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Finding Your Tech Wizard: How to Hire App Developer

Mobile App
March 20, 2024
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A look around the current business landscape reveals an interesting fact: more and more companies are creating mobile apps. The concept of a mobile app is very beneficial for business growth and reach. For example, according to a 2017 report by Statista, the Apple App Store has recorded well over 100 billion app downloads

Aside from this, Apple reports that the App Store sees over 650 million visitors on average weekly. For business owners, this easily translates into an impressions uptick in millions of views and many potential conversions. 

However, it is essential to mention that success in app development hinges squarely on its quality. Apps that rank high and get more views on app stores like the Google Play Store and Apple App Store are those with a high positive rating. This means that if you intend to create an app for your business, it’s vital to ensure you do it right so that it offers the best quality possible. This is where hiring an app developer comes in.

This article on how to hire app developers (completed guide) will walk you through everything you need to know about hiring app developers. You’ll discover crucial steps to take and things to look out for when you want to hire an app developer. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

App Developers: Who Are They?

App developers (or app programmers) are tech specialists responsible for creating, designing, releasing, and maintaining mobile applications across frameworks like iOS and Android. Simply put, an app developer is a person who handles all the technical details of apps you download on your particular app store. They are also the ones responsible for fixing bugs and releasing updates for these apps to ensure they continue to function as intended.

Because of the nature of their job, app developers have to be proficient in multiple programming languages like Kotlin, Swift, and even Javascript. However, the particular programming languages they’ll be most proficient in depends on their platform of specialization. For example, iOS developers use Swift more often, while Android developers focus more on Java and Kotlin.

How To Hire App Developer (Completed Guide)

Do you have plans to release a new mobile app? If you do, then it means you’ll need to hire a app developer. However, with so many app developers on the market, the question is, how do you find an app developer that can supply the level of quality you want? Read on to discover the essential steps in hiring the perfect app developer for your project!

How To Hire App Developer
How To Hire App Developer

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Your app development process does not start with diving into the marketplace to find an app developer for hire. Instead, it starts with you having clear-cut goals about your plan for the app. First, you need to define the scope and goals of your project. You’ll need to ask yourself questions like, “Do I want to build a simple app, or am I going for something more complex?” 

Next, you’ll need to define the problem you envision your application will solve clearly. This will mean identifying your target audience and the features you think are essential for your app to appeal to this demographic successfully.

Step 2: Decide on Qualification Requirements

Once you’ve clearly defined what your targets and preferred app features are, the next thing to do is determine what specifications and qualifications your app requires. This is an important consideration because, as earlier mentioned, different apps have different technical requirements. 

For example, you will need to hire a mobile app developer proficient in Swift if you want to launch your app on the Apple App Store. For launching on other platforms, you’ll need to consider developers with proficiencies in Java, Kotlin, or other cross-platform development frameworks like React Native or Flutter.

You’ll also need to consider what additional technologies you’ll need for your app. This is especially true concerning features like social media APIs, payment gateways, and maybe GPS integration.

Step 3: Research and Shortlist

Now that you’ve exhaustively determined what you want your app to look like and have a rough idea of what skills it’ll take to build what you want, the next thing to do is find app developers. Now, when it comes to looking for app developer for your project, you have quite a number of options. These include the following:

  • Freelance Websites: If what you’re looking for is freelance app developers for a one-time or short-term project, then consider looking on sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru. These sites act as global marketplaces that connect different types of talents with companies and individuals who need their services. 

One great advantage these freelance sites offer you is that you can browse through the profiles of these app creators for hire and see the quality of their past work. You will also be able to communicate directly with app development prospects you consider promising hires before you make any permanent decision.

  • Specialized Development Agencies: With freelance platforms like Upwork, you’re never quite sure of the proficiency of app developers you’re getting. However, it has to be said that these freelance platforms are great for finding cheap app developers. However, if you’re looking for more certainty concerning the quality of mobile app developer for hire, you should check out specialized agencies like Toptal. These agencies have skilled developers with different specialties, so you’ll always be able to find a app developer that perfectly matches your specific goals. 

What makes Toptal so great is that talents they include in their teams are usually required to take skill proficiency tests before they are listed as talents on the platform. This makes it a great place to look if you’re looking to hire someone to build an app. 

Other Places To Look

Websites like GitHub and Stack Overflow are also great places to look for people looking to hire a developer to make an app.

As you browse through these options for the perfect app developer for your project, you’ll need to browse through the candidates’ portfolios exhaustively. You’ll also need to check their past projects and, if possible, request for a demo. This will help you more accurately judge how suited the talent is for the app development project you have in mind.

Finally, you’ll also want to consider reviews, ratings, and recommendations. There’s arguably no better way to judge an app developer’s professionalism and ability than through client reviews and testimonials. You could also reach out to others in your immediate circle who have recently completed an app development project and ask them for recommendations concerning hiring a mobile app developer.

Step 4: Run Assessments

Based on the directions given in the above section, finding an app developer for your project will be pretty straightforward. However, the question is how do you actually determine if the app developer for hire you found is the right one to take your project to the next stage? This is where step four comes in.

In this step, you’ll be running various assessments with your shortlisted candidates. The purpose of these assessments isn’t just to evaluate their core skill and abilities but also to check for their overall compatibility with the projects you have in mind. 

How To Hire App Developer (Completed Guide)
How To Hire App Developer (Completed Guide)

Technical Assessments

The first thing you’ll want to do is evaluate the technical capabilities of your shortlisted candidates. Now, there are several ways you can do this, but the most commonly used option is to present the developer with different coding challenges and real-world application scenarios relevant to your project. This technical assessment will help you more effectively gauge their problem-solving skills, coding style, and ability to write clean, efficient code.

If you want to hire mobile app developers and you’re short on time, requesting samples of their code from previous similar projects could also be effective. However, since you’ll most likely be evaluating the code quality yourself, it means you’ll also need to have some technical know-how concerning programming.

Tool Proficiency Assessment

As mentioned earlier, you must always clearly define the scope of your app development project, including what tools the undertaking will require when you’re looking to hire mobile developers. However, even when you find mobile app developers who seemingly have the skills and experience with the tools you need, you still have to check just how well they can use those tools. This is the next vital step on how to hire an app developer

At this stage of how to find an app developer, you’ll want to review the portfolio of the shortlisted candidates in-depth. This will help you discover if they actually have experience in something similar to the project you have in mind. You could also engage the developer in technical discussions about the tools and technologies they have used in past projects.

Tool Proficiency Assessment
Tool Proficiency Assessment

Assessing Communication Skills and Responsiveness

Considering the “how do I find an app developer?” question goes beyond assessing technical competencies. This is because it takes more than skill to successfully initiate an app development project and see it through till the end. While building your app, you’ll always have things you need the app developer to correct or adjust. You’ll also have crucial questions you need in-depth clarification on. 

As such, it becomes essential for you to evaluate communication skills when you’re looking to hire application developer. There are a number of ways you can go about evaluating communication skills when you want to hire app programmer:

  • Observe During Interviews: The easiest way to gauge the communication skills of an app developer you want to hire is to observe them during your interviews. Here, you’ll want to pay attention to their communication style, checking to see if they clearly convey their thoughts in words. You’ll also want to judge their attentiveness to the project by seeing if they ask insightful questions about it.
  • Response Time: Next, you should check the developer’s response time to texts or emails you leave them. It’s important you only go for developers who promptly respond to your communication outreaches. However, note that if you’re interviewing app developers from around the world, you’ll also need to factor in timezone differences when assessing their response time.
  • Teamwork: Application development is never a one-man endeavor. Whatever app developer you hire will still need to work with several other professionals like writers, editors, UI/UX designers, etc. As such, it is very important that you hire someone or people that work well within a team. This will, in turn, help you ensure you’re hiring developers that will thrive in your working environment and actually contribute to your project’s success.

Assessing Language Proficiency

In considering how to find app developers, it’s also essential to factor in their language proficiencies. To facilitate seamless work experiences, you’ll want to build a team with people with similar language strengths. This will help significantly cut down on instances of miscommunication and ensure there is no language barrier. If you find an excellent app developer who isn’t as language-proficient as you want but ticks your other requirement boxes, consider hiring a translator to assist with communication.

Step 5: Budget and Negotiation

The final step of this hire app developer (completed guide) is to find a compromise between the asking price of potential app developer recruits and your budget for the project. Note that before you begin price negotiations with an app programmer, it’s important you already have a very good idea of what the project is going to cost. This will help you thread the fine line between overpaying and offering them something so low they could consider it insulting. 

Factors To Consider When Setting Up a Hiring Budget

  • Scope of Work: How complex or straightforward is the app development project you have in mind? How many features do you want your app to have? All these and more are questions you’ll need to consider under the scope of work. The fact is the more complex the project, the more time it’s going to take the app developer to complete it. The same applies to an increased number of app features. As such, you can expect that a simple app will generally cost less than a more complex one with advanced features.
  • Payment Style: Another factor you’ll need to consider is the payment style. Some developers prefer an hourly rate payment approach, while others will bill you for the entire development process in one go. The one you opt for depends on your personal preferences; however, note that if you’re going with hourly rates, you’ll have to set very clear milestones and insist on using a time-tracking app. This will help you ensure you’re not just getting billed for hours of no work done by the developer.
  • Developer Experience: Usually, developers with lots of experience cost more to hire. At this point, what you’re paying for isn’t just the skill but also the expertise and wealth of experience that comes with it.
  • Geographical Location of the Developer: You should know that the developer’s geographical location determines how much it will take to recruit them. If you’re looking to hire app development experts in areas with a high cost of living, then be prepared to pay higher rates. That said, you do have to consider the quality-cost trade-off. 
Factors To Consider When Setting Up a Hiring Budget
Factors To Consider When Setting Up a Hiring Budget

Opting for the cheapest option will always be attractive, but it is important to mention that quality of work tends to decline with reduced hiring prices. Conversely, investing in skilled developers with higher rates helps ensure fewer errors and better app quality.

  • Maintenance Costs and Future Scalability: When setting up your budget for hiring an app developer, it’s also vital that you consider the project’s future. If you think you’ll still need to scale the app and improve its features, then you’ll want to factor this into the budget you’re making. This will help you decide whether or not you want to permanently hire an app developer or place one on a retainer. 

You’ll also need to consider the maintenance costs of app development and factor it into your budget. It should be said that having an app developer on ground at all times is always a great idea. This is because it ensures you’ll always have someone familiar with the project in case of any errors or issues that need fixing.


If you’re a brand looking to improve your reach, an app is precisely what you need to scale your visibility. However, this means that you’ll need to engage the services of an app developer. The above Hire App Developer (Completed Guide) provides you with key steps you need to take to ensure you make the right hires for your project needs. These include considering your goals, researching and shortlisting talents, and assessing their competencies.

It is, however, important to mention that building an app is only the first step to increasing your reach. You’ll also need to carry out other activities like clearly defining your market and developing strategies to reach them. This is where Newwave Solutions comes in. As an experienced IT consulting firm, we are well-versed in creating and deploying strategies that effectively drive company growth and impact. Schedule a consultation with us today, and let’s help you ensure you can get maximum value from your app. 


To Quang Duy is the CEO of Newwave Solutions, a leading Vietnamese software company. He is recognized as a standout technology consultant. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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