hiring a mobile app developer

How to Hire a Mobile App Developer in Los Angeles

Dallin Nelson

May 5, 2021 · 5 minutes

If you’re planning to take the next step in your Southern California business, knowing how to hire a mobile app developer in Los Angeles is crucial.

Since there are thousands of skilled programmers in the Greater Los Angeles area, you’ll need to build a short list of the right folks for your team. This starts with knowing your product, asking important questions, and seizing on a clear plan.

Which developer is right for your project? Will they follow through with their commitments? What is required on your part?

With a little preparation on your part, you’ll have a better idea of how to hire a mobile app developer in Los Angeles. Let’s talk about some helpful ways to get there.

Step One: Know Your Product

mobile app development

Building an app is an investment. For development to be worth it, the app has to serve a specific, needed purpose (if you need ideas of what not to develop, click here).

Simplicity is key—paring your app’s function down to its most basic elements should be your top priority. Not only do extra features cost more to develop, but they confuse users and make your app harder to market.

Before signing any contracts or starting any work, map out the steps users take to get your app to do what it’s supposed to. If a given feature doesn’t directly contribute to that task, ditch it.

If your app is all planned out and ready to go, finding a developer to bring it to life gets much easier. Otherwise, you’ll pay top-dollar consulting fees just to flesh out an idea. For the sake of your developer’s sanity and your own budget, have a clear idea of your app’s layout and features before hiring a developer.

With that said, interviewing developers for your project can be a great way to glean new ideas and improve your app.

Platform Differences & How They Affect Your App

Mobile apps have to to accommodate a variety of devices.

iOS apps, for example, take more tinkering before they can be accepted into the App Store. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, use simple, web-based frameworks that are easily approved and ready for download. If you need something out the door as soon as possible, this may be the way to go.

There are also app frameworks that work on both platforms, each with their own pros and cons. Experienced developers know how to get your app onto the market no matter the platform, though they may have some advice for which way to go about it.

Step Two: Ask the Right Questions

hiring a mobile app developer

Software developers are artists, and each one has their specialty. By finding the right developer for your project, you’ll cut out a lot of the extra work that comes from explaining your needs. On the other hand, if a developer doesn’t share your vision, it’s usually easier to just find someone else.

Why not start by looking at your favorite apps? While many of the developers of these apps are megalabs that cost a fortune to hire, others may be willing to work with you on your terms. At the very least, you can ask for recommendations.

The best part about browsing different apps? You’ll find ways to improve your app and bring those ideas to a developer.

Experience Always Matters

Mobile apps have come a long way. In the old days, just building one was enough to get you past many of today’s barriers to entry.

Depending on which platform you use—iOS, Android, or other—there are security requirements, software tests, and marketing knowhow that can complicate the launch of your app. Ideally, your developer should be familiar with most of this.

This isn’t to say that hiring a rookie is always a bad idea, but the time they spend familiarizing themselves with a platform may come at your cost.

When interviewing a mobile app developer in Los Angeles, ask which platform they’re most familiar with. Find out how many apps they’ve launched successfully. See if they have any pointers that could help ease the development process.

While it may seem like a frugal decision up front, hiring a less experienced developer can end up costing more than hiring industry veterans. If a mistake made early on isn’t caught until the end, making changes could dramatically increase project costs.

Step Three: Get the Details in Writing

There are countless things that can go wrong when developing a mobile app. The last thing you need is miscommunication with your team.

No matter who you decide to hire, the most important thing is for you to feel confident about launching your app. This includes defining each step along the way, so make sure you know what that entails.

Does your developer have a Gantt chart for you to read and reference? Are there concrete timelines and deliverables in place? Do they have a track record of keeping their obligations?

The more you know about these details, the easier it is to stay organized and informed about your app.

Nothing derails app development faster than unmet expectations—on both sides of an agreement. If your developer has nothing to show for weeks of work, you’ll be frustrated. If they deliver on their end of the deal but never see a paycheck, they’ll be annoyed. This is why timelines are so important.

Establishing clear expectations helps you avoid being a nosy helicopter [project] mom. Why pester when you already know what’s coming next? Everyone’s happier when they know what to expect.

With that, you can see how important it is to be able to talk with your mobile app developer. Make sure they’re approachable, patient, and easy to work with.

Design Studios vs. Freelancers

mobile app developer

Now that you have some ideas about how to hire a mobile app developer in Los Angeles, the next thing to figure out is which route you’ll take toward development.

Basically, you have two choices: hiring a design studio or a team of freelancers. If this is your first foray into the mobile app world, make it easy on yourself and hire an experienced design studio. If, however, you’re confident about project management and app development, a team of freelancers could be a good way to go.

Design studios charge a higher fee to take all the headache and confusion out of app development. Yes, it costs more, but if something goes wrong, someone else takes care of it at a predictable, contracted rate.

On the other hand, freelancers charge by the hour, and you’ll need a few of them. For example, you not only need a front end/back end developer, but a UX/UI designer, a QA specialist, a marketing team—possibly more.

The money you save on hourly costs comes out of your personal free time—you won’t have much.

Awesome Mobile App Design Studios in Los Angeles

There’s a lot to think about when developing a mobile app, but if there’s one city where it’s easy to find the right help, it’s Los Angeles. Some of the greatest app technology comes from here, making for a rich ecosystem of mobile app specialists.

With all these developers, it can be tough to find the perfect one for your project. Rather than shopping the most decorated and awarded teams, it’s better to find experts in your industry. If you run a restaurant, find restaurant app developers. If you work in legal, find specialists of that industry. You get the idea.

A lot of money gets lost when entrepreneurs expand the scope of their app beyond its practical use. By keeping things simple, you’ll create the best app. Find a team that keeps things simple.

Ready to get started on developing your mobile app?

Click here for a free consultation about your project.

About Dallin Nelson

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