How to Find an App developer: Reviewing Available Options
Users love mobile, and that’s a fact. If a business does not have a mobile application, customers will most probably consider it outdated and turn to the competition instead.
Thus, the main point of concern for entrepreneurs is finding a reliable app developer who can provide them with an efficient and robust application. There are several options to choose from: hiring an in-house development team, hiring a freelancer, or hiring an outsourced development agency. We will review the pros and cons of each option so you can decide on the most suitable one for your project.
An in-house development team consists of full-time employees who work in your company. Since in-house developers work side by side with other specialists, it enables close communication across the departments which is a big benefit for the project.
The pros of working with an in-house development team
Though an employer does have certain responsibilities when working with an in-house development team, such collaboration has several major benefits.
Better team management
When a team is in the same office as the employer, it becomes easier to manage it and communicate with it. A project manager can approach the team at any time and always be informed about the project status and details. As well, there are no communication lags or misunderstandings as everything can be discussed in person.
When a person becomes a member of a team, it increases their loyalty and interest towards the company due to the sense of involvement and belonging. Loyalty, in turn, is a powerful motivator that helps employees deliver better and high-quality results because the person is more engaged in a project on a personal level.
A better understanding of a project
The development of a good software product requires a good understanding of the brand, its values and the message that it communicates to the customers. Because the in-house development team works side by side with PR, marketing and design specialists, it will be easier for the developers to understand how the app should look, function and behave and what kind of users it targets.
The cons of working with an in-house development team
If you consider assembling an in-house development team, there are certain pitfalls that you need to be aware of in order to minimize the risks.
Hiring an in-house team means you will have to pay taxes, provide vacation and medical insurance, pay for the paid leaves, pay for the rent of the office space and purchase the needed equipment. All these things must be considered in advance so you can allocate your budget correspondingly.
Full-time work in the office implies that the employee will spend there at least eight hours - and you cannot expect anyone to work eight hours straight without making a break. One of the most common issues that many employers face is the employees getting too distracted by social media or colleagues. This, in turn, has a big impact on one productivity and work results.
When you assemble an in-house development team, you choose the development skills that are required for the current needs of a project. But what if you need a different skill set in the future or your budget does not allow hiring the needed specialists? This results in a limited skillset of the in-house team which may cause issues in the future.
In-house development: conclusion
Hiring an in-house development team is a good option if you have a long-term project in mind and plan to work on similar projects in the future. In this case, the investment into finding and assembling a team of developers will be fully compensated in the future. However, the in-house development teams often lack flexibility and you might need to hire a freelance specialist in case you need a different expertise in the future.
Freelancers are remote developers who work as independent contractors. The biggest advantages of working with freelancers are their flexibility, access to the wide talent pool and relatively low rates.
The pros of working with freelance developers
While some business owners hesitate to work with freelancers, others recognize and enjoy all the benefits that collaboration with freelancers brings.
Freelancers are usually very flexible in terms of applying changes to a project or working on weekends or holidays because they create and manage their own schedule. This makes their approach to work very flexible and convenient and enables the client to change the project requirements on the go.
Wide talent pool
While in-house development means having a limited set of skills in a team, work with freelancers enables the employer to choose from an incredibly wide range of available skills. That means you can assemble a dream team of the specialists that you need at the current moment without paying any extra fees.
The biggest advantage of freelance developers is that they normally charge less than in-house developers or outsourced agencies. And since the budget is the key point of consideration for many entrepreneurs, this is the reason they prefer working with freelancers.
The cons of working with freelance developers
As good as it sounds, working with freelance developers also has certain pitfalls that every business owner needs to know about.
Lack of loyalty
A freelancer often manages several projects simultaneously so you cannot expect a high level of loyalty for your specific company. While it does not affect the quality of work, some employers prefer their employees to display loyalty for the company so it might be an issue.
Another common issue that prevents many entrepreneurs from working with freelancers is a low level of reliability from the freelancers’ side. There is no 100% guarantee that a freelancer will not disappear or will deliver the required amount of work in time. Thus, one needs to be really careful when selecting from the possible options. It is recommended to look at the freelancer’s reputation and see the testimonials from the past clients.
Because freelancers work remotely, it can be really difficult to manage their work, especially if they are located in a different city or even country (in this case, there will be an issue with the time zone shifts). The inability to manage and monitor the freelancer’s work may lead to quality issues in the future and the necessity to add certain changes to the project which will bring extra costs.
Freelance developers: conclusion
Collaboration with freelance developers is a perfect option if you need to quickly complete a specific scope of work or need a certain set of skills for the project. Freelance developers are suitable for short-term projects with changing requirements due to their flexibility and availability.
Outsourced software development agency
Outsourced software development agency is a company that focuses on specific technologies and provides high-quality solutions in accordance with the project requirements. The core feature of an outsourced development agency is its level of expertise which is the reason why many entrepreneurs opt for hiring an outsourced development company.
The pros of working with an outsourced development agency
Outsourced development agencies provide several valuable benefits that no other option can offer.
Level of experience
In order to ensure seamless quality, outsourced development agencies usually have a very narrow focus on specific tools and technologies. Such an approach allows them to constantly master their skills which adds to the company’s reliability and reputation. As well, expert development companies usually have an extensive portfolio of successful projects which is also an indicator of their experience and quality of work.
One of the great things about outsourced development companies is that they are incredibly self-organized. They independently manage all development-related processes and do not require management from the client’s side. Another benefit is that such companies also have well-organized and transparent communication processes which enables the client to always be informed about the project and its status.
Finally, an outsourced agency is also very flexible in terms of work. That means, you can request the needed changes to a project at any time and be sure the agency will deliver them in an organized manner without affecting the project deadlines.
The cons of working with an outsourced development agency
Though an outsourced development company is a great option with many benefits, there are a few things to consider in advance in order to meet the set deadline and budget.
Outsourcing implies paying not only for the developers (and other specialists) hourly rate but for some extra costs as well. Such costs may include the services of business analysts and project managers or the purchase of subscriptions and tools. While all of these expenses are needed, many business owners are not aware of them which often leads to misunderstandings in the future.
Another common issue when working with an outsourced company is communication management. Because the agency works in a different location (or even in a different country), a client cannot approach the team any time he wants. This, in turn, leads to such problems as misunderstandings, lack of information, missed deadlines, or unclear requirements. To avoid these issues and minimize the risks, it is recommended to organize the communication in advance and discuss such things as reporting frequency, communication channels, etc.
When working with a remote development team, there is always a possibility of poor code quality. In order to avoid the possible scammers or non-experienced developers, make sure to do the following:
Always ask for a portfolio,
Send a test task to check the code quality,
Reach out to the past clients and ask their opinion about the team,
Conduct a tech interview and hold a meeting with the team.
The main thing to keep in mind when choosing an outsourced development company - do not opt for the cheapest option. Do research, see the average hourly rates for different countries and choose your provider correspondingly.
Outsourced development agency: conclusion
Outsourced development companies take the best from both worlds (in-house development and freelance developers). Such agencies are flexible. highly experienced and reliable and some of them can offer additional services such as marketing. The rates of an outsourced agency can be rather high but in the end, you receive the second to none quality.
So which option should you choose for your project?
In order to help you decide, we will use a few factors to evaluate each option:
Price: the cheapest option is freelance development while in-house is the most expensive one. Outsourced development stands in between and many agencies offer relatively affordable pricing for their services.
Time: both outsourced agencies and freelancers can quickly deliver the needed result while in-house developers might need some time to switch between the projects.
Quality: due to a narrow focus on specific tools and technologies, outsourced agencies and freelancers tend to provide a high level of quality while in-house developers may not be so experienced or may lack certain skills that are needed for the project.
Judging from these factors and own experience, collaboration with an outsourced software development company is the most suitable option if you have a long-term project and need excellent quality but do not want to pay extra costs or be responsible for the team management. Working with freelancers is great for a short-term project when you need to quickly complete a certain task and hiring an in-house development team is recommended when you plan to constantly work on the software products and be fully responsible for the management and product control.
In general, an outsourced team is usually the best choice for developing a mobile application due to the work specifics and the team’s experience. An agency will provide full care of your app, from suggesting the most efficient solution to helping with its design and testing the application. In this way, you can be sure to receive a high quality product that will bring tangible benefits to your business.
Alex ZubelView all articles by this author.