Yup, app developers are more in-demand now than ever. At the start of the decade, a certain tech giant had launched a very successful ad campaign using the slogan “There’s an app for that.” Fast-forwarding to 2018, this phrase couldn’t be more true now, with just about every other human being in the planet probably utilizing a mobile app (or enjoying a mobile game) on his smartphone or tablet right at this very instant.
Of course, it is only natural for any business entity to view mobile apps not only as a means for attracting new customers or reaching out to fresh audiences, but also as a direct extension of its brand or operations. Indeed, having a presence in the Internet is no longer enough, a number of companies now feel the need to also create a mobile app that their customers can use anytime, anywhere. This is where the Android app developer comes in.
The Role of the Android App Developer
According to a report released by Pew Research Center earlier this year, it is estimated that over three-fourths (77 percent, to be exact) of the United States’ population own a smartphone. While it is true that Apple’s iOS platform commands a 53.6 percent market share in America (as of June to July 2018, per StatCounter Global Stats), Google’s Android mobile operating system is not far behind with a 45.94 percent share.
This is one of the reasons why you would want to hire an Android app developer — in order to reach out to basically half of the smartphone user population in the United States, you need a guy that can build you a mobile app for your existing and potential Android-using customer base.
The Advantages of Using the Android OS
It pays to take a look at why Android is so popular, not only in America, but in the rest of the world (it is the most widely used mobile OS across the globe):
- Android uses an open source framework, which allows for easy customization and even integration with other tools
- Despite its open source nature, its design is quite stable and consistent
- Apart from supporting multiple programming languages (including Java and other popular languages), the platform can be used on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, wearable devices, game consoles, digital cameras, personal computers, and even cars (via Android Auto)
What Skills to Look for in an Android App Developer
Proficiency in Java. As mentioned earlier, Android’s flexible framework allows it to support various languages. But if you’re looking for a good Android app developer, you candidate has to have very solid background in using Java. When we say solid background, we mean strong knowledge or adequate experience in the basic syntax, variables, programming frameworks, loops, lists, and object-oriented programming.
Being able to use Android Studio, or Eclipse as the IDE (integrated development environment), is also a plus. It goes without saying that the Android app developer should also be willing to learn new parts of the Java software development kit (SDK).
Knowledge of the Android SDK. You simply can’t build Android apps without using the tools present in the Android software development kit, and an app developer not familiar with this SDK would find it really, really hard to do the job. Although the range of tools is quite extensive, knowledge of basic concepts in the Android SDK is already a big advantage.
Use of APIs. They stand for application programming interface, and developers typically use them as building blocks for designing the software in mobile apps. An experienced Android app developer may be capable of utilizing his own API, but it is not unusual for other programmers to make full use of third party APIs like JSON/REST or XML/SOAP.
Handling of back end tasks. Taking care of the server (as well as server-side applications) and database aspects may not be directly tied to an Android app developer’s job description, but if you can get your hands on somebody who can also do them, why not? Back end skills to look for include Django, .NET, NodeJS, and Rails.
The Android App Developer’s Certifications and Track Record
Asking for certifications may be a bit cliche, but if you want the best talent for your business, by all means ask the potential hire to produce them (if he has them). Because we are talking about developing mobile apps for the Android ecosystem, perhaps two of the most notable examples are the Associate Android Developer certification and the Android Certified Application Developer certification. The former is awarded by Google, while the latter is issued by Android ATC. Both certifications aim to test a developer’s skill in the field of Android app development.
How about track record? Well, it should be reasonable to expect a seasoned Android app developer to have already published an app on Google Play, right? As a business owner, you would naturally want to get an app specialist that has had previous experience building something related to the nature of your business. For instance, if you want to sell products, look for app developers who have built e-commerce apps in the past.
Android App Developers are Everywhere, but How to Find the Good Ones?
Oh, yes — because mobile apps are ubiquitous these days, there is no shortage of Android app developers. The trick now is getting a skilled professional you can trust, and more critically, one that your business can afford to hire.
Salary estimates might vary, but according to PayScale, Android software developer wages in the United States average more than $80,000 on a yearly basis. For sure, getting Android app programming talent does not come cheap. The good news is that you can always find skilled developers outside America, that is, if you know how to look.
What About Offshore Software Development?
True, you can outsource Android app programming to a freelance developer based in Europe or in Asia, but you need to be aware of the inherent risks. By virtue of them being freelance, you’re not really sure if they are dedicated to helping you build an Android app for your business. For all you know, they are logging more hours writing code for another client (possibly one that pays better than you).
This is why more and more companies are opting for offshore software development. In this set-up, you build your own software team, but based in a country (like the Philippines, for example) where the costs of hiring an Android app developer is significantly lower than those in the United States. The advantage of an offshore team is that they are officially part of your company, and you can rest assured that they will be focusing their energy and effort (within a regular eight-hour shift) in meeting your app development requirements.
Getting an Offshore Staffing Partner Helps
CoDev can help you find the Android app developer you need for your business. We have offshore operations in the city of Cebu in the Philippines, but if you want some peace of mind, you can directly contact our headquarters in Lehi in Utah. Yup, the Philippines has some skilled developers, and the great thing about them (aside from their quality programming abilities), is that if you hire an Android app developer from Cebu, you will certainly not be paying eighty grand per year for their services. So how much are we talking about? It’s better if you find out for yourself — contact us today.