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Meet our App Developer community

Braintrust is a user-owned talent platform created by and for the world’s top talent. This includes a talented network of experienced App Developers available for hire.

Looking for Work

Saylee Pradhan

Saylee Pradhan

iOS developer
Toronto, CA
  • iOS
  • Mobile Engineering

Looking for Work

Charles Aric Brown

Charles Aric Brown

Software Engineer
Eugene, OR, USA
  • Android
  • Mobile
  • iOS

Looking for Work

Tak Maz

Tak Maz

Sr. iOS Engineer
Remote, OR, USA
  • iOS
  • Mobile Engineering

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How to hire Top App Developers


Hiring an app developer (sometimes referred to as a software engineer) involves a thorough evaluation of various factors. It is not just about gauging their technical competence and previous work, but also understanding their problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and ability to stay updated with industry trends. A prospective developer's portfolio provides insights into their capabilities, while references or reviews can shed light on their reliability and work ethic.

The size of the company or startup also plays a significant role in hiring. In a startup, the developers often wear multiple hats and are expected to be adaptable. They may be required to take on different roles as per the project needs and work on multiple aspects of the web or mobile application, from backend to frontend. Conversely, at a larger company, developers usually have more specialized roles. They may work as part of a larger team and focus on a specific area of the app development process.

The decision between hiring a full-time developer versus an hourly or contract developer depends on the scope of your project and your long-term needs. A full-time developer can be a good choice if you have ongoing needs for product development and maintenance. They can contribute to the company's culture, participate in team activities, and bring continuity to the project. However, full-time developers also come with additional responsibilities for the employer, including providing benefits and ensuring a steady workload.

On the other hand, hourly or contract freelance app developers offer flexibility and are often a more cost-effective solution for short-term projects or when you need to quickly scale up your development capacity or assist your app development team. They can be hired to work on a specific part of the application or for a fixed duration. However, managing contract developers can be more challenging, and there may be less continuity in their work.

Overall, hiring a top-notch app developer is a crucial task that requires careful consideration of various factors. It's about finding a candidate that not only has the technical skills and experience to deliver a high-quality application but also fits into the work culture and aligns with the broader needs and goals of your project or organization.

Relevant Experience

Relevant experience is a key factor to consider when hiring an app developer. It goes beyond just knowing how to code; it involves an understanding of the type of app you're aiming to create, the typical challenges associated with it, and the potential solutions. For instance, developing an e-commerce app would require an understanding of payment gateways, shopping cart systems, and user privacy concerns, while a gaming app would require knowledge of game physics, graphics, and performance optimization. A developer with experience relevant to your project can better anticipate potential roadblocks and have tested solutions ready. This can save significant development time and improve the quality of the final product. Furthermore, developers with relevant experience are more likely to be familiar with the necessary technical tools and platforms, whether it's Swift and Xcode for iOS apps, Java or Kotlin and Android Studio for Android apps, or Unity and C# for game development.

Technical Skills

A developer's technical proficiency is foundational to their ability to create a functional, efficient app. They should have mastery over the programming languages needed for the platform you're targeting, such as Swift or Objective-C for iOS, or Java or Kotlin for Android. But coding skills alone aren't enough; they should also be experienced with relevant native app development environments (like Xcode for iOS, Android Studio for Android), as well as libraries and frameworks (such as JavaScript) that facilitate development, such as React Native for cross-platform apps. Understanding of version control systems (like Git), proficiency in working with databases, and familiarity with API usage are also important. Furthermore, they should have a solid grasp of software architecture principles and design patterns, which influence the structure and quality of the app's code. Lastly, knowledge of testing methodologies to ensure the app's reliability, as well as understanding of security best practices to protect user data, are crucial skills for any app developer.

Portfolio of Past Work

An app developer's portfolio provides tangible evidence of their capabilities and years of experience. A diverse portfolio demonstrates versatility and adaptability, but also look for consistency in quality across their projects. Study the features, functionality, and design of their past apps. Are they user-friendly? Do they look professional and polished? Are there any innovative features or notable technical achievements? Download some of the apps if they're publicly available, and evaluate their performance and usability. Furthermore, the portfolio can give you an insight into their aesthetic style and attention to detail—important considerations if you don't have a dedicated designer on your team. In addition to the finished products, you might also ask about the challenges they encountered during these projects and how they overcame them, which can provide insights into their problem-solving skills and resilience.

Understanding of User Experience

User experience (UX) is paramount in the success of an app. It doesn't matter how technically impressive an app is if users find it difficult or unpleasant to use. A developer with a strong understanding of UX will prioritize simplicity, intuitiveness, and user satisfaction. They will consider how users navigate through the app, the layout of buttons and menus, the responsiveness of the app, and how effectively it meets the user's needs. They should also be familiar with User Interface (UI) design principles to ensure the app is visually appealing and effectively communicates information to the user. This knowledge extends to understanding platform-specific design guidelines, such as Apple's Human Interface Guidelines for iOS or Google's Material Design for Android. A developer's comprehension of UX principles should be evident in their previous work, but you can also ask them directly about their approach to UX design during the interview process.

Problem-Solving Ability

App development is a field that frequently presents complex challenges. Therefore, an app developer's problem-solving abilities are as critical as their technical skills. They need to have the capacity to troubleshoot issues, devise efficient solutions, and constantly optimize the app's performance. Coding challenges might arise, such as memory management issues or unexpected bugs, and the developer needs to efficiently debug and solve these problems. They should also be able to architect solutions that are scalable and maintainable. A good problem solver will also think ahead, identifying potential issues before they occur and taking preemptive action. This proactive approach can save significant time and effort. You can assess a developer's problem-solving skills through technical interviews or by giving them a small project or coding test.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is paramount for successful app development. This is especially crucial when working as part of a team, where the developer must communicate their progress, challenges, and technical decisions clearly to other team members, such as project managers, designers, and other developers. A good developer will also be able to translate complex technical concepts into language that non-technical stakeholders can understand. Tools such as Slack, Jira, Trello, and GitHub are often used to facilitate communication within development teams. Effective communication also involves good listening skills and the ability to provide and accept constructive feedback.

References or Reviews

References and reviews from previous clients or employers can provide a wealth of information about an app developer's reliability, work ethic, and professionalism. These testimonials can give you insights into aspects of the developer's work that aren't always apparent from their portfolio or CV, such as their ability to meet deadlines, their attitude towards feedback, and their propensity for proactive communication. If possible, try to speak directly with the references to ask detailed questions. If the developer has worked on open-source projects, you can also check their activity on platforms like GitHub to see how they collaborate with others and the quality of code they produce.

Knowledge of Industry Standards and Trends

The field of app development is dynamic, with new technologies, frameworks, and best practices constantly emerging. A good app developer will keep up-to-date with these changes and incorporate them where appropriate to ensure your app remains competitive. This might involve using newer programming languages, like Kotlin for Android or Swift for iOS, or adopting innovative tools and frameworks like Flutter for cross-platform development. They should also be aware of changes to the operating systems and design guidelines of major platforms (iOS, Android), as well as broader technology trends like machine learning, AR/VR, and IoT. During the interview process, ask the developer how they stay current with industry trends and give examples of how they've applied recent developments in their projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to hire an app developer?

The cost of hiring an app developer varies significantly based on the complexity of the app, the developer's level of expertise, their location or time zone, and whether they're full-time, part-time, or freelance. On an hourly basis, rates can range from $20 to $150 or more. In developing countries like India, hourly rates can be lower, while in regions like North America, rates tend to be higher. It's important to note that while hiring a developer with lower rates may seem cost-effective, it may lead to higher costs in the long run if the quality of work is not up to par. Consider balancing cost with quality and the potential long-term value the developer can bring.

Can you hire someone to develop an app?

Yes, you absolutely can hire someone to develop an app. There are many skilled programmers and app developers and agencies available for hire, both locally and internationally. Depending on your app idea, and your needs, you might hire a freelance developer, a full-time employee, or even an entire development team. Hiring an app programmer can save you significant time and effort, especially if you lack the technical skills or resources to develop the app yourself. Additionally, outsourcing a professional developer or app development company brings a wealth of experience that can result in a more polished and effective final product.

How do I find a developer for an app?

Your hiring process may differ from others, however, to hire mobile app developers or any type of app developer, there are several ways to achieve this. You can use online job platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, or Glassdoor, or freelancer platforms like Braintrust where you can post your job for free and receive vetted candidates in 48 hours. You can also reach out to your professional network or post the job opening on your social media platforms. Be sure to clearly define your needs and expectations in the job description. When reviewing applications, pay attention to the developer's portfolio, experience, skill set, reviews or references, and communication skills. It might be beneficial to conduct a technical interview or give them a small project to better assess their skills. These methods will help you to find the best app developers.

Can a single person create an app?

Yes, a single person can create an app. In fact, many successful mobile or web apps started out as solo projects. However, creating an app on your own requires a broad set of skills. You would need to handle all aspects of development, including planning, design, coding, testing, and maintenance. This can be a significant amount of work, especially for complex apps, but potentially reduce development costs. Solo development can be a great learning experience and gives you complete control over your project, but it's also a large time commitment. If you're considering this path, make sure you have the necessary skills and resources, and are prepared for the challenges it may bring.

How do I get my app built?

Getting an app built involves several steps. You start with the ideation phase where you define the app's purpose, target audience, and key features. You should also do market research to understand the competition. Next, create wireframes or mock-ups of your app, outlining the user journey and visual layout or app design. Then comes the technical part—coding the app. This requires technical skills in the relevant programming language, and this is where an app developer comes in. They'll turn your idea into a functioning app, and conduct testing to ensure it works correctly and smoothly. Lastly, the app is deployed to app stores (such as Apple’s App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android) for users to download. Remember, building an app also includes regular updates and maintenance post-launch. Hiring an experienced app developer or development service can streamline this process and ensure a high-quality final product.

What to know before hiring an app developer?

Before you hire developers to build your app, you should have a clear understanding of your project requirements. Know the platform (iOS, Android, or both) your app will be built on, and the key functionalities and design elements you want. If you want your app to be deployed to a specific platform, you may need to recruit an app developer who specializes in programming for that service. For example, if you want your app to only be deployed to Google Play, you will want to hire an Android app developer. When screening candidates, look at their portfolio to gauge their skills, style, and experience. Check their references or reviews to understand their work ethic and reliability. Ascertain their proficiency in the necessary programming languages and tools. Communication is also key, so ensure they can effectively articulate their thoughts and are responsive. Lastly, consider their problem-solving skills and understanding of UI/UX principles. You might want to provide a small test project or conduct a technical interview for a more accurate evaluation of their skills.

How long does it take a developer to build an app?

The time it takes to build an app can vary widely depending on its complexity, the experience of the developer, and other factors. A simple app with basic functionality can be built in a few weeks, while a more complex app with multiple features might take several months or even over a year. In addition to coding the app, time must be allocated for planning, design, testing, and debugging. Remember, the app development project doesn't end at launch—maintenance and updates will require ongoing time and effort. Discuss timelines with your developer and in-house team in the early stages of your project, and be sure to factor in extra time for unforeseen challenges.

How many developers do you need for an app?

The number of developers needed for an app depends on its complexity, the timeline, and your budget. A simple app can be handled by a single developer, while a complex app might require a team, with different members focusing on areas like frontend, backend, database management, software development, and security. For larger teams, you may also need a project manager or product manager to coordinate tasks and ensure everything runs smoothly. Remember, more developers can speed up the development process, but it also means higher costs. Consider your specific needs and constraints when deciding the size of your team.

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