Finding developers and collaborators

If you are not making your entire product yourself then you’ll need to work with technical staff of some kind.

We recommend you meet and assess at least three developers or companies before you choose one.

  • Look at what they’ve developed
  • Pay attention to how well they communicate with you
  • How well do they understand what you’re trying to do – what questions do they ask?

You should also research everything anyone tells you, any advice, get a second opinion. Developers can often be biased towards a particular technology or approach to building applications.

Who to look for

Depending on your budget, connections and own skills you might want to work with different people for different aspects of your application. For example it is common for one person (or team) to work on the back end (database and software) of your product while another person or group works on the front end.

Typical back end job titles:

  • Software developer/designer/engineer
  • Programmer
  • Application developer/engineer
  • Back end developer

Typical front end job titles:

  • Designer
  • Web designer
  • UX/UI designer
  • Front end developer/architect

Job titles and descriptions of people likely to be able to work on the whole application:

  • Web developer/engineer
  • Full stack developer/engineer

Because visual design requires such a different set of skills to programming it is rare (though not impossible) to find people who can work on everything.

You might know or meet technical people other than developers who could help you in some way with your app.

Other technical roles to look out for include:

  • Business analyst
    Someone who makes real-world business processes more efficient and maps them onto IT systems. Useful for the planning stage and for helping to clarify your thoughts about your product and the requirements your users might have.
  • Information designer/architect
    Someone who applies structure and relationships to information, both in the real world and in software and the web. Useful for helping structure a website and navigation and possibly in designing the database and the different entities your software is representing.

Where to look


Some universities have specific courses on app development. Find appropriate courses to see if students on them would be able to help you with your idea.


Tech industry events are also a good way to network and meet potential collaborators. Here are some of the most popular:

  • TechCrunch start-up events:
    • Startupbootcamp – European start-up accelerator providing access to resources and funding
    • Battlefield - a start-up competition as part of the Disrupt Europe event
    • Startup Alley (as part of Disrupt events) – buy a table at the Techcrunch Exhibition and get the chance to woo partners and investors and possibly win a spot at the Battlefield event
  • London Techstars
  • London Tech Week


There are many sites where freelance developers advertise their services. Practical e-commerce provide a good list of sites.