Finding the right app developer is like buying a great pair of jeans. At first, they’re comfortable, they’re flattering, and they make you feel awesome. Perfect, right? Or so you think. 2 months down the line, they’ve got a stretched crotch, a torn knee and they’ve faded completely. These jeans weren’t what you thought they’d be.
This is what hiring the wrong app developer feels like.
Of course, we know that skilled developers are difficult to come by, but skilled developers that share the same drive and vision as you in your project? And are good to work with in the long run?! Now that’s a challenge. After all, just like your product has a market fit, your app developer also has a project fit, and it might not necessarily be with yours.
If you’re getting cold feet, suspicious and not feeling 100% okay with your app developer - it’s time to abort the mission (with them anyway)! Don’t worry, you’re not the first to feel like this, and most definitely not the last either.
With this in mind, here are 11 key warning signs that you may need a new app developer.
1. THey haven’t fully explained the cost of app development
There needs to be total transparency between you and your app developer, especially when it comes to budget. If they aren’t thoroughly explaining why certain Y processes are costing X amount, then this may suggest they aren’t totally trustworthy. It’s your money, so make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and you know exactly where it’s going.
2. Your app developer won’t show you the code
Is your app developer being secretive? Suspicious? If they’ve got nothing to hide in their work, they shouldn’t be. You’re not rivals, you’re part of the same team, so they should be open and honest about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. You definitely don’t want an incident like the Nissan App Developer who got caught copying code in 2016. AWKWARD.
3. You don’t own the app code
Ask your app developer for the code. Are they up for giving it to you? A good app developer shouldn’t be precious about the IP or source code (it’ll also make it a lot easier to switch app developers if you own the code too. Just sayin’)
4. No control over the iTunes developer account or distribution certificates
So, you might have access to your source code, but can you get into your iTunes developer account? This’ll let you see the development and distribution certificates - a must if you want to switch developers. If your app developer refuses you access, or won’t let you have control of the iTunes connect account, again, they’re probably trying to hide something. Get outta there while you can!
5. Poor communication
It doesn’t matter how talented your app developer is, if they can’t understand some of your simple requests, then this is a serious cause of concern. If this leads to failed deadlines or they’re not asking / providing the right information then… you guessed it - it might be time to look for a new one!
You should never feel out of the loop with your development team, or feel like they’re not on the same page as you. It’s your app after all, and you need to know what’s going on!
6. Your app developer is making excuses
Does your app work as well as you imagined it would? Is it even close? No?! Tut tut, excuses excuses. There’s never a valid reason for this. If your app developer’s not making deadlines, or has made a mistake, then this is cause for acceptance and quick rectification. Making poor excuses, and often, is a clear sign that you app developer isn’t being proficient - probably time to give them the boot!
7. They’re citing old information
Not only are we at the peak of the digital revolution, but you’re building within it! So do some research yourself to make sure your app developer isn’t citing old statistics or software or using legacy libraries.
With how fast digital is moving, data older than two years is likely to be wrong now and quoting it is a key indicator that your developer may be practicing dated methods.
8. Meeting milestones and sign offs
Every type of business project needs milestones. They can help bring up the team’s morale and motivation to progress. These milestones don’t have to be major either. They can be miniature, frequent and attainable. This way you can manage and monitor your app developer’s progress, goals and tell from the outset whether they’ve been a bad investment too.
9. They don’t understand your goals
Like your milestones, your app goal needs to be clear and concise. Have you thought about time, budget and final app functionality? Your app developer needs to be thinking about the project as a whole, not just one aspect, and if this isn’t the case… surprise, surprise - it’s time to get a new app developer, and stat! A lack of understanding will only snowball into a bigger problem down the line.
10. Not providing constructive value
Unless you’re a total expert, your app developer is going to know more about translating software into a workable app code than you. But throughout the journey, they should be giving you expert advice on what the best path to take is and what’s best to avoid. If, instead, they’re just passively accepting all of your suggestions and lying about what’s possible, then you need to dump their lying ass! An app developer’s opinion is incredibly valuable, so don’t underestimate it.
11. No discussion of future proofing, or app maintenance
Have you and your app developer discussed your future? Woah, slow down, we don’t mean marriage! We mean the future beyond the app launch and building your app for future systems. It’s something you might want to consider if you want a bulletproof future together.
Part of choosing a good app developer is making sure that they implement app maintenance post launch. After all, the launch is only the beginning of the journey, and you need the best support to ensure it succeeds. So (you guessed it) if your app developer has not mentioned or considered this, you need a new one!
Your app developer is your essential link between the system frameworks and custom code - they’re the button in your jeans to stop them falling down. Choose one that’s got the skills, vision and same work ethic as you. If not, then a short-term loss in replacing them may be worth it in the long-run. There are, after all, plenty more fish in the C (#).
Choosing a new app developer is only part of the post-app launch process. The rest is in our free checklist! Click below to download.