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iOS Developers are in Demand

by in News on Nov. 10, 2011

MacWorld has published an article discussing how difficult it is to hire qualified iOS developers:

“We’re 100 people, but we have work for 130 people. We just don’t have those extra 30 bodies,” Michaels says. He adds that salaries for experienced iPhone developers “just keep going up. Our year-over-year salaries are up almost 20 percent.”

iOS development is a demand market right now. There simply aren’t enough qualified developers to meet the enormous business demand. Due to the high technical nature of iPhone and iPad development work, this is a situation unlikely to improve in the near future.

The high market demand is pushing unqualified and marginally-qualified developers into the market, who are unable to deliver on business objectives. This is why horror stories of bad hires and bad contractors on the iOS market keep getting published. TapTapTap, a market leader in iOS publishing, writes about their bad contractor experience:

We continued to sink a lot more money into the project, partly because we wanted to add some cool features that we came up with, but mainly because Daniel couldn’t deliver anything even close to being worthy of shipping. And even though we weren’t supposed to pay until completion of the project, we did so on good faith, mainly because of Daniel’s never ending sob-stories. literally months would go by without an ounce of work being done on the app. When he did actually come around to doing some work on it, subsequent builds improved slightly, but we never got the the point where someone would ask us about plasma and we’d be proud to show it to them… instead it was usually quite the opposite and more of an embarrassment for us.

MacWorld has this to say about overseas outsourcing:

“This is not a skill that goes well with outsourcing because the typical shops in India and the Ukraine are focused on wider-breadth technologies such as Windows, and there aren’t a lot of Mac developers there,” Michaels explained. “Most of the Mac developers have always been around Cupertino and San Francisco, where Apple is located, and there are some in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.”

When you are looking for an iPhone or iPad developer for your project, make sure that you do the technical due diligence to hire a candidate with a track record of timely delivery of iOS projects that operate well, are written with best practices in software engineering, and meet technical and functional requirements. Your project is too important to leave to chance.

5 Reasons to Hire a Contractor Instead of a Full-Time iOS Developer

by in News on Apr. 14, 2011

The iPhone and iPad developer job market has exploded in the last year. I personally have turned away three job offers this past week, and it’s a typical week. It’s definitely a developer’s market right now.

If your company is considering hiring an iPhone or iPad developer to develop a particular project, you should think instead about partnering with an experienced contractor. Consulting companies like DrewCrawfordApps can provide a much better value for your business than the guesswork of making a new hire in today’s job market.

Reason #1: No Training Required

An experienced contractor already knows the ins and outs of iPhone or iPad development.  Even if you can find a developer with some experience with iOS, there’s typically significant ramp-up time learning about the newest Apple technologies or figuring out how to navigate your company’s process.  A professional contractor can be productive on day one.

Reason #2: No Overhead

Professional contractors and consultants pay their own payroll taxes, 401ks, and benefits.  We also have our own bugtracking and source control, manage our own IT needs, have our own Quality Assurance and testing procedures, and we use our own servers, network, hardware and software.  A full-time employee can be a tremendous burden on your company’s infrastructure.

Reason #3: Reduced Risk

IBM says that over 80% of software projects fail because they are “over budget, late, missing function, or a combination”.  Many software projects are routinely underestimated or have hidden risks because the estimators are working with new and unproven technology.  An experienced contractor has a proven track record of delivering projects on time and on-budget, sharply reducing your risk and eliminating guesswork.

Reason #4: Increased Transparency

When you’re hiring a developer, you have a resume / CV and an interview, and a reference or two if you’re lucky.  When partnering with an experienced consulting company, you can view an extensive portfolio and talk to dozens of past clients to learn what the consultant is really like before you work with them.  Bad consultants don’t last long in this market, whereas bad employees just apply for another job.

Reason #5: Improved Process

We write iOS software all day, every day, and we’ve invested heavily in building the tools and technologies to rapidly accelerate application development.  We have over 100,000 lines of code and dozens of reusable internal libraries designed to solve all sorts of problems we’ve encountered, from debugging to crash reporting, to advanced analytics, to filling in gaps in the iOS software stack.  We recently started integrating CrashBuddy, an advanced crash diagnostic system, into all our new clients’ projects and that’s just the first library we’ve announced.  Partnering with us means getting access to all the advanced technology we already have on the shelf that can accelerate every step of your app’s development.

And One More: Good Developers Aren’t In The Job Market

Joel Spolsky famously wrote about trying to hire good developers:

The great software developers, indeed, the best people in every field, are quite simply never on the market.

The average great software developer will apply for, total, maybe, four jobs in their entire career.

When you post a job ad, you hear from those who don’t have a job and aren’t in demand.  Your “hiring pool” consists of other laid-off developers who have nothing better to do than browse Monster.com and answer job ads all day.  If instead you reach out to a contractor or consultant, you get a qualified individual who’s in high demand and has the skills you need to get started right away.

So the next time you’re thinking about posting a job ad for a Senior iPhone Developer position, consider contacting us to see if a qualified contractor is a better fit for your iOS software development project.  Consultants and contractors can often provide your business with a more cost-effective, reduced-risk development solution.