What to Look for in Quality Website & Mobile App Developers
There is limitless help out there for your next software project, so what should you look for in quality website and mobile app developers?
Should they employ the most advanced technology? How about just ease of communication? What should their work experience entail?
These are all worthwhile questions to ask your next developer. The truth is, though, that your best developer will be the one who has successfully launched projects similar to yours. After that, you’ll want to go with whichever developer shares your design sense as much as possible. Even with these parameters, finding the right team for your project can be tough.
Just because someone knows how to code your website/app doesn’t mean you should entrust them with your project. Unless they understand your vision and can take the reins on it, there will likely be communication breakdowns that can set your project back weeks and cost more than you budgeted for.
Let’s take a look at what to look for in quality website and mobile app developers.
Pick an Industry Veteran Whenever Possible
Just a simple Google search for software developers will flood your browser with more results than you can handle. There’s no shortage of capable developers out there, but the perfect one for your project will be the needle in the haystack.
Why? Because great apps are a perfect synchronization of useful solutions, smart development, and unity in styling choices. When any of these are missing, the project will have a harder time getting to a successful launch. You want to find someone who understands what you’re after.
Looking to build a food delivery app? Rather than hire a great game developer, find a developer that has successfully launched a food delivery app. This may seem like common sense, but too many contracts were signed without the right pieces in place at the start.
A good place to start is to make a list of favorite apps from your industry. The more you can compile, the easier it’ll be to identify the common thread of what you like in an app. Doing this will help you better explain your wishes to a developer since they won’t have to guess what you’re talking about—you’ll have concrete examples to show them.
If you can, speak with the developer of one of those favorite apps of yours. While they may not be able to work on it for you, they may have tips and recommendations about who can.
So, the best developer for your project doesn’t have to boast the most impressive résumé—they just need to have work experience in building what you want.
Fluency in Many Programming Languages
Since programming began, new coding languages have sprouted up to better accommodate the different kinds of operating systems. Apps for iOS use a language called Swift, while more data-heavy apps tend to lean toward Python. For more open-ended programs, Ruby may be the code of choice.
By working with someone who understands the unique value of each language, you’ll have a good idea of the possibilities for your project.
For example, if you want to launch an app strictly for iPhones, experience coding for Android isn’t a high priority. A developer may have lots of experience there, but what does it matter if it doesn’t serve your project needs?
Full-stack developers are those who understand the user end and database side of an app. They know how to navigate complex operations, and they can help you solve problems from a variety of angles.
Knowledge of Marketing
When your goal is to launch a popular app, the next most important thing after solid development is effective marketing. One huge benefit to working with a software studio over a team of freelancers is that you’re more likely to have a marketing expert working on your project.
Have you ever been cliff jumping? From the water, most jumps look easy enough, but once you’re on the rock, the real significance of what’s happening is made clear. Marketing is similar. On the big picture, everyone’s a marketing expert, but when it comes to taking those small, essential steps, things get a lot more tricky.
Ideally, your quality website and mobile app developers will have already launched a few apps successfully. They should already know how to test an app for bugs, get it approved for distribution on an app store, and put it in front of eyeballs so it gets downloaded.
It’s tempting to try and tackle marketing on your own. How hard can it be, right? Wrong. While marketing may not be an insider’s bag of tips and tricks, it does take a lot of preparation and forethought. It’s important to properly categorize and advertise your product before it is launched, as that is when most people are likely to download your app.
As you interview different developers, find out which ones understand marketing best. Ideally, you should have a plan in place already, as knowing user personas and branding basics will help to speed up the process. After that, there will be questions about how SEO plays into getting the word out.
In short, don’t sleep on marketing. It’s really important, and without it, your app is likely to pass undetected like a ship in the night. Make sure there’s a strategy to alert people about your product.
Experience Is Always Nice
Finally, experience counts for a lot. If this is your first app project, you’ll have a lot of questions. A developer who knows what they’re doing will be able to guide you and keep you calm throughout the process. It’s easy to lose your head—let an experienced developer keep you grounded.
Quality website and mobile app developers have a good-sized résumé. They know how to build a variety of apps, and they only make promises they know they can keep.
Experience means you’ll have an accurate timeline and clear expectations about your project. Those young, hungry developers love to take on any difficult project they can find, only to eventually drop one or two of those projects after their schedule becomes unmanageable. Developers with work history know better.
If you choose to work with an established software development firm, you should have a project manager that can keep you updated on progress and realistic launch dates. This isn’t mandatory, but it sure helps to keep things moving.
If at any point you feel that you found the perfect developer, it’s probably meant to be. However, don’t sign any contracts just because you really like talking to them. Quality website and mobile app developers also have the skills and commitment to get your project across the finish line.
So much of successful app launching is just careful planning. If you take care of that, the development stage is likely to go much further and more smoothly. Be honest about your limitations, and do as much as you can to build something that does only what it needs to—nothing more.
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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.