Are you ready to get started with the app development process? Is your app idea so good that you can’t wait to contact a mobile app developer?
Hold on just a second.
You may be moving forward with your plan without a clear understanding of all of the intricate details that go into mobile app development.
Who you hire to develop your app will have one of the most dramatic impacts on your end result and your app’s success. So don’t jump the gun.
I’m about to give you plenty of reasons you’ll want to consider hiring a development team rather than just a mobile app developer. Get your Google search ready, by the time you’re done with this post you’ll have scratched your developer idea and be looking for development teams that can take your app idea to its highest level.
Why You Need More Than a Mobile App Developer
As you can see from the title of this post, I’m partial to development teams. That’s why I’m part of one. Sure, I could create an app on my own, but I don’t.
Why? Primarily because I’m too busy managing a team of experts that turns out quality app after quality app. I also strongly believe that the collective effort of a team trumps a solo performance in almost every industry.
Too Much for One Person to Handle
When you hire a mobile app developer, you’re getting just that—“a” developer. It takes more than one person to develop an app worth its salt, and I know from experience.
You’ll need someone to write the code (the mobile app developer), but you’ll also need someone to review it, to test the app, to design the user interface, and so on.
Yes, some of the jobs that larger agencies assign to unique individuals can be done by the same person, but do you think that those larger agencies got to where they are because they don’t know what they’re doing? Of course not.
They understand that a collective effort brings a level of quality to the final product that simply cannot be achieved when a single mind is in charge of every aspect of the app development process.
A single mobile app developer will never be able to provide the same level of insight to functionality, design, testing, and overall user experience. A mobile app developer is a great way to get a concept up and running on the cheap, but not so great for developing the quality necessary to compete in today’s app markets.
I’m not totally against the idea of hiring a mobile app developer, especially if you know what you’re getting yourself into. After all, that’s the purpose of this article. We see people turn to a mobile developer time and time again, only to have to return to the drawing board to fix, and troubleshoot, and…the list goes on.
Let’s take a look at what you get with a mobile app developer.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Mobile App Developer
Let’s give mobile app developers a break and look at their pros first.
The cost of your app may be one of the factors that determine who you hire for development. Freelancers and stand-alone mobile app developers typically represent a significant savings over the cost of hiring an agency development team.
Another big plus for some companies is an app developer’s ability to be hyper-flexible. If you need them to work odd hours, come see you at your office, or perform other tasks that may not be a part of a development team’s schedule, hiring a freelancer could be very helpful.
Sorry to all solo developers, we had to get here eventually.
Unfortunately, even the most reliable mobile app developer gets sick from time to time. If their dog runs away or their girlfriend breaks up with them, their reliability may slip. With a team, there is constant oversight and supervision with fail-safes in place in case of emergency.
Limits of Supervision
Speaking of supervision, with a mobile app developer you will be in charge of setting up a method of supervision. There is less to be done to oversee the process, and every update is dependant upon the word/presentation of the developer.
Testing and Maintenance
No matter how great a developer is at coding, mistakes will inevitably be made. For that reason, teams have code reviews, testing protocols, and ways of catching things before a beta version is even completed.
With a mobile app developer, you’re looking at the construction crew and the building inspector. It’s an all-in-one approach that simply isn’t as efficient or effective. Nobody is perfect, and we certainly aren't great at proofing our own work.
Teams communicate as a part of their daily operation. App developers do not. Their communication is strictly with the client, and that means your level of communication is entirely dependant upon the schedule and availability of that one person.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Mobile App Development Team
Now to the good stuff.
The number one difference between mobile app developers and development teams is the quality of the final product. To put it bluntly, there is no comparing the two. The team effort always produces a product that outshines that of a single minded development process.
Another benefit to a development team is the timeline in which a project can be completed. Teams perform multiple tasks at once, while mobile app developers do a single task, then move onto the next.
The timeline your app development team outlines at the beginning of your project will likely be very close to the actual development timeline, whereas a single developer may encounter a hang-up that could put them behind schedule by weeks (or longer).
The support a development team provides goes far beyond your launch date. For example, DuckMa helps our clients hire and train a developer to maintain and optimize their app after it’s launched. The success of your app is largely dependent on the work you put forth post-launch, so missing that piece of the puzzle could spell disaster for a new app.
Yes, we have cons.
I’ll be the first to admit it: Development teams are more expensive up front. You pay for what you get, and what you get is a brilliant end result. Something to consider is the amount of time and money spent post-launch in maintenance and optimization, plus the potential impact a sub-par product will have on the success of your app. Always be looking at the bigger picture!
I had to come up with a second con to avoid looking too biased, but it was difficult. I guess, if you wanted a to hire local, finding the right app development team in your area is slightly more difficult than finding a solo mobile app developer.
What to Consider Before Hiring
Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons of each development option, it’s time to look at the big picture. What should you consider before making your decision?
Your budget will play a big role in the decision-making process. If you have a minimal budget, outsourcing your project to Asia or South America may be your only option. A word to the wise, though, only pursue that route if you have more patience than money, it can be a bit rocky.
What provides the most value to you and your business? The quality you receive from a team may justify the higher price tag or it may not (it does, it totally and utterly does), but that’s for you to decide.
How much time do you have to allot to your development process, project management, testing, revisions, etc.? If you have a lot of extra time, you may be able to make sense of hiring a solo mobile app developer. If you’re in a time crunch, you may not. It’s as simple as that.
Given the impact of a quality app and post-launch support on an app’s success, what do you plan to do with your app? Are you planning to grow and monetize it? Are you looking to create the next big thing, or are you simply creating something that you hope catches on?
Team Effort Produces Better Results
As the head of a highly successful (and may I say brilliant) development team, I have given a lot of thought into the pros and cons of hiring a mobile app developer. I run my small team the way I do because it produces the best results.
We only want to work on projects that are a great fit for all parties involved, but I do urge you to look at the investment of a development team as a worthwhile step on your path to success.