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How to Become a Mobile Application Developer

We exist in a time where there’s a phone in every pocket and a computer or console on every desk. We live in a world that is completely driven by and around apps. Browsers, games, media, restaurants, communications, and services all want their app on your device, and that means they need someone to make that app.

Mobile application developers specialize in creating clean and functional apps for mobile phones. They ensure security and stability when creating software that performs its necessary tasks while meeting hardware and software demands. Companies searching for these developers typically prefer cross-platform, multi-language experts.

C++, Java, PHP, and a good understanding of network security are excellent places to start. As a developer, you’ll be expected to create the software needed, and in the language expected. Experience is highly valued in this field, and leveraging work experience is key.

Sample job description

As our new mobile developer, you will be a key addition to our technical team. We will count on you to develop important applications that will integrate with our current technology systems and continue to drive us forward in an ever-changing industry. You will be tasked with app development, installation, maintenance, necessary updates, and more. As our company evolves, so will our technological needs.

This will require you to be innovative and cutting edge in order to optimize current systems and continuously develop application add-ons and integrations. If you are ambitious, innovative, determined, hard-working, and have experience as a software developer, then this may be the career that you have been looking for. Let’s chat!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Build software 
  • Find technological solutions for clients or customers 
  • Test applications, ensure they are working properly, and make sure there are no flaws
  • Provide end-user support 
  • Designing applications
  • Responsible for troubleshooting
  • Stay on top of security threats 
  • Oversee updates 
  • Code applications (coding)
  • Knowledge of programming languages
  • Collaborate with other developers and IT personnel
  • Asses apps and update existing applications

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software development, or related field
  • 0-2 years of experience to qualify for entry-level positions
  • Experience in creating applications for common mobile operating systems such as iOS or Android
  • Competency with mobile focused languages or technologies such as Swift, Objective-C, Android Studio, etc.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Work well under pressure
  • Effective collaborator with both non-technical and technical team members
  • Ability to meet deadlines 
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Exponential communication skills 
  • Keep up-to-date on current and upcoming features in relevant products and platforms  
  • Knowledge of programming languages
  • Self-starter who is motivated
  • Knowledge of operating systems and other platform tools 
  • Proficient understanding of software development

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree in computer science, software development, or related field
  • Certifications pertaining to this position

Typical work environment

Mobile application developers work in an office environment with their own desks and computers. Since most of the work is done on a computer, working from home is not uncommon, especially when it comes to meeting deadlines. Mobile application developers need to be comfortable working with others as they collaborate on different projects. Being a mobile developer is considered a sedentary job since they spend a lot of their time seated in front of a computer analyzing information and solving problems.

Typical hours

Most mobile application developers work full-time with at least 40 hours a week. Though most will work regular business hours, like Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, there may be much longer days depending on deadlines and if they need to resolve certain issues with the app.

Available certifications

Mobile application developers work in a variety of industries, and many institutions offer certifications to help professionals in this field further their careers. Here are some certifications for an application developer: 

  • Amazon Web Services Certified Developer. This certification is for those who will be implementing the AWS platform, which also helps with building and running applications. The cost is $150 and it takes 130 minutes to complete the exam.
  • Microsoft Azure Developer Certification. For this certification, you must be familiar with basic Microsoft technology first. When it comes to Microsoft, their certifications are some of the best ones to have and impress employers. Microsoft Azure helps you build, manage and deploy applications.
  • Associate Android Developer Certification. This certification is for entry-level developers who want to show they have the skills needed to work as an entry level mobile developer. The certificate is given by Google and is considered a good starting point for those developers who want to specialize in this area.

Career path

To become a mobile application developer, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You are then required to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. It is highly encouraged to pursue an internship to gain more experience and insight. Some applicants even consider going for a master’s degree as it proves substantial knowledge and allows for higher-level position opportunities. Certifications regarding mobile development can only help you and can put you ahead of other applicants.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1256

2020 Employment1,847,900
Projected Employment in 20302,257,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 22% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift409,500 increase

Mobile developers are projected to grow 22% from now till 2030, creating a total of 409,500 job openings. Developing a mobile app or being mobile compliant is becoming crucial, and businesses of all sizes need app developers. Because eCommerce businesses are expanding, more games are developing on Android and iOS, and streaming apps are becoming more popular, application developers will be in high demand over the next decade.

Updating and creating more apps on phones and tablets will continue to play a big part in the requirement of more developers. Application developers are needed in a variety of industries, like healthcare, government, information technology, education, and more.