We have seen a huge demand for app development in today’s world. There seems to be an ever-increasing array of devices encouraging the development of a large pool of applications. Mobile phones are everywhere with more than half of the world’s population owning a personal phone. People now use a mobile app for almost everything including shopping, booking appointments, playing games, etc. App development, therefore, has emerged to offer a viable career pathway for people in the IT industry. It is also highly likely that app development will see a further surge in the coming years with an even higher demand for app developers.
Beginners in the field of app development may have a lot of questions on how to learn to code or how to become a programmer. The whole process of learning can sound quite overwhelming, and one might end up in confusion. To help you understand the entire process of app development, we have listed down 4 tips below in this article that you can use to begin your career in app development.
1. Have relevant education and background
Before becoming an app developer, you must have relevant education, training or skills in the IT field. Ideally, you should possess basic software development skills. This can be achieved by having an associate or bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering or other similar disciplines. If you do not have or want to have a degree, then you can also gain the required experience by attending coding boot camps offered by app development companies that aim to train new developers. Whatever the case, you will need to master the following:
- Principles of stable software design
- Software development lifecycle which includes the design, develop, test, release, maintain phases
- Software development methodology
- Development platforms and environment
These skills will help you master software development in general. After this, your next learning step would be mobile tools and technologies.
2. Choose a platform
Once mastered software development, you need to get into the specifics of mobile app development. Mobile app development is different compared to software development because of resources including storage space, memory and bandwidth are limited. You will need to start the mobile app development on a specific platform (Android or iOS). The platform you chose will define your future course of work. Choose your platform depending on what interest you more. Some popular mobile app development platforms of 2019 are:
- React Native
- Adobe PhoneGap
- JQuery Mobile
- Corona SDK
- Native Scripts
- Mobile Angular UI
- Intel XDK
Learning a platform will require both times, hard work and patience. You will also be able to find some limited, low-cost versions of these platforms that are specifically made for aspiring developers. There are also free self-study materials available. These are like grab-on’s for you as a beginner, look for them.
3. Learn the trade
There are both specialized training and learning camps available for mobile app developers. Yet you cannot learn any skill or trade without practicing it. To practice your skills after basic leaning, look for jobs where you can both practice and enhance your development skills. It will be kind of a short term and intense learning program which will polish your skills within 3-4 months. This will demand constant effort, dedication and a lot of working hours. Do not be disappointed if you are unable to structure yourself in this. Look for alternative routes, for example, you can search for experienced professionals in the field and seek learning opportunities with them. You can request them to let you work with them for a short period which will be a worthy experience.
When you are practicing in the field, you will be able to see and understand the inside working of the field. It will give you a chance to explore your opportunities and better see your suitability. You will also be able to learn about various development resources such as help files, training materials, developer forums, online communities of developers, tools, and languages. In this phase when you are still new in the field, keep yourself open and flexible to learning. Search for open sources and other freely available codes. This will not only help you learn fast but will also make you smart about the basics and advanced development concepts. Be sure to keep the learning process fun and simple for yourself. You can do this by joining online communities, reading up on them, e.g., AirG and AirG reviews, virtually interacting with people who are at the same phase of learning as you are and maintaining a generally healthy and helping attitude.
4. Survey related opportunities
An important part of the process is surveying mobile app development related opportunities. Learn about developers, what kind of platforms they are using and what are their reviews on it. This will guide you about your available choices and help you make wise decisions in the future. You will get an idea of what kind of opportunities are available and how much money you can get by joining them. Join developer platforms and other online communities to connect with developers. Get an idea of what other employers are like, what kind of packages, benefits, and learning opportunities they have. During this time, you must keep your options open. Since you are still a newbie in the field, take your time to understand. You may keep on hopping between developer communities and job boards. With time you will start to figure out your own path. At this point, you should be able to list down your available choices and weight their pros and cons against each other. Some points you may want to consider before selecting any opportunity can be salary vs. stock options, long vs. flexible working hours, and remote working vs. in office working. You can also discuss your options with your guru, your colleagues whom you have been working with and your acquaintances. Hopefully, you will be able to get the job you want to occupy.