Recruiting And Retention
A Complete Hiring Guide for Mobile Developers by Carlos A. Vázquez   |   March 4, 2020

Mobile has taken over. Today, websites are optimized for mobile or run the risk of losing potential website traffic or functionality. Our smartphones, tablets, watches, and other devices have become more and more embedded in our everyday lives. In 2019, over 2 million apps were available for download on the Google Play store and 1.83 are available on the Apple App Store. This means lots of busy software engineers and programmers coding for these millions of apps. Recent estimates indicate that there are about 12 million mobile app developers worldwide. In the U.S, labor shortages for software developers mean that U.S companies hire mobile developers outside of Silicon Valley and the demand for talent is very high. So who are these mobile developers building our apps and how do you find the right one for your company?

Challenges of Hiring Mobile Developers 

Hiring a software developer is a full-scale operation. Sorting through dozens of resumes in order to find true skill and competency is difficult and time-consuming. Challenges faced by companies when hiring mobile developers include:

  • Finding the right candidate in a high-demand competitive industry
  • Knowing what skills to look for in resumes or experience
  • Asking the right questions about app development 
  • Providing effective skills assessments
  • Considering options of remote hire or direct placement

Staffing Services: Direct Placement Hiring and Remote Hiring

The new hiring paradigm of the tech world includes the use of staffing services to hire highly-skilled, talented, and qualified developers without the hassle. More companies are outsourcing employees through staffing firms that facilitate the process and streamline effective recruiting. A staffing service agency like CodersLink helps tech companies with:

  • Direct Placement Hiring: Using the staffing agency as a way to bypass the recruitment process and use a third party’s connections and experience in the field to find candidates, while you take care of the hiring. This often transitions to a permanent placement, so the third party only assists on a temporary basis until you have fully taken the employee on permanently. 
  • Remote Hiring: Staffing services provide direct connections to qualified candidates that have been vetted for quality and experience. This provides your company with access to great candidates that can work remotely. 

Who Are Today’s Mobile Developers?

The days of mobile development go back to the early 2000s. Some of the early players and mobile apps were for Palm OS. People might remember the Palm Pilot as one of the early mobile devices, as well as the Blackberry. The iPhone hit around 2007 and the iOS became the dominant operating system when it came to app development platforms. Soon after, Android emerged as the other dominant player in the field. 

In 2019, Android announced they had reached 2.5 million users across the globe. The same year, Apple announced that they had reached 1.4 million iOS users which includes 900 million iPhone users. Today’s mobile developers are experts in designing mobile applications that function on a variety of mobile devices including smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, etc. Most of today’s mobile developers are working to build mobile technology for today’s dominant operating systems: iPhone and Android. 

Finding the right candidate requires a little bit of working knowledge about what skills to look for. As a staffing agency, CodersLink assists U.S companies with recruitment, placement, and hiring of highly-skilled mobile developers. So we thought we’d take a look at some of the things to keep in mind. 

What are Mobile Developer’s Main Responsibilities and Functions? 

The demand for mobile developers has been rising steadily for years. In 2013, mobile phones made up 16.2 percent of web traffic worldwide. In 2018, that number jumped to 52.2 percent. Today, a mobile developer will work across a variety of industries to develop functional software applications and technologies. You might find them developing new mobile solutions for:

  • Android and iOS app development companies
  • Android and iOS platform development companies
  • Retailers
  • Healthcare sector
  • Media organizations
  • Financial sector
  • Travel and tourism
  • And more

The Different Types of Mobile Apps 

You can find mobile developers and coders that are working within three different types of mobile apps. These include:

Mobile web apps: This is opened through your device’s browser as a URL. They perform like a regular app but it is not an application that is directly downloaded onto your phone or device.  

Cross-platform mobile apps:  These are apps that are written in one language and are able to run on all the platforms. 

Native mobile apps: Native apps are written in a language that’s natively supported by the device OS vendor. 

Skills To Look For in a Mobile Developer — Technical and General Skills

A mobile developer is a technically skilled software engineer that must also possess a list of hard and soft skills in order to be successful and effective at their work. Finding the right developer means looking for a wide spectrum of skills.  

Technical Skills: 

A mobile developer can be versed in a variety of languages but will usually be dominant or proficient in one of the following:

  1. Java: A highly employed, versatile, and widely used coding language. It offers a lot of flexibility to engineers for quick and error-free mobile application development. Since the Android app was introduced in 2008, Java was the default language and continuous to be one of the most used languages for Android apps. This is a pure Object-Oriented language. 
  2. Python: This is an accessible general-purpose programming language with basic syntax, which makes it a straightforward but effective language for those who know how to use it. In recent years, enterprises and large companies have used Python for their technology solutions. 
  3. Swift: This was a language introduced by Apple in 2014. They made it available for mobile app development on Xcode in 2015. Swift is now a preferred language above Objective-C as the best language to write iOS apps. 
  4. Objective-C: This was the first Apple supported language for iOS apps. As it has slowly fallen out of favor for Swift, it’s a stable and consistent language with many years under its belt. 
  5. Kotlin: In 2017, Google announced Kotlin as a first-class language for Android programming. This is a simple syntax language with a focus on mobile development. This language can also operate with Java. In fact, Java and Kotlin have a lot in common and many programmers find the transition from one to the other relatively simple. 
  6. C#:  Also known as C Sharp. This is a component and object-oriented language that is very dynamic and flexible. One can create a wide variety of applications including games, web services, server applications, and more. 

 

 

Other Skills 

It’s also important for a good mobile developer to possess and/or be able to perform the following:

  • Proficiency in their programming language
  • Familiarity with software architecture and design patterns and frameworks
  • A profound understanding of good design 
  • Experience with cross-platform solutions
  • Adaptability to changing circumstances and parameters
  • Experience supporting older versions of the operating systems
  • Deliver clean and stable code
  • Willing to experiment with new paradigms 
  • Proactive and comfortable at being independent and self-starting
  • Effective at writing technical documentation and code reviews 

Soft Skills to Look For in Mobile Developers

The world of mobile development is not black and white. There is a lot of flexibility needed in order to adapt and change as projects and demands change, as well as:

Analytical Skills: You want a software engineer that is able to understand and respond to user needs in order to create the applications they want to use. 

Communication: A good developer will know how to ask the right questions in order to fully understand what the client needs. They also need communication skills for a technical and non-technical audience. The ability to receive and provide valuable feedback and work with other team members is also key. 

Problem Solving & Critical Thinking: A big part of any developer’s job is troubleshooting and trying to understand a problem that arises with the application. This requires the ability to retrace steps, analyze, be patient, and work towards solving the existing problem. 

Creativity: A good coder will write clean code that suits the purpose at hand and provides new approaches to applications. Writing well-functioning and user-friendly applications is part of the challenge of being a good software developer. 

Common Interview Questions for Hiring Mobile Developers

When bringing a new mobile developer on board, dig deeply into their experience, knowledge, and overall understanding of the language and applications. There is a wide array of interview questions and many might depend on what specific skills you’re looking for. We put together a list of questions to ask about app development and possible questions to ask Android or iOS developers. 

Here are a few to consider:

Android

  • Explain the difference between implicit and explicit intent?
  • What is a ContentProvider and what is it typically used for?
  • When should you use a Fragment rather than an Activity?
  • How would you create a multi-threaded Android App without using the Thread class?
  • Explain the important file and folder when you create a new android application.
  • Describe Intents in detail
  • Describe the SmsManager class in android.
  • How can you use built-in Messaging within your application?
  • What are the key components of Android Architecture?
  • What is AIDL?
  • What data types are supported by AIDL?
  • What is Dalvik Virtual Machine?
  • What are the different forms of communication provided by Android applications?
  • What are the security measures that are taken to make Android secure?

iOS

  • Explain the difference between atomic and nonatomic synthesized properties?
  • Explain the difference between copy and retain?
  • What considerations do you need when writing a UITableViewController which shows images downloaded from a remote server?
  • What are blocks and how are they used?
  • How could you set up Live Rendering?
  • Why don’t we use strong for enum property in Objective-C?
  • What’s the difference between an “app ID” and a “bundle ID” and what is each used for?
  • Describe managed object context and the functionality that it provides.
  • List and explain the different types of iOS Application States.
  • What is ABI?
  • Please explain Swift’s pattern matching techniques
  • What are the Platform limitations of tvOS?
  • How to Prioritize Usability in Design?

Skills Assessments for Mobile 

Testing someone’s skills in real-time is a great way to get a better understanding of a developer’s capabilities, proficiency, and approaches. Skills assessments often done in interviews can vary. Common assessments include asking a candidate to:

  • Develop a sample mobile application.
  • Troubleshoot and solve a sample problem.
  • Find a bug in a sample code and suggest solutions to said problem.

Quick Overview of Mobile Salary Information 

Salary can vary by region, skill level, and more. It also depends on the kind of work they’re doing and the size of the company with which they are employed. An overview by region might look a little like this according to some reports:

  • U.S: $107,000
  • Canada: $ 68,000
  • U.K: $ 51,000
  • Germany: $47,000
  • Mexico: $48,000 (according to an average in CodersLink 2019 report

Writing a Good Job Description for a Mobile Developer 

You want to write a description that is precise and will draw out information that allows you to gauge expertise and understanding. 

Job Title: Highly Qualified Mobile Developer

Seniority Level:

  • Junior 
  • Intermediate
  • Senior

Years of Experience: 

  • 0 to 1 
  • 1 to 3 
  • 4 to 6
  • 7 to 9
  • 10 to 14

Location:

  • City, Country
  • Remote

Employment Type:

  • Part-time
  • Full time

Job Description:

Make sure your job description conveys your company, states its mission, and articulates your main priorities in a candidate. The description will serve as an introduction to your company ethos, MO, and approach to projects and office culture. 

You also want to list specific skills to look for, like: 

  • Programming languages that include: Java, C#, Swift, Objective-C
  • Mathematical aptitude 
  • Creativity and ability to work in a team
  • Strong problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to interpret and follow technical plans 

Finding the Right Candidate Through a Staffing Agency

A mobile developer with the right background, skills, and vision is an invaluable asset to your company. Your mobile technology needs require the competent work of an experienced developer familiar with the technological landscape and architecture.

The benefit of having a third party help you with hiring is that you free up time and resources normally spent doing the leg work of hiring. A software development agency and staffing firm like CodersLink, has established relationships with an entire community and talent pool of mobile developers. We can help you find an already vetted candidate so that you can get them on board and have them working as soon as possible. 

Find the Missing Link: A Talented and Skilled Mobile Developer for Your Growing Company

Growing your company means investing in people that understand the dynamic changes in technology. Nobody knows that better than mobile developers. Find the best addition to your team through CodersLink.

Let us know how else we can help. What else would you like to know about the hiring process or how a staffing agency works for tech companies in 2020? Let us know!

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