Finding the Best App Developer: 10 Questions to Ask

Finding the Best App Developer: 10 Questions to Ask
Akash Shakya By Akash Shakya August 3rd 2020

Are you looking to hire an app developer to create the next groundbreaking app for your company? If so, you should know the right questions to ask in a mobile app development interview to get a developer that can help your vision become a reality. To see what questions you should be asking, keep reading below.

Can I See Some Examples of Your Previous Work?

Asking to see a mobile app development company’s previous work isn’t unreasonable. If you ask this question the app developer should be more than happy to show you some examples of their work. This can be done by sending you direct links to their apps or even showing you on their devices.

When you’re shown their previous apps you should go ahead and take them for a test drive. Open the apps and play with them to get a feel for how the developer creates applications and see if it’s exactly what you’re looking for.

It’s good to keep in mind that not all developers will have created an app from the ground up. Instead, they may have worked on different aspects of an app. If they have worked in a certain area they should feel comfortable talking about this experience with complete honesty.

If you find that app developers are not open about their previous work or experience when it comes to creating an app they may not be the right fit for you. In truth, how can you invest in this person or company to build an app if they aren’t bringing the experience they say they have to the table.

Can I See Your References?

Learning about your potential app developer’s past is one of the best ways to learn about them before bringing them onto the team. When asking about past clients it doesn’t hurt to inquire about how to reach them in case you’d like to call them for a reference. You can even reach out to the previous project managers if the developer your interviewing had only worked on a single area of their past apps.

When reaching out to the references you should ask things such as if the developer communicates well, if they were reliable, and if they stayed within budget targets. You should even be asking how they are at meeting deadlines because that will be important later down the road.

What Is the Process of App Development?

This may be one of the most important questions you will ask in the interview because you will want the developer to know the process of development. The interviewee should list out the following processes:

  • Problem – what’s the problem and how is our app going to solve it?
  • Process – this is the point of discovery. Brainstorm the app you’re going to create and come up with any and every idea that you want the app to have.
  • Prioritization – look at what you brainstormed and ax anything that isn’t a priority at the moment.
  • Ideation – at this stage you will think about the way the app will navigate for every user
  • Design – now it’s time to think about how the app will look
  • Usability testing – throughout development there should be regular testing to ensure everything is running smoothly
  • Final solutions – at this point in development you should have your app well pieced together and running. It should be providing a solution to the problem you set out to solve.

What Companies Have You Worked With Previously?

If you’re in a large company or even a well-known line of work you will want your app developer to have a similar experience to the enterprise you’re in. This even applies to start-ups that are looking to start an app to further their company.

We know that businesses of different sizes don’t operate the same. With this said, the atmosphere and culture of your company may be different than what the app developer you hire is used to. This could lead the developer you hire not being the best fit for your company and work culture.

By asking who the developer has worked with in the past you will get a better idea of how they will fit within your company. If they have worked in the same field before and understand the culture then they may be a great fit and provide you with a great quality app.

What’s Your Experience With Design?

Your app may be providing the public with things that they need, but if it’s not attractive then it may not do well. Users like applications that are easy to navigate and that are also nice to look at. In addition, the app design should set you apart from any competition.

When interviewing you should be asking what the developer’s experience with design is. If they don’t have much experience in designing apps then you may want to look for another candidate that can provide you with an app that will give users a unique experience. Also, take a close look at the developer’s portfolio to see if they can create a groundbreaking design that will set you apart from others on the app store and make your application memorable.

Do You Have Experience Building What I’m Looking For?

Before you begin the interviewing process you should sit down and create a list of features you want your new app to have. This list should have two columns, one being things your app must have and the other being things that would be nice to have but aren’t necessary. Bring this list to the interviews to help the developers get a better idea of what you’re looking for in an end product.

When you show the developer your list ask them if they have experience creating or working with any of the features you have written down. This will help you get a feel of what experience the developers have. If they seem well educated on each feature then they can most likely create the app you’ve been dreaming of.

If you come across a developer you like but they aren’t educated in a few areas don’t let this deter you. Experienced developers usually can learn new functionalities pretty quickly. So, if you have any doubts speak with the developer one on one to see if they can bring exactly what you want to the table and if they are okay learning new things.

What Is Your Understanding of My Business and Its Audience?

When it comes to hiring the best mobile app developer you will want someone that understands your company and the audience you’re trying to reach. It’s good to remember that every candidate you interview won’t have all the answers to the questions you ask.

Don’t look at this as a downfall but a chance to educate them on your overall goal with the company or app you want to be created. From here you can see how the candidate responds and it will help you to decide who in the pool will help you to achieve your goal.

If a developer takes interest in your goal for an application it’s a good sign that they are interested in the job and will be motivated to develop the app of your dreams. Bouns points if the potential developer is interested in using the app themselves.

If the developer has worked in your industry before or even has experience creating apps with the same functions you want your app to have, it could be a perfect fit. This is because they already have an understanding of your business and will know what your app will need to be successful.

What Information Do You Require Before Coding an App?

When this question is asked during an interview the developer should respond with a detailed understanding of the life-cycle of an app in the development process. If the developer has a decent understanding of what they will need they will be upfront with you in the interview.

But, for the developer to be honest and upfront with you, you will need to do the same. You should be telling the developer things like what the overall purpose of your app is, what your target audience is, and bring any similar apps to the table that you want your app to look and feel like.

By providing this information the developer should respond with what they will need at every stage of development. If they don’t understand one of your goals then they should be able to ask for clarity. This is a great opportunity to see how honest and upfront a developer is and get a feel for how working with them will be.

Can You Help Me Make Money off My App?

In reality, it takes some time for mobile apps to yield any money. After releasing your app it will take some time for it to gain attention and to gain popularity.

Once your app has been noticed and gets a few hundred users you’ll have the option to charge. When finding the right app developer you should be asking them how they can help you turn your app into a profit.

Any successful developer will have experience in monetizing apps. This can be done by pay per download, in-app ads, or even subscriptions. After your app is free and gets users your developer should have an idea on the best way to monetize to make a profit.

How Do You Handle Issues With Security?

Security is always something you should have in the back of your mind at any stage of your app’s development. With this said, your future developer needs to have a good understanding of the potential security of your app.

Things they should have a grasp on include aspects such as restoring personal data, how to handle security breaches, how any payments will be handled, and how to abide by national and local laws. Talking about security is always a touchy subject, especially when it comes to mobile apps.

When interviewing do your research beforehand. Look to see if there have been any recent attacks on a specific type of software. If there has, bring it up and see how the developer would solve or deal with the issue at hand. This will help you to get a better idea of the knowledge the developer has when it comes to breaches.

How Will You Go About App Testing?

One of the most important steps in app development is the testing stage. No one wants to launch an app that hasn’t been tested. If you do, you can run into users experiencing bugs and this will lead to low ratings that could eventually get you booted from the app store.

Any developer should handle all the testing when it comes to your app. Since this is an important part of the development process you should ask the developer how they will go about testing the app.

The right developer will say they will seek testing from third-parties that have nothing to do with the app development itself. This will give an outside view and even give your critical feedback on the design and navigation of the app.

How Will You Go About App Maintenance?

After working closely with your app developer for a few months to create the best app for your company, the two of you should have created a strong professional relationship. Building this relationship will help to ensure that your developer will be around even after they have sent your apps to the stores.

When your app is released you will get user feedback in comments. Users may run into small bugs and have recommendations. It’s even important to note that apps will need to be updated regularly to keep up with technology. Keeping your developer around will help to ensure that your app is always up to date and running smoothly, keeping users engaged.

Now You Know the Must Ask Questions for Mobile App Development Interviews

We have given you the top questions to ask in mobile app development interviews so you can hire the best developer for your future app. From asking the developer questions to see what their knowledge is to get a feel on how you two will be working together, these questions are bound to get you a developer that fits with your company and will help you to achieve your vision.

For more app development information and tips be sure to check out the rest of our website.

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Old article from 2018 below: 

If your business doesn’t have an app, you could be missing out on a lucrative opportunity. Apps can help you create a new revenue stream, market your business, and/or enhance business processes. Finding an app developer for your new app isn’t hard – the challenge is finding a developer who can help you achieve what you’re looking to do. Mobile app developers range in their background, experience and expertise, so you should have clear criteria for selection. Knowing what you want before you approach developers is also a good idea, as you’ll be able to ask them the right questions.

1. How will you ensure the app achieves my goal?

Before approaching a mobile web developer, be clear about what the app is being designed to achieve. Is it a new revenue stream for your business, to support your existing revenue streams, or some other purpose?

New revenue stream

An app that’s designed to generate a new revenue stream will be taking payments, encourage users to buy more, and helping deliver some sort of service or product. This means the app will look very different to other types of apps, and it might need extra security features and data-processing functions.

Engage users or promote the brand

An app that’s designed to market a product or business will be very different to one attempting to generate revenue in itself. If your app is to engage with users and/or promote awareness of your brand, make sure the developer clearly understands this goal.

Replace or enhance an existing business process

A suitable mobile app developer will understand if your aim is to develop an app that replaces or enhances an existing business process. They should be able to understand the business processes in question, so they have a foundation for building an app that can effectively replace or support the process in some way.

This type of app, which is likely designed for internal use by staff in your organisation, will again look very different to other types of apps. The app developer should have an idea as to how it can be optimised for functioning and use in real-life. For example, if you’re a logistic company commissioning an app to help on-field sales personnel track customers on their tablets, you might decide voice recording or voice-text tools will let your sales agents take notes more quickly on the road.

2. Is my vision achievable?

You should be clear on what you’re trying to achieve as an overarching goal, as well as the metrics you’ll be using to measure the success of your app development project before you approach a prospective mobile app developer. Finding the right developer will depend on them successfully relaying your vision and goals with confidence, into action.

3. How will you test and optimise?

Testing is integral to development as it allows the developer to identify errors for correction. Reputable app developers test the app throughout the development process.

Optimisation is related to testing, though it’s slightly different. During optimisation, the developer might look at things like safety, security, upload time, and design shortcomings. The optimisation process identifies potential areas for improvement. You’ll probably also want to ask them about the type of ongoing maintenance and support they can provide.

4. What special features and tools can you add?

Innovative and useful features can help attract the attention of users and make it easy for you to achieve what you need on the back end. Cutting-edge graphics, a management dashboard, web service connection, 3D gaming, and social media sharing are some examples of innovative and useful tools. Figure out what you’d like, and ask your developer if they have other suggestions.

5. What compliance standards will you work to?

Along with the platform you’re developing for (iOS, Android, or other), the developer should be aware of any standards or rules that the App Store or Google Play (or other app store) impose for submitted apps. If the operating system or store rejects the app, you’ll have invested your money on an app that can’t be distributed or at the very least will need further development for compliance.

Check that your app developer knows the guidelines and rules so you won’t end up wasting your time and money with a rejected app.

6. What are the integration and security options?

Encryption and protection against data loss are essential for the risk of malicious attacks, especially if your app is to increase revenue stream or has access to customer information. Additionally, if you need integration, check with your app developer about back-end and front-end technologies for integrating your app with other systems. This could be your CRM, ERM, and/or a cloud-hosted platform.

7. Can I see examples of your work?

Check out how their apps look and work by reviewing examples of the app developer’s previous work. Reputable developers are usually happy to provide you with a list of apps they’ve worked on. Looking at their successful development project gives you a better idea of the calibre of their work.

8. How do we keep in touch during the development process?

The quality of your app relies on your input on design and functionality requirements, so have a regular timetable for checking in with your developer. Find out whether they prefer regular phone discussions, emails, Skype, or other options. Ask them how often you can expect updates, making sure they are regular enough to keep an active involvement and allows you to feel confident about the process of development.

9. Will I own the app?

Usually the customer paying for the app will own the finished product, but some developers might have different terms and conditions. Ensure you will own all the rights to the app – everything from design and code to content – and make sure you sign a contract that specifies this.

10. How much will it cost?

Budget will probably be a major consideration, but signing with the cheapest developer won’t necessarily yield the outcome you’re looking for. No matter what price is quoted, it’s likely you’ll be able to find someone willing to do it for you cheaper. The important thing is to balance budget with quality considerations, or you could end up regretting working with the cheapest developer.

Be confident during your search

When choosing a developer, make sure they have a clear plan for how they’ll achieve your requirements. Ensure they can provide the special features you want and will work to applicable compliance requirements. By asking these questions of prospective developers, you can get a good idea of whether they can achieve your vision for the app.

EB Pearls is Australia’s most trusted digital agency, providing innovative and profitable websites and apps for our happy customers for more than a decade. To find out more about how our mobile app, web design, and ecommerce expertise can help drive your business to the next level, explore our services or contact us for a discussion today.

Akash Shakya By Akash Shakya

Coming from distributed computing background, Akash manages the Sydney operations. He is highly technical yet very business focused and is always driven to create successful business products for our clients.

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