I am an Electronics Engineer specializing in software engineering, currently working as a freelance Android developer. I am based in Midrand, South Africa. I develop Android applications, consult on Android app development, and give developer training workshops and presentations on Android. I also work with other freelance developers to provide hardware solutions based on Android and open hardware.
I have over 10 years of senior-level Java development experience (Android is programmed using Java), as well as web technologies, which is relevant for most Internet-based Android apps. I have been developing Android apps since 2010, and have written over 20 apps to date, some of which are in the Android Market (see below for details). I have hosted several Android development workshops, including SA’s very first one at Wits university.
My detailed online resume is available on LinkedIn here: http://za.linkedin.com/in/tobykurien. I can also provide references from my previous workplaces that will confirm my talent for software engineering and my high level of professionalism.
Apps I am currently developing, or have developed recently, are not yet listed, so check back soon. This is not a comprehensive list, however, as most of the apps I build are under NDA (non-disclosure agreement), and hence cannot be listed here. Many of my apps aren’t published to the Android Market (or if they are, not under my name).
Other projects I work on include using cheaply imported tablets for hospitality industry, education, data collection, medical industry, media displays in shops, etc.
I also enjoy building hardware to integrate with Android. Have a look at my GitHub profile to see some of the fun projects I get involved in.
I am flexible on remuneration – I will consider freelance or consulting (hourly billing or retainer agreement). Time-permitting, I will also consider pro bono work for non-profit organizations. Speak to me and let me know what suits you best. I offer particularly good value for small businesses and start ups. I don’t generally sub-contract, or work with large organizations (corporates).
I charge market-related rates (or in most cases, less), although the rates are dependent on the size of the project and the shortness of the deadline. Typical (medium-sized) apps cost in the region of R60,000 but apps can range from R30,000 to R100,000 or more.
How I work
I work using Agile methodology. This means that instead of a fixed cost being charged for a project, I will work in iterations, providing you with a working app that you can test (for example, once a week) together with an invoice for that iteration. This allows you to stop development at any time if you choose to (I provide the full source code), and also monitor progress in a much more visual way than just getting a timesheet with abstract deliverables ticked off on a todo list. This is a very transparent process, and allows you to make changes at any point in the development of your app.
On the downside, I do not quote, I cannot guarantee timelines (I can only give a rough estimate), nor can I accept any penalties for late-delivery (for example, I could be hospitalized, which would halt progress on the project). If timelines are important to you, you may wish to consider using a development company, rather than a freelance developer such as myself. Bear in mind that developers are not able to accurately estimate time because of the nature of the work we do.
What about outsourcing to India or other country? It is always advisable to have a local lead developer when doing this, to ensure quality of code and delivery. I outsource some of my work to India, and have experienced the ins-and-outs of doing this. As a technical lead, I am able to manage the process effectively, but would not advise non-technical clients to outsource directly to another continent.
For more information on this topic, see this discussion on Linked-In:
I develop exclusively for Android, so I cannot build or port for iOS (iPhone/iPad), BlackBerry, Windows Phone, or any other platform. This allows me to master Android, rather than develop mediocre apps for multiple platforms.
I tend not to use technologies like PhoneGap and other cross-platform development tools as they lack in integrating with platform-specific features, and makes the Android version of the app look like a poor clone of the iPhone version. However, depending on the specific app, this might be the right tool for the job and I would be able to use it.
I can code for any version of Android from 1.6 up to the latest version (4.2 Jelly Bean at the time of writing). I try to code all my apps to work on Android 2.1 and above (unless they need a feature of a newer version). I have test devices ranging in screen sizes: 2.8″ 320×240, 3.2″ 320×480, 3.7″ 854×480, 5″ 800×480, 5.3″ 1280×800, 7″ 1280×720, and 10.1″ 1280×800. Unless the app has a non-standard user interface designed by a graphic designer, it will generally scale properly on all devices. Most of my apps are developed on a low-end Huawei Ideos U8150 to ensure performance and user interface scalability.
I am currently engaged in my own projects, as well as some mentoring and training. Please contact me regarding availability if you are looking to have an app developed, as my availability varies by the week. I can also work with other freelancers (depending on their availability) to deliver larger projects.
I am based in Midrand, South Africa. My internet contact details are listed here: contact details. You can also call me on +27 73 479 3273, email tobykurien at gmail dot com, or book a meeting with me here: http://tobykurien.youcanbook.me
Please don’t call me for 3G/wifi/etc. support on your imported Android device. For that, try this site instead: http://slatedroid.com
If you are looking for other South African Android developers, I have a small list here.