How to hire Windows app developers
Windows is the most popular operating system (OS) for personal computers. A Windows app developer can help you build software for platforms running Windows OS.
So how do you hire Windows app developers? What follows are some tips for finding top Windows app development consultants on Upwork.
How to shortlist Windows app development professionals
As you’re browsing available Windows app development consultants, it can be helpful to develop a shortlist of the professionals you may want to interview. You can screen profiles on criteria such as:
- Technology fit. You want a Windows app developer who understands the Microsoft technologies and third-party integrations needed to bring your software project to life.
- Project experience. Screen candidate profiles for specific skills and experience (e.g., leveraging WinUI to build a dash for your business intelligence app).
- Feedback. Check reviews from past clients for glowing testimonials or red flags that can tell you what it’s like to work with a particular Windows app developer.
How to write an effective Windows app development job post
With a clear picture of your ideal Windows app developer in mind, it’s time to write that job post. Although you don’t need a full job description as you would when hiring an employee, aim to provide enough detail for a contractor to know if they’re the right fit for the project.
Job post title
Create a simple title that describes exactly what you’re looking for. The idea is to target the keywords that your ideal candidate is likely to type into a job search bar to find your project. Here are some sample Windows app developer job post titles:
- Windows app developer needed to help build an app for Microsoft Surface
- Seeking a Windows app developer to help build a custom Outlook add-in
- Need help building a Microsoft app with Universal Windows Platform (UWP)
Windows app development project description
An effective Windows app development job post should include:
- Scope of work: From apps to third-party integrations, list all the deliverables you’ll need.
- Project length: Your job post should indicate whether this is a smaller or larger project.
- Background: If you prefer experience with certain industries, technologies, or Windows app development platforms, mention this here.
- Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.
Windows app developer responsibilities
Here are some examples of Windows app developer job responsibilities:
- Design and develop software for Windows and Microsoft devices
- Handle third-party integrations with Microsoft software and hardware
- Troubleshoot issues and provide routine maintenance, testing, and updates
Windows app developer requirements and qualifications
Be sure to include any requirements and qualifications you’re looking for in a Windows app developer. Here are some examples:
- Experience with your desired Windows app development platforms (e.g., UWP, Win32, WPF, Windows Forms)
- Experience with specialized Windows technologies (e.g., Windows AI, Windows Ink, Cortana)
- Experience with specialized Microsoft technologies and hardware (e.g., HoloLens, IoT Core, Xbox One)
- Working knowledge of desired programming languages and technologies (e.g., C/C++, C#, ASP.NET)
WINDOWS APP DEVELOPERS FAQ
What is Windows app development?
Windows app development is the practice of developing software for Microsoft’s Windows operating systems and devices.
How much does it cost to hire a Windows app developer?
The first step to determining the cost to hire a Windows app developer will be to define your needs. Rates can vary due to many factors, including expertise and experience, location, and market conditions.
Cost factor #1: project scope
The first variable to consider when determining scope is the nature of the work that needs to be completed. Not all Windows app development projects are created equal. Creating a simple add-in for Outlook will typically take less time than developing a video game for Xbox One.
Tip: The more accurately your job description describes the scope of your project, the easier it will be for talent to give you accurate cost estimates and proposals.
Cost factor #2: Windows app development experience
Choosing the right level of expertise for the job is closely tied to how well you determined the scope of your project. You wouldn’t need an advanced Windows app developer to build a simple UI for your business app. On the other hand, developing an enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) app using Microsoft Azure and Windows AI will require more-specialized skills. Beyond experience level, you need to consider the type of experience the talent possesses.
The following table breaks down the rates of the types of Windows app developer you can find on Upwork.
Rates charged by Windows app developers on Upwork
Level of Experience
Windows app development fundamentals including your desired development platform (e.g., UWP) and desired application development language (e.g., C++, C#, Visual Basic).
Beyond fundamentals, experience with specialized libraries, tools, and technologies (e.g., experience developing mixed-reality apps for the HoloLens).
Seasoned programmer and professional who has the leadership and project experience needed to lead a team of developers in a Windows app development project.
Cost factor #3: location
Location is another variable that can impact a Windows app development cost. It’s no secret that you can leverage differences in purchasing power between countries to gain savings on talent. But it’s also important to factor in hidden costs such as language barriers, time zones, and the logistics of managing a remote team. The real advantage to sourcing talent remotely on Upwork is the ability to scan a global talent pool for the best possible person for the job. Location is no longer an obstacle.
Cost factor #4: independent contractor vs. agency
The final variable regarding talent cost is hiring an independent contractor vs. an agency. An agency is often a “one size fits all” model, so you’ll often have access to a designer, a project manager, an engineer, and more. When hiring individuals you have total autonomy regarding who is responsible for which part of the project, but you’ll need to source each of those skills separately.
The trade-off between hiring individuals vs. hiring an agency is the level of administrative overhead you incur personally in coordinating tasks among all members of the team. Project scope and personal preference will determine which style is a better fit for your needs.
Windows App Development Tips and Best Practices
Choose your UI development technology wisely
The user interface (UI) is the part of your app that the end user actually sees and interacts with. It’s the buttons, forms, search bar, content, layout, and other visual aspects of your app. The Windows app development ecosystem gives you many options for designing a UI. Here are some of the most popular:
- UWP is short for Universal Windows Platform, which was designed to make it easier to build apps for any Windows device including computers, Xbox One, and HoloLens. Apps built with UWP are deployed through the Microsoft Store.
- WPF is short for Windows Presentation Foundation, a part of Visual Studio. WPF was designed for creating line-of-business apps for Windows.
- WinForms was around before UWP and WPF. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create apps with simple UIs, such as creating a graphical user interface (GUI) to allow non-developers in an organization to view business intelligence.
These are just a handful of the libraries Microsoft provides for Windows app development. How you design the UI will ultimately determine the user experience (UX), so it’s important to pick the right technology to design the front end of your app.
Consider adopting a continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipeline
CI/CD can save you serious headaches down the road if you can successfully implement it within your software development lifecycle (SDLC). The advantage to integrating your development and operations teams, also known as DevOps, through automation is not to be understated. With CI/CD tools such as Jenkins and Azure DevOps, it’s possible to:
- Ensure developers and testers are always working with the latest code repository
- Make code compilation, error checking, and unit tests available at each step of the SDLC
- Create installation packages you know will work on target platforms
- Deploy your application and keep it up-to-date on your end users’ machines
- Streamline the feedback loop of information between developers and operations
The above bullets are just some ideas of what CI/CD can do for an organization. There are plenty of DevOps tools out there to help you build a custom automation solution for your needs.
Make software maintenance and troubleshooting easier with the right logger
Because desktop apps live on the machines of the end user (as opposed to cloud-based applications and websites), it’s especially important to get error logging right. This will make it easier for your company’s IT and support staff to troubleshoot issues a user might encounter when using your project.
Common logging solutions for Windows apps include:
- Logging to file, which involves recording an event log to a file local to the machine using a library such as log4net or NLog.
- Saving dump files, which entails recording details of a crash (such as which process was executing and which modules were loaded) to a file local to the machine.
- Logging to Windows event logs is fast and reliable; the only downside is that they can be difficult for your organization to retrieve.
- Remote error reporting, in addition to keeping local logs, gives the end user the option to send a report to your servers when a problem occurs so that your support team can log and process the issue. This can be a valuable tool for getting customer feedback integrated into your next patch.
Logging is an important part of software development, and there are plenty of tools and libraries out there to help you do all of the above and more.