Ways to become a mobile app developer

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If there’s one permanent job title for software developers that keeps getting greener, it’s mobile app developer. This IT role usually refers to someone who can design, create and / or maintain mobile applications for Apple’s iOS or Android platform. There are other mobile OS choices, including Windows Mobile and BlackBerry, but they are increasingly questionable and irrelevant.

Essential training and skills for mobile app developers

To be a mobile developer, you need to have skills and knowledge in software development. You could develop these skills by earning an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar discipline (management information systems, for example). You can continue your efforts to master mobile app development by participating in one or more of the many coding bootcamp programs that spring up to train budding developers.

If you are thinking of getting into software development, here are some of the basic skills you will need:

  • Understanding of the principles of secure and stable software design
  • Understanding of software development process and lifecycle, including design-develop-test-release-maintain cycle, as well as long-term lifecycle support and maintenance
  • Exposure and understanding of certain development methodologies (Agile, Scrum, etc.) and development platforms or environments
  • Knowledge of two or more programming languages, preferably those in demand such as SQL, Java, JavaScript, C # or C ++, Python, PHP, Ruby on Rails or iOS, depending Coding dojo

This framework lays the foundation for working as a software developer in general. Then come the themes, tools and technologies specific to mobile development.

Get on the mobile train

Development of mobile applications is a little different from general software development. Since resources such as memory, compute cycles, storage, and bandwidth are both scarce and valuable on mobile platforms, the most significant mobile application development occurs in the context of ‘one mobile development platform or another.

Depending on which platform (Android or iOS, basically) you prefer, the type of development work you are interested in and where you would like to work (or rather who you would like to work for), your choices will also be constrained. . According to Techworld, the most popular mobile application development platforms in 2019 are those listed in the following table.

32 major mobile application development platforms.

Appery.io Construction box Kalipso Choutem
Accelerator BuildFire Kony The AppBuilder
AppInstitute Como LiveBlox Unity
AppMachine GameSalad Mobile roadie Verivo software
AppMakr Goodbarber NativeScript ViziApps
AppYourself iBuildApp OutSystems Xamarin (Microsoft)
Appy pie Ionic PhoneGap Xojo
BiznessApps jQuery Mobile RhoMobile Zoho Creator

Learning a platform takes time, effort and dedication. That said, most solution providers make trial or limited-use versions of their platforms available at low cost or for free so that budding developers can learn them. Many also offer low cost or free self-study materials to help novice developers learn what they are doing and how to get the most out of these tools. (Look for massive open online courses on some of these tool sets, such as jQuery / jQuery Mobile.) [Read related article: App Maker Software Buying Guide]

Did you know? Most solution providers make trial or limited-use versions of their platforms available at low cost or for free for aspiring developers to learn.

Do the job, learn the trade

Specialized training and bootcamps are also available for mobile application development, as well as for a wider audience of software developers of all kinds. More experienced developers looking for a quick boost in this game might be well served by a local bootcamp specializing in mobile development topics, tools, and languages.

There is no better way to acquire skills and knowledge as a developer than by doing development work. The best thing to get a job and get paid to learn mobile development, these short, intense learning programs can get developers up to speed in as little as eight to 12 weeks. But they require constant effort, long hours, and a lot of hard work. The really motivated may be able to launch themselves into a training camp, so to speak; others may find the structure and access to knowledgeable practitioners worth the price of admission.

These learning programs also help developers understand the inner workings of a platform and give them the opportunity to explore development resources in and around that platform. This includes not only help files, samples, and training materials, but also developer forums and other online communities that spring up around popular tools and languages. Find open source and other repositories of shared and freely available code samples. Not only will this material shorten the learning curve, but it will provide plenty of opportunities to learn by example (and avoid reinventing the wheel).

PointPoint: There is no better way to acquire skills and knowledge as a developer than by doing development work.

Study of mobile application development opportunities

Part of focusing on a development platform is learning who uses which platforms and what other developers have to say about their work and their employers. This suggests that spending time on job boards to see what’s available in your area will help guide your choices. It will also give you a great idea of ​​the types of opportunities available and their prices. Developer forums and online communities can also be valuable sources of information about the nature of different employers, the type of work-life balance they offer, and the types of perks and perks that come with these. jobs.

You can go back and forth between job boards and online developer communities as you begin to understand what you’re getting yourself into. Over time, you should be able to lay out your different choices and use various tradeoffs or selection criteria (salary vs. stock options, long hours vs. interesting work, free meals and break rooms at the office vs. telecommuting) to narrow your options down to a short list. Only then should you start applying for jobs, looking for interviews, and taking concrete steps towards getting a job as a mobile developer. Remember to use the online network of acquaintances, mentors and friends that you will create online to help you get those interviews – and hopefully also the job you want to land.

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