Hire or Not to Hire Xamarin Developers?
Xamarin is a development toolkit that allows developers to effectively create apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. Simply put, Xamarin allows us to use C #, F #, VB.NET and other languages to develop our own iOS, Android, Windows applications.
In cross-platform development, the code and design elements for one platform are used when working for the future, and this promises good savings. Xamarin is positioned as the best tool for such solutions.
For instance, nowadays with Xamarin Forms, we can achieve 96% reusability on a project.
After the company was acquired by Microsoft in February 2016, Xamarin’s licensing policy underwent radical changes. The Xamarin SDK, including libraries and command-line tools, became open and accessible to all under the MIT license as part of Visual Studio.
By removing the main barrier in terms of the cost of the license, Microsoft provided the best conditions for the further development of the platform. In addition, led by Microsoft and supported by Unity, JetBrains, Red Hat, . NET Foundation, Xamarin has become a reliable and powerful stack of technologies for developing mobile applications. It has regular updates.
Your favorite online banking carries out payments and reports the balance regardless of whether you work on a smartphone or laptop. Similar applications with complex business logic and standard interface – the prerogative of Xamarin.
Answer three questions and it will be clear if you need Xamarin Developer:
- Application interface without complex interaction logic and non-standard controls?
- Do you have mobile developers in your team?
- Are you planning other cross-platform projects (even if not on Xamarin) in the near future?
If you have answered «yes» to these questions, then hiring Xamarin Developer is a good investment for your team and project in the long term.
Why is Xamarin Developer the best for building cost-effective mobile apps?
Cost effective. The efficiency and quality of the app must be combined with attractive development prices. Native development is more expensive – you need to hire two commands to develop versions on iOS and Android. You can save money only if you choose one platform. So it is better to choose a cross-platform development.
Time to market. If you are working on MVP, you do not have a year to build the application. In this case, cross-platform development will suit you better. This way you will not only enter the market earlier, but also save – native development is too expensive for MVP.
Same Interface. When you work on two identical applications separately, there are interface problems – there are differences in versions for different platforms. And cross-platform development allows you to simply copy all the elements of the UI.
Save resources, reuse code and ease of adding versions for new platforms. The C# code is available to the entire team and, with sufficient qualification, can be used on any other platform: both mobile and desktop.
Wide audience. To reduce the cost of developing a native application, you will have to choose one platform – a more popular audience. With cross-platform development, you don’t have to choose – the initial cost is lower. Your product will reach more users, but you will spend less money.
Xamarin fixes all hardware compatibility issues using plugins and various APIs to work with common device functions on all platforms. Along with access to specific API platforms, Xamarin can be configured with platform-specific libraries. This allows you to fine-tune and maintain the functionality of the platform’s native layer with low overhead costs.
If the main thing in the application – functionality, and a couple of buttons designed with beautiful graphics – you are lucky, Xamarin fits. For projects with complex interfaces, the cost of revision is sometimes comparable to the development of two or three native solutions.
Glorium Technology developers recommend choosing Xamarin if you want to get to market faster and your product will have a simple interface.
What can a Xamarin developer do for you?
- Development of new features and internal tools for the Xamarin project company
- Develop and provide new application capabilities
- Maintenance and improvement of the existing code base
- Participation in the development of the company’s design system
- Participate in design transfer sessions and code checks
- Cooperation with a team of designers and IT specialists
Though the Xamarin platform grows and develops, and is supported by Microsoft, it is clear that the community of professionals who are familiar with Xamarin is much smaller than that of iOS or Android, so hiring an experienced developer can be difficult.
Hard and soft skills of Xamarin developer you need to check
The Xamarin developer needs to be an expert not only in the Xamarin platform itself, but also well aware of the platform with which it works, Android or iOS (or both).
When hiring Xamarin developer check his hard skills:
- Confident knowledge of C#, OOP, OOD, XAML, LINQ;
- Knowledge of the platform Xamarin (Xamarin Native, Xamarin.Forms);
- Knowledge of the API for iOS and Android;
- Be able to create user interface for iOS (Storyboard, XIB), Android (XML), Xamarin.Forms (XAML);
- Principles of SOLID, KISS;
- Architectural patterns MVC, MVP, MVVM, and also GoF (Gang of Fours) patterns;
- REST architecture, JSON;
- Basic knowledge of database and SQL, such as normal forms, relationships and relationships of tables, as well as elementary operations with data SELECT, DELETE, UPDATE, INSERT.
As for personal qualities, or soft skills, such things should be highlighted as communication, customer orientation, willingness to learn and to teach and for sure knowledge of English.
You can ask additional questions, which will help you to expertize soft skills.
Tell us what qualities help you in your work
Perhaps you’re looking for someone who’s quick to solve problems, good to negotiate, or good to learn. Ask the candidate to provide examples of how he applies these skills.
Depending on the vacancy, some skills will take precedence over others. For example, time management and communication skills will be more important for a remote employee than for a full-time developer.
Tell us about the problem you have solved outside of developing
The problem can be anything. For example, the candidate fixed a coffee machine or helped a colleague repair the bike. No matter what he did. The main thing you’re going to see is his ability to solve problems and interact with people.
How would other developers / project managers with whom you worked describe you?
This is a great way to understand how a candidate assesses himself and his skills, what role he plays in a team and how he has shown himself in past positions.
Tips for Hiring Xamarin developer
Examine previous experience
Experiences in past work and learning can be an excellent indicator of how a candidate works and how knowledgeable they are. The experience of a Xamarin developer depends on what position the candidate applies for, if it is a Junior, it can be even 1 year.
But for Senior this will be 4+ years of commercial development experience. Of course, it does not always decide the number of years worked, and the knowledge that the candidate demonstrates at the technical interview and how they apply in practice.
Ask additional questions about iOS and Android platforms
Xamarin Developers need to know about IOS platform:
- Extensions are widgets that are provided to iOS in standard circumstances, such as in the «Notification Center» when a user requests a keyboard or edits photos. All extensions are installed in conjunction with the Container application and activated from a certain «extension point» in the Host application.
- WatchOS is a specific version of iOS that is designed for Apple Watch devices.
tvOS – Apple has released the 4th generation of Apple TV hardware, featuring a redesigned touchscreen console and a new operating system (based on iOS9).
- Registration Profiles – When you need to install an application on your device or release it on the App Store, you need to get a developer account and create a registration profile.
Xamarin Developers need to know about Android platform:
- Android Wear is a version of Android that is designed for wearable devices such as smart watches.
- Keystore – Used to sign Android apps so that they are placed in appropriate stores.
- Parsing APIs & SDKs – compiling, minimizing, planning – all that is important and worth studying. Read the short video on the topic.
Examine knowledge of Xamarin
Xamarin developers should know:
- Linker is used to reduce the size of applications for iOS and Android, perform static analysis of the application to determine which nodes, types, and class members are used. Because of this, any unused item will be discarded.
- IL is an intermediate language that is created by compiling.
- AOT – stands for Ahead of Time Compilation («compilation ahead») and accepts IL and compiles it into machine code in order to execute the resulting binary in native form. This is Xamarin.iOS.
- JIT – Stands for Just in Time Compilation («Instant Compilation») and accepts IL and compiles it, preparing it to run as machine code. This is Xamarin.Android.
Learn about aids which developers use
In other words, does the candidate make an effort to stay in demand? For example, ask what technical editions he reads, what authors and personalities the IT community admires and why.
The scope of web development is constantly changing, so it is important for the specialist to take an interest in the latest trends and form his opinion about them. You can ask what additional resources Xamarin develop have used when there are difficulties.
What are the costs?
The average salary of a Xamarin Developer varies from the country and the level of experience. Also it depends on the outsourcing company (if you will choose this variant) and the app that you need to develop.
Why to outsource a Xamarin Developer?
The remote team will help turn the idea into a finished product. At this time, the customer will be able to look for investors or engage in marketing. Therefore, outsourcing is especially useful when you need:
Get rid of the resource hole. Imagine that the entrepreneur is developing a web application and wants to put it on the market in four months. It has two React Native developers. But they support the current project in the post-release phase and can not deal with the new application. In this case, to develop the product in time and get a high-quality result – you can contact the studio.
Get funding. Outsourcing development helps to develop the first version of the product (MVP) and release it to the market. Business angels and other investors are more willing to invest in startups – when they see a ready-made application, not just an idea. Investments help to develop the product, eliminate errors and complement its functionality.
Solve a non-core problem. Imagine that the startup has HTML/CSS developers. But for the project you need to develop a mobile application. In this case, outsourcing will help to pass the task to a specialist who will create the right application.
At this time, the main team will deal with other issues and save time.
It seems that to find the right specialist it is enough to Google «Xamarin developer» or «IT recruitment», and the specialist will immediately be found. But how do you find a developer, test your skills, and see if a professional can bring the project to release?
What Variants to hire Xamarin Developer do you have?
If you decide to hire remote developers, then you need to choose between a freelancer and an outsourcing company. Below we understand what lies behind each of the options.
Freelancers. These are individual professionals who do a specific job: create design, develop frontend and backend applications. It takes more than one freelancer to put the product on the market. Therefore, many customers prefer to contact the full development studio.
Outsourcing company. This is the team that is responsible for creating a full-fledged product. Or you can simply hire a Xamarin developer from an outsourcing company. By splitting the project into parts, the outsourcing company moves it more quickly from the idea to the finished product.
The client is calmly engaged in management business while the company takes care of technical questions.
What are the differences between freelancers and outsourcing companies?
When you have an idea and you understand where you will drive the project, product development can be outsourced. In this case, there are two options: hire a freelancer or work with the outsourcing company. Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, before starting cooperation with one of the parties, it is worth analyzing both options.
Freelancers. In the case of a freelancer, the client will always be able to take into account the budget and find an employee with a certain cost of services. Among freelancers there are many newcomers who are willing to work at the minimum rate.
At the same time, even an experienced programmer with a good portfolio will cost less than a company employee. Also in the case of freelancers, they do not have to spend money on management.
There are many freelancers – so you can quickly find a specialist for a specific task. The outsourcing companies may be busy with other projects and not take on its product. And among freelancers there is always a free specialist who can quickly explain the problem.
Experienced freelancers are well versed in their field. Therefore, it is faster to cope with a specific task. But a full-fledged application will always make the outsourcing company faster, in which each side of the project is engaged in a separate specialist.
To get the desired result and not lose money – you should always check the portfolio of freelancers. Also, if you do not have programming knowledge, you will not be able to evaluate the skills of a Xamarin Developer. In this case, you will either have to trust the feedback and portfolio, or contact the outsourcing company.
It is necessary to evaluate the overall company data. Find out as much information as possible about the company to form your own unbiased opinion.
With an outsource company you can check not only the portfolio, but rating (for instance examine Goodfirms, AppFutura and Google Business, Clutch) and real cases with reviews of customers.
Hiring Xamarin Developers from a right company: Things you need to know
- Identify your goals
- Experience with similar projects
- Clarifying questions
- Post-release support
Identify your goals
To get the desired result, you need not only to clearly understand what you want, but also explain it to the project manager. So before you start looking for a contractor to develop a custom application, decide on the tasks and objectives of the project.
You don’t need clear technical assignments. The most important thing is to contact an outsourced company with a ready-made application idea and understanding of business logic.
The following questions must be answered:
- Who is your target audience?
- Who do you want to make the app for?
- What kind of pain closes your app?
- Who are your competitors and how do you differ from them?
Experience with similar projects
Check out the relevant experience of the outsourcer. If the company developed similar applications for other clients – it is a big plus. The team already knows all the pitfalls, which means there will be fewer bugs.
Look how Glorium Technologies develop an app using Xamarin
The more questions you ask, the better! Some customers perceive the outsourcing company`s additional questions as a sign of unprofessionalism, but it is not so. On the contrary, the more an outsourcer is interested in the details of the project, the more likely it will make the application quality and soon it will appear in the App Store or Google Play.
It is not enough to make the application, the customer needs technical support and further development of the project. After all, the life of the application after the release is just beginning. If the company offers such a service and does not leave the customer 1 on 1 with the application immediately after release – this is a good sign. Usually to support an application, reserve 20-40 hours of team work per month to fix bugs.