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Should you hire a mobile app developer who codes in C++?


Being the founder of a start-up has enough headaches without adding the research of programming languages to the list, especially when you throw the development of a mobile app into the mix. As a start-up, a mobile app is your introduction to the world and it can take your company to the next level. Therefore, you must make a good first impression. When it comes time to hire a developer, though, it can be difficult to determine which programming language is most appropriate for your mobile app, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the many that are out there. 

C++ is still one of the most popular programming languages in 2021 alongside Java, JavaScript, and Python. It’s been around the longest and is a bit more complicated to conquer. It can be used to both create and develop operating systems, web browsers, enterprise tools, and mobile apps. While Java has slowly climbed up the ranks as the most widely used programming language among developers, there are certain aspects of C++ that might be exactly what you’re looking for in a mobile app and would require a seasoned developer for the job.  Let’s take an honest look at the pros and cons of hiring a mobile app developer who knows how to code in C++ before determining what is the best fit for you. 

A graph showing the most popular computer programming languages

Determine the type of app you need

First, you need to determine the type of functionality you’d like your app to have. This should happen before exploring any programming language. You would have a bit more flexibility in your choice of developer if you require a simpler app that runs the most basic features. Simpler apps also tend to offer shorter contracts and lower financial commitments. Sometimes, a simple app and short contract are appealing to a start-up with limited funding.

However, if the app you require has more complex features such as a GPS tracking system, a social component to connect people, multiple screens, storage of payment information, etc., this would call for a more seasoned developer with an amalgamation of skills. Skills like custom animations, wireframing, and the creation of prototypes, could come in handy, and finding someone who is also comfortable with design and coding would be beneficial. Before accepting a contract for such an involved project, you’ll want to confirm developers are skilled in the ways they claim to be. 

Using a programming skills assessment test is one effective way of ensuring the developer you hire is capable of producing the kind of mobile app you require.  Such assessments exist for  C++, Javascript, and Python, among others.

Though there is value to all programming languages, there are certain characteristics of C++ that make it a more powerful choice when compared to other language options if your mobile app leans toward the more complex variety. 

C++ demonstrates better object management and performance when compared to Java. This makes it an obvious choice for mobile app programming.  However, app speed matters when developing for mobile. C++ offers an unparalleled match for smooth, fast results when compared to other programming languages. 

C++ also offers its own internal pool of ready-to-use libraries for app development which provides a built-in resource for developers. This is essential to have the job done right the first time and with minimal management on your end. 

Identify your turn-around

After you’ve determined the type of app you need to usher in the success of your start-up, your timeline needs to be determined.  When will the app need to be completed? Are you on a tight timeline to launch, or can you afford to take your time? The answers to these questions will also determine if a C++ developer is right for you. 

There are several reasons why C++ developers are referred to as the “golden calves” of the programming language world.  While they tend to be the most versatile and adaptable, they are also terribly hard to find.  

More and more developers are turning to Java as their programming language of choice due to its accessibility, comprehensibility, available tutorials, and built-in support.  The numbers don’t lie – there are just more Java developers right now.  What does that mean, though, in terms of determining which programming language is the best choice for your project and what type of developer to hire?

For one thing, if your mobile app needs to be developed as soon as possible due to budgetary or time constraints,  a C++ developer may not be the best choice.  With fewer developers to choose from, they are more difficult to find. In turn, this will delay the recruiting process, making it longer than you may have wanted to deliver results.

If you find a C++ developer that is a good fit for your business and your mobile app project, make sure they are also aware of your timeline.  Developers often work contractually, and with fewer C++ developers available they may be carrying several other contracts aside from yours that demand their attention.

Since the pool is much smaller for C++ than the other programming language developers and the fact that they tend to have a wider variety of skills, a C++ developer will also most likely be more expensive to hire. Therefore, hiring a C++ developer may not be within budget. Careful consideration is required when deciding whether or not you can afford the kind of developer you need.

Think long-term

Likely, this is just the beginning phase of your start-up’s journey which means making plans to scale is important for your success. Quick fixes get the job done at the moment and are often necessary due to time and budgetary restraints but the ultimate goal is to bring on a developer with whom you can have a long-term relationship.

While you are starting with a mobile app now, you will need to anticipate the future coding needs of your company and should make an informed choice.  It’s often easiest and best to establish a relationship with a developer over time and integrate them onto a team so that there is no time wasted in becoming familiar with your goals, brand, or message. 

Unlike other program languages such as Java,  C++ is platform-independent.  This means it’s exceptionally useful to have a developer who codes in C++ if you plan to eventually expand your start-up across platforms and would like to maintain continuity.

Hiring the right developer for you

Whichever programming language your developer is experienced in, there are other characteristics outside of their programming capabilities you’ll want to ensure they exhibit to make the most impact as a team member.  Someone with marketing, product management, or fundraising experience who will help you streamline efforts and improve inefficiencies could be an optimal choice.

Do the due diligence in checking references and reading reviews.  Peruse portfolios with a critical eye. Pay careful attention to the functionality of their previous work.

Here are some questions to consider when hiring the right developer for you:  

  • Does their design aesthetic suit what you’re looking for? 

  • Were there any dead ends or unexpected crashes to be wary of? 

  • Were there more than a handful of unsatisfied clients, and were their complaints varied, or was there an easily identifiable, unifying theme? 

Arranging an informational interview before the formal process begins is an excellent way to determine which developer is right for you. Communication is the lynchpin of every working relationship. If you are unable to communicate wants, needs, and the vision going forward it doesn’t bode well for a lasting commitment. 

Meeting face-to-face would be the perfect time to ask questions concerning the developer’s programming language expertise – there is value in posing the same question you’re toying with yourself to the experts you’re attempting to hire; especially if you wouldn’t consider yourself to be technologically literate. If a developer cannot explain in their own words why their programming language of choice is the optimal choice for your mobile app, chances are they aren’t the ones you’ll have the most beneficial relationship with. 

There are many benefits to hiring a C++ developer for a mobile app. The unique specifications of your project, your priorities, your budget, and timeline in addition to your own professional and personal connection and communication with the developer will determine which one is right for you.


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