There is no two identical projects or software products. There is no simple way to make an accurate estimate of the effort required to develop an application. We have to make initial estimates on the basis of user requirements. Technically it is used only to define your project budget, and the product will be adjusted so that the budget figure is realised. This is why you will not find fixed price tags on the web sites of custom software developers. As an indicative price we can say that a small project takes around 3-5 weeks, and usually costs between $2,000 and $10,000.
We likely need more than one programmer
Building an house, a car or even making a simple pen requires a lot of skilled people. By the mid 2010s most software products have become very complex. Most software developers or graphic designers are not able to speak several programming languages and understand dozens of different platforms. They usually do not have the experience, skills or interest in transforming your vision to an actual product. They only know how to write code, build a database or design user interfaces for one or two platforms. All-I-can-do does not work any longer.
Even a little mobile application may demand a server access, private database and web API, and iOS and Android programmers.
One junior programmer costs us $3,000/month. A senior pro charges at least $8,000/months.
You get what you pay for
The better a product or service is, the more we would be willing pay for it, right? Not really. All of us want the cheapest price at any time. A $10/hour Indian or Romanian developer is competing against the pricing range of his peers in Delhi or Bucharest, and our firm is doing the same in New York and San Francisco with its $50-150$/hour charges. Pricing software development reflects the costs of the local services, quality, reliability, availability and the cost of living as much as anything.
Where are the good and inexpensive developers?
We’ve done code reviews for hundreds of developers, from all over the world. The conclusion we came up is that you can find talented developers everywhere. You can also find terrible developers in every city. There is no preference to any specific geographical location as far as the quality of code goes. About 10% of the programmers represents real good quality. That sounds bad, does not it?
You surely need a local guy to manage your project. You probably don’t know how to assess the quality of code yourself, you just can’t tell if you’re talking to a good or terrible developer. If you know someone you trust who can vet out developers for you, that’s your best bet.
Software development charges
The following is only a rough guideline for you:
- AX, Visual and user interface designer: $100/hour.
- Microsoft C#, C++, .NET, Razor programmer: $100/hour.
- Typical 5-10 page web site project starts from $1,000. Professional corporate sites with complex database and remote content management requirements: $10,000 and up.
Mobile device applications
- Visual and user interface designer: $100/hour.
- Application developer for iOS devices, in object-c in Xcode: $50/hour.
- Application developer for Android devices, in Java in Eclipse and Android Studio: $50/hour.
- Application developer for MS Windows devices, C# in Visual Studio: $75/hour.
- Typical mobile project: same application running on iOS and Android devices, and charges start from $2,000.
Microsoft and Linux web service
- Application development in C# and Java: $75/hour.
- Typical small project charges: $2,000.
Microsoft SQL and mySQL data servers
- Database design and build up, server setup: $75/hour.
- Typical charges for a small project: $1,000.
Desktop office and business application
- Java developer: $100/hour. Tool: NetBeans, Eclipse, Visual Studio.
- Microsoft Windows platform developer: $150/hour. Tool: Visual Studio.
- Mac OS X platform developer: $125/hour. Tool: Xcode.
- Server side programmer: $100/hour.
- Local senior project manager: from $150/hour.
- Server system manager: from $75/hour.