How to Hire a Brilliant App Developer in 2022 + 19 Sources

Are you a brick-and-mortar entrepreneur looking to offer your services online? An eCommerce store looking to be more accessible for mobile users? Or a startup with a great tech concept in mind? Whatever your purpose is, if you're looking for a brilliant app developer to build your project, here’s where you’ll learn how you can hire one.

In this time and age, apps have become more high-and-mighty in the digital industry. Statista shares that apps are foreseen to generate over $935 billion by 2023. Tapping into the app development sphere will get you a good share of that pie.

Statista shows the projected growth of revenue from apps.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about hiring a brilliant app developer from important factors you need to consider, hiring options, app developer sources, and the hiring process.

Let’s start by discussing the important things you need to consider before starting your quest for the right app programmer for your application development needs.

Vital Things To Consider When Looking For A Great App Developer

Before heading to developer hiring platforms looking for coders and programmers, you first need to determine this element to help streamline the hiring process:

  • What app are you planning to get built?
  • You need to determine what app project you plan on working on. Will it be a web app? A desktop platform app? Or a mobile app?
  • If it’s a mobile app, will your target audience be Android users or iOS for Apple users? What features do you want your app to have?

By determining the answers to these questions, you’ll know what kind of app developer to hire. You’ll know what skills they need to have. Will you need a developer specializing in Kotlin? Python? PHP? React Native? Java? Node? Or Swift (the primary programming language for iOS apps like the one used on an iPhone)? Are they experts on APIs? What about .NET?

This will also help you determine the scope and complexity of your project to help with time and budget estimation. Familiarizing yourself with your app project will also help you determine if it’s best to pay by an hourly rate or on a per-project basis and if you only need a single app developer or a full-blown app development team.

This way, when you find the right candidates, you know what questions to ask and what to tell them about the project. It’ll help with the transparency of the development process. This also provides you with feedback for their estimations of cost and duration to compare.

Granted, not everybody looking to hire an app developer knows what to look for in one. To help you with this, you can either pose questions on tech forums, ask colleagues who are well-versed in this area, or better yet, contact us at Aloa about the project you’re looking to make so we can make specialized recommendations.

To stay in the loop of matters and don’t have to rely on someone else the whole time, it’s also beneficial if you learn at least the basic ropes of software development. Get basic knowledge of programming languages, the best countries for outsourcing, the best hiring platforms, and average rates. Knowing the ins and outs of app development, even just the core knowledge goes a long way in streamlining your hiring process.

Now let’s briefly cover the hiring options available for you.

3 App Developer Hiring Options

Knowing the scope of your app project will greatly help with this. You have three choices when hiring an app developer:

I. In-House

If you’re planning to work on a long-term app development project, it’s a good idea to hire an in-house team member or simply an Android developer or an iOS developer that works with you or your team full-time in the office.

They’re typically the most expensive option because you have to pay a full-time salary and spend on benefits like paid sick leaves, vacation leaves, insurance, and other perks.

II. Freelancer

The second hiring option is contractual. You can hire a freelancer for short-term projects or if you’re tight on the budget since this work arrangement means you don’t have to cover paid vacation days and other standard employee benefits. It’s more cost-effective.

This also allows you to find talented candidates globally especially in places known to have expert software engineers like India and Ukraine. Nearshoring or offshoring the project also allows you to maximize the value of your budget.

The only downside with this is that many freelance hiring platforms don’t vet their developer candidates so you can end up with someone who just looks good on the resume but is under-qualified to execute the job at hand.

To get higher hiring rates, some turn to exaggerate their software development lifecycle knowledge, programming skills, capabilities, experience, and ability level - a false perception of what they can accomplish.

A safer option is to go with an outsourcing app development company like us at Aloa. We handpick the right developers for you, ensuring that you’ll be working with someone qualified to build your app project with high-quality results. This is a great option if you have little to no knowledge about app development.

Aloa handpicks highly qualified developers

III. Outsource Team

For bigger and more complex projects, you can hire a full-blown app to outsource a team from an outsourcing company. This is almost similar to freelancing but involves more than just one developer. The output is usually better than hiring a single freelancer because a whole team of experts can offset the weaknesses of others in the team.

A full-blow development team can include:

  • Project Manager: Manages the project progress and coordinates with team members.
  • UI/UX Designer: Responsible for app design, user experience, and user interface designs. Coordinates with the project manager and technical staff for task evaluation.
  • App Developer: Mainly responsible for coding and has the expertise in the tech stack that the app is under. An expert in the backend area of the project.
  • QA Engineers: Takes care of bugs elimination for the mobile application to work smoothly.
  • DevOps Engineer: Is responsible for an efficient software delivery process.

The best thing about outsourcing a team is that it's scalable. You can expand or reduce team members depending on the app project needs. You can easily augment staff as the need increases.

Additionally, many outsourcing agencies like us at Aloa handle the rigorous vetting process to provide you with highly capable development teams. This means one less concern to think about so you can focus on other important aspects of your business.

Some drawbacks would be if you’re offshoring the services to somewhere with a huge time difference, setting team meetings and immediate communication responses could be challenging with varying time zones.

Now to the part, you came here for the complete process of hiring a brilliant app developer in 2022.

7 Steps In Hiring A Brilliant App Developer

1. Make A Requirements List

After understanding the basics of your app project, write down the information you’d want to find in the right app developer candidate. This makes it easier for you to filter out unqualified ones faster.

Your requirements list can include:

  • Tech stack expertise
  • Experience in similar projects
  • Portfolio of previous and current projects
  • Participation in tech events or developer activities
  • Preferred location
  • Preferred hiring option
  • Preferred hourly rates or project rates
  • Referrals or feedback from previous employers or customers

2. Scout On App Developer Hiring Platforms

Depending on your preference and budget, you can look at candidates on coding platforms, freelance platforms, tech blogs or forums, design communities, and more.

One of the most popular coding platforms to look at is GitHub. Professional software developers save and share their projects on this platform. You can use this platform to find app developers who’ve had experience in the same concept or nature of the app you’re looking to create.

GitHub is frequented by many app developers

More app developer communities to look at are AppFutura, Quora, Medium, and Reddit. Checking out these platforms can also allow you to realize other app ideas you can later utilize too.

For freelance platforms, you can take a look at Upwork, Toptal, Guru, and PeoplePerHour. For creative communities, you can look at Behance and Dribble. For social media platforms, you can scout on LinkedIn.

Try GoodFirms if you’re looking for a research and app review element in a platform. Kaggle if you want to test out candidates on tasks or host a competition to quickly find a brilliant developer.

If you’re interested in physically meeting developers, you can join hackathon events, tech conferences, and meetups, as well as attend app development courses.

Whatever platform you decide to scout app developer candidates on, be wary of scam websites that ask you to put down large amounts of downpayment. If you do find a promising platform that seems to be credible, go for those that have an escrow or refund process in place.

3. Examine Portfolios

Before shortlisting a potential candidate, take a look at their portfolio to see their past and current app development experience. You can get a lot of insight and streamline your hiring process by checking out projects candidates have already done.

It automatically gets you an assurance that they know the ins and outs of the project you’re going to create. You can either shoot them a quick message asking for a portfolio or their website if they have one.

You can also head to the App Store or Google Play Market and check out similar concept projects and find out their developers from it.

4. Check Out Testimonials Or Reviews

Testimonials and reviews on various sites can be a great place to find qualified resources

It’s best to shortlist not just a candidate with past experiences on similar app projects, but one that has garnered testimonials and reviews from past customers or co-developers. It’s a good way to test their credibility and expertise as well.

But beware though, some resort to creating fake reviews and testimonials so you also have to do a bit of background check on reviewers as well. This also means that you can’t solely rely on reviews to shortlist a potential candidate, it can just be one of the factors you’ll consider.

5. Invite Them For An Interview

After completing a shortlisted selection of potential app developer candidates, you can now invite them for an interview and set a schedule accordingly. While the platforms you looked at provide you with an initial knowledge of the candidate, when setting a schedule, you can also ask them to prepare other sources of information you weren't able to see yet.

This can include contact numbers of previous employers or clients and portfolios.

During the interview, you can first ask them to tell a bit about themselves so they can ease out. Then you can move on to ask about their expertise - the tech stacks they specialize in and the previous similar projects they made.

You can then allow them to explain their development methodology to see if it’s an efficient process you can follow. They’ll be talking about their task division and organization and maybe some frameworks they follow so you can also use this in gauging a rough time frame for your app project.

A developer's methodology can tell you a lot of their quality

The easier it is for explaining this, the more confidence you’ll have in their expertise and experiences shared.

You can also ask them about the technologies they’ve used and what they specialize in. Maybe they have cross-platform expertise, they’re good with web development and mobile app development. Who knows, their product development skills might include blockchain expertise you can utilize as well.

By knowing all the skills they possess, you’ll be able to maximize functionality outputs they can provide and avoid needlessly adding more members to the team. The more complex and diverse projects they’ve been involved with, the better it is for you.

Moreover, it’s also important to ask them about the app development problems they’ve experienced. It will tell you how they handled it and if they were able to make a success out of it. Knowing this helps you avoid making the same mistakes.

Also, while the interview is going on, examine their communication skills. If you hire app developers that don’t understand your requirements and grasp your vision, you’ll end up frustrated and unsuccessful. This also allows you to check if they can communicate with you well to see how easy it is for both of you to be on the same page.

Don’t forget to ask them about their preferred payment schemes whether they want to be paid by hourly rates on a per-project basis. It’ll help you see if they can fit the budget you set for the app project.

6. Contact Previous Employers And Clients

After the interview, you’ll be able to narrow down your selection further. To add a layer to their credibility, contact their previous employers and clients to see if they can vouch for the expertise and attitude of the potential app developer candidate.

Contacting a developer's previous employers and clients can tell you about their quality and professionalism

Additionally, you also ask these people about their company culture. It’ll reveal the working atmosphere your potential app developer has already been in and see if they already fit your company culture or if there are areas of concern you need to address.

It also tells you about the product development setup they’ve been in. Do they have experience with the top-down approach where the bosses give orders and the developers mainly follow or is it more collaborative at a team-based level?

By contacting previous employers and clients, you’ll confirm the skill set of a potential app programmer and better see if they are a good fit for your company or app development team.

7. Choose A Programmer And Finalize Arrangements

Now that you’ve considered every important aspect of finding the best app developer or team of developers to hire, you can now finalize your choices and contact them back to let them know.

Have every arrangement you agreed on to be written in a contract. It’s also best if you can provide a non-disclosure agreement document or NDA to ensure the privacy and safety of your app development project.

For this, an app development agency like us at Aloa can provide you with the most trusted app developers who underwent meticulous vetting so we can provide you only with the best.


All the decisions you make about going for freelance app developers or app development agencies, which tech stack and skill set to find, how many programmers to hire largely rely on determining what your project is and what building it entails.

Do you need Android app developers, iOS app developers, or a cross-platform expert? Which development services should you go for? Everything starts by defining what your app project is and what skills set is needed to get it done.

By following this guide, in no time, you’ll be able to find mobile app developers that fit your project needs. Not just any mediocre self-confessed expert mobile app developer, but a proven specialist that has produced high-quality outputs before that gets the job done within the time frame set so you can start getting a piece of the app development revenue pie.

The views expressed in this post are the writer's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Aloa or AloaLabs, LLC.
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