This article explains how to hire developers for VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) projects for the best outcomes.
The boom in the gaming sector, 5G technology, the development of more powerful wireless VR devices, and launches of more affordable VR gadgets by local companies in China and India speed up the adoption and development of the medium.
VR and AR offer exciting business opportunities in industries as disparate as entertainment and construction. The primary use cases are gaming, retail, and marketing. Still, virtually any business can reap the benefits of AR and VR-powered solutions: memorable enhanced user experiences, a better understanding of consumers, competitive advantages, higher sales, etc.
For companies striving to innovate, VR and AR are no longer optional but rather are becoming mandatory for reaching, helping, educating, and entertaining consumers and employees. For example, the adoption of VR and AR applications in education is growing. Healthcare professionals use them for vital hands-on training, and enterprises for training mechanics, engineers, field workers, technicians in the oil and gas and manufacturing industries, pilots, soldiers, and others.
Read Also: The benefits and components of ERP for manufacturing companies
The global AR, VR, and MR (mixed reality) market reached 28 billion USD in 2021 and is projected to exceed 250 billion USD by 2028. The VR market size alone may reach 26.86 billion USD by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 19% from 2021 to 2027.
The growing demand and uneven distribution and development of the technology worldwide can make it challenging to hire augmented reality developers or virtual reality developers that are capable, experienced, and can complete your VR or AR project on time and within budget. Read also: Virtual Reality Meetings: Benefits and Use Cases
Here you can learn about the available options and the factors to consider when hiring an AR/VR dedicated development team or individual developers.
All the best practices for hiring software developers apply to the search and recruitment of AR and VR professionals. Firstly, you will need to formulate your needs, goals, and requirements as clearly as possible.
They will largely determine where you should hire VR developers and how you will cooperate with them. Three scenarios are available:
You may form a whole internal AR/VR team or extend your existing team of in-house developers with AR/VR specialists if
You can find virtual reality developers in many places:
However, you may face two issues at this stage: the shortage or absence of qualified specialists in your area or their annual salary that is too steep for your company.
The salaries of AR/VR engineers understandably vary from country to country and even by area within a country.
When local talent is too expensive, business owners often hire an in-house team only for the pre-production process that requires the closest communication between developers and the owner and then delegate the remaining work to an outsourced development contractor.
It is easy to find AR and VR specialists on freelance websites like Freelancer, Guru, PeoplePerHour, Toptal, and Upwork. Freelancers are a popular option for small projects and short-term non-core jobs. More importantly, you may find a domestic developer that charges a lower hourly rate than the developers in your city or a foreign specialist whose rates will be twice lower than any freelancer’s in North America, Europe, or Australia.
However, besides cumbersome recruitment and onboarding, freelancers require greater project management effort, especially if they are dispersed geographically. You will need to manage their schedules, coordinate and integrate their work, control engagement and motivation, deal with unplanned time-offs, etc. This increases the risk of project failure.
Entrepreneurs can mitigate this risk by contracting a dedicated team from a reputable software development agency.
A tailored team of professionals entirely focused on a client’s AR/VR project offers many benefits:
Still, this cooperation model is not the best solution for small tasks and projects.
Entrepreneurs typically look for outsourcing partners on platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms, networks like LinkedIn, and industry events and conferences.
Although costlier than a team of freelancers, a VR/AR app dedicated team may come with the cost-efficiency of outsourcing. For example, the annual salary of a Ukrainian VR developer can be 1.5-3 times lower than a comparable engineer’s salary in the US, UK, or Switzerland. There are neither benefits packages, office rent, VR headsets and other equipment, software licenses, electricity bills, nor administration and training costs.
Whatever cooperation model you select, several aspects have to be addressed when you hire VR developers.
AR developers primarily need:
The most popular desktop tools used by VR developers include:
Unity is arguably the most widely used VR development platform nowadays. Among other things:
If your VR project involves iOS app development, you need mobile developers with expertise in Objective-C, Xcode, and the Human Interface Guidelines. If you target the Android platform, look for developers coding in Java and using Android Studio and the Material Design guidelines.
There are also specific guidelines for designing VR app user interfaces.
Additionally, when screening resumes/CVs, make sure that candidates have hands-on experience with the following managed cloud service platforms:
DevOps engineers should also have experience in AWS DevOps tools and infrastructure.
When you hire testers for your project, look for the following expertise:
Software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) help incorporate key features in an app. VR developers you hire should be able to integrate third-party APIs, databases, DevOps services, etc.
Look for VR developers that are skilled at working with the following:
The choice of a particular technology depends on the project and used hardware. For instance, Oculus is one of the most popular VR headsets. Your VR developer must be knowledgeable in Oculus SDK and documentation, C++, CryEngine, Unity, and Unreal.
The Gear VR headset by Samsung uses the Oculus platform, so your VR developers should be familiar at least with Oculus mobile SDK. They should code in C, C++, and C#, and be skilled with game engines like Unity and Unreal.
SteamVR is supported by HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Open VR. You need to hire a 3D game creator skilled with Unreal and Unity engines, OpenVR SDK, Viveport SDKs, etc.
VR is developing rapidly and requires constant learning. As new SDKs and devices are released, programmers need to stay abreast of the developments.
The tools popular among AR developers include, but are not limited to:
It is mandatory for VR developers to understand the visualization and 3D models, how the content they create will be perceived on different devices, and which platform is most suitable for each case.
Each device comes with both benefits and challenges. Entrepreneurs that put the device first risk funding a costly custom app that isn’t portable and may be outmoded or unsupported in several months without a chance of repurposing.
Experienced specialists prioritize content over the device. Once the content is generated in 3D and managed, they can adjust it for different devices easily. Putting 3D content first and making it flexible, relational, and manageable helps protect your investment in an AR/VR project.
To leverage existing reusable expertise, try to find virtual reality developers with experience in your specific business vertical or solving similar challenges in a related vertical. Look for agencies with rich portfolios and teams that have developed visually appealing quality AR and VR products relating to your project.
For example, if you want to create a VR game, look for game developers. The team members should include:
If you plan a major innovative project, you may ask the candidates to provide a basic prototype to check their motivation and competence.
Besides testing the technical feasibility of your idea, a proof of concept (POC) app will help you gauge the developers’ skills and understanding of your project and get a glimpse of what they can deliver. The POC also provides a tangible sample of the total vision to share among stakeholders before investing in a full-scale project.
Contract a team that can quickly deliver a POC app with a nominal investment.
Look for a mature partner with established product development, release, and maintenance processes specific to VR and AR that offers training, adoption, and analytics support. A standardized production with templates, methodology, and best practices to leverage will speed up the development process, save your money, and facilitate the product’s high quality.
The developers must have a deep understanding and experience with the primary software development life cycle (SDLC) models. Particularly, constant feedback, rapid iterations, and close cooperation throughout the project cycle offered by Agile workflows are highly beneficial for AR and VR development. Laying out a detailed production and sprint schedule with your team will support a structured process driving quality deliverables.
An effective Continuous Integration (CI) environment enables continuous analysis, building, testing, and deployment of an application. It requires close collaboration between developers, testers, DevOps engineers, and the scrum master.
When you contact the developers to discuss your requirements, try to understand at once whether the individuals and the company can communicate efficiently. Evaluate their willingness to take the time and ability to understand the complexity of your project. Choose a team you will enjoy working and communicating with.
Learn more: 10 tips to provide a communication strategy for an offshore team
Avoid candidates with a fixation on a particular device or even technology. Find someone willing to explore and develop your use case and recommend solutions to your project’s specific objectives. They should be able to come up with brand new ideas and push the boundaries of new technologies while demonstrating operational caution. Passion for emergent technology and keeping abreast of recent research in the field is mandatory.
AR and VR developers, testers, and DevOps engineers you hire must be motivated and cooperative.
If you choose to outsource VR/AR development, which is usually a lower-cost option than in-house development, you still may have to consider many details regarding the prices.
For instance, big VR studios that have built a robust reputation may charge fees that can burn holes in your pockets. Try looking for VR app developers at mid-sized companies and offshore outsourcing destinations. For instance, Eastern Europe abounds with skilled, experienced programmers, designers, content creators, and other professionals available at reasonable prices thanks to the lower cost of living, not quality.
For example, the advantages of hiring a Ukrainian VR freelancer or dedicated team include:
Onix is one of the fastest-growing and most reputable IT outsourcing companies in Ukraine, counting over 300 experts on board. We have provided high-quality VR and AR development services to international customers for over ten years. Onix’s team has completed projects in gaming, entertainment, safety training, healthcare, interior design, culture, and other areas.
For example, for a multi-format movie distribution app, Onix’s experts created an ultra-realistic VR experience to immerse users deeper in a movie reality on various platforms. The solution includes 360-degree, 2d-widescreen, 3D, and Barco Escape 3-screen video formats.
For the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Banská Štiavnica in Slovakia, Onix developed a historical VR tour to demonstrate important historical events. The project included digitizing items from the local museum, the animation of characters to convey emotions and speech, and aligning a 3D scan of the medieval town model including 16 million polygons and 14 textures in 8K resolution with the ground surface obtained using geodata.
Our developers specialize in Unity 3D development which is excellent for
From Onix's portfolio on ArtStation
Onix has experience with key SDLC models, offers fully managed service with state-of-the-art infrastructure, and is always customer-oriented and focused on delivering the best results in the shortest time possible.
Fixed prices and rates without any hidden charges plus transparent and straightforward communication make it easy to manage the costs.
Read also: Meetings in VR: the future of work & collaboration
Besides creating software products from A to Z, our clients can hire a virtual reality developer or entire teams to work for them for years.
Here’s our workflow:
Onix’s VR and AR developers, some of the best in the business, are affordable and available for projects of any type, scope, budget, and timeline. Using our staff augmentation services, you can scale your product development team or build a team from scratch, increase productivity and efficiency of your development, and reduce operating costs.
Entrepreneurs seeking to hire VR developers require a combination of software programming, 3D modeling, UI/UX design, and video/sound production skills, obsession with the constantly evolving technology, and the ability to solve complex problems using the medium’s unique strengths.
It is essential to choose developers with considerable experience and mitigate the potential risks by:
Are you looking for an augmented reality developer to extend your product team? Need a dedicated team to deliver AR/VR solutions of varying scope and complexity? Want a consultation or a project budget estimate? Whatever your needs, you can rely on Onix-Systems. Contact us today and let us make your ideas a reality!