With over 3 million apps on the app stores plus over a million enterprise apps, there are a lot of mobile app developers out there. If you assume that the average app developer has developed 10 apps then it means 400,000 or more app developers, but there’s probably considerably more that have tried or have the ambition. Unfortunately, most of them suck (or are not very good app developers).
Why do they suck?
We’ve spent the past 10 years hiring over 500 developers. During this time, we’ve learned that:
- Anyone can develop an app
- Having developed one or more apps doesn’t mean that the person is a good coder
- Core skills in math, statistics and structured coding are really important
For more on this topic, make sure to check out our previous blog post on building a great development team.
If anyone can develop an app, then why do I need to worry?
That’s exactly the point. There are coding classes today using e.g. Sketch for 10-year-olds to develop an app through a drag-and-drop interface. Apple’s Xcode offers a drag-and-drop interface to develop apps, too.
And being smart doesn’t help on its own either. It’s when we are surrounded by other great people that we get better. How great a tennis player would Federer be if he played tennis against himself or poor players all day?
There are coding bootcamps that teach you how to code online in 2 weeks, but this doesn’t mean you come out as a qualified coder. Don’t get me wrong here. These courses are great since everyone should have a basic understanding of what coding is, but could you learn how to become an architect or doctor in 2 weeks? No, and with software development it’s the same thing. Education, tons of experience and who someone worked for all counts. And just like being a neurosurgeon is different from being a general practitioner, there are big differences between the separate types types and environments of software development.
How do you qualify if someone is a great app developer?
Just like coding requires hard work, so does finding and hiring great developers. Here are three things you should always do:
- Give Them a Code Exercise or Review
Give a coding exercise to your mobile app development provider and make sure they solve it on their own by reviewing and asking questions to your team.
- Test Their Ability to Solve Problems
It’s not about the amount of code, but to simplify complex solutions.
- Reference Check with Other Developers
Developers are usually pretty hard on each other, so if you have several developers vouching for them there’s a good chance that they are a valid choice.
Hiring fantastic developers is not going to be easy, but if it was then anyone could do it, just like creating a mobile app.
Good luck finding great developers!
Magnus Jern, President Mobile Application Solutions
P.S. It’s probably a given based on the title, but DMI takes great pride in only hiring great developers independent of where they are in the world. Let us know if you want to come and work with the best or check out the latest opening on our Careers page.