A Career in Mobile App Development

Gone are the days when food, shelter and clothing were considered to be the basic necessities for one’s existence. Added to that list now is – mobile phones.

With over 4.88 billion mobile phone users globally, mobile devices have become ubiquitous. Nowadays there’s a mobile app for everything: shopping, ride sharing, finance, gaming, insurance claims, email, music, etc. If you can imagine it, there’s probably already an app available for download.

Major mobile phone manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi are leaving no stone unturned to grab large shares of the market and add to the existing mobile user base – by releasing new products, launching fresh product lines and spending millions on innovative promotional campaigns.

As a result, mobile app use has seen a surge, and will likely remain upwardly mobile for a long time to come. App developers thus need never worry about securing a job, or worry about what the future might hold for them.

The appeal for being involved in Mobile App Development lies in :

  • The allure of designing something new and fresh.
  • The opportunity to find a solution to a real-life problem.
  • The flexibility that app developers possess enabling them to work anywhere provided they have access to a good internet connection and a development environment.

Stages of becoming a Mobile App Developer

Primarily there are two different types of mobile apps – native and hybrid. Hybrid apps provide cross – platform compatibility whereas native apps are developed for use on a particular platform.

A company can decide to build either a native or hybrid app depending on budget, requirements, and technical skills available.

Hybrid apps are web-apps primarily built using software tools such as JavaScript and HTML5. Native apps are written in popular programming languages as Swift, Objective C, C++, C# or Java. The specific choice of language naturally depends on what mobile platform and OS the apps are created for. For example, if is for Apple’s iOS, app developers would need to know how to use Swift or Objective C, whereas Java is the language to acquire proficiency in for Android Apps.

Most employers these days look for mobile apps developers who possess at least a bachelor’s degree in one of the following disciplines:

– Software Engineering

– Mobile Application Development

– Mobile Computing

– Computer Science

Or any related field of study that is software programming based.

What’s the Pay Like?

The starting salary for an entry level mobile app developer is between 2 – 6 lakhs INR per annum.  This will, of course, depend on who the mobile app developer is working for and what programs they are using to develop the mobile apps, as well as on the amount of experience they have earned. After a few years of experience, the mobile app developer can expect an exponential growth in salary and progress from the ranks of a junior mobile app developer to a senior mobile app developer, lead mobile app developer to a Mobile App Architect.

Typical day to day duties of a mobile application developers include:

  • Developing applications, as well as testing and improving them.
  • Maintain quality and functionality of apps in line with clients’ requirements.
  • Write code for apps for specific operating environments.
  • Design and develop the app’s interface.
  • Brainstorm ideas and designs with team members to optimise deployments.
  • Provide support for app, so that any issues that arise can immediately be dealt with.

A mobile app developer works with –

  • Technical Leads
  • Product/ Project managers
  • Software engineers
  • Graphic Designers and
  • Other app developers

Looking Ahead

The demand for new and innovative mobile apps continues to grow. Because of this rapid growth there are plenty of opportunities for a mobile app developer to work either as part of a company or on a freelance basis.

According to many IT recruiters and managers, the demand for mobile app developers far exceeds the supply, at the moment. Over the next few years, the job market is expected to grow substantially. In fact, it is believed that by 2020, as many as 300,000 new mobile app developer roles will be created, of which the majority will involve work on iOS and Android apps.

So finding a suitable position that meets particular skill sets of a mobile app developer now or in the future won’t prove difficult. But the challenge will, of course, be to come up with an app that is completely unique and innovative.

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