The world of Virtual and Augmented Reality is still in its infancy stages; however, the demand for VR/AR developers is surging at a rapid pace, especially among startups and mid-cap companies.
Hiring such developers though is an uphill task because of the scarcity of talent. Thus, if you are looking to segregate the best from the rest, here are a few things that you should be looking for in a good VR/AR developer:
An employer expects a lot from their Virtual and Augmented Reality developers, so the latter are usually required to have the following skills:
- A knack for using Unity, Unreal and other game development engines
- Sound knowledge of 3D Modeling, including texturing, shading and rendering
- Video/sound production skills
- Ability to design and deliver top-notch UX/UI
- And most importantly, the zeal to bring new, unique ideas to the table.
In a nutshell, just being able to make 3D environments isn’t enough.
Ask for a proof of concept
You can’t just hire a good VR/AR developer without having a good look at their portfolio. Ask your prospect candidate for a proof-of-concept (POC) app. Although the POC (of the object) may be round at the edges, you shouldn’t make it a metric to judge your would-be developer’s talent. Instead, use the sample to see if they would be able to understand the requirements of your project – your long-term vision.
Ask them to describe their development process
First things first, both VR and AR come with their unique set of obstacles; thus, as an employer you should make sure that your prospect is well-acquainted with the development process and the challenges specific to each technology.
As an answer to this question, your ideal candidate should talk about their methodology and whether they adhere to the best industry practices. Furthermore, you can also ask them about their approach to adoption, and analytics.
Check if they put content or the device first
Some developers have this very bad obsession for a particular VR/AR device. If your developers put the device first, your company may end up with a non-portable, expensive app, which may get unsupported in a few short months and can’t be repurposed in the future.
Hence, those who put device before the content serve more as a liability than an asset. On the other hand, those who talk about content are the ones that are more concerned about the customer experience and the overall objective of the project.
Once the content is created in 3D and managed, customizing it for other devices is an easy task. Thus, device is never a significant factor – the content is!
It’s pretty obvious that you will get impressive CVs and portfolios, especially if you are offering a handsome sum of money. However, you have to, of course, pick the one whose ‘relevant’ experience aligns with your business vertical.
Choosing a developer with irrelevant work experience will only create problems as you move ahead with your company – it’s more like starting from the scratch instead of making use of existing reusable expertise, which certainly isn’t a wise thing to do.
If they offer post-launch support
Some freelance developers and companies do not entertain any requests once the development work is over and the product is launched. Thus, it is always better to ask them beforehand whether they will be providing post-launch support, because, no matter what, VR/AR/MR apps and games can’t prosper without active developer support.
According to market research firms like PayScale and Neuvoo, VR/AR developers charge anything between $25-$130/hour, depending on their expertise and experience. Some freelancers who have notable projects to their name may even ask for more.
So there you have it! We are sure that now you have some better understanding on what to look for in your next hire, especially if you have just stepped foot in the industry. Keep in mind that the virtual, augmented & mixed reality are still in their early stages, and a new development/breakthrough keeps happening every other day. So, as an employer (and a developer too), it is a good practice to be up-to-date with all the latest happenings in the industry which is expected to be worth more than a whopping $120 billion by 2020.