Say you run a business. Online or offline, in either case there’s a moment when you decide to scale, and developing a custom app sounds like a promising idea. How does it cross your mind? And is there a real need to invest in a mobile app?
The IT industry is growing, and so does the demand for its services. As per the latest available report by Evans Data, a software market research firm, there are 26.9M software developers worldwide. And in recent years, Clutch.co, the largest IT vendors aggregator, found that 42% of the U.S. small businesses had their app, of which:
28% wanted to attract more customers.
18% wanted to gain a competitive advantage.
17% aimed to increase sales.
You probably are guided by the same goals. Mobile apps do help business, as they form a new model of consumer behavior and increase customer loyalty. A Business.com study revealed that returning customers spend 67% more than new ones, and it’s clearly something to chew on.
Bad news: it takes much effort to find app developers that would be your perfect fit. Good news: this article is here to simplify your search.
Types of Software Developers
We all know what a good, trusted software developer (or a team of developers) should be like: transparent, reliable, expert… All of these are vague characteristics difficult to evaluate quickly. Every developer states their reliability and such, so we’ll focus on more objective criteria. The main one is how they work.
Freelancers are self-employed developers not bound to any company. They are good for handling small tasks or projects, such as creating a landing page or designing an application. Some of them offer creating apps too, but how long it takes is the question. An individual could spend a whole year building a complex app, while a team would only need several months to complete it. So, freelancers charge less compared to a team of developers, but time is money.
To create an application and not wait for ages, you’ll need to hire more freelancers and take on project management yourselves. It can result in poor product quality, as freelancers tend to take on multiple projects at a time and therefore work in a hurry, and working beyond office hours isn’t of much help. Unfortunately, most can provide no guarantees that the product will be finished on time and have no critical issues.
Software development companies, or outsourcing companies, are those housing a team (teams) of specialists: front-end and back-end developers, business analysts, QA engineers, DevOps engineers, designers, project managers. Each specialist is skilled in a particular domain and grows in one direction.
Outsourcing agencies complete all kinds of tasks, from adding certain functionality to the existing product to creating a fully-featured app from scratch. You only need to give clear instructions, and even if you have nothing but an idea, specialists will help you make up a working concept. And you’ll always know how the development is going and stay in touch with the team thanks to regular meetings and demos.
The language barrier might be a problem if you decide to outsource to EMEA/APAC regions, but as companies care about their image, many of them hire specialists who are fluent in English.
Freelancers vs. Software Development Companies
These are often opposed due to high competition in the market. The thing is, they can’t compete as they are so much different. To sum up the above here’s to compare:
Switch between assignments
Better for small projects
Difficult to manage
A dedicated team for each project
For projects of all sizes
Have company policies
Precise project estimation
However, if none is right for you, there’s the third option – less obvious but worth mentioning too. We won’t focus on it a lot here, as the article answers the question of how to find the right app developer, not how to hire them.
If you want maximum involvement in the development process and plan on creating new products long-term, you can hire a developer or a team to work for you full-time on a company basis. What we describe here is practically starting a product company.
All from recruitment to setting legal matters for your employees falls on your shoulders. Mind salaries, benefits, and equipment for specialists you hire.
What you get if you assemble an inhouse team is a clear and accessible communication with no language barrier or time zone issues, as well as employees’ deep understanding of the product and company’s principles. But, if you have not much experience in the IT business, hiring your own team is associated with many risks, such as staff dismissal and lack of expertise. One person can hardly know it all, so to grow the team’s versatility you’ll need to hire more and more people.
Where to Find App Developers
Answering the question of how to find a programmer for an app, it’s not enough to say “turn your laptop on and start googling”. To narrow the search down, here are some resources where clients and vendors find each other.
Clutch is a B2B platform with a comprehensive list of outsourcing companies. The best thing about this directory is that Clutch representatives verify all reviews and prove the client’s identity.
GoodFirms is another directory featuring companies ready to cooperate.
TechReviewer also provides a large list of companies to choose from.
Upwork lists all kinds of specialists offering their services.
Toptal is a curated freelance platform.
Hired helps find mobile app developers for your project.
Besides, word of mouth is always an option. Don’t be shy to ask someone you know and trust about their experience with software developers.
What’s Good to Know
There are questions you should ask yourselves and questions to ask developers to verify their expertise and to ensure fruitful cooperation.
Checklist to ask yourselves:
What kind of developer is better for me – a freelancer or a team from an outsourcing company?
What kind of solution do I need – a web, mobile, or both?
How much can I spend on an app?
Checklist to ask a vendor:
What’s your experience in software development?
What are the core domains you specialize in (Healthcare, E-commerce, AI, FinTech, etc.) and the tech stack you work with?
How do you manage projects?
What do you do to assure the quality of products?
Are there solutions similar to my project in your portfolio?
Can your former customers share their reviews on working with you?
How do you ensure you can stay within my budget?
With a clear understanding of your wants and needs, look through the vendor’s portfolio and their customers’ reviews, paying attention to aspects of most importance for you. For example: if they were responding on time, meeting deadlines, and if the estimated budget was in line with the final cost of their services.
Rates by Countries
If you decide after all to go for a company, consider that their hourly rates differ a lot by region. For example:
North America – $120-150/hr.
Central and Western Europe – $100-140/hr.
Eastern Europe – $30-50/hr.
Asia – $25-40/hr.
It’s difficult to average the time spent on a project, but here’s to think about. A full-cycle development featuring project management, development itself, and quality assurance services can bring the process duration to around 400 hours. Thus, you can calculate the approximate cost of work.
Although the services delivered by Asian companies are the most affordable of all, there are some good reasons to opt for developers from Eastern Europe over Asian ones.
Why Outsource to Eastern Europe
The low price and high quality don’t always go hand in hand. The “Indian code” is known to be of poor quality for a reason. In India, programmers usually complete short-term courses, while most professionals from Eastern Europe learn programming skills at universities. Courses can’t give developers a comprehensive understanding of software architecture, a systemic vision of solutions, and enough professional experience.
Bad code is bad for your business. It’s difficult thus expensive to support, upgrade, and adjust to newer technical requirements that are changing all the time.
Eastern European IT sector has a recognized working culture, and the mentality of its workers is closer to that of the Americans/Western Europeans.
Ukraine and Belarus have a thriving IT industry with many reviews from different companies that outsource the development there.
By choosing Eastern European companies, you reduce the risk of poor communication and misunderstanding, as it’s in their best interest to communicate in C1 English.
That being said, Eastern European IT companies offer high-quality services at reasonable prices. Much attention is paid to quality assurance and control.
How Outsourcing Brings Value to Business
78% of businesses over the world are positive about outsourcing services. Outsourcing helps companies increase their efficiency by implementing digital technologies to the work process while the business stays focused on its core competencies. Enterprises benefit from top talent in the industry and save time and money. Software developers give post-launch product support and improve it based on user feedback and reports.
Consider developing a Minimum Viable Product first. An MVP allows you not only to validate the idea of your product but also to evaluate communication with the team and decide whether you want to keep working with it or switch to another company.
It’s useful to download or try some products made by the vendor you’re interested in to get a sense of the quality and consistency of their applications. Find out if their apps give real value to users.
When working with foreign contractors, be aware of their national holidays and long weekends that may vary from country to country, and make sure you’re satisfied with their schedule.
Agree on the communication channels you’ll use. To deal with the matters faster, arrange meetings and synchronize with tools convenient for both sides. Most companies use Jira, Confluence, Slack, and Trello to manage projects.
Want to Find App Developers?
We hope the question of how to find an app developer is not as complex for you anymore. At least now you have a clue about the criteria for choosing one.
Anadea is a recognized software development company with 20+ years of experience in creating solutions for business. Feel free to contact us to bring your idea to life – we’ll be happy to hear from you!