Career Guide: How To Become A Mobile App Developer
If you want a career based on using a computer, there are hundreds of different options. One career path that is gaining popularity is mobile app development. It’s the title that describes the process of building software for use on mobile devices. In other words, apps for smartphones, tablets and other gadgets.
The app market is growing at a phenomenal rate, and so too is recruitment in it. Job agencies are seeking a notable growth of firms that advertise such jobs. And increasing numbers of people with IT skills are shifting towards app development work.
Are you thinking of forging a career in mobile app development? If so, you might be wondering what it entails. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating role and how to get started in it.
Will mobile app usage ever slow down?
In a word, no. There are plenty of studies on the use of mobile phones and tablet devices. They all prove that more of us are using those devices each day compared to PCs, laptops and so on.
Smartphones and tablets are, in essence, pocket-sized computers. We can use them whenever it is convenient to do so. And, they make our lives easier. If anything, the use of mobile apps will keep on increasing over time rather than slowing down.
Mobile app developers don’t need to concern themselves with job security. There will always be a need for people with programming skills, especially when it comes to apps. It’s a high-growth industry, and one where the job market won’t get saturated for a long time.
There’s no denying that we live in turbulent economic times. But, mobile app developers are some of the lucky few that will always get a job. So, you need not worry about finding a good job as an app developer in the future.
Are app development skills transferrable?
You might be wondering if you could use the skills you learn in other roles. It’s important to remember that app development is just a different discipline. You still use a programming language and a development environment. And, as with all development, you still compile your code to create an executable file.
Many of today’s programming languages are quite similar. For instance, take Objective-C. It’s the language used for building software on Apple OS X. The basis for it comes from the “C” programming language.
If you build Android apps, you will use Java, again an implementation of C. Once you learn how to code in one language, programming in others will be easy.
So, to give the short answer to the question, yes you can transfer your skills. Some people find that they get jobs where they do a mix of app and desktop development, for example. They often get paid more than those that have a specific role.
What are the best apps to make?
If you work for a development company, you could get asked to work on pretty much anything! One project might see you coding a file sharing app. Another might involve programming a new game.
It makes no difference if you are a freelancer either, as you could work on different projects as well. Each category or niche for apps does well, so there isn’t one specific area that is the most popular.
How to get started as an app developer
You know there is a demand for people that can create apps for smartphones, tablets and other devices. But, what you don’t yet know is how to get started as an app developer!
It turns out there are many different ways that you could become one. The most common method is by getting some formal training. For example, after leaving high school, you would usually go to university. While you’re there, you’d study for and complete a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
In some parts of the world, you can also get a degree in Mobile Development. But, if such courses aren’t available, there are plenty of other alternatives. The CompTIA Mobile App Security+ course is one prime example. It’s also a qualification that people around the world know about and isn’t limited to a region.
You could also take some evening classes in programming to learn the basics.
Learning for fun
Before you embark on such a career, you may wish to “learn for fun” to see if it’s for you. After all; the last thing you want to do is start a career in something you don’t love doing.
The Internet is a brilliant resource for learning the basics of mobile app development. You can also download free software to help you code and create mobile apps from your computer.
Both Apple and Microsoft provide free tools to help you build functional mobile apps. There are also commercial options available if you want access to more features.
I also recommend signing up to lynda.com. It’s a site that offers tutorial videos on various subjects, one of which is programming. If you find that learning by reading text isn’t engaging, video tutorials will offer a better way.
Getting a job
Last, but not least, you need to put your app development skills to good use! One way to do that is by getting a job as an app developer. It’s important that you have the qualifications to prove that you can do a good job.
When you apply for such jobs, employers may ask you to provide evidence of your skills. In other words, they want you to show an app that you’ve developed which is available for download.
Before applying for an app development job, it’s worth creating an app to show off your skills. Some employers may ask you to code a fictional app and ask you how you would do so.
Apart from proving your talent, you’ll also need a good standard of general education. That means having exemplary written and spoken language skills. You’ll also need a good grasp of mathematics, and a logical approach to problem-solving.