Expert Advice on Hiring a Mobile App Developer

You’ve decided that your business could benefit from offering a mobile application. Unless you are particularly tech-savvy, you’ll want to hire an app developer to help you build one.

The GoPayment Blog spoke with Peter Easdown, creator of Pkclsoft.com, to get some expert advice on doing just that.

GoPayment: What exactly do app developers do?

Easdown: Some developers, like myself, do everything from creating the original idea behind an app [and] coding it to creating the artwork, the sounds, and marketing. Some app developers are more “ideas” people who contract out the actual work of building an app to other people to do the art, coding, sound, etc.

How long does app development usually take?

If I put tasks such as marketing aside and am not distracted, for a straightforward app it takes me around six weeks from the original concept to submission to the App Store. This varies when an app has any real complexity to it.

How much does it cost to hire an app developer? Is it strictly a per-hour arrangement, or are there other costs that must be addressed?

Some [developers] prefer a per-hour arrangement. Some opt for a revenue-share arrangement. Still others are willing to put an app together for a fixed fee. Some mix these.

What credentials or past experience should you look for in an app developer?

I’d be looking to see what their online presence is like. Do they take part in online forums? Are they a member of a developer community? How long have they been developing mobile apps? Do they only work on one platform (iOS/Android/Windows)? Do they prefer natively written apps or web-based apps? What titles have they developed, not just on their own but for others? Email their support line and see what response you get. How long does it take? Do they include the source code as a deliverable?

What are some of the “red flags” business owners should look for when considering potential app developers?

If an app developer is not willing to provide the source code to the entire app project, then I’d be concerned about being locked in. Do they offer support after the app hits the App Store? Will they help you manage the app’s presence in the store? What are their rates for ongoing updates to the app?

What is your business philosophy and/or mission statement?

I love Apple iDevice — developing apps that use the devices and showing off what they can do.

I also love putting one of my apps in front of kids and seeing them smile. When I look in Apple’s Game Center and see that kids are playing my math games on a daily basis, it feels good.

My website is my shop window to the world. It’s not just where I try to let people know about my apps; it’s also where I try to explain their use. If someone buys one of my apps or wants to learn about them, they will find that on my website. I inform the reader about the apps.

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