Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are projected to be worth in excess of $120bn by 2020, and the technology will undoubtedly become a must-have for many businesses. But how do you make sure you are hiring the right VR developer for your project?
First, let’s play out a little scenario: You have been working on a new Virtual Reality concept for your business (because you know that VR is the next big thing), and you’re ready to push ahead with it.
So, what do you do?
It’s simple - you have to hire a virtual reality developer. Of course, this VR developer has to possess the skills to bring your idea to life, the experience to manage the expectations of your business, and the ability to meet the goals of your project.
And as with any developer hire - no matter the discipline - there’s a lot more to consider, such as the cost, timelines, and project scope. But there are also factors that are unique to hiring VR developers.
In this article, we will look at the 5 questions you have to ask before hiring a Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality developer for your next big project.
Question 1: Can I see a proof of concept app?
As with any kind of development, talk is cheap. And when it comes to both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, seeing really is believing. That’s why your first question should be to ask if you can see a proof of concept (POC) app.
Obviously, this will require a small investment, but it’s worth it if it proves, one way or another, that the developer can walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.
The proof of concept might be a little rough around the edges, but that’s to be expected. Instead, use it as a means of gauging the developer’s skills, and understanding of your project brief.
It will also act as a tangible example of your vision when the time comes to approach your company’s key stakeholders for investment.
Question 2: Can you describe your VR development process?
This question is a crucial one.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality typically come with their own unique set of challenges, so seeking to understand their development process specific to VR and AR is incredibly important.
What’s more, the developer should ideally discuss their approach to training, adoption, and analytics, while being clear with their methodology and adherence to industry best practices.
Question 3: Do you have relevant experience within my business vertical?
The success of your app will of course be reliant upon the skills of your chosen developer, but there’s another area of expertise that can often be overlooked.
While building a functional VR or AR application should be the bare minimum you should expect of a competent developer, ensuring that they have experience within your specific business vertical or a related vertical could be the difference between ‘good enough’ and ‘game changer’.
For example, building a VR game is a world away from building an AR shopping app. There are different challenges, different audiences, and a whole host of nuances that will only truly be understood by a developer with experience in that particular vertical.
If you end up selecting a Virtual Reality company without any relevant experience with your industry, you risk wasting valuable time as they get up to speed with your processes.
Question 4: Which comes first, the device or the content?
In our opinion, it’s important that you avoid Virtual Reality developers who are absolutely obsessed with specific devices. Use this fourth question to weed them out.
Of course, each and every device has its own positives and negatives for using it, and as it stands not one of them offer a complete solution when it comes to VR and AR content.
If your prospective VR developer extols the virtues of one particular platform over another, you run the risk of developing a custom app that is specific to only one device, isn’t portable, and may end up unsupported within a very short period of time.
It’s also worth remembering that devices are simply the platform upon which your content will be published.
It’s too early in the lifecycle of VR and AR to build for a particular wearable device. Instead, your ideal VR developer should be telling you that the best option for testing (and perhaps even launching) your app is a smartphone device, given that they are so widely available.
In fact, a truly experienced Virtual Reality developer will actively look to put the content of your app first, rather than the device. It is, after all, the most important part of a world class VR experience. And once it has been created, it can then be tweaked to work with different devices as you roll it out to new and engaged audiences.
By putting the content first, you are essentially protecting your investment in VR.
Question 5: What level of post-launch support do you offer?
Finally, you have to ensure that your VR developer isn’t just going to cut and run once the development work has been completed. These apps - perhaps more than most - need to be actively supported.
It is therefore recommended that you work with a company that not only has the capabilities to offer support, but also the resource. This will help you avoid the need to put updates and fixes out to tender each and every single time they crop up.
So, There You Have It...
There are plenty of things to consider when the time comes to select a Virtual Reality developer for your next big project.
If you stick to those questions above, you’ll at least be able to get a bit closer to your ideal candidate; one who is able to take on your project and deliver on time, on budget, and within spec.
How Can Appreal-VR Help?
Well, with our unrivalled experience in custom VR app development across a number of diverse business verticals, we will be able to guide your innovative app concept through the important design and development stages, before creating an effective application that will transform your business and make your industry sit up and take notice.
The question is, are you ready to take the first step towards making your VR app idea a reality?
Speak with one of our app experts today to get the ball rolling.