As per Statista, there are 2.59 million apps in the Google Play store in 2023 which is used by billions of people for an array of applications including entertainment, e-commerce, social media, productivity, and education.
Android developers are vital tech talents needed to build such Android applications since they play the most important hand in creating the application.
Before you hire an Android developer, important questions such as how much it costs to hire an Android developer and what skills to look for need to be considered.
In this article, we provide an in-depth guide on how to hire Android developers who meet your requirements.
Key Skills to Look Out for When Hiring Android Developers
The trend of skills-based hiring has been rising year over year, especially within recruitment in tech. Here are some Android developer key skills to pay attention to when assessing a potential candidate.
Proficiency in Programming Languages (Specially Java)
Java and Kotlin are the two most common programming languages for Android app development.
Java’s importance as a skill for Android developers stems from the history that Google chose it as the primary language for building Android applications.
Since Java is based on the “Write Once, Run Anywhere” principle, Android developers can write the code once and then use it for different devices and operating systems. Such platform independence along with the vast arsenal of tools, libraries, and resources Java provides, makes it an integral part of the Android developer skill set.
Kotlin, known for its concise syntax and emphasis on non-nullability, has gained prominence rapidly and became the preferred language for Android in 2019. Importantly, both Java and Kotlin can be used flexibly within the same project.
Candidates may be asked about their background with Java or Kotlin, including their understanding of key concepts like syntax, frameworks, and generics.
Familiarity with the Android SDK (Software Development Kit)
The Android SDK (Software Development Kit), developed by Google, equips developers with essential tools and libraries to streamline app creation. Its knowledge enables them to leverage ready-made, pre-written code with documentation, resulting in time savings and efficient bug-solving.
When evaluating Android developers, inquire about their experience with specific Android SDK components, such as the Android SDK Build tool, Android Emulator, and Android SDK Platform tools.
Experience with Android Studio
Android Studio is the official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) used in developing Android applications. Android programmers utilize it in order to write code, create user interfaces, test the app, and deploy them.
One such tool is its fast and feature-packed Emulator which simulates how the application would perform by showing it on the developer’s computer. There are also regular new features that help to make the development process even smoother for developers.
For example, Android Studio recently launched the Android Studio Bot which acts as an AI co-pilot for developers to generate code and provide code fix recommendations. This feature is still in its early stages yet with time it’s sure to make Android development more effective.
Expertise in APIs
Application Programming Interface (API) helps in connecting an application with external services, libraries, and tools. They allow to reduce development time by accessing different external services.
For instance, a hotel booking app can choose to utilize Google’s API for a map rather than building this feature from scratch. Since Google has already invested a significant amount of resources in developing the API, it may be of higher quality than developing it.
Database Utilization Skills
Android apps tend to use SQLite databases as the local database storage solution. Consequently, understanding Structured Query Language (SQL) along with creating and managing this database is non-negotiable.
Additionally, Firebase offered by Google offers a real-time NoSQL database that is key when building scalable applications in the cloud that need live collaboration and chat.
Fundamentals of Material Design
Android developer skills should encompass the ability to create beautiful user interfaces. In fact, mobile users are five times more likely to leave a task on a site if it isn’t optimized for a mobile experience.
To ensure that Android applications meet the expectations of users, Google has come up with Material Design which is a set of guidelines, components, and tools. It helps developers build products based on well-vetted principles in creating easy-to-use and user-friendly applications.
It could be beneficial to evaluate the Android developer’s familiarity with essential material design components, such as the presentation of information, navigation flow, user interactions, and communication methods within the application.
Grasp of Business Operations and the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is the standard process that development teams use in ideating, designing, developing, and testing high-quality software applications. Understanding SDLC is essential for collaborating effectively among different stakeholders during application development.
Furthermore, the technical requirements an Android engineer receives are based on the company’s business objectives and operations.
Having clarity as a developer on what the company’s business goals are and translating them into the features and functionalities that actually matter is an underestimated skill you should assess in a developer.
Typical Mistakes When Hiring Android App Developers
As per a survey of 2100 CFOs, supervisors had to spend 17 percent of their time managing poorly performing employees. The repercussion of a wrong hire equates close to a day of the week of lost productivity.
Here are some typical mistakes to avoid when hiring Android App developers.
Selecting a Developer Lacking an Understanding of Product Functionality
Android app engineers who are able to write code but lack knowledge of product functionality are prone to overlooking key features and misinterpreting the requirements.
To illustrate this, an Android programmer working on an e-commerce application with sound understanding of user needs comes to realize that trust is an important factor for the user’s purchasing journey.
They come to a realization that trust can be emphasized by prioritizing a great user reviews and ratings feature. Such a developer would prioritize this feature while a developer lacking such insight might only view it as an add-on.
To hire Android programmers who actually understand product functionality, request them their past experience on how they prioritized features based on user needs and requirements.
Opting for a Developer with Insufficient UI and Material Design Knowledge
Creating a powerful user interface for an app is an art and a science at the same time that Android engineers develop with trial and error in their prior roles.
Steve Jobs mentioned that design is not only how it looks but more importantly, how it works. In line with this philosophy, the right developer will be able to suggest ideas that help craft intuitive and user-friendly apps based on the principles of Material Design.
Bringing on a Developer Unfamiliar with Launching and Listing Apps on Google Play
Google Play has a comprehensive process to follow before launching and listing apps to maintain security and standards for apps in their ecosystem.
Developers without familiarity with this process may encounter bottlenecks such as the app not meeting the guidelines and requirements for approval. Additionally, ensuring device compatibility and the ability to manage version updates is crucial in this context.
Android programmers can be asked about their experience with a tool called Proguard, which is commonly used before an app is launched. It is used to aid in shrinking and optimizing Java code, reducing the app size for faster downloads.
Choosing a Developer Without a Well-designed App Showcased on Google Play
Android developers with outstanding apps present in Google Play is the most important part of their portfolio. Such a developer has likely learned numerous lessons from this experience that would be valuable to you.
You can note the following metrics in their apps:
- User reviews and ratings
- Total number of downloads
- How recently the app has been updated.
In addition, testing the app can help to evaluate the developer’s competence at creating an exceptional user experience with robust functionality.
Recruiting a Developer Without Considering Full-stack Requirements
Not considering full-stack requirements can hamper the development of a fully functional app. It’s crucial that the developer possesses database management skills too.
Neglecting this aspect may necessitate hiring an additional developer or freelancer, incurring extra expenses for your project.
Specifically, familiarity with Firebase is necessary which provides a Real-time database as a service. You can ask the developer if they have used Firebase Authentication that helps in the user authentication process by providing ready made UI libraries and SDK’s.
For instance, this includes authentication by the user through registration, setting passwords, and integrating with third-party providers such as Google and Facebook.
Hiring a Developer Prone to Inaccurate Time Projections
A study of 5400 large-scale IT projects by McKinsey found that these projects in total had a cost overrun equally $66 billion.
Inaccurate time projections by developers can play a role in such cost overruns.
When developers are assigned a new feature, their time projection shouldn’t only consider writing the code but also the time spent on research, meetings with stakeholders, and fixing bugs.
Experienced developers are able to provide projections which have minimal error even in complex projects.
Providing small tasks for the developer in the interview phase is one way to test their diligence. If they’re unable to provide these results in time, it could be a red flag.
Engaging a Developer Who Doesn’t Communicate Progress Regularly
Consistent communication among team members enables roadblocks to be tackled and expectations to be kept clear. But, irregular communication can add up and lead to consequences such as delayed project timelines and not meeting quality standards.
Most importantly, it can lead to a decrease in trust and morale among team members which consequently lead to uncomfortable conflicts.
Partnering with a Developer Who Often Submits Buggy Builds
Developers who submit the deliverables with bugs frequently lead to a resource drain for the project. Assessing a developer’s ability to consistently deliver bug-free features can be challenging during interviews.
Nevertheless, there are specific steps you can follow when assessing a potential candidate:
- Review Code Samples: Request samples from their previous projects to evaluate whether their code adheres to coding best practices.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Present a hypothetical bug scenario and inquire about their approach to identifying and resolving such issues. This reveals their problem-solving abilities and attention to detail.
- Testing Proficiency: Assess their familiarity and experience with various testing libraries provided by Android. Understanding their testing capabilities is crucial for robust app development.
- Live Coding Test: Consider conducting a live coding test, allowing them to demonstrate their skills by writing bug-free code in real-time.
By incorporating these steps, you can thoroughly evaluate the candidate’s technical expertise and suitability for the role.
What’s the Best Tech Stack for Android App Development
Choosing the right tech stack is important since it can lead to a direct impact on the performance, speed, and cost of your Android application.
Java is great for high-end app development along with the vast frameworks and libraries it has. On the other hand, Kotlin code is much more concise along with ease of maintenance. Please be aware that there may be a talent gap for Kotlin in comparison to Java.
How to Choose the Right Stack
Before choosing a tech stack for app development, it’s a suggested practice to define the following factors of your app:
- Complexity of the app
- Platform to build the app i.e. iOS, Android, or both
- Features and functionality needed
- Budget and resources you are willing to allocate
- Maintenance and scalability of the app
- Specify integrations and compatibility with third-party services.
Native App Development
Native app development involves building platform-specific apps that operate on specific devices. In the case of Android development, this means that the app would be made tailored to Android devices in mind.
The most commonly used parts of the tech stack for Native App Development include:
Here are the most commonly used mobile development technology stack to develop native apps:
- Java or Kotlin
- Android Studio
- Android SDK
- Android framework
Tips to Hire Android Developers
Hiring dedicated Android developer requires understanding of different skills to consider along with avoiding common mistakes. Below we discuss some important tips which can help to hire Android developers who fit your needs.
Seek Out Experts
The higher the expertise of an Android app developer, the lower will be the risk of the project exceeding deadlines, facing excessive bugs, and not meeting the desired quality standards.
What differentiates experts from amateurs is that they are able to provide a holistic view for you’re product’s development. When experts are developing features, they’re thinking whether there are gaps in the requirements and if there may be better solutions.
Since Android application development is a complex process, it’s recommended to have one expert on the team rather than amateurs who may eventually have to be replaced.
Avoid the Temptation of Low Costs
Inexperienced or junior Android apps developers are less expensive than experts. This initial price triggers many to choose cheaper developers. But it’s important to consider the opportunity costs for a lower quality developer which include longer development time along with potential compromise on the quality of the product.
In the worst case scenario, the product may not meet the necessary quality that leads to the need of a complete re-work.
The best option is to pick experienced developers with a fair cost for their service.
Familiarize Yourself with Developers’ Previous Projects
Understanding the past projects of the Android app developer helps to grasp what are the kind of projects they are adept at.
For instance, if you need to build a Fitness app and the Android developer has worked on a meditation app, they might be a good fit. This is because there are similar features that need to be built such as progress tracking and goal setting in both the apps.
Some specific aspects to look into previous developer apps include responsiveness, load times, complexity of the project, and adherence to best practices.
Get in Touch with Former Clients
You might still not be convinced by the developer though their experience and past projects are aligned to your project needs. It’s common to feel this way when searching for a candidate crucial in constructing a high-value application.
Depending on the specific factors you wish to evaluate, you may consider reaching out to a former client via email or phone to confirm the developer’s experiences and skills. The key would be to ask very specific questions to them to get precise information rather than generic information.
As an example, if you are already confident about their technical skills, you may want to focus more on knowing about their soft skills such as their ability to take feedback, being a good player, and meeting deadlines.
Developers who can bring forward their own ideas and implement them can give your app a competitive advantage. You can ask the developers how they structure solving complex problems to provide creative solutions. Demonstrations of this in their previous projects would be a big plus.
It is also a good choice to ask about the latest trends such as emerging technologies or Android features they are excited about. Such developers are well-positioned to provide you with innovative solutions.
Opt for a Reputable Company
Opting for a reputable company can mean two things.
You can choose a reputable Android application development company for the application development process. Usually, they have a streamlined process along with developers ready to work for your project immediately.
Alternatively, if your intention is to bring an Android developer on board within your organization, you have the option to engage with a respected recruitment agency. They can assist you in identifying suitable talent from their pool of qualified candidates, aligning with your specific requirements.
Ensure Privacy Agreements are in Place
Small to Medium Sized Businesses are more prone to neglecting proper privacy agreements. They may have a general contract in place but having a Privacy agreement is crucial especially for developing an Android application.
It’s important to specify what constitutes confidential information such as code, algorithm, customer data, etc. Additionally, defining the consequences of breach of the agreement including any legal or financial action is needed.
Ask About the Development Team
In case you decide to work with an agency rather than have an in-house or freelance team member, you should have clarity on who are the developers that will be tasked for your project.
Before choosing the agency, it’s a good idea to talk with the development team since they will be highly involved in the process of developing the application
Discuss the After-Development Tasks
To make sure the project handover and future development goes smoothly, you can develop a checklist for the set of items that need to be complete for the project to be deemed complete. In the world of agile methodology, it is called the Definition of Done.
For instance, this may mean that only once the code has passed testing, documentation is complete, and all major bugs have been fixed the project can be deemed complete.
The exact set of agreements may vary based on your project but it is recommended to have a clear agreement that is verbally discussed prior to the project inception.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Android App Developer?
Android app development costs can vary based on an array of factors including the experience level of the Android developer, geographic location, and the complexity of your project requirements.
The cost of hiring Android programmers is high in the USA with average costs being around $94,000 annually.
Western European countries such as Germany, France, and the UK follow with costs ranging from $60,000-$120,000 per year depending on seniority level.
Eastern European countries such as Poland and Ukraine are becoming top destinations for tech talent since the costs are more affordable yet the quality standards match that of developers in North America and Western Europe.
A Polish Android developer can cost from $42.000 (Regular) to $74.000 (Senior) while a Ukrainian Android developer’s salary can start from $34.000 to $60.000 per year.
Let RemoDevs Help You in Hiring Android Developers
RemoDevs helps you hire Android developers who meet your exact needs with our pool of candidates with extensive experience. We help to eliminate the stress and reduce the time to hire Android developers. You can view our Success Fee model where there is no cost to you until the candidate is hired.
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