How to increase your value on the app development market? What are the current challenges for single developers?
Mobile app development is a pricey job to get done Clutch.co. With the increasing worldwide distribution of mobile devices, one would consider having a mobile app as her business is an idea worthy of pursuit. Great opportunity to all mobile app developers to land a dream contract, but maybe you have your app in mind or already in the app store.
Worldwide mobile app revenue in 2014 to 2023 forecast (in billion U.S. dollars) says it all. To eat a piece of the pie, you need to get even closer to your users and provide an exceptional product to take over your competitors. Will your effort to build a great app pay off?
What is your price, app developer? 🔗
High demand for skilled mobile app developers drives the increasing costs of the developer’s time, worldwide. It is just fine if one is into contracts. But many apps have been shipped to the app stores by single developers. If you have your app and you are a great developer, but your app just does not repurchase your time, you are losing competitive advantage. Only if you have time, you can afford to learn more and tackle the turbulent technology landscape.
In this article, we have asked a few questions to people who have something to say about how app developers can increase their value on the market and decrease their cost/revenue ratio. Because at the end of the day, every programmer loves to be productive. We want to focus on what we love – code. That means other activities shall be eliminated, automated or delegated. Brew your cup of favourite drink and find out the perspective of other industry peers. Source: Glassdoor
App developers are highly valued, and it does not depend on location. Below you can find what Amrit Sanjeev, Staff Developer Advocate at Google and Bangalore Android Developer Group (BlrDroid) shared with us on the topic.
Amrit Sanjeev 🔗
BlrDroid, Bangalore Android Developer Group, Staff Developer Advocate at Google
In India, Android is a vast market. How does Google help to improve developers qualification and networking?
Google, as a company has several programs as part of the developer relations initiatives that help developers in the region upskill and improve their opportunities in the market. Google also supports open developer communities like google developer groups, developer student clubs etc. that engage in activities like meetups and run developer conferences.
What would be your tip for other developers to enter the vast Android market in India with their app?
The one tip that I have for new devs is to focus on learning the basics really well and keep in mind that Kotlin/java language proficiency alone is not enough. Learn the OS to take advantage of the APIs. Android is an OS that has evolved over the years, and it is quite essential to understand the changes that are coming in each release to ensure that your apps perform optimally and flawlessly over different versions of the OS.
Years ago, Indian developers were perceived as an affordable outsourcing way of software development for western businesses. What enabled Indian developers to go after the most qualified development jobs as independent developers, not just as parts of software houses?
The startup space is booming in the region. In fact, India is the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world with a staggering growth double-digit YoY growth rate. Many of the developers have realized there are a lot of local problems that require solutions, and there is a massive market opportunity in this space. Also, the awareness of the local demographic and its characteristics make these folks the best people to create solutions that really solve the problems cost-effectively and efficiently.
Is it rather hard or easy to get a contract for a single Android app developer in India, compared to 5 years ago?
There are definitely more people now with Android app development skills compared to 5 years ago. India being primarily an android market (90+% market share) has led to the demand for more devs that can extend solutions to mobile platforms, and the market seems to have reacted well to that demand.
Is there any speciality in Indian mobile app market you would like to pitch as a topic personally crucial from your perspective?
Since a lot of the developers in the region develop solutions for local problems, the audience for this solution tends to be more comfortable interacting in the local language. India is a country that has 23 official languages. English is considered as an aspirational language by many users. For a solution to get acceptance at scale in a region like this, app localization is essential, and that’s where a tool like Localazy can be super helpful for the developers in the area.
Developers prefer to focus on what they love. Code. 🔗
Every freelancer knows it. Near to the primary, revenue-generating work, there is a ton of overhead which does not make any revenue but must be done to let developers make their living. It started far sooner before pandemic situation, remote jobs rocketed throughout the ceiling, and you find many mobile dev opportunities worldwide. And companies are ready to accommodate this type of contractor work. Some of them being experts in providing extraordinary environments. Less administrative overhead, more challenges and problem solving for developers.
Jan Kamiński 🔗
Co-Founder & Head of Sales at Applover, a full-stack digital agency, Deloitte Technology 50 FAST company
What is the reason why developers join Applover as their agency for their remote jobs?
I think the main reason is that we work with clients from different industries on various projects. So developers apply for challenging jobs, they want to work on something interesting that can help them develop their skills. Moreover, we offer them the best possible conditions and transparency, they know exactly what they will work on and with whom. In my opinion, our brand makes them trust us, last year Applover was nominated by Deloitte as a Rising Star – Technology Fast 50 in the CEE. Such achievements make us more trustworthy for them, and they want to be a part of such a company even though they work with us remotely.
How do you cooperate with developers to ensure they can focus on their job and don’t worry about anything else – from the technological aspect.
We take care of everything – all the paperwork, clearly structured project – every task is well described, so every developer knows what they have to do. We introduce our clients to the team, go through the series of workshops, so everything is set up before the developer even starts to code.
How do your clients perceive the price of app development and the cost structure? Is it easier for them to accept your price at a project or hourly basis? What is actually the most convenient way to close a deal with an app investor?
It always depends on the project and the client. I think clients prefer fixed price when they are more experienced in the IT world and can specify everything from the beginning. The hourly basis is more convenient for clients with less experience when it is their first project they want to create. But nevertheless, we always encourage them to participate in the workshops with us. Thanks to it, we can really get to know the needs and assess the work scope correctly. It is a part of our process with every project. In our opinion, it helps us convince any app investor to cooperate with Applover. We just know what we do and how to do it so the client can genuinely benefit from their final product.
How much workload can one expect on one project made for Android and iOS platforms?
This again is a very situational aspect, heavily depends on the project, how complicated and how advanced the final application should be. But we can say that after we have all the designs accepted by the clients than on average, it takes us 2 months to release an MVP. We usually work with a team of 2 developers for each platform.
Will your app development costs pay off? 🔗
With the overall number of apps available on app stores, it can be a tough time to find the right niche to cover the costs of app development, especially for a single mobile app developer. Of course, there are a ton of individual developers who succeeded.
Václav Hodek 🔗
Floating Apps developer, Localazy founder
How much time and other resources have you invested in your app?
It’s impossible to count how much time I invested in Floating Apps . It must be thousands of hours and hundreds of sleepless nights. Most of the time, I spent with development, which is something I enjoyed, so it’s somewhere in-between. Sometimes, it was joy and relaxation. Sometimes, I worked hard to fix hidden bugs…
I started Floating Apps as a hobby project, and it never was my only source of income, so I was always willing to re-invest money to support it. Also, in its early days, I’ve put my own money into it.
I invested in paid downloads to get some traction for the app when it was new on the Play Store. I purchased licenses to bring amazing features that rely on 3rd party paid libraries. I paid to contractors that helped me with the app in many ways.
One of the most significant investments was the localization of the app. Over the last two years, I spent €6.500 on professional translations and related services. It helped me achieve over 7.5 million downloads all over the world, with 5-8 thousand new downloads every day.
How much localization came into account when reaching new markets?
Floating Apps is the most successful app of its kind thanks to the many things I did. I didn’t hesitate to invest money early into app marketing, promotion, and localization. And I listen to users and continuously improve the app.
The best markets for the paid version of my app are the US and Japan. The later won’t possibly be the case if I didn’t localize the app to Japanese. For the free version, downloads skyrocketed in India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, and other countries when I introduced the respective language support.
So yes, the localization of the app is crucial, and it can be a small but significant difference for many users. It can be the reason why they choose your app over alternatives.
What was your pain point in the app development, and how did you resolve it? (Localazy)
Being a developer, I struggled mostly with non-technical tasks that are overly important for app success.
The first one is user support. It’s essential for succeeding. Over the years, I aimed for replying to every single comment, post, and review. It’s necessary to listen to users and let them know that I do. Also, a lot of answers resolved users’ issues and helped them to enjoy the app. It took me some time, but my wife on maternity leave was able to take over most of the support tasks, learn technical aspects, and provide accurate and helpful answers.
The second one is the app localization. Floating Apps is available in 30 languages (of which 15 don’t use the Latin alphabet), and the other ten languages are coming in the future. I enjoy the development of the app and spend long weeks making it better. I need a tool that allows volunteers and paid contributors to translate the app and still let me control the quality. I wasn’t able to find such a tool designed for developers, and I even created small scripts to assist me while using online translation platforms. Later, I’ve decided to give birth to Localazy based on all the experience gathered over the last five years.
The increasing importance of app localization 🔗
One of the most frequent issues for single developers and small apps is the cost/outcome value of language translation. It can be an extremely daunting task to choose which languages will actually provide the best value. Of course, major languages for global apps are a no-brainer, but there are hundreds of languages worldwide, and all of them can make sense to get a competitive advantage over other apps.
Pidgin languages—most simply defined as a blend of two languages—are used around the world. Official estimates of the number of pidgin languages vary, but Ethnologue lists a total of 16 pidgin languages with speakers spread around the globe. Nigerian Pidgin English, for example, has an impressive 75 million speakers in Nigeria, Haitian Creole has 12 million speakers and Jamaican Creole has 3.2 million. RWS Moravia
Source: Research Nester
Word from the crowd - Opinion of Teo Coding 🔗
Birthday Reminder App developer and owner
I learned that translating an app into as many languages as possible is one of the most important things. I came across Localazy, looking for an economic and developer-friendly solution that could help me grow the app. With the shared translations, the number of translated strings in my app increases day by day. All this for free without spending hundreds of euros for professional translators.
Moreover, the number of active users increased significantly from the time of Localazy integration.
Share your story on Localazy 🔗
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