Hire iPhone Developer – Where do you find one?
So you’ve come to the next line your to-do list: hire iPhone developer. If you’re new to iOS app development, then this definitive task comes with a retinue of questions (and implications): Where do I find one? How do if he or she is any good? How do I keep from getting ripped off?
When the App Store first opened on July 10, 2008, high demand and a scarcity did their usual work: they drove up prices. Xcode monkeys could charge whatever they wanted, and getting an app developed was very expensive.
The market has since matured to the point that affordable developers are as easy to find as green in the springtime—if you know where to look. When both flowers and weeds poke their first pale green spikes through the dirt, how do you tell them apart? The relative abundance of developers has brought similar challenges. How do you distinguish the posers and rookies from the really experienced and truly talented? You want a seasoned professional, not a fly-by-night opportunist.
While the App Store is minting millionaires, inexperienced developers have a strong financial incentive to pass themselves off as experts. I recently read the oDesk profile of a developer who claimed to have 5+ years of experience developing iOS apps. The App Store has been around just shy of four years. Yikes.
You need to answer two questions: 1) Where do you find an iPhone developer? 2) How do you identify a pro, especially when you yourself are green or your knowledge is limited? This rest of this post will answer the first question, and I’ll address the second question in the next one.
Where do you find an iPhone developer?
Don’t let your inexperience worry you. I began navigating these same waters in January 2012 and will happily share how I avoided Scylla and Charybdis and found a rockstar developer. Since April 6, my first app Mustache Bash has been downloaded over 215,000 times. Not bad for a total noob!
You can look for developers on Craigslist, LinkedIn, and in developer forums. You can also try Google searches or ask friends and family if they know any developers. I was able to find a developer in Knoxville where I live, but he had a full-time job. I knew a nights-and-weekends arrangement would delay the release of my first app, and though his hourly rate seemed reasonable, it was 250% higher than that of developers with similar experience on oDesk. I ended up hiring someone on oDesk.
Elance.com, Freelancer.com, guru.com, and vWorker.com provide similar services. All five serve as online communities or marketplaces where you can find and hire freelancers around the world.
For people convinced that outsourcing is a consummate evil sabotaging the U.S. economy, you can find plenty of people in the U.S. working on oDesk.
I am most familiar with oDesk, so that’s where I’ll start. Here are some benefits of using the service:
1. Convenience – A bunch of developers all frequenting the same place online simplifies the process of locating and evaluating developers.
2. Competitive Pricing – Multiple people will bid on your project, and you can use their hourly or flat rates and level of experience to determine the best value.
3. Transparency – oDesk has a feature called the “Work Diary” that takes screenshots as contractors work. This doesn’t matter much if you’re paying a flat rate for a project, but if you’re paying hourly, then you can check in on occasion to make sure that the contractor is actually logging time on your project and not on Facebook.
4. Easy transactions – oDesk automates payment. You put in your credit card information, and the system takes care of the rest, including payment verifications sent automatically to your email.
5. Tests – oDesk provides a variety of tests that evaluate the contractor’s proficiency with everything from English spelling and grammar to email etiquette and iPhone programming. Test scores provide an objective, if limited, means of assessing a contractor’s skill levels.
6. Ratings & Reviews – Past clients leave ratings and reviews for contractors. You want to hire someone with at least a 4-star average and recent track record of satisfied customers. The last 5% of the job is the most important and is often all that we remember about a project. Hire someone who finishes well.
Now that you know why oDesk is a good option, I also recommend that you set up a profile on Freelancer. Some of the same people maintain a presence on both sites, so don’t be surprised if you see the same names twice. You will be able to find more talented developers this way.
Do not divulge all the details about your project. Sneaky app developers KNOW that newcomers will gush about their projects on outsourcing sites and will look for ideas in other people’s postings.
You now know several good places to search for an iPhone developer. In my next post, I’ll discuss how to differentiate the pros from the amateurs so that you can cross “hire iphone developer” off your list and move on to the next step.
I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but I can’t plug Chad Mureta (affiliate link) enough. I’m indebted to his knowledge and experience, and thanks to his training, I was able to find a great developer and start making money with apps.