Are you creating a mobile app or a mobile version of your digital product?

Step number 1: Hire a good mobile developer(s).

Mobile apps are integral parts of today’s digital users’ lives. Legacy web apps become more attractive with their mobile versions (see our blog post on Legacy Systems). Mobile is everywhere, and it means being in touch with the world all the time. It is something you can’t live without. Also, it means if you want your software to be successful, you have to take care of a good quality mobile version of your digital product. Top mobile application development companies compete with each other to create the best apps and they need to hire the best programmers to make that happen.

mobile phone internet users, mobile development, mobile versions

Mobile phone internet user penetration worldwide from 2014 to 2019.

Source: Statista.

When you are facing the challenge to hire a mobile developer (or a team of mobile developers) you need to remember about a few essential steps. First of all, you need to identify who you are looking for and what’s the main objective of the project (or projects) you are hiring for. Either it’s a recruitment process within your internal IT team, or you’re searching for a software development company (see our blog post on software development outsourcing). Prepare an interesting job description to make sure you will convince top iOS and Android developers to apply and work with your business. Set up a recruitment (or selection) process and make sure that you know how to choose the best candidates (consider recruitment tasks, on-site meetings, who you want to be involved in the process and what’s your timeline).

A quick question: what are the most desired skills and characteristics when hiring a mobile developer?

Look at your project requirements and goals. Each use case requires different skills and approach. I’m not only talking about technical skills, although they will play a major role but also human-centered and user experience approach that will be essential when creating a mobile product. A good app developer needs to be precise and have good problem solving and analytical skills. He or she needs to act like a tester who finds and resolves application issues if needed. The best application programmer should have a can-do attitude and be able to propose new and efficient solutions. You should try to hire someone who will have a bigger picture and think not only about single features but play a mobile app designer role as well as be able to focus on user experience and the final design of the app. When starting work on a project, a mobile developer who we want to work with definitely needs to have a bigger perspective to evaluate which methods will be most appropriate for the app we want to create to avoid future errors and devices overloading. Some companies are recruiting the top iPhone or Android developers specifically, but most mobile app development companies usually look for people who have experience in both of those areas. If you are using specifics technologies, it’s also good to mention it in the job description so to avoid any confusion and misunderstandings. The most popular languages for developing iOS apps are Swift and Objective-C, whereas Android developers use Java and Kotlin most often. You can also use some cross-platform technologies like React Native, Xamarin or Flutter and others (although we are proud of having onboard native mobile development team). It would be also great to hire an app developer who’s also experienced in frontend and backend development and can write clear code.

When writing a message to potential app developers, it’s important to be clear who you are looking for, why you are contacting that particular person and what kind of interesting projects you can offer.

How to verify that a mobile app developer you’re talking to is a good fit for your business?

Ok, so you managed to find interesting candidates. Now it’s your job to check if they are really qualified for the project and if they will be a good fit for your company. How to check if a mobile app developer has relevant experience? Start with basic technical questions that each mobile developer should know the answer to. It’s good to prepare some business case and ask what approach for this particular project would be the best and why.

Here are a few of the questions you may ask to verify if the mobile app developer you are talking to is a good fit for your project and your business.

  • What is the difference between native mobile app design and responsive web design? Do we really need both?
  • What is the best search pattern for mobile phones?
  • What is the best way to improve User Experience (UX) without changing the interface?
  • And probably many more depending on what kind of project you’re offering.

Best mobile app developers need to be up-to-date with the trends. You should definitely ask candidates about their favorite apps and last take-aways. Ask them to show their portfolio, and a couple of questions on their experience would be helpful too (as well as thoughts and opinions). This person is going to create a mobile app for your business, so being business oriented and staying tuned with the latest trends will be crucial for project success.

Besides the technical skills and approach, the cultural fit plays a meaningful role. By “cultural” I mean the ability to work as a team player, project preferences (some developers love to work in the enterprise environment for big clients, whereas others prefer a startup atmosphere and supporting growing businesses). On the other hand, independence in working on projects is also appreciated. Check the preferences for asking questions about past teams and projects.

Ok then, so your candidate has proven experience in developing mobile apps for businesses. He or she knows what user experience means and answered all your technical questions. The projects you are offering seem to be interesting to her/him and other “cultural” aspects work. But one tiny thing (oh, actually not so tiny), is left. The price. It depends on the country you are working in, the type and the advancement of the project as well as the experience of the developer. I’m not going to present you the chart with the pricing range, but please, keep in mind that the quality of your app will likely suffer as a result if you treat price as the prime factor.

Hiring dedicated developers with relevant experience is not always easy-peasy, and you need to be aware of the fact that sometimes your choice is not the best one, despite doing everything right and according to best recommendations.

At Freeport Metrics, we have quite a long experience in hiring mobile developers who work on our customers’ projects and create mobile versions of business digital products. We care about their technical skills, and (trust us!) we check it very carefully. The cultural fit is equally important to us and we take into account the fit to our company environment as well as to the planned projects. We do also want our mobile developers to feel comfortable with the work they do, so we are trying to create project teams in a way that the developers can use their skills and knowledge, but constantly learn new things from the rest of the team and the client.

Ready for your mobile digital product journey? Still have some questions? Want to add something or talk more about our experience in mobile app development? For any of those cases, just drop us a line.

Stay tuned and get more insights on software development!

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