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How to hire an app developer: Crucial steps before hiring in 2019

19.02.2018 Daria Mickiewicz
How to hire an app developer: Crucial steps before hiring in 2019

It doesn’t matter whether you started your first software development company when you were 16 or you still think Java is only coffee. At some point, most founders need to hire an app developer. But when that time comes, how do you hire an app developer?

Fortunately, you don’t need to be fluent in a laundry list of programming languages. We’ve collected tips about how to hire a mobile app developer and where to find app developers. We also discuss the differences in choosing between software companies and freelancers and common mistakes in hiring. Let’s dive right in!

How to find an app developer: General guidelines

Someday you’ll have an idea to create a great app that will make your name known or make you rich, but you’ll have to find someone to create the app. First, you can Google “who can I hire to build an app?” or “who can develop my app idea?” On Google, you can find anyone. Or, if you have a similar experience, can search “iOS developers for hire.

Nowadays, there are plenty of app developers for hire, but this has some downsides. Before you begin your search, here are 3 main principles to keep in mind.

Understand the Basics

Before hiring a developer, find out which programming languages are used for mobile app development. Define your target audience and research the devices and platforms most commonly used by this audience. As soon as you get the data, your best bet is to send the application to these platforms first. Upwork and LinkedIn are both amazing research tools to find and contact candidates based on their programming language experience and rates.

Look for Experience

When hiring for any position, you want someone who knows his or her stuff. Don’t hire an unsupervised iOS newbie to develop an iOS native app. Instead, check out GitHub to measure candidate skills or ask a developer to provide sample apps so you can estimate their quality.


Make sure the chosen person will be a good fit for your team. Some projects tend to take longer to complete, and in-house communication can make or break your product. Communication is key. A conversation about a complicated issue can be difficult if the developer doesn’t speak English.

An essential quality of any successful developer is passion. A developer fully engaged in the subject will be driven to create something revolutionary and grow your business. Hire a developer who shares your company’s vision, and the developer will breathe passion into every line of code written.


Where to find iOS and Android app programmers

Start with referrals from your neighborhood, friends, and colleagues and job portals like,, and This is a reasonable way to find developers, and it also raises awareness about your company and the technologies for which you hire.

If you know what you’re looking for, there are a dozen ways to hire developers. Some are faster than others:

  • You can search for an app developer through sources like LinkedIn, Indeed, Upwork, People Per Hour, AngelList, Guru, Behance, and Reddit.
  • To estimate developers’ skills and see code samples, you can use open source repositories like Gitlab and Github.
  • Use online directories for developers such as They Make Apps or communities like Topcoder, com and Polycom.
  • For iOS developers, check out forums such as the iPhoneDevSDK, iOS Developer, and MacRumors. Find Android developers on GDGs, Android Forums, or AndroidPit.
  • If you’re looking for a software company, suitable resources include GoodFirms, Appfutura, and Clutch. You can also check out tech blogs. You’re on one right now!

Feel free to look anywhere you want.

How much does it cost to hire an app developer?

Type of application Description iOS (hrs.) Android (hrs.) Rates (avg.)
Simple app Everything is installed on the device, built using templates/drop-down menus 70-140 80-160 $50-100
Database app Data are stored on a server/database integration; uses a Backend as a Service (BaaS) 140-210 170-220 $50-100
Messaging app Various data formats, chats and calls, stored in cloud 500+ 600+ $70-120
Enterprise app Business integration; data stored on device + server 210+ 250+ $100-150
Social networking app Themes, photo editing, backend, stored on server 300 300+ $70-120
Gaming app Singleplayer/Multiplayer, Unity 3D, rendering, stored on server 420+ 550+ $70-120

Tips for hiring an app developer

Now you know the general rules and sources to find an app developer, but there are additional things to keep in mind while you look for a technology partner. Let us look at these considerations.

Check the developers’ track record, contact details, and technical skills. Browse their website and portfolio. User interface and user experience design play a crucial role in the success of an app, so be sure to find this information. Apps should be eye-catching and user-engaging.

Look at their clients’ reviews, the least projects, and the duration of the experience. You can request a list of their current and former clients, and study their website if one exists.

Determine the contribution a developer or software development company will provide to your app concept. Are the tasks interesting for a programmer? Will the developer commit fully to it? App development is a long-term process, so search for a reliable partner.


A few more tips

The communication process is often a stronger predictor of success than excellent programming chops. Define the following details: How will you communicate during the development process? Would you rather chat over Skype, talk by phone and Hangout, or text by email? How will you share documents: via Dropbox, Google Drive, or something else? Will you use BaseCamp or Jira to interact and submit functionality requirements? What is the difference in time zones? Could you have a meeting anytime?

Research the developers’ costs. You should have a complete understanding of how much you’re able to invest in the project before you start looking for a developer. But focus on quality, don’t let price drive your decision. You need a well-designed product, not a bug set.

Determine whether it is better to go with a software development company or to hire freelance app developers. There’s no clear answer. It all depends on your preference, resources, app type, and time.

App development companies

Whether you hire an iOS or an Android developer, outsourcing the software company can streamline and control the process of development.

Companies have the expertise of creating dozens of mobile apps. Work will be done quickly because a whole team of developers will be dispatched to work on your project. They provide official contracts, time-sheets, and consulting.

But what should you pay attention to before choosing an app maker? First, you should look at the company’s portfolio, case studies, and products. It is a bonus if they have developed apps related to your idea. Download their apps to try them for yourself.

Things to check

Check the team size and structure. Make sure that the team you are going to work with knows about their topic and their skills are up to date. Ask for developers’ CVs. Reviewing these will indicate exactly how long they have worked on mobile app development and how much real-life experience they have.

Pay attention to the technology stack in their use, and make sure it will meet your company’s needs. Java, JavaScript, C#, Unity, React, Python, or PHP—which of these do they suggest for your app idea?

Find companies that have a track record of projects in the industry of your choice. Collect client feedback to examine their past performance, strengths, and weaknesses, and search for them on Google, GoodFirms, or Clutch. See if the company is willing to offer a free and elaborate cost estimate. Also, find out if the company provides orderly post-development support. Consider the costs involved and whether you can afford it.

Make sure the vendor is capable of delivering the project in your timeframe.

In sum, estimate their expertise, cost, team members, and feedback and you’ll have the big picture for further actions.


Freelance developers

If a software development company doesn’t meet your requirements, you can hire freelance developers. But before you hire a freelance Android / iOS developer, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into and how to navigate the process without any difficulty or doubt.

How to hire a mobile app developer in 20 questions

Feel free to ask the freelancers specific questions about their work experience, and don’t be afraid to ask something you may consider uncomfortable.

We have collected essential questions to ask when hiring an app developer, so let’s dive right in!

  1. Where can I find examples of mobile apps you’ve developed?
  2. May I speak with some of your past clients whose apps were in the same industry as mine?
  3. Which platform are you comfortable developing for?
  4. What type of smartphone do you use?
  5. How will we communicate during the development process?
  6. How can you monetize my app?
  7. What type of special features can you create?
  8. Who will own the code?
  9. How will you test my app?
  10. What is your app development process like–do you do agile development?
  11. Will you provide further support?
  12. Will you submit the application to the app store?
  13. What are your fees and payment terms?
  14. Are you currently working on other projects?
  15. What’s your approach to user experience and design principles in app development?
  16. Do you follow coding standards and use a framework?
  17. Do you understand my business model/customers?
  18. What level of involvement from me will you need?
  19. How will you keep me updated on progress?
  20. Can you build apps for different operating systems?

The following video explains whether your candidate developer is good.

How to use social media to hire a developer?

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter allow you to connect with seasoned candidates directly.

Here are some basic tips you can use to get started:

  • Don’t use social media as another job listing platform. Social media job posts don’t have to be like a traditional job post. Include pictures and videos and write an engaging text.
  • Follow the right communities.Be active in groups and use hashtags to get your job openings in front of candidates you want to apply.
  • Promote your culture.People love talking about companies with unique cultures. This type of content often gets a lot of shares.
  • Involve every employee.Allowing your employees to talk about their work experiences can pique the curiosity of a potential candidate.
  • Use filters to find the right candidates. For example, you can search by location, current, and past company, years of experience, and many other factors.
  • Reach out with a personal touch.Don’t copy and paste the same message to everyone. You can tell about what caught your attention and makes think the developer would be a good fit for your project.

Now, let dive deep into hiring Android and iOS developers.

iOS developer for hire

Hire an iOS developer when you have a clear understanding of what you want and have determined that it should be for the Apple mobile market.

Search for candidates using specialized sources. IPhoneDevSDK hosts an engaged community of iOS developers. They also prefer sources like the MacRumors iOS Programming Forum, Cocos2d for iPhone, and iOS Developer Forums. Also, note iOS is one of the most used tags on Stack Overflow.

Additionally, you can check Upwork for a monthly ranking of the best iOS developers.

Android developer for hire

Hiring the right expert for Android development can save significant time and money, and you may find them suitable for future projects as well.

You can find Android app developers for hire on Upwork. Also, check out specific forums:

To meet Android developers in person, you should attend Android conferences, hackathons, and meetups.

Explaining your app idea

To go from concept to real app, you must describe your app idea in detail. The better the team understands and meets your requirements, the better result you will receive.

Start with the user story, and be honest. User stories are the easiest and most efficient way to clear the mobile app developers product’s constitutive parts.

User stories are weak if you don’t know your target audience. Describe their age, gender, race, finances, and interests. This can influence the final version of your app.

Use flow diagrams and wireframes. In a nutshell, wireframes for a mobile are a simplified visual concept of the future app. It doesn’t give any idea about the design, but it shows how the application will work. To create wireframes, you can use several online sources like, Moqups, Balsamiq Mockups, and UXPin.


Dating App Wireframe

Don’t be afraid of sharing it and getting feedback from developers.

Explain the app features in detail so that programmers will understand the given timeframes and price policy. Explain how one feature must be combined with another. Pay attention to obligatory features, and separate the most important ones. Also, define what features will be compiled into the first version of the app.

This will help the developer give you better proposals. Depending on whether the context was aimed, the inverse relationship would differ.

Frequent mistakes and how to avoid them

More than half of mobile apps produce less profit than their development cost because most app creators put zero effort into marketing, relying on its necessity. It might be low quality, with bugs, crashes, and poor design.
First, you can build an MVP, so-called “minimal viable product.” Develop your MVP with limited features for getting some inverse relationship.

If you put your job post on UpWork or any other source to find a developer, you will receive many offers on the same day. To make the right choice you need to understand what to do and not to do while searching for a mobile app developer.

6 do’s and don’ts in hiring

Hiring an App Developer Based on Price

The quality doesn’t come with the lowest price and the best price is not always a success factor. But it also doesn’t mean that the most expensive developer will make you the best product. Look for balance and team.

Choosing a Development Company that lacks experience in your category

Check if the company has relevant experience in the app category that you are seeking to develop. Even though the mobile app development process is relatively similar for different applications, expertise in the required app category is important for a developer.

If you are not hiring a seasoned developer, your app might lack in the UX segment.

Don’t reallocate the app budget

That’s obvious. Also, ask the developer for rates to avoid extra costs.

Hiring a developer ready to start coding from the get-go

Mobile apps are complicated, and there’s no hurry. It’s early to start programming without technical specifications.

Looking for the cheapest proposal

You can hire app developers from India or China, which will offer a rate of $10/hr or less, but don’t expect a quality product with a good UX in this case.

Not paying attention to user experience

Many companies have good programming skills but insufficient experience with users. Everything matters: age, gender, region, sphere.


Post-hire stage

Define how much your app will cost. Remember how you explained your idea initially? Now you must put 10 times as much effort into it.

Create drafts in detail, from color, fonts, positions, events, etc. Every single thing is important and must be planned if you want your app to be successful. Use a visualization tool to conceptualize your idea.

All UX considerations taken together are user flow. Consider it carefully. Analyze similar rival apps. Look at every screen. Always pay attention to the UI and UX.

Pay the periods for every development stage. This will give you better control options for product development. A good way to develop a positive relationship is to give a bonus for good results. If you think your project needs an NDA, make sure the developer signs it. Do not let anything leak out.

Ready to Hire Software Developers with VironIT?

Whether you’re looking for a candidate who meets your requirements, or for a specific skill set or expertise, submit a contact request: VironIT software development company has the team and experience to develop your vision. Our team has expertise in iOS, Android, and Web application development.

Submit a contact request and our sales manager will get in touch with you and help you finalize your requirements. You can also request the CVs of developers for hire who are ready to take on a new project immediately.

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8 responses to “How to hire an app developer: Crucial steps before hiring in 2019”

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  3. Ryan says:


    An addictive article! Thanks for sharing.

    I would like to add that before hiring an app developer, you should define your project’s requirements and understand the app development process, at least superficially.

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  8. Alice Carroll says:


    Thanks for the tip about how mobile apps can be quite complicated to develop. I’m thinking about hiring mobile app developers as soon as I get my online shop business up and running soon. My first priority after setting up shop is making my online store a lot more accessible for users of mobile devices because I currently only know how to create a comprehensible UI for a computer browser.

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