Do you have an idea for the next best Android app? Do you want to turn your vision into reality? That's easy; as long as you can hire fantastic android app developers, you are almost at the finish line. Well, the hiring part is easier said than done. With Android holding more than 70% of the app market share, it's now more competitive than ever to hire exceptional talent.
It could get worse if you have a not-so-flexible budget or are racing against time to replace a developer who left in the middle of a crucial project.
The good news is you don't have to do it alone. Here's an easy guide that'll cover all you need to know, from where to find good developers to the right qualifications and the questions you can ask during the hiring process. So, even if you don't have a tech background, you can still pull off hiring an excellent android developer for your project.
Skills Required for Android Developer
A candidate's resumé is not a bad place to start when hunting for new talent. In there, you'll find vital info like years of experience and the programming language the developer is competent in. However, exaggeration is typical human behavior that doesn't always make resumés an accurate representation of candidates under review. Resumés will always leave you with the challenge of not being able to tell if a candidate will fit in with your organization's culture, if the candidate will be easy to work with, or if he can do what he claims on the CV.
That's why a combination of info on resumés and a comprehensive interview would do you some good during the hiring process. While you are aiming at hiring a highly competent candidate, you also want to ensure you are not stuck with a coder that lacks people skills. After all, software development is a "business of people." Depending on the complexity of the android app you want to develop, here are three levels of android developer you can hire and the skills to expect from any of them.
Junior Android Developer
- Years of experience is usually between two to three.
- Competence level usually includes the development of not-too complex android apps
- Require an adequate level of supervision from an advanced level android developer.
Mid-level Android Developer
- App development experience should span half a decade.
- You should expect these developers to have completed a much complex android app.
- Very little or no supervision.
Seasoned Senior Android Developer
- The experience of senior developers is usually above five years.
- He can lead and supervise a software development team.
- Functions as a project manager and consult in projects from idea to market.
Irrespective of the developer's level of expertise, here are some of the skills to look out for during the hiring process. It's not an exhaustive list, but these are a must if you want a competent android developer. These are hard and soft skills.
Hard Skills (Technical Skills)
This programming language is non-negotiable for all coders you want to hire because it's the most popular for android app development. Java is an object-oriented language but has a stricter approach in handling data types. A developer that knows his onions will aim at avoiding any ambiguity in mobile environments. With the help of JAVA, eliminating any ambiguity/confusion about the function of each component should be easy if the developer knows what he’s doing. In fact, with a good knowledge of JAVA, written codes may be less but will likely be smoother.
XML is your structured markup language created for data-encoding internet-based apps. It shares features with HTML and allows information sharing between devices in a well understood and consistent manner. Android developers use XML to create a foundational user interface for android apps. It can also modify an app's layout element when it's running. Altogether, a junior Android developer should at least master XML basics, while mid-level and seasoned developers should be able to dance around with XML.
Android Software Development Kit is a kind of fancy name for a set of codes. They give developers access to in-phone functions such as cameras. You also use it to integrate apps with social media platforms. Developers use Android SDKs to build apps on Android. Therefore any android developer should show an adequate level of understanding.
Soft skills (Non-technical Skills)
While it's essential to have a developer with excellent coding knowledge, you also want someone with great interpersonal skills, so here's what you should look out for.
Lack of effective communication will always impair team synergy. The likely implications in software development are ease of time and resources as your product may not get to the software market on time. Therefore, you need android developers that are competent in communicating with non-tech and tech persons.
Excellent team player
Software development projects usually involve a lot of teamwork, especially when it's a massive project. Being able to work in a team is therefore essential. An android developer should be flexible enough to adapt to changes in a group.
You might think this skill isn't essential, but wait till you hire someone who won't just adapt to your organization's work culture. Everyone isn't the same, but hiring someone that shares the same values can go a long way in making collaboration smooth and adjustments less difficult.
Job Description Example for Android Developer
Now that you know the level of experience and skills you desire, it's time to develop a simple job description and upload it where coders will see it and express their interest. You can come in with a short introduction like:
"XX-YY company is looking for a junior/ mid-level/ advanced Android developers to expand its team and software development operation. You'll have the opportunity to work with our competent engineers to build top mobile applications. Here at XX-YY, we don't just build software products; we also develop our people.”
What we are looking for
- A strong team player & problem solver.
- Excellent communication skills in English, both in writing and speaking.
- Have passion with the willingness to get right into technological advancement.
- Good knowledge of JAVA, Android SDK, APIs, XML
- Interested in emerging technologies
- Possess an understanding of the full life cycle of mobile development.
- You must have at least 2/3/5/7 years of experience in developing android applications.
- Must be confident and able to show a level of competence in designing scalable android apps.
Design android-based application
Collaboration with cross-fictional groups
Handle with data from outside sources.
Work with new technology.
Test written code, fix bugs, and improve android app performance.
Interview Questions to Ask an Android Developer
At this point, applications from interested android developers may have started rolling in. Naturally, the next thing is sorting out the best candidate from the pool of applications. You can start by using the resumé info to check at a glance which developers meet your requirement since you may not have the time to interview all the applicants. You can then test the ones that make it to the interview stage with technical (hard skill) and non-technical (soft skill) questions.
Examples of Technical Skills Interview Questions
- Can you point out the advantages of an Android OS?
- List the significant component of a new Android project.
- Request to see work portfolio (lookout for the ability to design excellent UI/UX)
- What do you understand by activity cycle, activities, and services?
- What tool would you use to debug on an Android platform?
- A seasoned developer will likely have a professional blog or an open-source code repository where you can check the stuff he's made of.
- Briefly explain how you would locate the source of memory leaks.
- If you have a crashing android app on your hands, how do your troubleshoot?
Finally, adopt simulation-based coding tests or run a test-project that will allow you to assess the skills of candidates at all levels and eliminate those with puffed-up, “paper” capabilities only.
Examples of Non-Technical Skills Interview Questions
- Describe the most exciting android app you worked on.
- Describe any past mistake during a project and what you were able to learn.
- Do you like solo projects or you enjoy teamwork?
- Which do you prefer: analysis/design/deployment, or choose to focus on a specific task.
- Will you be open to learn a new language for a new project.
- Can you explain why you are the right fit for the job?
Android Developer Salary
By now, you should have an idea of how much you want to offer your android developer. You may even need to talk about it during the interview as the candidate might want to negotiate a higher remuneration. Altogether, it's best to know the average salary, which usually depends on the location. There's no need to exploit your employees just because they are from a region with low average earnings. Developers are always in demand, so the possibility of resigning even when the pay is great is there, let alone when the pay is low. With that said, here are android developers' salaries from a few locations of the world.
We hope you found this article useful. Here at Cloud Employee, we assist companies looking to hire dedicated offshore developers across many technologies. Talk to us, learn more how Cloud Employee works, or see our Developer Pricing Guide.
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