November 8, 2019

How To Find An App Developer: Your Guide to Finding and Hiring Talent

You’ve done it. That brilliant, one-of-a-kind idea has conceptualized from a slight notion to a thoroughly thought-out action plan. You are sure that this app will solve a problem in a way that no others have done before. You’re ready to make a splash in an over-crowded market with no product offering quite like yours. 

But in order to reach that goal, you’ll need to see this blueprint through, from start to launch. Nothing, or no one, is singularly more important now than the person which you hire to deliver this dream idea for you. You thought the ideation was difficult? Welcome to one of the hardest journeys of any entrepreneur’s venture into the startup world: finding an app developer.   

The hunt for an app developer is one of the most stressful and exhilarating roles of any mobile app development. Identifying the perfect blend of talent, innovation, and vision in a seasoned developer takes a certain finesse that many first-time business owners don’t naturally possess. If you are in the mind space of “I need an app developer…where do I even begin?” – you’re not alone. Our team of creative business strategists knows that feeling more than anyone. We’ve been there in that search alongside all the brands we eventually partnered with, and we are aware it is no easy task. Through trial and error, you’re bound to learn the best ways to go about discovering the right app developer to match your vision. However, the ever-prevalent risk in making it up as you go is that you could end up sacrificing your exemplary app in the process. 

So, rather than losing out on your potential pride-and-joy, it’s a much stronger decision to turn to the advice of those who have been at the helm of countless apps. From ideation to delivery, there’s a reason our guys of creative professionals at Rootstrap are known as America’s Best Dev Studio. We’ve got that insider view into how to bring on the best developers to your team. Here are our top tips and techniques, which we recommend for any who have just ventured into the mobile development space.

Why Looking for Mobile App Programmers is Hard

There’s so much involved in the search-and-seek for the perfect visionary to take your ideal from thought to conception. All pressure considered, it makes a lot of sense that finding mobile app programmers is tricky business. We’re here to make that overwhelming process heaps easier. There are a few areas that people don’t think to ever check, but can turn your app developer hunt from unsuccessful, to a winning combo:

  • Extended Networks

Especially for those of you that are jumping into the deep end of app development for the first time, it’s easy to overlook our own personal networks. Which is nuts, as our networks are a gold-mine in many ways; using trusted recommendations of friends or acquaintances can lead you to a wealth of resources. All you need to do is let those you are connecting with what you want to do, and who/what type of person you’re looking to find. You never know what you may find!

  • Local Universities

How could we ever dare to forget that some of the world’s most brilliant developers who went on to build multibillion dollar empires were merely college students when their first app ever kicked off? (Not naming any names here, but we think this one is pretty obvious…Facebook ring a bell?) Scour your local colleges and universities for some up and coming (and cheap!) app programmers. We recommend using the professors at the colleges you’re looking at recruiting from directly as a tool to locate the best students. Keep in mind that if you do decide to work with a student, while the cost will be significantly lower, the time a student can invest vs. a full time professional will also be a lot less. 

  • Freelance Websites

Upwork is the magic word when it comes to freelance resources. This platform offers direct access to strong, verified freelance talent at doable prices. One key thing to remember when using a freelance outlet is that you need to keep expectations at a reasonable rate. What we mean is that you can’t expect to launch a whole app with these freelancers; what you can expect, however, is to get a draft app on its starting out point with such a resource. You will always need a developer on your team, as work on an app is never done. Nonetheless, a freelancer agreement to hash out a mock-up will definitely be a smart way to get your project off the ground and into the air for later flight. 

The Types of App Developers for Hire 

The contemporary world is brimming with app developers. It’s no secret that mobile apps are one of the largest revenue-producing markets for any form of business; be it e-commerce, B2B or the like. Hence, it probably won’t come as a shock that with the demand, comes a hefty supply. No longer an elite space, app development is now overrun by those who specialize in the right types of code and thinking necessary to create a spectacular mobile app end product. 

Start-ups, in general, face a tricky task in the process of selecting the *right* app programmer. Experienced, seasoned professionals come at a steep price, so it’s more typical for younger businesses to recruit newer, more affordable developers to boot. Cost is always a huge factor when considering who to bring forward your app concept from idea to fully functioning tool. 

When hiring, there are many things to consider aside from price; however. Do you want to work with an app development company, or would you prefer to go at it with a freelance point-of-view? 

Rootstrap is evidently a bit biased; after all, we fit into that company classification. Alongside our bias is a tried-and-true knowledge about the pros and cons of hiring a company vs. an individual. Simply from a cost perspective, app development companies consistently cost significantly more. Still, what a company will be able to offer you, rather than an individual, is a guarantee. We’d argue that word in and of itself is priceless in this industry. Working with a development company means you will be able to hit deadlines and build your app rapidly. Even more than that, another company’s insight can end up being very valuable when it comes to overall strategic business choices. At Rootstrap, we consider our team of agile ninjas to be developers' second, creative strategists first. This is a formula that has worked swimmingly for us; as it takes care of a partner’s need to produce the best app that ultimately hinges on customer satisfaction.

So, how do you learn more about an app development company before you jump into bed with them? These are some core areas and questions to consider when assessing your available choices: 


First and foremost, you’ve got to make certain that the people you are hiring are outfitted with the right levels of experience and success in past projects before diving in. The following are some questions to make sure you know the answer to:

  • What’s the average experience for every team member? 
  • Who are the faces behind the screen?  
  • Are they direct employees of the company, or does the company hire freelancers? (This is to assess level of responsibility). 
  • Where are they? Location is important in terms of project scope and ongoing communication.
  • Do you get a project manager? (The answer should always be yes – this person is a necessity to the team as they will make sure your app goes all the way from concept to final result).  


This is a big one – what has the company itself brought to the app development table? Here are a couple handcrafted questions intended to find out if the company you’ve chosen is the perfect fit for your app and style of working:

  • Is it real? What are the past projects they have done to prove it?
  • How many mobile apps have they delivered? What type of mobile app?
  • What platforms are they working with? 
  • Have any of their apps been launched to app stores? If so, which ones?
  • What’s their company business model?


Another aspect to think about is the people, brands, and ideas that the company has worked with in the past. Any mobile app development company can easily pull up a list of their case studies or success stories of the past, but what can the brands that they’ve worked with tell you about the business ethos? These are some brilliant ways to discover more about the place you may entrust with your important project:

  • Who have they worked with in the past? What brands? Do you recognize any? 
  • Do they have any references from previous clients? (The answer again, should be yes – if they can’t provide a reference or two, then you don’t want to risk working with them). 
  • Have they won any awards for their work? 
  • Do they have connections/an established network inside companies like Google or Apple? 


We all know and recognize the sheer level of influence app testing has on how an app performs after launch, both in the short and overall long-run. We recommend discovering the answers to these questions when evaluating your potential development company:

  • What’s the testing scope like? What services do they offer?
  • What are the specifics of the devices they will use for your final app testing?
  • Do they have any past examples of portfolio work where they tested successfully?
  • Are they continually innovating their testing process? How so? 
  • What type of server do they employ?


Finally, we need to take a look at the process. Here’s where you should assess what to expect, and the like:

  • What are the deadlines/expectations/milestones for this build? What can the company guarantee and by when?
  • When can you expect to receive status updates?
  • When will you meet routinely to view progress on the project?
  • Will you be able to be first-hand involved in meetings about the design status? 
  • What’s their data policy? How will they ensure your data security throughout the project and overall confidentiality? (GPDR regulation alert for those companies operating out of or linked to Europe)! 
  • When will you be able to meet the developing team face-to-face? This should be something that the company can arrange. 

Why We Have the Best App Developers 

At Rootstrap, we believe in having a global outlook that’s not only fresh but unexpected. We're a distributed team of agile ninjas that are business strategists before designers, developers, and growth hackers.

Our dedicated developers are top of the line, have in-depth knowledge of mobile and web platforms and use the latest technologies to make apps customized to clients’ preferences.

Our Team of Developers at Your Service

If any of the core points we outlined sounds appealing to you as you prepare to adventure down the mobile app development path, feel free to get in touch with us. By us, I mean our fantastically skilled developers behind the magic that is Rootstrap. 

If you want to talk with our team, we’re pretty easy to reach. You can send us a note via our contact form, or even use Facebook Messenger to speak directly with our reps. Cool, huh? (We like it, too). Our offices are scattered throughout the USA – with stunning locations in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and even past these borders with half of our HQ based in Montevideo, Uruguay, so let us know if you’re in any of those areas and want to move your next app forward. However, don’t feel limited by those locations. We’ve got developers in nearly every big city in the U.S. and more. Get in touch today! Don’t hesitate with moving your app from idea to reality.  

We'd love to hear what you are working on. Drop us a note here, and we'll get back to you in 24 hours, or you can chat with us live on Facebook Messenger.