It’s no secret that mobile apps are popular and effective when it comes to engaging consumers and making a successful product. At the helm is Android, which dominates 72% of the worldwide mobile operating system market. Because of this, you have to know what to look for when hiring an Android developer.
Giving Your Android Developer a Project Plan
First things first—before starting your search for a developer, you have to know what kind of app you want to create. Understanding the scope of your project will help you determine how complex design should be.
The project’s scope tells you what kind of experience your Android developer should pursue before you hire them. As you’re screening developers for the job, they’ll have questions about the project to make it easy to determine if they want to be involved in them.
Some key questions to ask should include:
- Why are you creating this Android app?
- Will your app provide a service for the user or be a source of entertainment and delight?
- What is the monetization model for your app? For example, will there be a download cost or subscription fee, or will profit come from advertisements?
- Who is your ideal user?
Once you know the app’s objective and have an outline for your project, it’s time to start thinking about what to look for in an Android developer.
Depending on the type of app you are developing, you can decide what level of expertise you need from a dedicated Android developer.
Perhaps your app is simple and won’t require the complicated ins and outs of more complex software. If this is the case, you could lower costs by hiring a junior app developer with less than 3 years’ experience.
Oftentimes, a junior app developer may better serve as an assistant or support to a more experienced team.
If your project is more complex and you have some wiggle room in your budget, you could look for a mid-level developer. App developers at this level typically have at least 3 years in Android app development and know about working independently on complex app-building projects.
Senior Android Developer
For complex apps that need in-depth development, you’ll want a senior app developer. Software experts at this level have at least 5 years of experience, so they know exactly how Android apps have advanced over the years. An app developer with this level of expertise can handle leading teams and managing large projects.
Hard Skills to Look For
Every Android developer brings a different set of skills and attributes to your app development process. However, there are some skills you just need an app developer to have to ensure a quality end product.
- Programming languages: The two most popular programming languages for Android are Java and Kotlin. It’s crucial the app developer you hire understands the core aspects of both of these programming languages. This includes frameworks, syntax and basics, multithreading and concurrency, and functional programming and generics.
- Android SDK: This software development kit contains tools essential for building Android apps. A good developer should clearly understand things like layouts, views, user input, activities and their lifecycle, and should have the experience and knowledge to troubleshoot and fix code bugs.
- Back-end comprehension: A good understanding of the server-side logic that runs an app behind the scenes is important for a developer to have.
- Experience with APIs: Every app developer should know how to work with APIs, which are the functions and procedures that allow an app to access data and features. The Android app developer you hire should understand XML/SOAP and JSON/REST APIs.
Other skills can make a big difference in the development of your app. Look for these in a dedicated Android app developer to ensure they will be a good fit for your project.
These soft skills include:
- Effective communication: Your developer must understand your vision and ask vital questions to actualize that vision. You also need someone who communicates clearly with both technical and non-technical team members to maintain a healthy team dynamic.
- Team player: Building an app takes many hands, so your developer must be willing to work as a team.
- Organization: This is a given in most jobs, but app development can get a little hairy. Your Android app developer should have a well-established system for keeping track of moving pieces as the project progresses.
- Creative problem solving: When it comes to app development, expect the unexpected. The developer you hire should possess the ability and willingness to meet challenges head on and work collaboratively to develop creative solutions.
- Fitting into your team’s culture: Lastly, your developer should be a good fit for the current culture of your team and the culture you want to foster. Be transparent about your company’s values and how they shape your work culture to allow applicants the chance to decide for themselves if their values align with yours.
Assessing & Interviewing Your Android Developer
Now that you have your project’s scope and know what to look for in a potential Android developer, it’s time to create a criteria for applicants to meet to be considered and move through the interview process.
Use the information you’ve compiled through building your project outline to set the criteria, which can include:
- Preferred experience level
- Specific skill sets essential to successfully completing your project
- Portfolio, including previous jobs and projects
- Past company types (i.e. SMEs, startups, enterprises)
- Diversity of development tasks (networking, social media, entertainment, eCommerce, etc.)
Set the criteria that makes the most sense for your company and project, and filter out the applicants who don’t meet that criteria.
The interview process is where you will get to know your applicants and dig into the details of their previous experiences and the project’s requirements.
It can be helpful to divide this process into at least two rounds:
- First round: Here, you will assess your applicant’s technical skills and let them articulate their achievements. Ask them how they overcome challenges and what they’ve learned over the course of their career. Establish if each applicant has the hard skills it takes to complete a project.
- Second round: Get to know the applicant’s personality and determine if they will be a good fit for your team. Present them with specific scenarios to learn what it will be like to work with them as your developer.
Preparing for your search for a dedicated Android developer makes the process less painful and more enjoyable. At the end of it all, your next big Android app idea will be ready for success.
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