Winning tactics for hiring a contract mobile developer
By Jamie Mercer
The development of mobile applications is still a fairly new concept for businesses, and with limited available experience in the sector, it could be time for you to consider a contract mobile developer to help fulfil your on-the-go app goals.
Reports indicate the mobile app user base is expected to grow to 6.3 billion by 2021, and with the number of apps in the marketplace also set to skyrocket, it may be time to move with the crowd before your business falls behind.
The marketplace for mobile app developers is growing, but with permanent hires in short supply, contractors are leading the way when it comes to servicing the business market.
Choosing the perfect candidate can be tricky—if you’re unsure where to start, here’s a handy guide to when and why you should consider a contract developer.
What to consider before hiring an application developer?
Developing a mobile application can take significant planning, and before you commit to hiring a developer, you need to decide on exactly what you want from your application, and what kind of skills you’ll need to achieve it.
One of the first decisions you’ll make when you start with mobile development is whether to go for Android or iOS (or both), so you’ll need to find a developer whose area of expertise matches up with your plan.
While mobile app developers can showcase knowledge of multiple mobile platforms, they’ll traditionally only have expertise in one. So if you decide to create an application for more than one mobile operating system, you may need to consider the costs of hiring two developers to get the job done.
Choosing the wrong developer can be an expensive mistake, and getting the decision right the first time will not only see you end up with a top-class product, it will also be cost-effective.
What should I be looking for in a contract mobile developer?
Mobile development is still a new concept, and only a handful will have the necessary skills and expertise to get your project off the ground.
The primary question an organisation should ask themselves when recruiting is ’am I hiring the right mobile developer?’.
Before deciding on a mobile contractor, take a look at their CV, research the apps they’ve already developed, and the businesses they’ve worked with in the past. If they can tick all the boxes here, you’re part of the way towards finding a top developer.
Mobile applications come in all shapes and sizes; if you require a specific skill set, don’t be afraid to shout about your requirements and search for a contractor who matches your exact specifications.
But keep in mind that the more rigid your requirements, the less likely you are to be able to find someone to fit your spec. There may not be an available developer to meet all of your application demands; you can’t hire someone who doesn’t exist, so you’ll need to prioritise the skills that’re most important and have some element of flexibility during the hiring process.
One further thing you’ll need to consider is that mobile development is continuously evolving. Languages and dev platforms are always changing, so you’ll need a contractor who keeps on top of those trends, and can utilise them in app development.
What skills should a mobile application developer have?
Hiring a developer with proven experience with your chosen app platform can be the difference between failure and success. If you decide to go down the Apple route, you’ll need to find an iOS contractor who has experience with Swift.
Finding an iOS contractor who’s also proficient in Objective-C is even better, as they’ll also be able to update or modernise older applications.
Familiarity with the mobile frameworks should also be an essential trait when looking for a mobile developer, and if your next hire is unable to work with Core Data, then perhaps you should consider looking elsewhere.
On the other hand, Android is a completely different development platform, and if you choose to go down that route, you’ll need an Android contractor with an in-depth knowledge of ReactNative.
When it comes to programming languages, Android differs slightly from Apple in that it doesn’t favour one specific language. But if a developer can code in Java, C or C++ they should be able to navigate the backend, frontend, and Android NDK successfully.
Choosing a developer won’t only come down to the skills they have listed on a CV. Experience is a key telling point when hiring a developer; if they don’t have a portfolio, you’ll need to know why.
You’ll also need to take into account whether a contract mobile developer will fit well on your development floor. Your business may already have a web team in place, and bringing in a new developer can upset the apple cart.
Discovering if a developer is a strong cultural fit before introducing them into your business can avoid this issue, as it may come to light they share similar interests with the rest of your team.
When should I hire a contract mobile developer?
You want to break into the mobile app market
Mobile applications are becoming commonplace in business, but if you’re behind the curve, perhaps it’s time you caught up and brought in a mobile developer.
The smartphone market is thriving, and with over 42.7 million smartphones in the UK, businesses are now making mobile development a top priority.
Many larger businesses already use smartphone applications to connect with their customers. But as the world of mobile development is still so niche, most don’t employ a full-time developer who works only on that project.
To bypass that issue, a lot of turn of these organisations turn to contractors to tackle their development tasks head-on and create an application that meets all their specifications.
Choosing to bring in an external contractor should smooth out the issues you’ll face if you’re new to application development. Having a contractor onside will also set you up for the future, as you’ll be able to rehire them for updates and future modifications.
Your application requires some TLC
When it comes to mobile development, the project doesn’t stop after deployment to the app store.
The ecosystems involved with mobile development are always changing, and by deciding to develop an app, your business is tasked with keeping on top of those changes.
Pushing forward with development is a significant undertaking, and if you choose not to hire an in-house developer to monitor the stability of the app, its upkeep may fall by the wayside.
Many businesses feel they don’t need to monitor the status of an app, but if users are continuously finding issues and bugs, you will need to hire a developer to get the application back in working order.
If your current app is completely outdated, it may need a complete overhaul. Although this may seem like an expense for your business, it’s an expense you will need to face if you’re currently unable to monitor your application adequately.
Choosing a developer whose skills meet your apps specifications is vital in getting it back on track. But with the number of permanent developers in the mobile space still limited, you may need to bring in a contractor to get the job done.
Experienced contractors will have plenty of practice with programming languages that are no longer mainstream, meaning they can fix dated applications and extend their shelf lives.
For any app modifications to be successful, you’ll need to secure the services of a skilled contractor. Find out if they’ve performed similar jobs and take a look over their portfolio; all this info is a sure-fire way to tell they’re the perfect candidate.
You need to develop niche or bleeding-edge applications
Mobile applications are the perfect tool for businesses to harness the attention of their key audience. More than 20 billion mobile apps are expected to be downloaded by 2020 across the UK, and new VR apps are now being created with the future in mind.
Finding repeat success in mobile development can be easy if you have the tools in place, but if your next plan is to tap into the latest trends of AR and AI, you’ll need the perfect contractor to help your audience escape the real world.
Getting these types of applications off the ground won’t be easy, and the developer you bring into your organisation will need years of experience not only in the mobile market but the development industry as a whole.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, you’ll need an iOS contractor who is familiar with Apple’s AR Kit. First launched in 2017 during its WWDC, this is the perfect kit to get your AR app up and running.
But as businesses have yet to recognise the potential of these platforms fully, the number of developers available to hire will be limited. And to get the most of out the iOS platform, you need a developer with experience in Swift, the most appropriate frameworks, and the AR Kit.
For Android, it will also come down to finding a mobile contractor with the language skills to complete the app, and of course, those with AR platform experience, such as ARCore.
The contract market is the perfect place for you to find developers to make your AR app dream a reality, but it can be a daunting place if it’s unfamiliar territory.
You will need to delve deep into the talent pool to find developers who suit your needs, and if you’re struggling to find the perfect person, it could be time to call in the experts.
Recruiters know the market inside out, and by utilising their services, they can find a developer for your business quickly and at the right price.
The mobile developer contract marketplace
When it comes to the world of mobile development, businesses have barely scratched the surface in terms of what they can achieve.
The introduction of these applications has allowed organisations to branch into new areas of technology, but as the demand grows, so does the need for skilled developers.
In the UK, the contract developer market is booming, with mobile taking a front seat. Developers with more mobile expertise are now pushing into the marketplace, and opening up new chances for businesses to do more with mobile.
Apps can cost thousands of pounds to produce, so you need to make sure you select the right person to get the job done at the first time of asking.
Before pushing ahead with any development, a critical part of the process will be to think about the current situation of your business. App development can take a long period of time, so you’ll need to find a developer suited to your goals.
Whether you’re beginning the application from scratch, revitalising your current application, or looking to expand into a new sector and attract a new audience, planning out your every move will help you find the best mobile contract developer.