6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring that App Developer

A common pitfall among people looking to hire app developers is that they aim too low. In this context, aiming too low refers to their attempt to invest money at the bottom of the talent barrel: the easiest, cheapest route.

In the modern business era, companies can't afford to have poorly-made applications. Consumers have a higher standard for software now than they ever have, especially now that Android and iOS have developed into extremely powerful platforms that are in the pockets of a vast majority of the market. A poorly-made application may not seem like too much of an issue at first, but if it offers an alternate way of doing business or acts as an introduction to prospects, a bad app can be a critical injury to the customer's impression of the company. 

App development is a difficult, complex task, but it's also a very important one for the business that wants to stay with the times. Therefore, it's not a task that should be left in the hands of just any firm. To ensure the best experience for consumers, businesses have to hire the best developers.

Warning Signs

Fortunately for customers everywhere, there are signs that give away unskilled and inexperienced developers.

1. New Development Firm

Obviously, not all new development firms are going to be bad apples. However, a new firm generally indicates a lack of experience, and if the firm popped up two or less years ago without any notably experienced developer on their team, it's likely a bad partnership. When dealing with newer firms, if they don't state their founding date or showcase a portfolio, it's best advised to stay far, far away.

2. Offshore Location

There are plenty of highly-skilled app developers all around the world, no matter race or creed, but if a development firm popped up a year ago in a country on the other side of the planet, chances are they aren't suited to the task of developing an application for the North American market.

Generally, when looking for app developers, businesses should be looking for agencies within the same country. Having dense language, cultural and geographical barriers is not conducive to high-quality app development, as communication is key to quality results. 

3. Extremely Low Pricing

Development pricing is a funny thing, as not many people seem to agree on how much a developer's work should cost. Like any investment, simply shooting for the lowest price is not a good move, as typically low-priced solutions are either small teams more prone to error or large, underpaid teams stretched too thin. Most app development firms that offer their services for extremely low prices are usually doing so to make a quick buck, not to form any long-term partnerships.

The same can apply to app developers offering their services at standard or above standard prices. People naturally associate pricing with quality, and a natural price-quality association leads to people paying entirely too much money for what's actually a very poor product or service. Even when businesses think they're hiring in the right price bracket, they should be wary of previous experience and geographical locations, as those aspects remain of the utmost importance for anyone sourcing app development.


Lolay recommends you use the following 6 questions to vet your agency (even if the partnership has already begun):

1. Are You Outsourcing My App Development?

Many agencies outsource to others and don’t really develop or design many of their applications. These agencies rather focus their attention on larger and funner clients.

Unfortunately, the agencies that outsource have no real control over the freelancers or smaller agencies that they delegate to. If latter agency or developer does a bad job or disappears, the development agency you partnered with can do very little about it and may charge you extra for their own blunder (i.e. pretend that they need more time and money to complete your app).

2. What is Your Development Process?

You want to get the most out of your money. You must contact a well established agency that has already have several years experience and has delivered successful projects.

One of the best parts about working with established companies is that they already have a process figured out, can respond to any question in a timely manner, and help you meet your deadlines.

3. Have You Worked on Similar Projects Before?

Though experience working on other projects within your industry is not necessary, it’s a big plus for the agency.

Simply put: Professionals deliver quality results fast. That’s one of the reasons you hire them. Almost any development team has the capacity to deliver on your expectations, but it’s not the same to have what you want in a year, versus a few months.

4. What if the Project is not Finished on Time or Exceeds Budget?

Some delays are to be expected, especially for larger projects. Make sure that the agency you work with will assume responsibility for such delays. In most cases, this is specified in the contract, but it’s a good idea to ask.

5. What if I am not Satisfied with Your Work?

When it comes to application development, an entire team of professionals will dedicate thousands of hours over the course of several months specifically for your vision.

That means a portion of your deposit will end up with the agency, regardless of the quality of your project, but try to negotiate for delivery-based invoices if you can, to minimize losses based on incomplete products.

6. What Happens after?

The agency’s job isn’t done once it hands you the final product, for it is their responsibility to ensure that it comes with no ugly surprises.

Most good development agencies will be there to support you and fix bugs during a two week 'User Acceptance' period. Ensure that you have an extra budget to allow for additional upgrades or fixes after said period.

We hope you found this information useful, please feel free to contact us with any inquiries or concerns about application development services.