in stages with deliverable time frames that the developer must commit to.
- Create documentation so both sides understand what’s expected.
- Create a readable code base and leave comments in the code.
- Speak with your developer and discuss the best way to resolve possible conflicts.
6. Project Management
Project management is vital in keeping costs down and delivering the project on time. If you opt to hire freelance app programmers then you will need to do all the project management. The advantage of hiring established development companies is that they have dedicated project managers that you can liaise with and can keep you up to speed with developments.
It’s important to remain in constant contact with the development company or freelance developers, asking that they provide regular work reports with updates and schedule regular calls.