Programming language code overlaid with laptop keyboard, abstract style
Shutterstock

The mobile landscape is always changing, and Google’s Android platform—along with Apple’s iOS—remains at the forefront, offering an array of different devices and Android-specific applications. With new programming languages like Kotlin, frequent OS updates like Nougat, and Material Design guidelines, the platform has a loyal following of mobile users, making it an operating system for which a majority of businesses want to build an app.

If you have an Android app idea ready to build from scratch, have an existing app that needs updates or new integrations, or you’re just looking to take a page of your app and convert it to an Android Instant App, you’ll need a skilled Android developer to not only design and code your app, but to guide you through the somewhat complicated processes of testing, submission, and approval.

So, how do you find the right professional to help you make an impact? Here’s an overview of what you can do to find and hire the freelance Android developer that’s best for your job.

Identify Your Mobile App Project Requirements

Not all mobile apps are created equal. While many may be 2D games don’t require complex integrations, other apps requiring access to device-level APIs and integrations with third-party APIs may require a more specific skill set.

What is your app designed to do, and how will it work? Who is your audience, and why will it be useful to them? These are a few questions that should help you with the first step: defining exactly what you want from your mobile app. Once you establish these requirements, you’ll be better able to identify what you need from your mobile developer to make it happen.

To research what those requirements might be, delve into resources like the Hiring Headquarters: There’s plenty of information about mobile development, including explainer articles about the Android design process from start to finish, how to write an Android job description, and articles about what’s new with Kotlin, tips for Material Design, updates in the Nougat release, and tech-centric articles about Android Instant Apps, common Android mistakes and migrating from Eclipse to Android Studio.

Writing up a basic creative brief can help you identify high-level information such as each deliverable, your app’s audience(s), brand guidelines the designer should use, and any existing content that should be included.

Write an Effective Job Post

Use the information in your brief to create a detailed job post that will appeal to the type of Android freelancer you’re looking for.

Start by defining a scope of work that focuses on three things:

  • Results: What deliverable(s) do you expect?
  • Targets: What are your deadlines? Are you breaking app development down into phase?
  • Time: What are the start and end dates for your app development, and your submit-by goal date?

You’ll also want to highlight the specific skills you’re looking for and what stage your project is in, whether that’s a specific framework, API, or programming language.

Shortlist Potential Freelance iOS Developers

As proposals are submitted, you’ll need to vet the most promising developers to create a short list of people you want to take on to the interview phase. Here are some things to look for:

  • Professionalism. Who’s tailored their submission to speak to your business and your mobile app? Check out their Upwork profile: How do they present themselves in general?
  • Talent. Because Android developers are critical at every juncture of an app’s development, it should be clear from their proposal, profile, and portfolio that they have the skills needed to build an app that looks great, works well, and is well-rated by users.
  • Experience. Has the freelancer built mobile applications for other businesses in your specific industry? Do they have plenty of experience working in Android-specific software Android Studio, Java and Kotlin, and successfully submitting to Google Play? Are they full-stack (handling UI design, software architecture, and programming) or do they collaborate well with others?
  • Feedback. What do previous clients have to say about their work? Reviewing feedback can give you insight into their ability to communicate, solve problems, and produce a great product.
  • Portfolio. Each app in their portfolio should show how the developer used their skills to develop a product that met the client’s requirements and was well-rated by users. Also keep an eye out for apps that have easy-to-use UIs, an aesthetic you like, or excellent performance without crashing or hanging. All of this will indicate the developer can work well on both the front- and back-ends and follows through with testing.

Prep for the Interview

The interview is an opportunity for you to learn more about a mobile developer’s technical expertise, creativity when tackling problems, and past app development experience.

Prepare your interview questions ahead of time so you can feel confident that you’ve covered all relevant points. We’ve created a list of Android development interview questions you can reference, but here are some additional questions to consider:

  • “What do you think of our existing mobile app?” If you don’t have an app yet, see what they think about your site and how your business could add value for your customers with a mobile app. If you do have an existing app, hear out what they think is good about it or could use improvement, and how they’d go about it. This will tell you if they’ve done their homework.
  • “Tell me about three apps you’ve worked on?” Ask about their most similar mobile apps, favorite apps they’ve worked on, or just their most recent apps. Listen for how they solved the initial problem, challenges that came up during development, and what they did to address them.
  • “What’s your development timeline?” Get more details about how quickly they work (whether that’s alone or with other freelancers), how much time they’ve spent on previous projects, and how they receive and implement feedback during the various phases of development.
  • “What makes a great mobile app?” Learn more about how they’ll approach your app and its unique goals, as well as their experience with similar work.

Using your observations and their responses, engage the Android developer who has the talent, experience, and mindset to excel with your particular project.