Select Page

App Developer Chat: Make your Own or Hire a Developer

This week on #AppDevChat we discussed the merits of Making your own app or Hiring your own App Developer.

AppDevChat is open to any app developers or others interested in learning about developing, creating, inventing, marketing apps. It happens every Thursday at 10am PST on twitter. Every Friday we post the recap here.


Q1) What tools would an individual need to learn to develop an app given no technical background?


Decide what platform they want to release on, the code that best accommodates and a book that can teach them that code & @Skillshare are good resources as well. @PlaysTogether

Lots and lots of lessons, books, tutorials, and really, education in Computer Science would be good as well. @QManning

The drive and desire to do so through means of books or online learning. @gabrielwebbDev

I think one of the biggest things is to make sure you start with the basics, learn the fundamentals..Dont expect to start building the next Instagram before you learn some “hello world” haha that said, with the amount of resources available, anyone could learn it if they had the desire and motivation to do so has tuts for all skill ranges. @TheCodeBender

Creating games all types of authoring tools (aka gameengine) supporting mobile deploy but honestly: without a technical background it will be a very long way… @playpublic_com

A napkin and a pen is a good place to start. Don’t limit your creativity with columns and rows. @CoronaGeek

Very important to know that not all platforms are created equal & they all have their own unique “quirks.” I read a great nook “Idea to iPhone”. Full of great advice and step-by-step instructions. @christanyc


Q2) What is the lead time on learning use of these tools/building a successful product?


I think that completely and totally depends on the learning curve of the student.  @PlaysTogether

Depends on ones background… I built my first app as I was learning, within 3-4 months I had an app in the store  but I already had a strong background in programming before I started tackling objective-c. @TheCodeBender

If you have no experience programming, you would be a year+ away from an app that had any connected/real social abilities. @QManning

The learning curve for something like Objective-C or Java is steep. Better to use a tool that removes that barrier. @CoronaGeek


Q3) How have you gotten into #appdevelopment or the #app business? Self-taught or education? 


Education will only take you so far… the best app devs continually educate themselves but formal education does provide you with a strong foundation in which to continue teaching yourself and evolving for me I have a bachelors in CS but am 100% self taught when it comes to Objective-C @TheCodeBender

I came from physical simultion to game programming. @playpublic_com

I don’t agree with that. Skills can be built by anyone with drive. I’m proof of that. @christanyc

A majority of our team have a formal technical education but a few just fell into it. @PlaysTogether


Q4) What are the pros/benefits of learning to develop an app yourself?


Beauty of learning code is that you can create something that can help millions. @PlaysTogether

Takes a lot of time and effort. It’s great if you can find a mentor or take a MOOC to help in the process.@christanyc

Growing a marketable skill, build things on your own without going out of pocket, fast POC for a project seeking investment. @QManning

“Control”, its nice to be able to do it how u want and exactly how u envision it rather than have someone else interpret it I started just wanting to build an app to make a few bucks and ended up turning it into a career.. def upside to learning it Once you know it, your only limited by your ideas, rather than your wallet. @TheCodeBender

Learning to develop an app yourself makes you a better manager of the overall process. If you decide to hire a developer to build your app, you’ll know how to manage the project better. @CoronaGeek

Makes you more independent, strengthen your portfolio. @PlaysTogether

Q5) What are the cons of learning to develop an app yourself?


Lost time to market, buggy product, more money wasted from going down the wrong roads dev is only part of the equation, much will be lost on viability, style, branding, and proper UX/UI. @QManning

It can take a long time, can be extremely frustrating, hard to know if you’re doing it right Bottom line: time to market With X amount of submitted apps a day, you need to get a high quality app out there as fast as possible. @PlaysTogether

If your strength isn’t in app development, then your time might be better spent in another key area.@CoronaGeek

Long, but I find that is true of most new things we learn. Everything takes time and effort. Follow your passion. @christanyc


Q6) If you’re hiring an app developer what is the single most important question to ask?


Personality fit, collaborative abilities, and listening skills are critical.  @christanyc

Important question to ask: Do they play any mobile games/What apps do they use? Most important thing to look for is initiative and platform knowledge. @PlaysTogether

Picking an app developer: Past experience, platform knowledge, and personality fit are all important. Regardless of technical skills, projects can fail if communication breaks down. Clear, open communication is huge! @CoronaGeek

Right on @CoronaGeek! Culture fit is def a big one! @PlaysTogether

Past work and experience more so than formal education. What have they done? have they done it well? @TheCodeBender


Q7)  When hiring an app developer, what are key red flags to look out for?


Poor performing apps in their portfolio, time it takes to respond to emails & how they work under pressure Quality of their proposal is also something to look at Look at their maintenance clause at the end of the contract. If it’s short, then that’s telling. @PlaysTogether

If they don’t listen, think they know all answers, or in any way talk down to other members of the team, run for the hills! @christanyc

@PlaysTogether poor performing is an marketing issue, not ONLY a developer issue isn´t it?  @playpublic_com

No offices, outsource all their dev work, always say yes to all your features while bidding significantly lower than others. @QManning


Q8) What are the pros of hiring an app developer?


A good developer can bring new ideas to the table that you may not have considered. @CoronaGeek

You can now focus on other things that require your attention besides building the app. i.e. marketing. @PlaysTogether

Can free up your mind to focus on marketing / awareness raising. @christanyc

Broaden my personal mind, knowledge (as always working in a team) @playpublic_com

The right app dev can help you focus on a strong MVP, correct market targeting, and creating a more solid product The right developer takes your concept & give feedback on better ways to implement based on budget & goal of app. @QManning


Q9) What are the cons of hiring an app developer?


It costs money! If they cant grasp what you REALLY want to achieve. @SuperTapp

Budget, the really good ones are expensive. @playpublic_com

Again, choosing a dev that says yes to all your ideas, without educating you on what is & isn’t needed to accomplish goals. @QManning

If you don’t have a budget, then your own time is your capital. @CoronaGeek


Join us for #appdevchat on Thursday October 31st 10am PST and be sure to use

If you’d like to participate and lead a discussion, please contact [email protected]