Developing a solid quality app can cost $50,000 and more. No wonder mobile development is seen as a promising career. Our guide will show where to begin your mob-dev journey.
In a nutshell, a mobile app developer makes apps for smart gadgets. These days almost everyone can make their own app thanks to app-constructors: Swiftic, Siberian CMS, Shoutem, etc.
But making it is just the first step. The app should be user-friendly, visually appealing, solve specific problems and be as error-free as possible. That’s what the mobile developer’s job is all about.
It may sound like a lot of hustle, but the pay-out is nice: averagely a mobile-app developer makes about $50-70,000 per year. And it’s just a starting point: the senior position can bring you as much as $162,000 annually.
Becoming a Mobile Developer
Now, let’s see what you need to become an app-making wizkid.
- Choose the platform
For starters decide which fraction you want to join: iOS or Android. While Android is the biggest mobile market with 70% of all smartphone users, iOS seems to have a better prospect for subscription apps and IAP-powered apps.
With Android, you will need these skills:
- GUI building. GUI stands for Graphic User Interface. With the tools like XML and Java, you will need to create an app that will be easy and intuitive to navigate and use.
- Data. This includes notifications, data storage, and so forth. You should know how the app’s data — fonts, icons, functions — are stored in the memory of a gadget.
- Material Design. It is a framework first introduced in 2014. It’s Google’s brainchild, so learning to construct the app’s overall design with it is inevitable.
As for iOS, you will need:
- UIKit. It’s an Apple framework to design GUI. It includes animations, transitions, control gestures, touchscreen mechanics, and so on.
- Swift. Swift is everything for iOS development. It’s the programming language, responsible for every feature and function. Luckily, it’s pretty understandable.
- Xcode. It’s like a studio, in which you can hammer together an app for any Apple gadget. A definite must-have.
And of course, you will need a device to test what you make.
- Join a course
Mobile development is taught in universities: Carnegie Mellon University, San Diego SU, etc. But if you can’t pursue a degree for some reason, then you can join one of the online courses. And yes, you can as well teach yourself to develop apps
You can find free and premium courses on Udemy, Coursera, CodeAcademy, SkillShare, Udacity, edX, Simplilearn, and so on. You can also apply for the Google Training programme here.
CodeAcademy is, by far, the best platform where you can learn the basics of app development for free and get your first insight into the craft. You can also check Career Karma where they can help you join a coding bootcamp.
- Join a bootcamp
Bootcamps are intensive training courses where you will learn essential skills over a shorter period of time. Among free bootcamps, you will find coding Dojo, Ironhack, The Tech Academy, Epicodus, Thinkful, etc.
- Try to make an app
Once you gain a bit of knowledge, practice app-making for a bit. Go to one of the mobile app constructors — Swiftic, Appy Pie, Mobincube — and try to assemble a simple application. Even a calculator or guitar pitchfork will do.
- Learn more about soft skills
Programming is all about solving problems. You need to learn how to find consensus with your client, be confident to propose ideas, learn discipline, teamwork, and so on.
If you feel that mob-dev is yours, don’t hesitate and make the first steps now. The earlier you start is, the better.