How to find a good mobile-app developer

Thought Leadership on Mobile App and Responsive Web Development presented by Simpalm.

1. Choose someone who understand your needs

You want to ensure that the developer understands your requirements and business objectives. They should be able to listen to your idea, your needs, your business objective, your audience and your future plan. A good mobile-app developer would be able to provide you feedbacks, technical input and suggestions on your requirements. If they have had prior experience in the same industry, they should be able to provide you suggestions on the features as well. By doing this, you will learn the developer’s communication skills, technical knowledge and more importantly, inclination to your project.

2. Ask them to brief your project.

A good developer should be able to understand your project scope, requirements and explain it back to you thoroughly. You want to know if they have analyzed requirements properly and have valuable suggestions and questions for your project. You should provide them your wish list of features, any sketch/layout of the design, or a detailed RFP to get maximum feedback from them. You should also ask them if they see any challenge in your project and how they plan to overcome those challenges.

3. Look at their technical capabilities.

You should fully understand their app development capabilities. You should figure out if they are equally capable of building apps for iOS and Android. Do they build the apps using a native app-development approach or cross-platform app-development approach? Do they know how to design UI/UX of the app? Can they build the backend for the mobile app? Would they upload the app to the app stores? How is their post production support? You want to ensure that they can do full-lifecycle development for you so that you can get everything done at the same time to minimize your time and cost.

4. Look at their previous work.

You can request the past work they have done on mobile apps. You can ask them to provide the portfolio and CVs of their developers. You can download and test their apps. You want to know if they have built apps with similar functionalities. If you are looking for Google Maps and push notifications in your app, you want to make sure they have developed these features in previous apps. The developer’s experience with similar features will reduce the amount of time developer will spend in building your app.

5. Look at their reputation.

You want to look for reviews, awards and online reputation for the developers. Do they have client testimonials on their website? Are there reviews for them on third party sites like Clutch.co, UpWork, AppFutura or Google Reviews? Are there negative reviews for them? Make sure to do some due diligence before you decide to hire them.

6. Ask for their references.

When you are ready to hire them, you should ask for two to three references that you could call to hear from their past customers. This is a very common practice whenever you want to hire a developer or a vendor for your IT projects, but many people skip it.

7. What is their pricing model?

You want to know the pricing model that developer will follow to charge you. Would they charge you on hourly basis or fixed-cost basis? You want to know how they will invoice you and how they will send the timesheet if it is hourly engagement. If it is fixed cost, you want to know the milestones and cost associated with each milestone. You should draft an agreement that clearly mentions fees and payment terms between you and the developers. Also, you should know about the developer’s strategy and policy for post production support if you are really impressed by them.

8. Time availability to start and complete the project

It is very important for you to know if the developer has enough bandwidth to start on your project and complete it in time with full dedication. You don’t want to hire a developer who will make you wait three or four weeks to start the project, or a developer who will work only a few hours per week on the project. You want someone who can jump on your project quickly and can devote the required time per week to keep the pace and interest in the project.

I strongly believe that if you follow my checklist, you will make a good selection. Sometimes you might be tempted to skips the checklist and try to make the selection process faster, but that can bite you back later if you end up making the wrong selection. I strongly recommend you follow proper process in selection in order for you to create the right product for you. If you need any further tips, you can contact me directly at Piyush@simpalm.com.

Click here for more Thought Leadership by Simpalm.