How to Find a Top-Rated Developer for Your App (Without Stress & Frustration)

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The secret to hiring the best programming talent

There’s no doubt that the most direct way to reach people today is through their phones. And the best way to get their attention is with a mobile app.

So developing an app for your business project is a great idea. But it raises an important question. How do you find a good developer for your app?

You have over 26 million software engineers to choose from, so you are spoiled for choice. The challenge lies in narrowing down your options and making the right hire.

The secret of recruiting a good developer lies in being prepared. Define precisely what you need before you start looking for candidates. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What functions and features must the app have?
  • What programming languages and tech do I expect to deploy?
  • Will I need both iOS and Android versions?
  • What is the timescale for development?
  • Should I choose a local or offshore developer?
  • How much money can I allocate to the budget?

All of these factors will affect how you move forward. So take some time to consider your answers to avoid wasting time talking to the wrong people.

Your App Developer Options

Now that you understand what you need, you can decide on the best way to hire a developer. You have three main options:

1. Hire an in-house employee

If you expect app development to be an ongoing project, you may wish to add a developer to your payroll.

There are many benefits to this approach. First, you’ll have the developer’s full attention, so app development can move forward quickly. Having someone integrated into your team means they will better understand your culture and business requirements.

On the other hand, hiring a full-time employee may be overkill for a single app development project. Plus, good developers attract high salaries and expect generous benefits. The expense may put a strain on your budget.

2. Hire a Freelance Developer

This is undoubtedly the lowest-cost option and can work very well for smaller projects. There are many excellent freelancers who produce outstanding work at affordable prices.

However, there are risks to this approach, too. If your freelancer becomes unavailable, your project grinds to a halt, and you may have to start again from scratch. Communication may be inconsistent, especially if your freelancer is in a very different time zone.

3. Hire an Agency Team

Your third option is to work with an outsourcing company that has the right talent to work on your project. This way, you get a whole team to work on your project, and things can move fast.

On the other side of the coin, an outsourced team will be more expensive than a freelancer. You may also struggle to get the kind of service you expect, especially if language or other cultural barriers exist.

Where to Find First-Rate Developers

Once you’ve decided on the best option, you must work on attracting talent. Fortunately, you have many choices at your disposal:

Tech job sites

There are many websites dedicated to matching developers with job opportunities. The most popular amongst these include:

  • Toptal
  • Dice
  • Remotive
  • Crunchboard
  • JustTechJobs
  • AndroidDev

All of these are great places to hunt for skilled developers. You will find a wealth of highly-experienced engineers and should have no trouble finding the talent you need.

Freelance platforms

If you are seeking help on a project basis, then the major freelance work platforms can be an excellent option. Although these are broader in scope, they typically have large numbers of experienced developers ready to bid on projects.

The best places to look for freelancers or small teams include:

  • Upwork
  • Guru
  • Freelancer
  • Fiverr
  • PeoplePerHour

Many of these platforms include features for tracking metrics such as hours worked. That makes it easy for you to work productively with developers worldwide.

Developer communities

Another great way to seek tech talent is to check out the communities where they hang out. This is where you’ll find programmers who take their work seriously and love creating quality code.

Popular tech communities include:

  • GitHub
  • StackOverflow
  • Reddit
  • DevPost
  • LinkedIn

All of these provide useful alternative options for finding people with the specialist skills you need.

Selecting the Right Applicant

Once the job applications start coming in, you need to filter them and shortlist the most likely candidates. The best way to do this is to follow a clear process:


  1. Examine developers’ portfolios to see if they have the right skills and experience
  2. Check their testimonials to ensure they can deliver on their promises
  3. Find out whether their approach to development is a good fit
  4. Interview them in person or virtually to see if they’ll fit into your culture
  5. Discuss their salary and benefits expectations


As you move through this process, you’ll find that many candidates who seemed promising turn out to be unsuitable. As a result, you may need to interview many developers to find the best fit.

How much should you pay?

Good developers are in demand, so you should expect their compensation to be at the higher end of the scale. Nevertheless, many factors influence the cost.

The most significant of these is location. For example, a mid-level programmer based in Ukraine may accept a rate of $50 an hour, while a similar US-based developer can command perhaps $150 an hour.

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Hire the Best and Grow Your Business

Perhaps the best advice is to hire the best developers your budget allows. That will empower you to build a great app that users love, putting you on track for greater success.

Mobile app developer hire is a challenging process. But when you have the right team working on your project, everything becomes easier. In his classic business book Good to Great, Jim Collins says:

“Those who build great organizations make sure they have the right people on the bus and the right people in the key seats.”

So get the right developers on your bus and drive your business to new heights of success. As always if you need help finding an app developer, we have pre-vetted agencies we can match you with.

Written By
Picture of Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi started CJAM Marketing after realizing that most business owners don’t know how to evaluate the value of a marketing agency or assess their own needs. Since every business is different not only in their needs but where they are at in the growth process, it isn’t a one size fits all. In the past 5 years, Behdad (or Bee) has met with and assessed 800+ marketing agencies and vetted them down to a lean 100 preferred partners across all marketing niches. After pairing hundreds of businesses with the right partners, he’s found his skillset lies in the matchmaking process. Featured in MarketWatch, Bloomberg, National Post and the Financial Post, Bee’s unique background in marketing, engineering, consulting, leadership, sales and strategy, has allowed him to serve as the conduit between business owners and the marketing teams they need.
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