Since its launch in 2009, Android has always been at the top of the app development market. According to the latest research by Statista, the Android OS market share will reach 87.4% by 2023. In other words, if you are striving to reach new potential customers and boost your brand awareness, hire an Android app developer.
Despite the fact that, based on Statista predictions, the global mobile app revenue is going to reach $581.9 billion in 2020 and grow up to $1 trillion by 2023, the application market is extremely difficult to conquer. Only 1 app in 10,000 makes it! The competition is crazy, new applications are being developed and launched every day, making the market more and more saturated.
How do you “make it” in this competitive environment? By hiring an Android mobile app developer whose experience and expertise will help you create a successful product. Headhunting top Android developers will up your chances of generating revenue and launching a profitable and well-designed application. Keep reading to learn how to find, assess, and hire Android app developers.
How Android Development Can Benefit Your Business
Although the numbers themselves are quite convincing, how exactly is Android development going to benefit your business?
Android is the most used mobile operating system in the world with 73% market share. By building an Android application, you will reach millions and millions of potential users. Without targeting Android users you will be neglecting a huge part of the population and decreasing your chance of growing your business and bringing it to the next level.
Key criteria to choose developers
Developing mobile applications requires particular skills, experience, and knowledge. Hire an Android app developer who understands your business needs, has technical skills, and the know-how to develop an app that generates money by solving specific business needs. What are the main criteria you should look for in a candidate?
|Experience||Portfolio, years on the market, successful projects, tech stack|
|Clients||References, big brands|
|Communication||Level of English, time zone, tools used (JIRA, Trello, etc.)|
|Dev Cycle||App dev frameworks and guidelines, bug fixing, app design patterns and UX|
|Payment||Hourly rates, payment process, NDA|
Android Developer Hard Skills
The most popular languages for Android application development are Java and Kotlin. The best Android developers should be familiar with core concepts of both of the languages as well as know frameworks, multithreading, functional programming and so on.
Kotlin is a new kid on the block and has already attracted some companies, however, the most essential requirement for Android developers remains Java. Being one of the most used languages, its functionalities go beyond Android app development. Java is a language that offers simple syntax and a short learning curve which make it stand out from other languages.
Hire an Android app developer who has proven extended knowledge of Java or Kotlin. We will compare them in more detail later in the article.
Besides knowing Java and Kotlin, hire Android app developers who are familiar with designing user interfaces. Programmers do so with Android Studio - the integrated development environment commonly used for Android development. It helps programmers to write and assemble their code from different libraries. Android Studio also comes with perks like auto-complete suggestions, code debugging tools and even memory and CPU monitors that help to ensure great performance across devices. It also uses Gradle - a build tool that automates and optimizes your development process. Find Android developers who know both Gradle and Android Studio tools and can apply their knowledge to build applications.
Android SDK (Software Development Kit).
SDK is a toolset for Android software development that every Android programmer should know. Android SDK consists of chunks of Java code that can be used for certain purposes during the development process. Having access to these tools, coders will be able to build Android applications significantly faster, easier and cheaper. Hire an Android app developer who has worked with SDK before and will not waste a ton of time on reading through it and understanding which components to apply. Even though Android SDK comes with thorough documentation with examples, learning all of it and getting comfortable with it will take quite some time.
APIs serve as a method of connecting apps to third-party services. Depending on their level, junior, middle and senior Android software developers should present some experience in working with them and be familiar with JSON or RESTful APIs.
Knowing backend and understanding databases
Applications usually require lots of data to function, which cannot be all stored on a mobile device. Here is where you need someone who knows databases like Firebase or Parse to store your data in the cloud and make sure every device owner can access it at any time and from any location. Hire an Android app developer who possesses a basic understanding of backend processes as well as databases. A professional Android apps developer should have experience with SQL databases. Hire Android app developers who are experienced in at least basic SQL queries - the most prominent databases are SQLite, Realm, Room, etc.
Working with Material Design
In 2014, Google launched Material Design - guidelines of maintaining a holistic interface across applications. Material Design is not a law that developers should abide by, but it provides helpful tips on how to use various styles and add elements. It comes with thorough documentation that helps coders learn and understand the techniques very quickly. These concepts help programmers to develop aesthetic design across various applications. Hire an Android developer who is familiar with templates and libraries offered by Material Design and can build a well-designed application.
Understanding of business processes
Even though developers focus on the technology-related part of the business workflow, it would be beneficial for your business if they have worked in your industry before - healthcare, real estate, etc. - and can bring first-hand knowledge about it to your project. Hire an Android app developer who has a deeper understanding of user needs and who will help you to meet product-market fit.
Android developer soft skills
When looking for a coder, hire an Android app developer who is able to work on a team and productively contribute to the project. Every project, including the development cycle, requires a team effort, wherein everyone knows their duties and responsibilities. This is why being able to work on a team and collaborate is important for Android application developers.
Besides having advanced English skills, both written and verbal, developers should be capable of communicating their thoughts to management, colleagues, and everyone else on the team. Hire an Android app developer who shows great technical skills as well as decent communicative techniques and can use them to gather technical requirements, collect user feedback, teach new staff, and participate in meetings.
Hire Android app developers who can admit to making mistakes and take full responsibility for their actions. People who lay the blame for their errors on others are difficult to work with and also problematic in holding them accountable. And without accountability, the process of tracking and solving potential and existing issues becomes cumbersome and unproductive. When you neglect mistakes, you also miss the chance of learning from them and growing professionally, which is not a great quality for Android app developers for hire.
Software development is about solving complex problems. Select an Android programmer for hire who is ready to face complicated issues and use their critical thinking to come up with unorthodox solutions. Hire an Android app developer who is not afraid to try something new and improvise, who will see all the possible ways of solving a certain problem and find the best solution.
Basically, there are three positions within your team - junior, middle and senior developer - together with a tech lead. The levels mostly depend on worker’s experience and expertise. While juniors can have basic knowledge and almost no experience, seniors are expected to possess in-depth expertise. Meanwhile, a tech lead is someone who organizes the workflow and drafts strategies. So which developer should you hire to perform which tasks?
Junior Android developer
- Can navigate the interface and operate the IDE.
- Is familiar with the frequently used APIs.
- Shows basic knowledge about databases
- Knows at least one programming language, in this case, Java or Kotlin.
- Performs the least complex tasks that have zero to small impact on the product.
Middle Android developer
- Knows the shortcut keys for most operation with the IDE.
- Has an intermediate level of expertise with the main APIs.
- Has intermediate knowledge of the most used databases.
- Knows one or more languages, including Java or Kotlin.
- Takes up complex tasks that require extensive knowledge and experience.
Senior Android developer
- Writes custom macros to speed up the processes and eliminate routine.
- Automates frequently performed processes.
- Optimizes databases.
- Knows functional programming and several languages, including Java and Kotlin.
- Brainstorms new solutions to complex issues, coordinates internal processes.
Android Tech Lead
- Develops a strategy for an application.
- Establishes the architecture and design of the platform.
- Reviews code, design standards, new features, and so on.
- Organizing and leading meetings within the development team.
- Mentor and teach newcomers.
The following table contains the average cost of Android app developers per annum. Hire Android app developer cost analysis across Europe, USA, Australia and Ukraine.
The final salaries would also be impacted by the complexity of the project, its duration and urgency, as well as bonuses and perks provided by your company.
When choosing the appropriate tech stack for Android development, consider the immediate features you will add as well as possible features you will want to include in the future. After settling on the initial idea of your application, it is time to gather requirements and decide on the platform - iOS or Android. Maybe you would like to build for both? Then you should consider building a cross-platform which means you need a mobile developer who has this skill set.
As mentioned before, for years, the go-to language for Android development has been Java. Being one of the oldest programming languages, it is still widely used and beloved by Android programmers. Java has been utilized for building applications for so many years that it offers a great Java Development Kit, Integrated Development Environment together with Java Runtime Environment.
But what makes it so useful and convenient for both business owners and developers? What made it the most commonly used language and how are you going to benefit from it?
Having been on the market since 1995, Java has a well-established community base that offers libraries and ready-made solutions. Hence, if aspiring developers have issues, they can quickly and easily find a solution by going through depositories like GitHub or asking experienced Java coders.
Access to Libraries
Java has been used for Android for such a long time that the entire toolkit, like SDK and libraries, have been built and developed for Java.
Pool of Talents
Java has been around for 25 years which has facilitated a big pool of programmers who know the language and are ready to work with it.
Ease of Use
Java is a relatively easy language to learn and to apply. Being straightforward and simple, Java is easy to use, write, compile, and debug.
|Large pool of developers||Type-heavy|
|Easy to learn and use||Issues with non-nullable variables|
|Huge community and variety of resources||Problems with performance|
Kotlin is an alternative that has been gaining more and more attention, especially after Google has announced that they are fully switching to Kotlin for their internal processes. It is a younger language that offers many modern features that Java fails to provide.
Even though it was officially released only in 2016, big players like Pinterest and Uber have already used it to develop their Android applications. It is clear that Kotlin is Java’s genuine competitor that offers new exciting features and makes Android development better and more diverse.
What helps Kotlin keep up with Java? Is it better than Java, and in which cases should you choose it for your next Android development project?
Since Google's announcement that Kotlin has become their official Android development language, Kotlin has been gaining more and more traction.
Using Gradle - a tool for multi-language app development - has become easier with Kotlin.
Ease of Use
Kotlin can be installed as a plugin which enables a very easy switch from Java to Kotlin.
Being a very young language, it offers modern tools like extension and higher-order functions as well as other out-of-the-box concepts to build apps faster and easier.
Compatibility with Java
New modules written with Kotlin are fully compatible with Java and can function together with Java code.
|Intuitive syntax||Slower compilation|
|Fewer code lines||Limited resources|
|Ease of maintenance||Talent gap|
Cross-platform development has been gaining more attention since it allows you to launch your application to Android, iOS and Windows devices at the same time. There are several tools you can use to build a cross-platform application, however, we are going to focus on two: React Native and Flutter. These tools are the most prominent ones and have gained quite a fan base among app developers.
After its release in 2017, Flutter has been used by famous brands like Google Ads and Alibaba. It is an SDK that allows you to create apps for both Android and iOS as well as web and desktop.
With Flutter you can easily enhance the look and performance of your application by utilizing widgets. They offer great features like navigation, modern fonts and styles, scrolling and many more.
The best feature of Flutter is its ability to develop cross-platform. This means that hiring a Flutter app developer is a great solution if you are planning to launch your app on mobile, desktop and web.
If you want to build a professional application that will perform well, generate leads, and add value to the users, you will have to hire an Android app developer. How to find the best Android developers and choose the ones that fit your organization and project the most?
Here is a small and helpful guide of how to hire Android developers.
Step 1 - Prepare a technical description of your project
What exactly do you have to do prior to launching an app development process?
The very first task you have to perform before jumping into the project is writing a technical description. Not only is it helpful for the recruitment process, but also helps the company’s executives and stakeholders understand the project and its goals.
The project manager needs to sit down with their team and define the goals of the project. Later, based on the goals, the project manager goes further and describes the approach, outcomes, tools, budget and so on.
Use this easy step-by-step manual to create a great project description:
In just three to five sentences, mention the goals, outcomes and benefits of the project. Discuss them with stakeholders and other company executives in order to get everyone on the same page. After setting clear goals, think about the features of your future application that will deliver the outcomes you are looking for.
It is about these things:
- What purpose are you striving to achieve at the end of the project?
- What business problem are you going to solve with this project?
- What are the possible use cases for your technology?
For example, if you are building a food delivery application, perhaps your app will deliver food faster than others or show the closest restaurants on the map with discounts. Depending on the goal, you need to concentrate on user experience and design, or functionalities and performance.
Tech stack and features
You cannot hire Android app developers before settling on technical requirements. Are you going to build a native app, a cross-platform solution, or a hybrid? Setting this aspect will help you pinpoint the necessary tech stack.
Once you establish the platform, you can start listing features, starting from the essential ones and finishing with additional features. How to distinguish between essential and additional features? If after removing a feature, your users will not be able to perform a task you are building your app for, it is an essential feature. Let’s go back to our food delivery app example. Your customers should be able to order and receive food, everything beyond that is an extra function.
Make a list of features that you are going to include in your application. Start with essential ones and gradually add extra features to potentially win more users in the future.
Calculate the cost benefit that you will generate with this project and prove that the financial gains will be higher than expenses.
Establish the monetization approach
After laying the grounds for the project, now you should choose the methods you are going to use to achieve your goals.
A foundation for monetizing is clear and strong code. If you manage to write your own code that proves to be a success, other companies might consider purchasing it for their applications. Another way to make money on your application is by offering premium access for a reasonable fee. You can add extra features, in-depth experience and no ads in exchange for a monthly fee. Hire Android app developers who understand how to monetize an application and this will enable you to attain your financial goals.
Secure user data
Application security is a very important issue that needs to be addressed head-on. Storing loads of personal customer information might result in data breach and reputation damage, let alone monetary losses. Make sure to hire Android app developers who understand the importance of data security and have experience in providing and maintaining safe transactions.
Establish how long the project is going to take and how many sprints you are going to need to complete it.
How are results going to be evaluated?
Step 2 - Choose the most suitable model
After creating the technical description and determining the goals and methods, it’s time to figure out the working model. Basically, there are three models: hire an Android app developer who works remotely as a freelancer, hire an in-house team, or by using staff augmentation. Additionally, you can fully outsource your project or a part of it to a third-party company.
There are a multitude of online platforms where you can find freelancers but we will concentrate on the most prominent ones.
How to hire a freelance Android developer?
Toptal is an exclusive pool of highly experienced and outstanding IT professionals. Their 5-step rigorous vetting process guarantees only the best out of the best. According to their website, only 3% of all applicants successfully pass all the tests and become a part of their database. Working with Toptal is not cheap but it ensures a 90% chance of getting the perfect candidate on the first try. Besides, they provide a money-back guarantee, which means that you will get your deposit back in case they fail to find the perfect fit, both technically and mentally.
Hire Android app developers from Toptal if you are looking to fill in an executive position.
StackOverflow is an online community for developers. Software engineers share their know-how, exchange ideas and collaborate using this platform. Why is it a great place to hire Android app developers? Because the platform allows you to directly contact users and offer them a position at your firm. On top of that, you can post job descriptions on their job board and attract IT experts.
StackOverflow is a perfect platform to find middle and senior developers.
Upwork is one of the most popular platforms for freelancers. Upwork does not narrow down its database to solely IT specialists and does not offer a screening process. Being accessible to anyone, it contains many workers who do not actually have a lot of experience. Moreover, Upwork has so many freelancers in its database that you will have to handle an extensive number of interviews before choosing a suitable candidate.
Hire an Android app developer using Upwork to find middle, junior developers and interns.
Hiring freelancers will save your company a lot of money, ensure flexibility and give you access to the largest pool of candidates. The freelancing option also allows you to recruit a part-time Android developer for a short project. Furthermore, a freelance Android developers salary is on average more affordable than other options. On the other hand, the quality might suffer, communication channels will be limited, and corporate culture will become obsolete.
How to hire an Android app developer in-house?
Although having an in-house team of developers has many perks, the process of hiring them is long and cumbersome. On average, it takes 35 days to hire a software engineer in the US. However, unlike freelancers, in-house workers will work solely on your projects without any distractions from side projects.
On top of that, the team that you hire in-house is probably going to be local and have the same values and cultural background, which will make the communication between everyone easier. Working in the same office, less than two meters away from each other, you will be able to handle issues head-on and fix unexpected bugs or failures much quicker.
Obviously, nothing comes without drawbacks. The first and most important one is cost. On top of the salary, you will be paying taxes, perks and bonuses, training fees, office expenses and so on.
How does outstaffing work?
Outstaffing, or staff augmentation, is a model where a company fills in the gaps in expertise by hiring members from an outstaffing agency for a certain period of time for a particular project. The added workers will be a part of your team for the duration of the project and work under your supervision. Maybe you need an Android developer only for one short project and afterwards not at all. In this case, staff augmentation is perfect because it will deliver the perfect expert to fill in the gap for the time being without any further responsibilities from your side.
Unfortunately, outstaffing usually requires some training, so that the new members will fit in your existing environment. If you have further questions about staff augmentation and its benefits and limitations, contact DOIT Software consultants.
Are there more options?
There is also an option to fully delegate the development of the project or its increment to a third-party firm - outsourcing. Although this method will save you money, you will partially or fully lose control of the project. This option is a good choice in case you know exactly what final product you want to receive. Outsourcing offers considerably less flexibility than outstaffing.
Step 3 - Carry out technical interviews
After choosing the model you are comfortable with, it is time to conduct interviews with preselected candidates. If you have never done it before and don’t know how to evaluate one’s expertise in Android development, check out our list of interview questions.
At first, assess candidates’ technical skills, or hard skills:
- Q: What are the main benefits of building Android apps?
Android Operating System is open-source and platform-independent.
- Q: Tell us about Android Architecture
Linux Kernel is the foundation of the Android architecture. It is used to develop keypad, display, audio for devices and so on.
Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) serves as an interface that connects device drivers and API framework.
Application Framework provides an entire list of Android functionalities like Resource Manager and Notification Manager.
Applications are responsible for SMS, Browsers, Contact, as well as third-party tools like Games.
- Q: Which components are crucial in a New Android project?
Manifest, src/, res/, assets/.
- Q: Tell us about “Activities” and “Services”.
Activities serve as an external part of the app that users interact with;
Services stay behind the scenes and run in the background.
- Q: Which tool would you use to debug on the Android platform?
You can use Android DDMS or Android Debug Bridge, also Debugging from Eclipse with ADT or Android with Chrome.
- Q: How would you proceed with troubleshooting on the Android platform?
Check the memory space and delete apps in case it’s full;
Clear cache memory to free up space;
Test apps on different devices to ensure compatibility.
- Q: Which automation tools would you use for Android app development?
There are some free tools like Appium, KIF, and Robotium as well as paid automation options like Silk Mobile, SeeTest, and Ranorex.
If the candidate successfully passed the technical part of the interview, proceed with soft skills evaluation. Refrain from common questions about weaknesses and strengths as they are not helpful and usually annoy candidates since they have heard it so many times.
- How good are your time management skills? How do you prioritize your tasks?
- What was the most substantial issue you solved in the workplace?
- How well do you work on a team? How do you react when your colleagues disagree with your decisions?
- Have you ever been in a situation where you had to solve a serious problem without managerial supervision? How did you go about this?
- Tell us about your biggest failure in the workplace. What did you learn from it?
- Can you think of a situation where you made a decision regarding an Android development project that turned out to be a mistake? What did you do about it?
- What interests you the most in the Android development process? Analysis, design, deployment, anything else?
How do we evaluate candidates at DOIT Software? We cherry-pick the best applicants by preparing individual tests and assessing their interpersonal skills together with English proficiency. As a result, only 5% of applicants pass the tests and become a part of our database. Due to our thorough screening process, 90 % of candidates make it through the probation period and 70% stay at client companies for at least 12 months.
Step 4 - Finalize the agreement and sign the contract
If you are hiring freelance and in-house workers, you will have to deal with the finalization of working conditions. Discuss the freelance Android developer rates, working conditions, time and format of meetings, the length of the project, and answer all the remaining questions that your candidate might still have. Finally, draw up a contract and do not forget about the NDA.
In case you have decided to use Android app development services from an outstaffing agency, you don’t have to worry about anything. Your Android app company will take full responsibility for documentation, onboarding, and finalizing contracts.
How much does it cost to implement the features you want?
In order to answer this question, take a look at the features you are after. The cost of Android development correlates with the number of features and their complexity.
For example, let’s take a look at common features for an eCommerce app:
How much does it cost to create an app like a famous one?
Besides features, things like design customization, platform choice, infrastructure and even location can drive up the costs even further. Add all the salaries for developers, UI/UX designers, product managers and so on, and you will see a significant sum of money.
For example, the development of an app like Uber would be roughly $57,000, and a Tinder-like application will be at least $81,000. You can use the app cost calculator to evaluate the estimated costs of your application.
Building applications for Android platforms is and will remain a great way of promoting your business and attracting new potential clients. Would you like to become a new Uber or Facebook? Then you cannot build an Android app without top Android developers.
At DOIT Software we offer the aforementioned staff augmentation that lets you concentrate on your projects needs instead of taking care of a long and bumpy recruitment process. Having handled many software development projects, including Android app development, we are the perfect partner. In only a couple of weeks, you will have from one to five top-notch professionals on your team that are motivated and ready to bring your company to the top.
We also offer custom software development as a type of collaboration. On our staff, we have Android developers, designers, QA engineers and project managers who will be glad to complete your project using their expertise. If you have any remaining questions or would like to learn more about Android app development, outsourcing or staff augmentation, contact DOIT Software experts.
How do I hire an android app developer?
You have three options:
- Online marketplaces for freelancers such as Toptal, StackOverflow, Upwork and others;
- Hire Android app developer internally, or in-house;
- Hire an agency that provides staff augmentation.
How much does it cost to hire a developer for an app?
Depending on the country and level of expertise, Android developer can cost anywhere from $23,000/year for a junior position for a worker from Ukraine up to $140,000/year and higher for a senior position for a candidate from the USA. However, an Android developer freelancer might cost you less than the sums above but the quality will probably suffer.
Java or Kotlin - which language to prefer for Android app development?
Applications built with Java are lighter and facilitate faster speed. Kotlin, on the other hand, offers more new unique features. Consider your priorities and choose the language that will help you achieve your goals.
How to select the best company for Android app development?
When choosing an Android app development company, pick the one that has experience in building types of applications that you need. Visit their website, go through references and cases, have a consultation, and assess their work ethics and technical expertise.