5 Tips for Hiring an Android Developer
Hiring an Android developer should be easy, but it isn’t. Finding the right talent to build a solid product takes months, and without the right plan in place, your project could be grounded before it gets a chance to launch.
With some homework and preparation, you can find the perfect team for your project. Here are five helpful tips for hiring an Android developer.
#1 – Find a Team with Experience in Your Industry
It’s easy to find an Android developer—it’s hard to find one who can deliver what you want. Start by looking for a team that understands your vision.
If you’re designing a restaurant app, for example, it won’t make sense to hire a game design specialist (no matter how great their visuals may be). You want restaurant app veterans instead. You can look at different restaurant apps for ideas, and even contact their developers for help on how to move forward.
Hiring an Android developer with relevant experience makes your life easier in many ways. For one, the design phase moves a lot quicker when your developer knows industry best practices. This cuts down on big, last-minute changes that can cost huge sums to implement.
Another benefit comes when it’s time to launch. Building a quality app is one thing, but getting it in front of eyeballs requires a good marketing plan. If your team has successfully launched apps before, they’ll know how yours can hit the ground running.
It’s hard to overstate the value of experience when hiring an Android developer. Can less experienced developers build a great product? Sure, but losing on a gamble like that could cost you.
As you interview developers and design agencies, ask how they might build a product like yours. Not only will this give you fresh ideas about your mobile app, but you just might land the developer who can tackle your project.
#2 – They Can Program Android SDK
Android apps aren’t the most difficult to engineer, but they do have their quirks. Android Software Development Kit (SDK) is a must for anyone building an Android app, and that means having a working knowledge of Java.
By understanding Android SDK, your developer will have an easier time customizing your app and getting it ready for approval in Google Play Store. If they don’t know how to program within this framework, they’ll have to learn on your dime—while building your app. Not ideal.
Plus, experience with Android SDK means there’s a better chance they’ll have unique solutions for the challenges of your app. It’s nice when someone can find answers, but it’s always better to choose someone who’s already worked through the solution.
#3 – They Have a Plan
If there’s one thing that can sideline a project in record time, it’s a failure to meet expectations. Without a clear plan in place, clients and developers often disagree about what should be done and when.
After a while, both parties get tired of checking in, and boom—communication breakdown. Conversation stops, people get angry, and unless big changes are made, the project stops.
Remember, you’re not just hiring an Android developer—you’re contracting for professional services. Make sure you hire a professional.
When interviewing developers, get to know their plan for your app. A Gantt chart like this one helps establish timelines that both you and your developer can plan around.
With accurate timelines in place, you eliminate the need for constant check-ins and status updates, since there’s already a calendar for you to follow.
Don’t worry—there are still plenty of issues to tackle, even with an accurate timeline. What a good plan does is keep conversation open so both parties can manage expectations and stay happy.
Can you build a good Android app without a clear timeline? Of course, but it’ll be a more expensive, chaotic experience. Unless you want to make a timeline yourself, it’s probably a good idea to steer clear of any developer that doesn’t have one in place already.
#4 – Scaling Is Built In
One problem that many businesses face is managing growth. While it’s a great problem to have, a poorly built Android app can crash if it’s not ready for lots of traffic.
Your Android developer has to understand scaling your app. Even if you don’t think you need it right away, it’s important to be ready. If your app isn’t designed properly, it will crash under the weight of too many users. This leads people to delete it and leave bad reviews.
Scalability starts right at the beginning. App architecture should be simple, streamlined, and sensible. Use wireframe templates like these to make rough outlines of how your app should look and feel.
It’s also important to consider how your app will work with other devices in the future. If it involves external technology, proper scaling will make it easier to add and configure new devices over time.
Your developer will understand the importance of simplifying the layout, but it never hurts to do your own homework. Walking yourself through user flows is an important part of paring down your app’s purpose and clearing obstacles before any contracts are signed.
With a simple layout, your developer can build a more elegant and functional app. Without a plan, your developer is left blindly pitching ideas you may or may not like—and all that back and forth drives up costs.
Ask potential developers what steps they will take to future proof your app and get it ready for a reasonably high amount of traffic. Even if you don’t end up working with them, their advice can help you design a better app.
#5 – They Know Their Way Around APIs
Developing an app is expensive, costing thousands of dollars at the bare minimum. However, this cost skyrockets when your developer is on the hook to design and deploy brand new technology.
Does this technology already exist, though? If so, use an API. By incorporating others’ products into your app, you can deliver a much better product without bearing the financial burden of engineering it.
Let’s face it—when companies spend millions of dollars designing a single product, they probably do it right.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unless you have the same resources and expertise to work out all the kinks, building a similar product just isn’t the best use of your time.
Using APIs, your Android developer can bring better technology into your app without having to build it from scratch. By importing code into your app, APIs give users the better functionality of other software without having to jump between apps.
It’s not necessary to invent and engineer every detail of your app if there are already comparable products out there. Use APIs and give your users the best of both worlds.
Preparing to Look for Android Developers
These tips can be helpful for finding skilled help for your app, but your search will be easier if you already have a few pieces in place.
For example, it’s important to do some basic market research about who your app will target. Without this basic understanding, your Android app will feel disjointed and clunky. It may even be too difficult for some people to use.
Use case diagrams are also important exercises to do on your own. These plot out all the commands a given user performs when getting from a to b. The more detailed your use case examples, the fewer problems you’ll encounter during development (hopefully).
Finally, trust your gut when hiring an Android developer. This person/team will presumably be a part of your network for the foreseeable future, so make sure you can work with them.
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David is the Co-founder and CEO of Goji Labs. David loves working closely with passionate founders to understand their vision and help them build beautiful applications while focusing on risk-mitigation. As an author, he focuses on informative and educational blogs that enable our clients to make the most of their businesses.