Since Android is based on Java, many novice developers think that they can easily write android programs. However, this isn’t exactly the case; Android is in itself ‘a beast’ and shouldn’t be underestimated. Therefore, if you are looking to hire a decent enough android developer, you should keep in mind a few important things:
1) Knowledge of Android open source ecosystem
The open source nature of Android is perhaps the most important reason for its enormous global success. So it’s better to make sure that your prospect developer has good knowledge of a few open source libraries. It would be another plus point if they have some open source projects of their own.
Another added advantage that good Android developers boast of is their active involvement with the Android Open Source Project itself. If they are in the habit of either filling bugs or submitting patches, you can rest assured with the fact that they have a good understanding of the platform.
Notably, AOSP has some great re-usable code too.
2) Decent Enough at Java
Android is nothing but the manifestation of Java! Simply putting, Java makes the foundation of Android, and thus your would-be developer should be well-acquainted with the fundamentals of the former. A few questions that you, as an employer, need to ponder over include:
- Is the developer good at choosing the right data types in different situations?
- Do they have some notable experience with Java Native Interface (JNI)?
- Are they decent enough at using ‘Synchronized’?
If your prospect developer is good with all these aspects, odds are high that they will make for a good android dev.
3) The version dilemma
Android has many versions of viz. 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.2, 2.3, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 4.0 and many more. A unique set of API’s and capabilities are associated with each version and thus a good developer is the one who can work with all the available diversity.
In addition, unlike the iPhone, Android devices support different screen sizes, pixel densities, and resolutions. So your would-be developer needs to be flexible here as well.
4) If they can solve the ‘Janking’ issue
Android apps often fall victim to a common yet tough-to-troubleshoot problem informally known as a ‘Jank’. In case you are not aware of this term, Janking basically refers to the status of an Android app which stutters when scrolled, while its iPhone counterpart works smoothly.
Mention this particular problem to your candidate during the interview and see what solutions they have to offer. Those who have some anti-jank patterns in their book are usually good talent, waiting to be recognized.
5) If they can help gain attraction
Putting your app in the Play Store is an easy process. Agreed! But it isn’t as if you’ll get a lot of installs and good ratings/reviews in days. In fact, getting the initial attraction is the toughest part.
Hence, it becomes enormously important that your would-be developer helps you enhance the visibility of your app in the search results for the keywords you are targeting. Furthermore, they should be good at keeping your ratings high and managing customer feedback via active participation.
If you keep all the above mentioned points in mind while hiring your next android developer – whether freelance or full-time – we are sure you wouldn’t be disappointed. Feel free to put customized questions/topics in front of your candidate during the interview as we understand that every project is different and each employer seeks a particular skill set.