Hire iPhone Developer – 7 Must-Have Qualities
As I mentioned in “Hire iPhone Developer,” Part I, you want someone who has experience with iOS development and the iPhone SDK, along with Objective C, Cocoa, and C programming (or simply “C”).
One thing that is important to remember is that you’re not paying for a product. You’re paying for a positive experience. Clean code is only the beginning. The difference between an experienced developer and one learning on the fly (and on your dime!) is the difference between six weeks of momentum, excitement, and profit and three months of frustrations, excuses, and delays.
Here are 7 qualities that you should look for in a developer:
· Fluency in your native language
Communication is difficult enough without important tasks, changes, and nuances getting lost in translation. Exhaustive explanations sap one’s enthusiasm, and over time, one’s budget. Your developer is still on the clock when he is misunderstanding your directions and writing the wrong code. oDesk iPhone developers tend to embellish on their “fluency” so be sure to have a Skype chat with each prospect before hiring anyone.
· Similar working hours
It’s best if you and your developer have similar working hours—three or four overlapping at minimum. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem or make a decision is to hop on Skype and talk for a few minutes. Going back and forth in email, and in different time zones, can add entire days to your development schedule.
Does your developer take pride in his work? Of course, very few people will answer no to this question, but you can still get a fairly good read by asking for references and contacting a few of his past clients. You should also look closely at his portfolio and download some of his previous apps. Sloppy work and integrity rarely go together. If he’d make a sub-par app for someone else, he’d make one for you.
· Attention to Detail
Did the developer answer to all your questions? Did he address each aspect of the project, line by line? Look for someone who is thorough and meticulous from the get-go. Brown cows have a good shot at staying brown.
Your app will benefit from a second set of eyes and a second brain to scrutinize each feature and think strategically about the user interface, the app’s core functionality, and even marketing. Your developer should bring his own ideas to the table and help you simplify and improve your concept.
You don’t want a developer who is slow to respond to emails, and neither does a developer want a client who is slow to give feedback and make decisions. Set expectations at the beginning of the project by asking for a response to all communications within 24 hours. Address any lapses in communication quickly. The problem with excuses is that they start with “ex-.” You’re likely to get an ex-developer if he makes many. If the developer never planned on making your project a priority, then he shouldn’t have accepted it.
· Willingness to teach and offer guidance
Everybody has to start somewhere. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your developer should take the time to explain everything from terminology to best practices. Mine recommended that we use a code repository called Assembla. He encouraged me to simplify my idea and save extra features for updates. He even gave me pushback on weak ideas and kept me focused on the most important tasks. You want someone who will be patient with your inexperience, yet will take directions when the time comes.
The people who are best at sales are often the worst at execution, so don’t hire based on personality. If you’re looking to make a new friend, you’ll probably hire the wrong person, but if you focus on finding the best iPhone developers, then you may just make a new friend by the time your app hits the App Store.
In my last Hire iPhone Developer post, I’ll share the specific steps that I use on oDesk to separate the wheat from the chaff.