An app, either for business or leisure, can be a lucky individual’s golden ticket to riches. However, when one is only vaguely aware of what goes into making one, it may prove to be intimidating. Luckily, there are ways other than hiring third parties or an in-house developer, thanks to numerous tools that have popped up in recent years. Here are the ways one can go and turn an idea into an app:
Hire An App Developer
Firms or companies that can afford to hire an additional employee may do well to hire an in-house developer. The company that is hiring should already be able to afford to give the new hire a reasonable salary, along with the benefits mandated by the government. Depending on their level or experience, various developers will expect to be paid proportionately and if the company cannot afford a top developer, it won’t do any harm to pick one that has less experience, but has a strong drive to excel. These developers are likelier to grow as the company does, and work as hard as is necessary to deliver quality output on time.
Hire A Freelance App Developer
Another option would be to hire a freelance app developer. This is for individuals who would much rather have someone else do all the work without spending too much money. Freelancers could prove to be a much more economical choice, since they often charge less than the usual developer, but the process of getting one involves careful maneuvering and a good dose of luck. The worst thing that can happen is that the freelancer takes the money and runs or submits work that got more wrong that it did right.
On the other hand, there may be an incredibly talented developer out there who has yet to rack up industry credibility, but is eager to do so. There are various sites that aim to help freelancers and employers get together in a safe setting, among them being Guru, oDesk, Elance, and many others. The trick to this is not offering a pittance as compensation or going with the lowest bid because in some cases, price might mean quality.
Hire A Contractor
When a short-term freelancer won’t do, it would be best to hire a contractor. However, this option is optimum for firms that have managed to amass a certain amount of funding, since agencies or contractors don’t come cheap. Employers may rest easier with contractors, but they will have to pay for the peace of mind, along with the work the contractor will be doing. To find the best contractor, all one needs to do is look for one.
Referrals from friends and those in the know will help, as well as looking around to compare agencies or contractors. As with freelancers, I won’t be a great idea to opt for the cheapest one, since the amount is still likely to be sizable, the investment should be equal to the output’s quality. The really good contractors may charge upwards of $100 per hour and should they work six hours a day even for less than two months, that’s already a bill of over $20,000. The time spent for an app should not be skimped since most of the time that is spent on it is for throwing ideas around and that could make or break the app, regardless of execution. It must be remembered that once the app is rolled out, it doesn’t mean that the spending wills top. With every system update to Android or iOS, that app must be updated to keep up with the various operating systems. Also, developers must always take care of bugs and other security issues; everything that is concerned with keeping the app running at its best will cost money.
Do-It-Yourself App Development
It would be uncommon to find someone past the age of 50 who will want to learn the basics of app development. However, when started at a proper time, the technical aspects of application development can be learned. Also, there are online tools that aspiring creators can make use of without having to know how to code. There is AppMakr, which allows users to create apps for most platforms without charging to use the service.
There is also AppInventor, an open-source tool made by Google and currently handled by MIT. The AppInventor is best for Android apps. Add to those two Appsme, Flow.net, and a host of other DIY tools, any user can now build basic apps just by adding images and text into templates, the same way people use WordPress. When a developer encounters a snag there are resources for them to rely on, especially in the online communities where skilled developers are more than happy to help novices.
“By 2014, citizen developers will build at least 25 percent of new business applications, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that this advance should both enable end users and free up IT resources. However, analysts warned that IT organizations that fail to capitalize on the opportunities that citizen development presents will find themselves unable to respond to rapidly changing market forces and customer preferences. Gartner defines a citizen developer as a user operating outside of the scope of enterprise IT and its governance who creates new business applications for consumption by others either from scratch or by composition.” (Gartner, 2009)
Because of the spate of citizen developers, there are now boot camps for app development. These camps help DIY developers learn the parts they cannot go on their own. In a few weeks, these boot camps can turn beginners into adept coders. There are also online courses that allow aspiring coders to get a better understanding of programming languages. Apps can then be made by newbies in a matter of days.
Regardless of the route to be taken by an aspiring developer, there is something that must be noticed: they all cost money. DIY methods may be cheaper but if a developer wants to go beyond static pages, they must still invest some cash and take classes. All options have their pros and con and with a bit of research, any business owner is bound to make the right decision or at the very least, learn from the wrong ones.
For more methods, tips and sources, checkout the Mobile App Development Guide.