Many startups create their sites and apps through DIY platforms like Weebly and WordPress. However, these sites and apps often look and feel the same. Many DIY platforms also limit you from implementing widgets like 2D and 3D animations and interactive maps that can make you stand out from the crowd.
That's where experienced app and web developers come in. By hiring the right app and web developers for your startup, you can create a fully-customized app or website that provides exceptional user experience (UX). The best developer for your company should also be able to work with your copywriters, SEO experts, and UI/UX designers to manage your site or app's performance, capacity, and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
But how can you source and hire these highly-experienced app and web developers? We answer this question in this comprehensive guide. Read on to learn more about web and app development and what you should consider when hiring devs. Along the way, we'll also cover the skills you should look for, how to write a compelling job description, and the best way to hire developers.
What is Web and App Development?
Also known as website development, web development refers to the tasks associated with creating, maintaining, and building websites and web apps that run on browsers. Depending on the context, web development may also include web programming, web design, and data management.
Web development is related to web design, which involves designing the functionality and features of sites. However, unlike web design, which focuses on what users can see, web development involves the actual programming and construction of online apps and websites.
App development is the process of programming and constructing apps for tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices. App development sometimes involves creating a desktop or web-based version of a mobile app, but the majority of app development tasks revolve around tablets or mobile devices. Like web developers, app developers use programming languages to construct apps.
What Should You Consider During the Hiring Process?
Although it's tempting to start hiring right away, you should consider the following factors before doing anything. Otherwise, you may hire someone who's not a good fit for your team.
Good Developer Skills You Should Look For
The skills you should look for depend heavily on the roles you're hiring for.
Here's an overview of the main web and app developer roles and skills to help you out.
Client-Side Web or App Developer
Client-side or front-end development involves the features and designs that users see on their screens — in short, the user interface (UI).
Here's what the ideal client-side web or app developer should know:
Short for Hypertext Markup Language, HTML is one of the building blocks of websites. Web developers use HTML to create and structure sections, paragraphs, and links using tags, elements, and attributes.
Besides creating and organizing webpages, HTML can also be used for the following:
- Internet navigation: Developers can use HTML to embed hyperlinks to your site, making it easier for users to navigate between related webpages and sites.
- Web documentation: Web devs can also use HTML to organize and format web documents.
Short for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is a language used to create documents written in markup languages like HTML, XUL, XHTML, and SVG.
Your front-end web dev should be able to use CSS style declarations to:
- Maintain and update your site design
- Control how webpages look in browsers
- Ensure that your website displays properly on all browsers
- Create layouts
- Style document text, such as changing the color and size of headings and links
- Create browsers
- Create browser-based games
- Display interactive elements on web pages
- Create mobile and web apps
Server-Side Web or App Developer
Server-side or back-end development involves powering the client-side. In other words, server-side developers program the logic of applications and web apps instead of working on the UI.
At a minimum, your server-side web or app programmer should know the following:
Server-side programmers need to know a broad range of programming languages and frameworks to construct your site or web app's logic. These include:
Ruby on Rails
Pylons, Django, Flask
They should also know how to use Node.js for back-end programming.
Besides programming languages, your back-end hire should know how to use databases to store and organize your site's data. Specifically, they should know how to use the following database programs:
Last but not least, your back-end developer needs to know how to set up, organize, and deploy servers to handle requests from users' devices. At a minimum, they should know Nginx and Apache.
Android App Developer
Android app developers create apps specifically for Android mobile devices. Here's a list of the skills they should have:
Most Android app developers should know the following languages:
- Java: The most popular language for Android app creation, Java offers many options, including a broad range of built-in libraries. It also has a thriving online community to fall back on.
- Kotlin: Android's official programming language since 2019, Kotlin is a simple, lightweight language that was created by developers for developers. Fully interoperable with Java, Kotlin is well-known for being compact. It's also faster and more lightweight than Java.
- Python: This is another popular language for Android app creation. Although Python isn't Android-native, developers can use tools to convert Python apps into Android ones.
Android Development Tools and Frameworks
Your Android app dev should also know how to use the following Android development tools:
- Android Studio: Android's official development platform, Android Studio contains debugging and code editing tools. It also boasts an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and everything devs need to create leading-edge apps.
- Android Developer Tools (ADT): In addition to basic debugging and coding tools, ADT provides test automation and coding support, a graphical UI builder, and more.
iOS App Developer
iOS app developers need to know a different set of skills from their Android counterparts. These include:
There are only two iOS-native languages: Objective-C and Swift.
However, your iOS app developer doesn't have to know both of them since Objective-C is on its way out. According to Statista, Objective-C was the least used language of 2021, with only 2.8% of respondents using it. Objective-C is also much more difficult to code than Swift.
As such, you should look for an iOS app developer who has proven experience and knowledge of Swift. Clean and simple, Swift has no string identifiers, which means it's less prone to error.
iOS Development Tools and Frameworks
Besides knowing Swift, your ideal iOS app developer should also know how to use iOS development tools like:
- Xcode: An Apple-native software, Xcode gives developers all the features required to build a native iOS app.
- UIKit: This is the basic framework for creating and managing graphical components in iOS apps.
- SwiftUI: This framework works similarly to UIKit and can even connect with it. However, it can only support the latest versions os iOS since it was introduced later.
Cross-Platform App Developer
As their name suggests, cross-platform app developers create mobile apps that are compatible with several operating systems and platforms. Cross-platform apps feel and look native due to the combination of independent and native code that's suitable for multiple platforms.
Every experienced cross-platform app developer should know the following:
Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks
Once they've finished coding, your cross-platform app developers will package the apps into native containers and integrate them into different platforms. They typically accomplish this by using the following frameworks:
- Xamarin: A leading, open-source platform for building cross-platform mobile apps, Xamarin-based apps are compatible with any mobile platform and provide the same UX and performance as native solutions.
- Ionic: As one of the best cross-platform app frameworks, Ionic is scalable, easy-to-read, open-source, and easily maintained. It provides a library of CSS, HTML, and JS components for optimized mobile development.
- React Native: Based on the React framework, React Native allows devs to use a variety of languages to build cross-platform solutions.
Soft Skills Necessary for Success
Next, ask yourself what kind of soft skills you want your hires to have.
Here's a comprehensive list of the most important soft skills for web and app developers:
- Communication: Web and app developers need robust communication skills to work with UI/UX designers, SEO experts, copywriters, and other members of your team. They need to know when — and how — to speak and listen to others.
- Problem-solving: Developers should also know how to solve problems quickly and effectively. Similarly, they should be able to work with others to solve problems.
- Time management: Developers have to report to a wide range of stakeholders, including project managers, business managers, and end-users. As such, they need to be able to meet deadlines and milestones in time.
- Self-awareness: The ideal hire for your team should be confident when it comes to their areas of expertise and humble when learning from others. In short, they should have the emotional maturity to admit their weaknesses. Self-awareness will encourage your hire to continually improve themselves and seek guidance and mentorship from their managers and colleagues.
- Leadership: Web and app developers should also know how to lead your team. They don't have to lead as often as managers or software engineers, but they do need to lead copywriters, UI/UX designers, SEO experts, and others to optimize your site or app.
The Type of Project: Long-Term or Short-Term
Last but not least, you need to ask yourself what kind of project you want to hire developers for.
If you only need to hire developers for the short-term — that is, less than six months — consider hiring a freelance or part-time developer to cut costs. Unlike full-time developers, freelance and part-time developers charge lower rates.
Freelance workers are particularly budget-friendly — you don't have to pay them monthly salaries or benefits. Instead, they charge by the project or hour, which means you don't have to pay them unless there's work.
However, if you need developers for a long-term project that lasts over a year and requires frequent maintenance and updates, consider hiring a full-time dedicated team of web developers. A dedicated team will work with you to seamlessly build, debug, deploy, maintain, and update your site or app on a long-term basis.
How to Hire a Good Developer Full-Time and Part-Time
After you've answered the questions above, you need to create a detailed job description to attract full-time and part-time developers. You also need to write web and app developer questions to find and hire the best developer for your company.
How to Write a Job Description
Here's what you should keep in mind when writing your job description:
- Use specific job titles: Specific job titles are much better at attracting leads than generic ones. For example, "Front-End Web Developer" is much more likely to attract devs with the experience you want than "Developer."
- Specify whether your job is full-time or part-time: Under the job title, specify whether your job is full-time or part-time. This will help you locate the hires you want.
- Provide an overview of your company: Give an overview of your startup and the role. Outline what makes your startup different and include an exact job location. Write "remote" if your position is fully remote.
- Outline the main responsibilities of the position: Ensure that your list of responsibilities is detailed and concise. You should also emphasize the day-to-day activities of the position to help candidates understand the work environment. For example, your Front-End Web Developer may be responsible for:
- Create, test, debug, and deploy web applications
- Gather and refine requirements and specifications based on UX or technical requirements
- Write high-quality, reusable, and scalable code
- Work with SEO experts and UI/UX designers to optimize site
- Debug errors and perform regular performance optimizations
- Collaborate with back-end developers to integrate UI components with databases and APIs
- Include a list of hard and soft skills: Your job description should also include the qualifications you're looking for. Besides degrees, previous work experience, and certifications, you should also include soft skills like problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills. For instance, your Front-End Web Developer should have the following skills:
- Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field
- Two years of experience with cross-browser testing
- Two years of experience with build tools like Webpack, Grunt, and Gulp
- Working experience and knowledge of SEO principles
- Familiarity with CSS preprocessors like Stylus, Sass, and Less
- Proficiency with HTML5, including microformats, HTML5 elements, and WAI-ARIA
- At least one year of experience with web design and Photoshop
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Passionate about front-end web development
How to Write Interview Questions
After you’ve written a job description, the next step is to create interview questions for web and app developers. Avoid asking technical questions such as, “What is app development?” and “What is HTML?” Instead, you should ask personalized questions that reveal your potential hire’s work ethic, personality, and experience, such as:
- How do you keep up with web or app development trends?
- What do you like the most about using HTML and CSS? Why?
- What is your least favorite programming language and why?
- What was the proudest moment in your career?
The Best Way to Hire App and Web Developers
Hiring the right web dev for your startup can be challenging, despite the broad range of job sites you can join to meet candidates. Most platforms, like LinkedIn and Fiverr, require you to:
- Manually sift through resumes and portfolios
- Test and vet candidates yourself
- If hiring internationally, comply with international and local labor laws
Luckily, there's a faster and more reliable way to source and hire web developers — through talent marketplaces like Revelo. Unlike traditional job platforms, Revelo boasts FAANG-caliber candidates who have been pre-vetted for their English proficiency, experience, and knowledge. We have web and app developers specializing in numerous tech stacks, including:
Interested in building sites and apps with our developers? Contact us today and tell us about your project. In three days, we'll send you a list of the best devs for your team. If you don't think they're a good fit for your project during our 14-day free trial, it's on us.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.