The Acma claimed long back that the mobile app industry is thriving in the Australian market.
According to a report in Teks Mobile Australia, “The yearly value of the app industry is more than $300 million, and there are more than 400 mobile app companies in Australia.”
The same source also claimed the approximate number of full-time app developers to be over 1600.
In 2014 itself, the number of employments in the mobile app industry in Melbourne (Australia) shot up to 10.9%
This rate is even higher than that of New York (USA) in the same year, where jobs in the industry were recorded to be 10.5%
Finding the right app developer doesn’t just imply a good set of skills. You may find an incredibly talented app developer with sufficient experience and skills. But he/she may turn out to be the wrong developer for your business.
Skills, experience, and talent are without a doubt absolute imperatives when it comes to successful app development. Along with this, the mobile app development team members should also share some level of concordance with the business and mobile app vision.
With such significant statistics indicating the enormous number of developers around, putting up with the right development team can be inevitably difficult.
I am here to ease your pain in finding the right developer.
This article will guide you through the discerning process so that you can go ahead without any hesitations and doubts.
“According to Nielsen, 85 percent of smartphone usage in Australia is in-app, equating to around an hour/day. Australians have witnessed a fundamental shift in media consumption, considering the channel was nonexistent less than a decade ago.” Source
Your location could help you profoundly in finding right app developers. For example, Melbourne is the current war-ground for Australian app developers, so being located in Melbourne keeps you at the edge of finding better app developers. You can, therefore, look for your business mobile app developer in your own city.
Jumping to world locations instead of looking into your vicinity may cost you crucial time as well as money. So, the first step to take before you even set out to hit the internet for finding ideal mobile app developers is determining your destination.
Before you set on the scavenger hunt for your developer, you need to decide your audience beforehand. If you know and are sure about the platform you want to develop for, then you won’t have any confusions in later stages.
If your target audience is on iOS, then there is no point building a cross-platform app. Having a clear idea of your audience will guide you towards the right developer and also keep you from being coaxed into something else.
Secondly, understand your project well so that you can make sure that your developer does too.
You can even hire a graphic designer to create layout and wireframes to get a clear perspective. The designer will create a mockup for your app which will prove to be a great help when you begin to convey your idea to your developer.
A clear and detailed explanation of your project will enable your would-be developer to understand it in the best possible way and add personal elements of creativity and take it forward.
The Developer Criteria
When you begin looking for developers in Australia and specifically in Melbourne, many will pop-up before you. Now, you need to discern which developer is best for your business.
The following points should assist you to make that decision.
Scrounge through the mobile app developers’ profiles.
A lot of mobile app developers’ profiles will include the kind of experience users have with it.
- A good developer will not only understand the importance of UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface), but his/her apps will stand as exemplars of his work in this department. When you go through developer’s profile, look for UI/UX skills
- Go through the client references of the developer. This search will enable some real world feedback. You’ll also get to know of communication level and understandability of the project that the developer holds.
- Download the developer’s app and evaluate their work. This extra effort will give you an idea of how the developer will bring out your app.
Source Code Ownership
Source code ownership is an important criterion that most amateur application builders overlook and pay the price for it at later stages.
“Source code is the fundamental sequence of computer instructions that create an app or software.”
Without source code ownership, you can’t modify or update your app under your own accord.
“Under the Australian Copyright Act, a computer program is recognised as a literary work, which means the creator rather than commissioner owns the copyright to it unless assigned.” Source
Check your developer’s policy regarding source code ownership. Many people find out about these issues when they set out for upgrades from different developers and discover their source code policy.
In cases of bug fix and even in selling the app, such criterion of source code is crucial. So, make sure that you seek good legal counsel regarding the source code ownership matter before hiring a developer.
Freelancer Or Agency
If you are new in the business, to hire an agency for developing your app is the best option for you.
You should know that hiring a freelancer doesn’t mean that you just need to hire a single developer and your job will be done. Most of the time, different developers are required that specialise in various departments like UX design, back-end engineer and front-end developer.
Hiring a company will save you from the trouble of deciding for each member of your team. They don’t just hold an advantage regarding this collectivistic aspect but also in their experience and time management as well.
To put it in a few points, these are the factors you should consider while hiring a developer (freelance or agency):
The cost of mobile app development with organisations will mostly be higher than with a team of freelancers.
Moreover, Agencies usually have a fixed price policy. This aspect is missing in Freelancers. Their flexibility in price, during the project, may pose a problem if you are working on a tight budget.
The goal or objective of your application will also help you decide a better choice for you. If it’s an enterprise application that you want to build for your company, hiring an agency will be a better option as it will save you a lot of time.
If you are building your app over an idea, and are willing to give the time and effort it requires, then a team of freelancers will be a wiser option.
It is important to understand that working with freelancers can be a tiring experience and if you lack prior knowledge and extensive expertise in the field, then hiring an agency is the best choice!
For your mobile application to grow from your mind into the hands of the users, you need to find a developer that understands your vision.
Create a list of all the mobile app developers that you have shortlisted.
All these must be the best that you have found, but now you need to locate the one that shares your vision so that he/she can turn it into a reality.
The portfolio of the developer may list many apps developed by the candidate. But in the interview, your questions may reveal that they were merely a list of minor projects and the candidate was involved only in parts of these projects.
Conduct interviews and decide for yourself.
Prepare a list of questions that’ll help you choose your developer.
Ask for previous work and client list
An excellent and qualified candidate will readily provide you with information about their previous work. Not all developers are what they pose to be. You can judge their job and limits with their former work.
Their skills, experience, and ability to share the vision you have for your app can all be determined by getting a clear idea of their abilities from previous work examples.
If you have decided over hiring a company, then make sure to check the company’s website and don’t just settle for a portfolio. A dull and placid site will give you red signals. If they can create a vibrant, informative and to-the-point interesting website for their agency, then they can surely build you a lucrative mobile application.
Ask them about their method of functioning
Having a clear idea about the method of functioning of the freelancer or agency will let you know if you can work it out together to build your mobile application.
If you head out to build a mobile application, it is evident that you’d require your app to fulfill certain standards. Asking your would-be developers about the tools, methods, and techniques they use to build their apps will give you an idea about the level of the project they are capable of delivering.
Ask them about their testing procedures
There are various testing methods that a mobile application should go through before it hits the market. The developer that you are hiring should be as concerned about your app as you are and should take testing seriously.
Some of the important procedures that they should include in their method of testing are listed below:-
- Testing through emulators and physical devices
- Network connectivity and compatibility with platform
- Testing at different stages (So that cracks and bugs can be fixed at earlier stages)
- Automated testing and manual testing
- Impact testing to spot connection issues between features and software
- Regression testing followed by a verification test
Here is an infographic to further accentuate the mobile app checklist for testing-
Ask them about the creativity and innovation they are capable of bringing to your app
Every form of technology, and not just mobile applications, hold this crucial aspect of becoming successful. An experienced and talented developer is capable of adding personal tints to the mobile app to take your vision to the next level.
You’ll be able to guess this part out from the candidate’s previous work. But asking this question is necessary and will also clarify your expectations to your would-be app developer.
If your app lacks innovative and creative features, it will probably go unnoticed in the market. Features like Mobile Push Notifications, GPS check-ins, In-App messaging, Social media sharing, Live-chat integration etc. can add a lot to the application.
Ask them about their method and mode of communication with clients
How well your mobile app turns out will depend on how well you convey your vision to your developer. Communication is an essential element throughout the app development procedure. So, it is necessary that you are comfortable and at-ease with the method of communication your mobile app developer has to offer.
Do they abide by the legal liabilities of mobile app building
The Australian Privacy Law holds certain legal liabilities that could be dangerous for your business. If your developer is not aware of these obligations, it may pose consequences for you. Therefore, it would be better if these issues and information exchange takes place before you begin any professional work together.
Ask them about app ownership
The Australian Copyright Act recognises a computer program as a literary work. Source
Therefore according to the Australian Law, the creator of the app holds the ownership of a mobile application unless stated otherwise.
(Disclaimer: This article does not intend to give any legal advice. For more information and guidance in this area, please seek professional legal counsel)
It is important that the ownership question is sorted in the beginning. Many app developers tend to avoid such problems with oblivious clients and take advantage of it when the app is up for fixes and updates.
You need to stipulate all your demands and requirements right from the beginning to avoid any mishaps later on.
Hiring the right app developer is a cumbersome task, and you may be tempted to skip a few steps to jump ahead into development.
But it’s important to overcome these temptations and undertake every step so that the mobile app developer you finally end up with is the one that doesn’t let you regret your decision.