Smartphones have taken over the world and have become an inseparable part of human lives. Everyone uses a smartphone for one or other reasons, such as paying bills, finding a job, getting weather updates, and the list is endless. All these tasks are possible because of software applications installed on smartphones. A smartphone without software applications is of no use.
As a result, the extensive use of smartphones has resulted in the immense growth of the mobile application development industry. Every day, organizations are striving to produce more robust mobile applications to attract their target audiences.
It is predicted that the mobile app development industry will grow at a CAGR rate of 11.5% by 2027 . Also, the advent and increasing usage of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will definitely increase the demand for mobile applications.
Therefore, there is a high demand for proficient developers who can create innovative applications for smartphones and entertain users. The increasing demand for such proficient developers has turned out mobile app development into one of the most lucrative career paths.
If you wish to become a mobile app developer and want to know how to become the same, this article is for you.
In this article, we will guide you through how to become a mobile app developer. Also, we will introduce you to the essential expertise required to become a mobile app developer. But before delving deeper into the topic, let us first discuss who exactly a mobile app developer is.
So, let us get started!
Who is a Mobile App Developer?
A mobile application developer is an IT professional responsible for designing, developing, deploying, and maintaining mobile applications. They work closely with user experience (UX) designers to ensure that the design of applications is in conformance with the client’s needs. In addition, together, they create mockups for applications.
Mobile app developers have to constantly look for new creative ideas or IT solutions to implement them in the form of mobile applications. Doing this requires highly technical knowledge and skill set since they develop applications, ranging from simple games to complex communication tools and social networking apps.
Moreover, developing mobile applications is not limited to a single platform. Instead, it implies developing applications for various platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows. If you are an Android developer, you are intended to develop applications for the Android platform. The same goes for iOS and Windows platforms. However, many developers are proficient in building applications for various platforms.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Mobile App Developer
The following are some major roles and responsibilities of a mobile app developer:
- Identifying customer requirements and converting them into technical requirements.
- Creating application programming interfaces (APIs) for supporting mobile functionality.
- Collaborating with user experience (UX) designers, function designers, and UI designers.
- Collaborating with customers and the development team.
- Ensuring that the back-end and front-end of an application are linked properly.
- Coping up new terminology, concepts, and best practices to write the source code of mobile applications.
Skills to Become a Mobile App Developer
Any development task is not straightforward, and developers need to have a wide range of expertise. If you aspire to become a mobile app developer, it is essential for you to possess the following skill set:
Business acumen plays an important role in raising funds. Mobile app developers need to hold business skills to make money from the applications they develop and finance their other development activities.
UI Design Skills
The user interface of any application plays a crucial role in enhancing the user experience. As mobile app developers work with UX designers, it is essential for them to possess excellent user interface design skills.
To develop applications that ensure maximum customer satisfaction, it becomes essential for mobile app developers first to analyze the client’s needs and how the end-users will use the applications. Based on their analysis, they develop highly functional, stable mobile applications.
Since the agile methodology enables developers to build software products iteratively, many organizations and developers adopt it. As a mobile app developer, possessing a profound knowledge of agile practices is beneficial to making the development process efficient.
Security is of the utmost concern for every app user. As a result, mobile app developers need to have an in-depth understanding of data security to build secure applications.
There is no denying that mobile app developers have to be creative and innovative while developing applications. They need to think out of the box and deliver something creative that users love.
Like all other job roles, mobile app developers should also possess excellent communication skills. In order to interact with clients and other team members effectively, good communication skills are a must.
How to Become a Mobile App Developer?
Here is a step-by-step guide to becoming a proficient mobile app developer:
1. Choose the Learning Path
To get hired as a mobile app developer, you need a graduate degree. If you possess a bachelor’s degree in computer science or equivalent field, it becomes pretty easy for you to become a mobile app developer. This is because you get to learn everything from scratch. Also, you will have a profound knowledge of programming languages, coding, and many other aspects.
However, if you are from a different educational background, one of the paths to becoming a mobile app developer is to enroll in an appropriate course, which may last for a few months or a year.
Otherwise, you can go with coding bootcamps, which last for three to nine months. Here, you get to learn the fundamentals of coding and everything required to become a successful mobile app developer.
2. Select One Platform and Niche
As we know that there are various mobile platforms available out there, including Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry RIM, and Symbian. Therefore, the first step toward becoming a mobile app developer is to pick the desired platform to host the developed applications.
Though you can learn developing applications for multiple platforms, we recommend you start with a single platform and move on to the next as you progress in your career. Each platform is different from another in terms of programming languages, market reach, and monetization.
Since Android and iOS are the most popular platforms these days and are influencing the mobile development industry, it would be lucrative to start with any one of the two.
Furthermore, after choosing the platform, move on to selecting a specific niche. As there are different types of applications available, such as eCommerce, communication, entertainment, and the list goes on, pick your favorite niche and master it.
3. Leverage Online Development Programs
The internet is replete with tutorials, online programs, and videos. For example, the iOS Dev Center is an online program by Apple that consists of multiple videos and tutorials through which you can learn coding. Similarly, Android also offers an online training program through a website called Android Developers Training.
However, it is not sufficient to rely only on official websites. You can also choose some other websites that provide free tutorials. Once you learn all the basics of coding through free tutorials, you can opt for paid classes or courses to take your skills to the next level.
4. Master Coding Skills
As discussed earlier, each platform is different from another. As a result, you need to learn and champion programming languages based on the platform you choose.
For iOS development, two ideal programming languages are Objective C and Swift. Now, you might be wondering which one to choose between Objective C and Swift. A simple answer to this question is the purpose of your wanting to become a mobile app developer.
If you wish to develop applications and make them your own product, learning Swift would be a great move. Meanwhile, if you aspire to work as an iOS developer in companies, go with Objective C.
When it comes to developing Android applications, Java and Kotlin are among the most preferred programming languages. You need to learn and champion both these languages to build robust mobile applications.
5. Practice Your Skills
Once you gain core knowledge of programming languages and software development, it is time for you to hone your skills by practicing. Only learning is surely not sufficient enough. You have to practice a lot to be able to write clean and efficient code. So, we recommend you start by developing your own small applications.
Here is a small guide on how to start your practice sessions or develop applications on your own:
Come up with an Idea
Begin with developing an idea of what kind of application to build. To develop an app idea, firstly identify the problems of common people they face in their daily lives, list all of them, and pick the one that is most relevant.
Outline the Details of your App
The next step is to decide what your application will consist of. This means how it will look, what functionalities it will offer, which programming language to use, and many other aspects.
Make sure to develop an application with minimal navigation and an excellent user interface so that users get stuck around your application for a long time.
Take Help from Others
It is not always possible to develop a complete application on your own. For example, if you are proficient in coding, you may lack designing skills or vice-versa. As a result, it is always better to take help from an expert in the field or hire an individual to help you develop your application.
Test your App
After the development phase completes, you have to proceed to the testing phase to uncover all potential bugs and errors in your application. In addition, you can even ask your friends or family to use your application and provide feedback, which can help you improve your application’s quality.
6. Convert to Other Platforms
Now that you have learned to build mobile applications on one platform, it is time to move on to the next platform. If the applications you develop are compatible with only a single platform, there are great chances that you are missing out on customers. As each platform has its own characteristics, you have to modify your application accordingly.
However, the advent of various frameworks for cross-platform development has made it easy for you to create applications for any platform with a single codebase. Some popular frameworks for cross-platform mobile development are Xamarin, Flutter, and React Native.
7. Create a Resume
Once you pursue courses or certifications and create your own applications, you will have a lot of stuff to add to your resume and stand out from the crowd.
Also, if you have done any internship in mobile development, it would definitely be a plus point for you. When you work as an intern, you gain practical knowledge and experience, and hence, the interviewer will surely consider you. If so, don’t forget to include it in your resume.
Here are some essentials points that you can cover in your resume:
- Contact Information
- Educational Information
- Technical Skills
- Soft Skill
- Work experience relevant to your field
- Major achievements
8. Apply for Mobile App Developer Positions
The final step is to apply for different mobile app development jobs. By that time, you will have your resume ready and, of course, relevant skills and experience to crack the interviews. More importantly, go through commonly asked interview questions for app developers before appearing for an interview.
This was a complete guide on becoming a mobile app developer. It is one of the most high-paying IT job roles in the market, and becoming one would be very beneficial.
We suggest you start your learning adventure with a plethora of free tutorials available on the internet. Once you learn the fundamentals, you can enroll in a course or Bootcamp to take your skills to the next level. After that, start practicing to fine-tune your expertise and get hired by top tech giants.
Still, if you have any queries, post them in the comments section.
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