How to assess technical skills for Android engineers when you don't have any

Hi! My team at Aavia is hiring for our first ever Android engineer and I'd love some advice on how we can assess candidates' native Android skills when we don't have anyone on our team who is an Android expert.

Do we rely on references and the apps they've already put out? In general, how have you hired for roles that are outside your and the team's expertise?

For reference, this is our job description: (Open to any feedback on the job description as well!)

Thank you!

@ayas Hello Aya- In general, I would assess the candidates ability by asking them about apps that they have developed and are available on Google Play Store. In addition, here is a checklist of what you might want to ask them:Technical Skills:Ensure the candidate is proficient in Java and/or Kotlin, which of course you know is the primary programming languages for Android development.Make sure the candidate has a good understanding of Android SDK. This would include familiarity with APIs, libraries, and various tools provided by AndroidExperience with Android Studio: This is the IDE for Android developmentUI/UX Design Principles: The ability to create user friendly interfacesDo they have knowledge of Android Architecture Components such as ViewModel, LiveData, Room and other Jetpack components. Experience with Third-Party Libraries and APIs such as Retrofit, Glide, Dagger, RxJava, etc.Database Management experience such as SQLite, Room or other DB systemsAbility to integrate and work with RESTful APIs for data exchange.Version Control Systems: experience with GIT or other version control systems for collaborative development.Testing/Debugging: Do they have any knowledge in writing UI test, and familiarity with debugging tools.You can look at applications they have developed and are available on Google Play. Evaluate these apps based on user reviews, functionality, design, and performance. If possible, download and test the apps to see how they perform.Note- The reviews may be misleading as the potential candidate maybe wrote just a portion of the code Have them tell you about any contributions to open-source projects can indicate a proactive and community-oriented mindset.Request code samples or links to their GitHub repositories. Use these to assess their coding style, documentation practices, and the complexity of projects they have worked on.Administer a coding test or provide a small project to complete, which reflects real-world tasks they will encounter.Precision in writing code and designing user interfaces to ensure a high-quality product.Of course, there are soft skills that you should be evaluating as well:-Ability to approach complex problems methodically and propose effective solutions.-Clear communication for discussing requirements, explaining solutions, and collaborating with team members.-Willingness and ability to quickly learn new technologies and methodologies.-Ability to manage time effectively and meet deadlines.- Ability to work well in a team, sharing knowledge and supporting other developers.- Ask candidates to describe past projects and challenges they faced. Focus on their problem-solving approach, how they debugged issues, and how they optimized performance.Let me know if you have any more questions, I would be happy to answer.ThanksChitra French[email protected]
Thank you so much! That's really helpful to know - will add to our JD!
Perhaps you can get some help form an advisor or so?
Yeah, we're trying to get an investor/mentor to help! Hopefully we find someone with the right expertise 🤞
That's amazing! i used to work at an early stage firm and my partner was the technical guy so he conducted a couple of final rounds with technical talent (specifically any ML engineer or adjacent)
Hey @ayas I'm software engineer with years of experience in native Android development and cross-platform mobile development. I have experience working at startups and working on a product as an only developer. The product you're working on seems really interesting to me. Sadly I noticed you're hiring only US based people and I'm in Europe. Would you consider cooperating with someone on a contract basis from Europe? :) As to hiring, I joined few years ago startup, where I was first mobile developer hired. For assessing my technical skills they used help of external agency.