Can you build a full team of skilled iOS developers in one month and on a reasonable budget? Most people can’t. There are major shortages of skilled IT workers, with large companies actively competing for any more-or-less talented devs. In fact, most of those programmers never even hit the job market, being hired straight out of the college. So if you are a small business, getting your own skilled development team is practically impossible.
However, what if it wasn’t? What if you could build top-level iOS development team in four weeks or less? It’s possible by hiring developers in Ukraine. And with this article, you are going to learn exactly how and why you should do it.
Skills Every iOS Developer Needs To Have
Apple wishes for iOS development to remain a uniform affair with standardized languages, APIs, frameworks, and architecture. That’s why the entire iOS development paradigm is based around Swift — a proprietary programming language made by Apple.
Swift development paradigms are very much a thing of itself. Which is why a good iOS developer needs to have experience with several things:
Swift, Objective C (for supporting older software)
iOS developers rates in Ukraine vs other countries
iOS developers are in-demand across the globe, so the actual salary is always at least in the “middle-class” bracket or even above it. Luckily, most countries have their own ideas of what makes for the middle-class, depending on the cost of living.
The average annual salary for a middle iOS developer, USD
Although you can hire iOS developers in Ukraine for much less money than in other countries, Ukrainian programmers are as qualified as any others. Based on the HackerRank challenges, Ukrainian developers are in Top-20, most of the time even breaking into Top-10.
Job Description Example for a Senior iOS Developer
We are looking for a Senior iOS developer to create a foundation for and later lead the development of our DAC companion application. We need an experienced iOS developer with team management skills since we plan to expand this department over time as we introduce new devices and features to the app.
5 published applications on App Store (either personal or as a part of the team);
3-5 years of development experience with Swift;
2 years of team-management experience;
Solid understanding of OOP concepts;
Ability to write consistent, well-documented code;
Familiarity with the generic mobile development paradigms, architectures, current trends;
Team handling experience is an added advantage;
Intermediate English skills.
Android development experience;
Experience with integrating third-party devices into the iOS ecosystem;
Experience with setting up CI/CD.
Interview Questions for an iOS Developer
There can be issues when an experienced iOS developer with good hard skills may lack social skills and will be a detriment to the project. So, it’s a good idea to test for both hard and soft skills and consider the results before offering new people.
Hard Skills Interview Questions For An iOS Developer
What is a Dictionary?
Dictionary is a Swift analog for hash tables in other programming languages. It stores key-value pairs and allows extracting the value by providing the key.
How to mark the property as optional? Why would you do that?
You mark properties as optional by providing the value of “?”. It helps with avoiding runtime errors.
What are the common execution states?
There are five execution states in iOS: Not Running, Inactive, Active, Background, Suspended. You can customize the application logic for some of these states, to preserve the resources and battery life;
What are the advantages of Swift over Objective C?
The major advantage is performance since Swift has access to lower-level APIs for the iOS hardware. For the actual development one can point out optional types, pattern matching, and built-in error handling.
What is the function of a backtick in Swift?
Backticks mark keywords that hold the same names as the Swift pre-determined keywords. It’s a bad practice, since it may obfuscate the code and make it less intuitive.
These questions are pretty basic, so the answers should more or less be the same as given here. Still, it’s a good idea to have a proper developer with you during the interview, since there can be unconventional, but correct responses to these questions.
Questions to Determine an iOS Developer’s Soft Skills
You have been given a task with a deadline you can not possibly hit. What do you do?
Your colleague is writing correct, but poorly documented code. The manager either doesn’t notice it or lets it slide. Your actions?
What was the worst manager you’ve ever had like? Why were they the worst?
Have you ever done something at work that you consider unethical? How did you handle the situation back then? How would you handle it now?
You’ve been tasked to assemble a new development team. Describe the qualities you are looking for in the candidates.
These questions will let you know your candidate better and understand whether or not you should hire them. Consider, however, that they will not be working alone and must be compatible with other members of your team. For example, it’s a bad idea to hire a highly independent developer into the team with a micromanaging team lead.
3 Best Ways to Hire iOS Developers in Ukraine
If you want to push your development into another part of the world, there are three practical ways to do so:
Opening your own office in Ukraine;
Contracting an IT staff augmentation company.
All three ways to hire iOS developers in Ukraine are equally legit. However, each one comes with its unique specifics.
How to Hire Freelance iOS Developers in Ukraine
Freelancers are often experienced, motivated, independent and used to learning new projects. They are great for small-scale apps. However, attempting to coordinate multiple freelancers and ensure that they collaborate productively is a nightmare:
Freelancers keep their hours. Some people prefer to work nights, while others may have your regular meetings interfere with their own plans. Freelancers’ schedules are always fluid and having a proper meeting often becomes an exercise in frustration;
Freelancers aren’t used to constant collaboration. There is a reason why managing programmer teams is often compared to herding cats. Most iOS developers in the freelance scene are used to working solo and it might create personal conflicts inside the team.
Freelancers have no team spirit. Since they are constantly switching projects, freelancers rarely create any bonds besides professional ones. And while it may seem an advantage at first, the lack of social interaction severely decreases creativity and productivity at the workplace.
If you are serious about hiring iOS developers, you may wish to create your own development studio in Ukraine. From the first look, it provides only benefits in comparison to the freelancer route:
In-house developers are under your complete control. You decide on their schedule, which makes meetings much easier to organize and hold.
In-house developers meet face-to-face. Video calls are great, but they often feel impersonal and create an atmosphere of alienation. However, if the development team works under the same roof, they will get to know each other faster and become more productive in the process.
In-house developers are cheaper to motivate. The only way to motivate a freelancer is with money. However, for your proper employees, you can give away merch, provide additional leave or simply purchase better office equipment to give them an incentive to work harder.
However, not everything is fine and dandy. There is one massive drawback that might outweigh all the benefits:
In-house developers are expensive. On top of the salaries, you need to pay for the office, the furniture, the PCs, the software licenses, the microwaves, the coffee makers and everything else. And while Ukraine is generally cheaper than the US or Western Europe, it’s not that cheap.
If you want to hire iOS developers in Ukraine, you can find recruiting agencies to help you start your own development office simply by googling “Ukrainian recruiting agencies”. Most of them share the candidate database and the ones on the first page of Google are reliable enough.
How to Partner With Ukrainian IT Staff Augmentation Companies
If you have never heard about staff augmentation — don’t worry, it’s a relatively new practice. Basically, instead of opening your own office and building your own dedicated development team, you partner with a company that will do it for you. Unlike outsourcing, you will retain complete control over the staff.
There are two major benefits to staff augmentation in addition to the ones listed in the previous point:
Staff augmentation is cheaper. Each SA company has more than one partner, which allows lowering the operating costs for the office. Moreover, since the job is always available, the company can sign long-term contracts with the developers which is cheaper in the long run.
Staff augmentation is reliable. If one of your developers is going on a vacation or admits themselves into a hospital, the SA company will provide a replacement and make sure that the team hits the deadline anyway.
On the downside, the success of your project completely depends on the company you are signing with and the staff they provide. So make sure that the onboarding process in the company is involved and the team is customized for your project’s needs. Here’s a good example of a proper onboarding with Relevant Software:
How Relevant Software Assigns iOS Developers to New Projects
Relevant is a software development company that provides stuff augmentation services. If that sounds like a mouthful — it is, but essentially we provide developers to make all kinds of awesome projects. And if you want to make your own iOS application or extend iOS expertise for an existing project, here’s how we are going to work with you:
Requirements. We will need some sort of description for your project. For example, “I want an app to make reservations at my restaurant”. If you can provide a detailed technical task — even better, but if you can’t, it’s OK.
Assembly. We may have a free team and be able to start immediately. But generally, it takes a couple of days to review the requirements and contact necessary people from our reserve pool. And if you need someone really special — like an iOS architect — it may take up to one month until we find the right person.
Interviews. Once we have a list of candidates, we will send you their CVs, recommendations and other necessary info. If you approve of them, we will help you conduct the interviews. You may veto the candidates and we will start searching for replacements that fit your criteria.
Development. Once the team is ready, the development can properly begin. Ideally, we would like you to meet them in person — we find that it increases motivation and helps to understand the project better. If you wish to do so — we are happy to provide accommodations for you in Ukraine or send the key members of the team to your location.
How Relevant Helps Companies to Get iOS Developers Onboard
iOS is the largest app ecosystem with a user base of around 1.5 billion. It’s a massive market and capturing even .1 percent of it is enough to set you for life. And there are all kinds of apps — book readers, office suites, business companions, stores, banking tools, games…
Here are some of the most interesting applications we built for iOS so far:
Ossur is an app that assists physical therapists in tracking their patients and changes in their dynamics.
Biderator is an auction platform for construction work. It simplifies hiring a construction crew and creates a transparent bidding process between the contractors and clients.
Letlift is a mobile ride-sharing application that is set to reduce the negative environmental effects of cars and improve the traffic situation in Norway. It has a significant focus on charity work.
Ukrainian programmers are very capable and completely deserve their stellar reputation. If you need a skilled and reliable team with a good grasp of English and western working culture, consider augmenting your project with Ukrainian developers. You will not be disappointed.
We at Relevant provide companies with senior iOS developers since 2013. Contact us now to take a look at CVs.
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