The 4 Best Methods for Finding an App Developer

November 3, 2015

3:00 pm

Struggling to build an app with your big idea? You’ve done all the market research, finalized a business plan, and even made some market forecasts. All you have left is to find that creative, responsible and talented app developer who will bring your idea to life. Here are four of the best methods for finding an app developer:

1. Take Advantage of Your Extended Network

Entrepreneurs often overlook how vast their personal network actually is. You have numerous connections on LinkedIn, but when was the last time you actually scrolled through people’s profiles and checked out the project they work on?

Next, have a talk with your fellow startup folks. Do they happen to know anyone great? Maybe you could exchange your designer's contact for their developer’s? Last, but not least – what about your personal connections? Is your niece still dating that MIT graduate? They may not be the immediate right fits for your project, but could advice somebody else for the job or help you hone your vision of the project.

You’ve spent time building your network for a reason. Take advantage of it by informing everyone of whom you are trying to connect with and for what project.

2. Search Within the Right Type of Communities

Look for people with a proven track of using and building apps in your niche by tapping into the niche communities with extraordinary high concentration of talents. Koding pulled together a great community of developers by offering them all the cloud technology needed for building a product. TopCoder hosts weekly hackatrons with cash prizes and you can easily scout through the community members and offer collaboration. In fact attending, sponsoring or hosting hackatrons is a great way to grab the best talents on board and leverage your company’s reputation within the coding community.

3. Make Inquiries at Colleges and Universities

Now if you happen to live close to Stanford or MIT, the competition may be fierce. However, you've got some pretty high chances at smaller, local colleges where you'll find some undiscovered app developers.

The best way to reach out to students is via their professors. Make a few calls and send some introduction emails. Professors are always keen on finding real-life experiences for their students. Massive pro – your budgets are likely to be lower. Con – the project time-frame may extend, as students have to attend classes after all.

Bonus tip: If your company already has a name, consider recruiting international college students. Addepar, for instance, recently held a massively successful programming contest attracting more than 3,800 developers worldwide; the winning app developer came from Latvia.

4. Take Advantage of Niche Job Boards

Rather than throwing in a job posting at a general freelance market place like Upwork or Freelancer, try headhunting through the niche job boards and online directories first.

Get Apps Done is a niche job board with a wide pool of developers of different skills and qualifications. They Make Apps is a comprehensive online directory of the best app makers out there. You can browse through numerous project portfolios and search by platform, location or budget. Niche forums like Iphonedevsdk also have dedicated job search threads and so does Reddit. Check out /r/forhire; /r/hiring; /r/freelance and /r/web_work.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien