How can I save money on my mobile development project?

This is a question that I get every now and then. A lot of people have ideas for apps, or many companies want to offer their customers alternative ways to use their services, want to share a better experience than what you might get from browsing their website through their mobile versions.

It’s true that native iOS and Android applications couple better with the device, and have better access to the device’s hardware features such as Location Services, USB managed devices, etc. for this or many other reasons you might want to have your own mobile application.

To begin with this your should of course have quotes on different app developers in your area, but if you find it to be too expensive or just out of your budget, there a couple of thing you can do to recude costs and make the app your organization needs.

You can always hire companies or developers outside your country and search for better rates. It’s not easy trusting a guy with a different culture, what if their working ethics don’t match your organization standards? How can you make sure you will get something delivered in return for your money?

Find the developers you need in Latin America

You can get way better rates if you choose to hire people in Latin America. Eduardo Araujo, vice president and general manager of HP Enterprise Services, notes, “There is a very flourishing market for outsourcing in Latin America partly because it’s on the same time zone as the rest of the Americas, so it’s a natural connection.”

You can hire a programmer right away. Websites such as Scalable Path or  Toptal can help you find developers for your projects, with an upfront cost per hour. This might be the saving you were waiting for, but maybe you do feel a bit reluctant to hire one of this guys directly.

The rates

To get an idea of the rates you would be paying four times less if hiring somebody in Latin America, but you should be very careful selecting your team.

 United States Latin America
Junior developer $95 – $101 (per hour) $25 – $35
Mid-level Developer $120 – $127 $35 – $45
Senior Developer $140 – $148 $35 – $50
Principal Developer / Specialised contractor $150 – $300 $50 – $100


Choosing an awesome offshore team

Building a team through the Americas can be an awesome way to save money and get high quality services, with the advantage that in many Latin American countries the Time Zones overlap with the ones in the United States, hence the time you get your

whole team working in sync is higher. If a base salary for a developer in the US is around +100,000 a year (this would be around 50 USD an hour) you can find many high quality developers that charge half that rate or even less. Some companies actually have people working in different cities, and even help manage the teams. So ideally you could meet with somebody in the United States to discuss the details of the project, and he or she could help you deliver the message and check that things are going the right way.

Also many companies help you recruit people but you always have the final say. The most important question when hiring a developer or designer should be: has he done this in the past? It doesn’t have to be the exact same product of course, but you really need people to help you deliver and the best way to make sure is that you know that they’ve actually done it.


I’ve worked on many project through out this years where the customer was in the US and the programmers, designers, etc where elsewhere and I can’t stress enough how important is to have good communication with the different parties in the project. I would recommend having the following things in mind:

  • Plan a daily stand-up in a time that is not only available to everyone but that they also had some time to start their work day (at least 1 or 2 hours)
  • Have specific channels for the different team member to be connected using Slack, Skype or what ever tool your prefer.
  • Share and agenda, let everybody in the team learn of the of milestones achieved through emails, chats or whatever communication tool comes in handy. (It’s very easy for people working overseas to feel unmotivated and not part of the team because they just don’t hear the news)

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