How do I Hire an App Developer With No Technical Knowledge?

You have a great idea for a mobile app. You know it has the potential to disrupt the market and shoot to the top of the app charts. Unfortunately, you don’t have a single bit of technical knowledge to build it.

They say that the best idea tends to win out. But that’s only true if you also have the means to turn that idea into a tangible product. Build it right, and you can revolutionize your agency. Fail to do it, and you waste significant resources and capital.

With mobile apps continuing their rise to dominance in the digital environment, implementing your great idea is absolutely vital. In other words, without the knowledge to build it yourself, you have to look for external help. Here is what you need to know about hiring an app developer with no technical knowledge

Freelancer, Employee, or Agency: Which is Right For Me?

Unless you’re willing to learn coding on your own, your choices probably come down to hiring a freelancer, employing full-time development talent, or reaching out to an agency. Keep reading to learn more about each option.

1) Hiring a Freelance Developer

In many ways, this is the quickest and least expensive way to find someone willing to build your app. Freelancers are readily available on a number of online platforms, eager to get to work for you and get your idea done.

Coding on a computer for app development

Unfortunately, it’s also the least secure option. With most professionals, you have little idea about the background, and little opportunity to conduct additional research in order to verify credibility. In other words, you risk ending up with someone who is not qualified or willing to do the work that needs to be done for a high-quality app specific to your needs.

When hiring a freelancer, you also need to be aware of the development costs you will likely incur. Upwork has a great breakdown of these costs, showing that it tends to take more hours to develop an iOS app compared to Android.

Finally, engagements with freelancers tend to be one-time gigs. Once the app is complete, they will look for other work. But mobile apps are constantly evolving, needing updates and bug fixes on a regular basis. A temporary engagement like this doesn’t tend to be a good long-term fit for any company truly looking to embrace the app game.

2) Looking for Full-Time App Development Help

Weary of the drawbacks that come with hiring freelancers, many companies go the exact opposite route: they hire a full-time developer to take care of all their app needs.

The benefits are obvious: you have plenty of time to vet candidates and find the right professional for both your company and your development needs. Full-time work also means reliability: you know that should the app need to be updated, or the build needs to be adjusted in the process, you can rely on someone internal to get it done.

In the long run, though, that reliability can turn into inflexibility. Sure, your app will need updates, and you might even look to build a secondary app targeted to the same audience. But in between, your developer may find themselves without work to do, wasting resources that could be better spent developing your business.

These resources themselves are another crucial consideration. A quality developer will demand around $70,000 per year, and you can add on another 40% for benefits and taxes. Employing a single full-time professional, in other words, might cost your company upwards of $100,000 per year.

3) Finding an App Development Agency

With both extremes offering sometimes significant drawbacks, your best choice may lie in the middle. In the case of app development, that means finding an agency that can become a reliable partner without losing flexibility or wasting resources when it’s not needed.

In many ways, this choice gives you the best bang for your buck. Prices tend to be fixed, preventing you from falling into a per-hour hole should the development process take longer than expected. At the same time, you only have to worry about paying for development when that development actually takes place, rather than around the year.

Through an agency, you can commit yourself to a specific, specialized partner, without the financial drawbacks that this commitment would bring for a full-time employee. In addition, agencies have an express interest in staying up-to-date with industry trends, which is particularly important in this type of fast-paced environment.

Doing Your Background Research to Find the Best Fit

Of course, not every app development agency is created equal. To find the best fit for your individual needs, you need to go through a thorough vetting process before signing any type of contract or agreement. That could include:

  • Examining apps completed in the past, particularly those that are close in functionality and audience to your idea and opportunity.
  • Engaging with past clients of the agency, asking about factors that range from adherence to development timelines and quality of working relationship.
  • Setting up multiple calls for questions, where you can make sure that every variable is cleared up before signing the contract.

In most cases, your best choice of converting a great idea into an even better app tends to be working with an app development agency. You get the specialized knowledge and commitment, without the inflexibility of the alternatives. As long as you go through the right vetting steps, you set the baseline for success that will ultimately result in an end product designed to fulfill your audience’s needs and wants.

Ken Vermeille
Ken Vermeille
The founder and CEO of Vermillion Sky. Ken Vermeille has 15 years of experience in product design and development. Creating his first website at 12 years old, he continues to build his talents by leveraging his ability to learn and implement any technology. In the past he's worked on mobile and web apps, video games, augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, business model generation, and anything to keep Vermillion Sky at the cutting edge of product design and development.