5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Mobile App Developer

June 14, 2015

6:00 pm

Having a mobile application can be a great benefit for a small business, especially one trying to build a relationship with its customers. Without the necessary expertise, however, it can be a very daunting task to get an app up and running. This challenge has caused more and more mobile app development companies to spring up over the last several years. Many of them do great work and can partner with a company to help both companies grow, but as with all industries there are companies to be wary of. Here are questions a business should ask when hiring mobile app developers:

When was your first app published?

This will establish how long the company has been working on mobile applications, which is more important than knowing how long they have been in business. A good trick to remember is that the Apple App Store went live in July 2008, so the closer to that date for iPhone and iPad developers, the better.

How long is support provided?

Developing any software is a tricky thing, especially a mobile application where operating systems and the hardware it runs on changes so frequently. Bugs and hiccups will naturally occur, even after the software is released. The longer the company providers post-release support, the better. It would be a terrible circumstance if the app is close to non-functional after a year or two and the developer is no longer willing to help out.

Could you walk me through your development process?

This will show insight into how thorough and thoughtful the company is. A good process will be well-planned and contain a realistic time-frame. A company that projects the application to be developed very quickly will likely either take shortcuts or be forced to extend the development cycle later in the process, which can lead to an increase in costs.

What is your preferred communication process?

It is important to know beforehand exactly what the lines of communication will look like. A company that prefers minimal communication is going to be more likely to churn an application out and be done with it. Ideally both companies should keep an open line of communication open throughout the whole process. Needs may change on the fly based on developmental issues or changes in how the small business wants to approach their marketing. Both companies should be working together to put out the best product possible throughout the entire process.

What marketing assistance can you provide?

There are millions of mobile applications available today, so it is vital to market the application properly. It is unlikely that a mobile development company will be able to help with all the marketing for the application, but good ones should be able to provide advice and where to begin looking. The very best developers may even be able to help come up with a mobile marketing strategy. After all, any success the app has will reflect well on their business as well.

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Robert Chang is Director of Engineering at SETA International, a global software solutions company. SETA is a top consulting firm, which specializes in custom software and application development, onshore-offshore model staff augmentation and quality assurance testing. Read more from Robert on the SETA blog.

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