When you already have an idea for a new Android mobile app or planning to port an app from iPhone to Android platform, the next step will be to hire an Android developer. The most important question at this point is where to find a competent Android developer and more specifically what qualities to look for in such a professional and where to find them.
If you have handled an Android device then you know that a lot goes into the development of apps and other functionalities in this platform. Android developers dedicate their time, energy, and resources to build functional apps used on Google’s OS, which is no mean feat given that Android boasts of having 65% market share of the mobile app industry. In this article, we look at some of the best places to find professional developers, the technical skills to look for in an Android developer, and what defines a top rated app developer in this field.
Where to find these Android Developers
Start your search by finding out where competent Android developers usually spend most of their free time. The first place to look for is obviously Google search. You can search using specific terms such as “Android developers for hire” or “hire an Android developer” followed by your city or state. You’ll get a good number of options to choose from. However, Google search may not provide you with enough details to determine how good the developer is and may generally make it harder or more tedious to find the right developer to handle your project.
A better alternative is to join Android-specific forums such as StackOverflow, AndDev.org, Androidforums.com, or AndroidPIT. This is where most developers spend time sharing the latest information and trends in the industry as they interact with fellow developers and clients. At the StackOverflow forum, you can easily judge the competence level of an Android developer based on footprints such as his or her contribution to the community. You can also look for good Android developers on job boards and freelance sites such as Upwork, Freelancer.com, and Angel.co. Just make sure to interview every freelancer who bids for your task thoroughly to ensure that they meet your expectations.
Technical Skills that your Android Developer should have
Let’s look at the key factors you need to look for in a good Android developer:
# Consider the following skills as a mandatory one!
As you would move forward, you will read about various other skills that your android app developer should have. But, as a rule of thumb they have to be an expert in the following: user interface, graphics layout, supporting 100s of screen sizes, databases, content management, location detection, Android phone sensors, threading, optimizing phone networking and debugging tools.
# Java, Kotlin Experience
Java and Kotlin are the building blocks of every Android application coding. Java is actually the official coding language for Android apps. It is an object-oriented language that has emerged as the most popular programming language globally since its inception in 1995. All Android developers should have good working knowledge on how to build software using this language. Kotlin is considered as the second official coding language for building Android applications. Most programmers today are even switching to Kotlin for a number of reasons. A good Android developer with the best coding knowledge should be well informed about the latest versions of both Java and Kotlin. The developer should be conversant with basic Java or Kotlin syntax ad programming practices and have a good understanding of key concepts such as variables, control structures, loops, lists, class versus static methods, and much more.
# Familiarity with AndroidDesign Patterns
One thing you cannot disregard in today’s fast-paced life is the constant evolution of technology. The Android platform, for instance, is continuously undergoing changing design patterns and technologies. It is presently using futuristic interface criteria known as material design. The material design was recently released by Google as a new set of interface guidelines and standards that cover everything from screen layer elements to specific styles such as drop shadows and much more. Material design helps developers to build better elements such as surfaces, transitions, and graphics in apps that provide an easier and more intuitive user experience. A good Android developer should, therefore, be well informed about the latest design patterns, standards, and guidelines including material design.
# Familiarity with New TechLike ARCore, TensorFlow Lite etc
An Android developer worth the title should be conversant with emerging technologies such as ARCore and TenserFlow at the very least. Technology is on an ever-evolving state today which makes it necessary to stay updated with the latest trends in the Android app development industry. You wouldn’t want to hire an Android developer who is still stuck on yesterday’s practices and technology.
# Reactive Programming
A good Android apps developer should have expert knowledge in using reactive programming (Rx) libraries. This is a programming paradigm that involves data flows and implementing static or dynamic data flows easily. The developer should ideally have experience in everything needed to implement reactive patterns professionally. They should have expert knowledge about the three key points of Rx which are Observable, Observer, and Scheduler.
# Memory Management
Memory management is basically a process of implementing controls and coordination in computer memory portions hereby known as blocks to enhance application performance. Memory management in hardware involves all components that store information such as chips, RAM, memory caches, and other solid state drives. Memory management is especially crucial in mobile operating systems where physical memory is usually limited. The Android developer should be well conversant with memory management aspects in different Android applications.
# App Performance and Size Optimization
The developer should be experienced in Android applications optimization techniques to improve your app’s performance. Developing Android apps allows developers greater access to a huge base of users which poses several challenges. For instance, the huge number of Android apps makes it difficult to keep up with development and releasing updates every so often. Performance issues and features such as screen sizes, keyboard styles, and camera buttons, just to mention a few, make app development in an ever-changing overcrowded environment quite difficult. You need to continuously improve the performance of your app which makes it necessary to work with a developer with experience in app performance and size optimization.
# Certified Google Developer
The importance of hiring a Google certified developer can never be overstated. Google Developers Certification demonstrates the developer’s skills and proficiency. The certification is an important consideration since it shows the developer’s level of professionalism and commitment to the industry. It shows that the developer has sat and passed certification exams which are usually accompanied by rich training content provided through an online curriculum, self-study materials, or instructor-led classes. The certification is a badge of excellence and professionalism.
What defines a Top-Rated Android Developer?
There are several things that make a top-rated expert Android developer stand above the rest. These are key features to look for when you want to hire an Android developer. They are a mark of experience in the field and a high level of professionalism. Here are some of the key factors that define a top-rated Android developer.
# Google Developer Expert
Atop-rated Android developer has a Google Developer Expert (GDE) recognition. AGDE is a professional who is recognized by Google Inc. for his or her expertise in Google Developers products. The recognition is awarded through the GDE program that is administered by Google. It is a mark of excellence in developing and working with a wide range of Google’s products. A developer with GDE recognition is valued for his her experience and expertise in the field. They are professionals you can rely on to create high-quality Android applications.
# Open Source Contributions and Membership in Societies like FOSS
An expert Android developer usually has a significant software contribution to the open source software movement. They normally support the open source movement by voluntarily writing and sharing freely their programming code to promote software development. They are often members of organizations such as the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and other relevant societies.
# Exceptionally Good with TDD, BDD Type Scenarios
# Clean Code Architectures
Expert Android developers understand that bad software design practices make bad apps. This is why they use Clean Code Architectures that produce well refined and inspiring applications. Clean code architecture has independent frameworks, UI, Database, and is testable to ensure great performance at all times.
# Collaborates with other teams effectively
Good developers understand the importance of close collaboration with other team members. They have strong communication and collaboration skills with fellow developers, management, app users, and clients to ensure the success of every application they build.
# They can use Unconventional Technologies and ability to hack through Existing Systems
Security has become a major concern for software and applications developers. This is why good developers need specialist ethical hacking knowledge to run penetration tests on their applications to check for security risks and plug the vulnerabilities before malicious hackers take advantage of the weaknesses. They have the skills to use unconventional technologies to hack existing technologies and ensure the integrity of their products.