The enormous mobile application market is only anticipated to expand in the years ahead. In fact, according to studies, the value of the mobile app market as a whole will rise to $188.9 billion. The market will be tremendously profitable with this expansion. You can start a career in mobile app development or create a mobile app for your own business.
You do not need to return to school to pursue a degree in computer science. You can accomplish it, of course, but it will cost a lot of time and money. To help you become an app developer, we have decided to put out an actionable guide.
Those that design and implement mobile applications for smartphones, tablets, and PCs are known as mobile developers. These experts employ a succession of experiments and innovations to translate code into user-friendly apps. They often work for firms that create mobile applications. Retailers, financial services, the healthcare industry, the travel and tourist industry, and the entertainment industry are among other industries that use mobile developers.
To satisfy a customer’s expectations, mobile developers work on creating a range of apps, from educational apps to gaming apps. To create and maintain an app, they work with a group of programmers, graphic designers, UI designers, and UX designers. A mobile developer’s typical tasks include:
- Reviewing a client’s requirements and coming up with a potential solution
- Developing application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow two applications to communicate and support mobile functionality
- Ensuring linkage between the front end and back end of an app
- Estimating the total cost and time to complete a client’s project
- Testing and fixing bugs found in an app
- Improving and furthering the development of existing apps
The following are some steps to take to begin a career as a mobile developer:
1. Attend a coding bootcamp
If becoming a mobile developer is something you’re interested in, begin your educational path by attending a coding bootcamp. These intensive software development programs teach digital skills, such as full-stack web development. Typically, a bootcamp takes between three to nine months to complete.
2. Consider a degree
Consider earning a bachelor’s degree in either computer science, management information systems, software engineering, information technology or another related major. These programs can help you understand data structuring and programming. Many employers prefer mobile developers with a bachelor’s degree. While earning your degree, consider taking some marketing and business courses to learn how to build apps on your own and persuade the public to buy them.
3. Choose a major platform
Select a mobile app developer platform, such as Android or iOS, to focus on learning in depth. Since each platform uses a different coding language, it may be helpful choosing one with the coding language you have experience using. For instance, if you already understand Java, you may want to learn the Android platform. Consider also choosing a specific development area, such as mobile phone apps or accounting software to become an expert in one niche.
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You will find plenty, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Symbian, and Blackberry RIM. However, it’s clear that Android and iOS are dominating the mobile industry. Windows 10 apps may still be relevant, but it’s still not the most profitable platform. Thus, it would be a wise choice to start your journey by opting either for iOS apps or Android apps.
One is entirely different from the other. You need to consider which one you want to specialize in. Of course, you can attempt to master everything, but that’s not recommended. It’s better to cover only one, and then gradually expand your horizon to include other app developing platform as well.
4. Practice creating mobile apps
As you become familiar with using mobile app developer platforms, begin developing your own app. Working on designing an app can help you apply the skills you learn. This can also help give you something to add to your professional portfolio and show potential employers your ability to code and design. When creating an app, think about where there is a need and how an app could solve a particular problem, such as a storage app for users to compile recipes.
5. Pursue an internship or apprenticeship
Consider pursuing an internship or apprenticeship to get exposure to a career as a mobile developer. This allows you to gain experience working on projects throughout each stage of the app development cycle. It can also be a way to expand your network and may lead to potential jobs in the future.
To be a mobile app developer, one must possess the required software development skills and knowledge. But before you dive into the world of programming, it’s important that you answer one simple question –
Where exactly are you starting from?
There could be three scenarios to it.
- You are a web developer who is looking to learn mobile app development. In that case, you will find many useful platforms that will help you transit to mobile app development such as Appcelerator Titanium.
- You may not have done any coding before, but you have a basic idea of how object-oriented programming works. In that case, it would be easy for you to understand and learn how developing a mobile app works.
You are an absolute beginner. In that case, it’s best to take up a short introductory course on computer science. You can easily find such courses online on sites like Coursera, edX, etc., and that too for free.
6. Apply for mobile developer positions
Once you gain knowledge and experience, begin applying for open mobile developer positions. You can find available jobs on career sites or by visiting company websites. Update your resume to highlight your skills and experiences.
Once you have chosen your platform, the next one you need to do it learn its core concepts.
You will need to learn Swift or Objective-C. But how do you choose? That depends solely on the reason why you are learning mobile app development. If you are learning to develop apps to create your own products, then Swift would be a wise choice. Swift was introduced in 2014 and since then, it has received mostly positive feedback.
However, if you are planning to become an iOS developer for a mobile app development company, the best choice might learn Objective-C first. Primarily because tons of documentation is meant for Objective-C, and there are still thousands of iOS apps out there built with Objective-C. You may need it to maintain or fix the code.
Apple offers the iOS Developer Library, which is very well-documented. You will find many tutorials and videos to help you learn to code. It helps you break down the complexity of the iOS development program into small basic parts for easy understanding. In fact, there are many great blogs on iOS development.
To develop apps on the Android platform, you need to know Java or Kotlin. For those who have no clue how it works, you will need an introductory course to the programming language Java. The best place to begin is Google’s Android Developer Library. Again, these are extremely well-documented and have a comprehensive set of training materials.
Before you decide to choose Android, you should be aware of the fact that there are many different types of Android devices on the market. It can cause a bit of complication in the beginning. But once you get past it, you will have the potential to reach a wider market.
One more alternative to developing an app for your own product is by making use of mobile development software. You don’t even require coding, and it usually has thousands of templates to get you started.
Practice Your Skills
Knowing how to write code is simply the beginning of building an app. The best result comes from writing and practicing clean code and documentation. This is how you can organize your practice session:
- I. Develop an App Idea
Start by developing an app idea. Find out the problems that people are facing in daily life. List them out, and shortlist the one that makes the most sense. And once you have decided, start mapping out your app.
- II. Lay Out the Details of the App
Another important thing while developing a protocol is to make sure that your app is easy to understand. Users should be able to figure the navigation without any reference to other pages. Besides, you need to figure out the features of the app as well. It’s crucial that you build an excellent user interface if you want your users to stick around.
- III. Collaborate or Hire the People You Need
When you are starting, it may not be possible for you to develop the complete app all by yourself. For instance, you may be good at coding but may lack design skills. It’s better to take help from someone who is already an expert in the field.
You can either hire an expert or collaborate with people that agree to help you.
- IV. Test Your App
Once you have completed developing the app, you need to go to the testing part. Bugs are unavoidable in the first cut of any software.
You can have your friends download the app and let them play through it. If they notice any glitches, they can communicate the same to you. The feedback will help you learn what works and what doesn’t in an app.
Important Skills for a Mobile Developer
Mobile developers use a combination of technical and soft skills to help them perform their job duties. Here are some valuable skills for mobile developers to have:
Mobile developers use programming languages when coding their apps. Understanding how to use multiple ones can prepare you for this kind of job. Some common programming languages to understand include:
Attention to detail
Having attention to detail help mobile developers when examining a code. They can look at an existing code and find ways to fix or improve it. Mobile developers can see how all parts of an application come together to function.
It’s important for mobile developers to know how to store data. This includes being able to update and delete information on a device. Those creating apps understand how to store information on a user’s device.
Another important skill for mobile developers to possess is teamwork since these professionals work with a variety of experts during their projects. Knowing how to best utilize your skills with others can help produce an effective project for your client. These skills include being able to support other team members and having an open mind about new ideas.
During their job, mobile developers communicate with both customers and members of their team. Being an excellent speaker helps them convey their ideas for new apps. It’s also a valuable skill for listening to what clients request.
Analytical thinking allows mobile developers to recognize their customer’s needs and design apps focused on fulfilling them. This skill can help them identify problems and find potential solutions. Mobile developers use analytical thinking methods when fixing existing code and designing new apps.
On average, a mobile developer working in the U.S. makes $118,733 per year. Their salary also includes an additional $2,450 a year from their cash bonuses. Mobile developer salaries vary depending on their job location, employer, education and level of experience.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that software developer employment opportunities may increase by 22% from 2019 to 2029. This is over five times the average growth rate for all other occupations. BLS reports that this increase is due to the rising need for new apps to meet the demand o mobile users.