I'm looking for suggested resources for developing an iOS app. I have the concept and design ready to go but I need the coding muscle power, what a good source or where's a good place to go to find this type of service. How realiable are they and what measures should I consider before handling over the concept/design/material aside from an non-disclusure agreement (NDA)? Preferrably I'd like recommendations based on something you've used/tried yourself and not just heard or read about.
asked Sep 14 '11 at 10:50
[Sorry, I mistakenly tried to post in the comment but could not erase it! Here is my full answer.]
I'm an iOS developer and I wish I knew of a service where I could hire reasonably good iOS programmers as we do plenty of mobile software development and have a great need for them. We turn down work these days and our rates are on the high side. If we could hire a few good quality iOS developers we'd certainly do more work in that area.
I believe that the demand for iOS developers is high but the supply is low and therefore the cost is high, assuming you can find them. We have had little luck finding them through the usual channels and have had to depend on word of mouth. I'm speaking of domestic developers, if you want to go offshore that is another matter.
I've had plenty of bad experiences with offshore developers and only a few good experiences. If you go this route you need to understand the software development process and you will need to spend a lot of time managing the process. The typical offshore shop is using your project to train their new employees at a low rate until they are good enough to bill at a higher rate. The quality of work is usually not great. I've run into a number of bait-and-switch situations where you start the project with their best people, who impress you, then they pass it on to the new guy, who barely knows what to do. If you don't actively manage it and understand the process you can easily end up in trouble.
On the other hand, if you can find a small team who are honest about what they are doing and want to form a good business relationship, and you are willing to constantly manage them, you can have a good experience. I have a friend who works exclusively with 4-7 Russian developers who are part of a 30 person shop. As the US economy has faltered the rates have shot up, and he had to buy iOS devices and essentially pay to train a couple of them on iOS, but he has done well with it and has plenty of work for them.
If I were in your shoes I would try to find a Computer Science major at a university who would be willing to work part-time while still in school. Students always need money and someone good will love to work on an interesting project and may desire the opportunity to learn iOS. You are going to get someone relatively green who may know how to code well, but not how to deliver a product, so you will both learn a lot as you go on. Fortunately the developers site at apple.com has lots of good training material and the web has lot of good iOS resources.
If you do find a service that claims to have done plenty of iOS work, I would not take them at their word without checking as there have plenty of reports of fraud. It is easy to grab an icon of a good app and claim to have written it. Download a few of those apps and see just how good they are and follow up the links to the developers and verify who did the work. I can't emphasize how important this is and how easy it is to fool the unwary.
As for NDAs, I sign them fairly often and they don't have much import to most of us. Truly innovative and earth shaking ideas are exceedingly rare and I don't have time to just go and implement your idea, there are probably ten people working on something similar already. The trick is in having the money to pay the bills for development and to make a product that engages users. It is a standing joke among iOS developers about MBAs who offer to give the developer 5% of the profits for "only" writing the app. Most iOS developers have plenty of ideas they are excited about working on and would rather spend their time making their own apps, but the bills keep getting in the way and that requires working for other people. Money talks, as the saying goes.
Good luck in your search and feel free to post if you find a good service, I have plenty of work for them myself!
answered Oct 16 '11 at 09:49
You should look at "Livecode"from RunRev (www.runrev.com) It uses a high level, English like syntax that is easily learned in comparison to objective c that experienced developers use.
answered Oct 03 '11 at 11:03
Stanford offers a free iPhone development course: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cs193p-student-final-projects/id395605774?i=90218598
answered Oct 02 '11 at 21:05
Evidently, you're asking for a service that few if any of us have ever contracted.
I noticed that Dan Benjamin (5by5.tv) has sourcebits.com as a sponsor on The Talk Show. They show an impressive portfolio, and I trust that Dan has done his due diligence on this advertiser. Have you looked at their service?
Update: Someone just mentioned the Stanford course today. From your initial question, I presume you didn't want to code the app in-house. If you are interested in going that way, the courses, books, and services from the Big Nerd Ranch are highly recommended.
Update 2: This forum is a place for those interested in contract or hiring iOS developers for their projects. You may learn some things by looking there over what people offer and which offers get responses. I see that some shops offering services hang a shingle in the forum.