How to find the right mobile app developers

How to find the right mobile app developers

11 May 2017 • 6 min read

The online market is full of offers by app development companies that promise low cost and high quality of development. So if you are new to the business, finding just any app developer might seem like a breeze. The issue here is that getting just the right one that matches your company and appreciates your business is tricky, to say the least.

You may have a well-established business or a start-up that needs a mobile application. This entails differences in approach to the search: varied budgets, availability of in-house experts to put your idea to fruition, or even having a dedicated person that takes care of finding and choosing the best app developer.

There are literally thousands of individual companies, both large and small, that do mobile app development. So how do you find the right app developers? Actually, the priority here is to find not only a skilled provider but, more importantly, to get the right partner that is highly engaged in building your product.

In this article, we’ve come up with a number of parameters that need to be followed step-by-step to identify the right mobile app developer.

1. Choose location and company size to work with

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The first question is "where to find app developers?" You can choose a company near you or overseas. The first option is usually preferable when you have a large budget and require direct access to the developer team. The latter option though is much more common since there are so many companies abroad that may be a better match both financially and technologically.

Let’s stop on the most common countries you are likely to be looking at - North America (USA, Canada), Western Europe (Germany, London), Eastern Europe (Ukraine), and Asia (India).

North America and Silicon Valley, in particular, are the core of many software development businesses. The reality is such that Silicon Valley has around half of worldwide development talent working there. But most companies, both large and small are only headquartered there, stationing the sales and top management in the area. But the R&D offices are usually located overseas to save costs and to find professionals, as the HR market is highly competitive locally.

Western Europe with London and Berlin, in particular, are mobile development hubs with over 50% of revenue in Europe. The mobile software development processes are smooth, but the prices are steep and sometimes even higher than in the US even to create a basic MVP.

Eastern Europe and Ukraine exclusively are on Gartner’s list of the best destinations to outsource and find the best mobile app developers. Mobile applications are frequently ordered by businesses and individuals from Western Europe and the USA in particular. The main reasons are the high quality of work, similarities in business mentality, and lower rates than in the States. This location seems best when you are interested in not compromising on quality while having a clear-cut budget. Such an approach is becoming a priority for most companies that require an advanced mobile app on short notice.

India used to be the go-to place for software development and is quite well-known for its outsourcing capabilities. But many companies have turned away from their services as although there are over 100,000 mobile developers in India, the quality and speed of mobile app creation are poor, even taking into account the low prices.

Search for a mobile app development company interested in your idea

Some companies are eager to focus only on the tech side of things. But it’s not only about the app development. A great mobile app developer should share with you the experience they had when developing previous apps and assist you in narrowing down the list of features your app should have for it to be successful. Getting a couple of guys to write some code for you will do no good as only a development company that has a positive previous experience, and that appreciates your app will provide you with proper app development and realization.

Your key goal here is to find a company, either outsourced or in-house, that fully identifies with your objectives and app vision. By understanding the business, you’re in and your customers the mobile app developer can solve the problem of creating the right application to attract and retain your customers.

Otherwise, we’re sure the app won’t be a hit. So look for mobile app developers that have corresponding previous experience, and are interested in getting to know your ways of doing business. A firm technical background is, of course, of the essence, but it comes second to this point. If a team can show you a clear product roadmap, then it will do justice to your app development as well.


2. Count the price in but don’t make it key

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Basing your future cooperation on price alone is like going to the discount market and getting the cheapest food. It will sustain you, but you won’t like the taste of it. For your business and mobile app to be successful you need to get a great product that can sustain long-term growth and provide reliable services from the start.

Of course, every entrepreneur has a set budget, and more often than not it is quite strict. Have a look at our case study of Dollar Shave Club app, whose services are based on offering shaving products starting at only $1. But the app we developed for them makes a great example of high usability and acclaim by users, notably for a company that offers inexpensive but quality products. Developing such an app may turn out more expensive in the short term. But if we take the long run, the app’s redo will become more expensive because of the poor quality and cheap development processes.


Make a list of suitable companies, check their portfolio and references

Finding a mobile app development company is a lengthy process if taken seriously. But we’ve developed a checklist you need to follow to streamline the process and make sure that namely this mobile app developer will not only meet but exceed your expectations. Snapping up the cheapest or the fastest offer will do you no good.

  • Make a list of companies that may suit you best.
  • Check candidates’ websites, a list of clients, references, and projects.
  • Get to know the qualifications of the development teams.
  • Check their technical skills, and soft skills.
  • Figure out their level of interest in your project.
  • Understand if they share your goals and have a way to achieve them.

Overall you should look for mobile developers that have a demonstrated ability in creating similar apps of high quality, with great designers on board and willingness to understand your business.


3. Set up a one-on-one meeting and brief the shortlisted providers

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After going through your long list of potential candidates, shortlist the ones that you feel positive about. Create a brief as it is the starting point for your cooperation. Providing your perspective, mobile app developer with a detailed brief of what is expected helps them, in turn, understand if they can help you and are actually interested in the project itself.

A detailed briefing of mobile app developers will eliminate any assumptions and will take the guesswork out of the equation. When you spell out each feature you would like to have and get feedback with amendments and advice, then you are likely looking at a company that is interested and knows what it’s doing. But if your brief is abstract, you are making developers draw assumptions and incorrectly estimate the required effort. Therefore, you will get widely varied quotes.


4. Ensure the vital cooperation points

  • Set up development time-frame
  • Check the ease of communication
  • Pre-set development cost

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These points seem quite straightforward, and if you can find the team that meets them all, then you’ve found the company to do business with. By providing a realistic deadline, creating an MVP, being able to communicate in a positive and knowledgeable manner and pre-setting development costs according to the brief, your partner offers a smooth development process and is sure to finalize the project properly. It may seem simple, but many development companies lack experience at either point.

To avoid sifting through a large number of poor-quality developers, don’t attract monkeys by throwing peanuts. Meaning, that the stated cost of development should not be obscenely low. Great developers are in high demand, and this profession is most lucrative financially. So the primary reason why the mobile app development company should have business with you is that your ideas and app are of interest to them.

Overly stretching your budget is no good either. But a proper developer is sure to help you figure out only the best features you need to have and will realize them at a lower cost, compared to developing a bunch of tools your customers may never use.

By picking the wrong app developer, you will get all you want, but not the advice to optimize and improve your app. By blindly following your ideas without getting to the bottom of the issue, such mobile developers will make you spend more time and resources on what is not needed.


5. Sign the contract with the right app developer

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Signing a contract is the last step and it is a highly important decision, as there is no turning back without losing either time or money, or both. From now on the creation of the app is in developer’s hands, but your continued support and open communication on all issues are of paramount priority.

Follow the guidelines in this article and concentrate on your business needs. You may come to realize that with the help of a good mobile app development company, your dreams of a perfect app will not only come to fruition but will evolve and become better than expected. Let us know if this piece of advice has helped you in any way to choose the best app developer.

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