Since mobile phones have become as important as wallets and purses in everyday life, the development in this field is moving rapidly. Getting started as a mobile application developer is easy if you are focused and know what you want to do. Here's a quick guide showing you how to prove yourself as a developer.
Part 1 of 3: Gaining experience and training
Step 1. Get a degree in computer science
While a computer science degree is not strictly necessary, it can give you a foundation in the field. In addition, many companies prefer that you have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science before they possibly want to hire you as a developer.
- Try to specialize in programming for mobile applications while still a student.
- Other degrees in relevant fields can also help, such as software development. In fact, some schools offer degree programs specifically for mobile app development.
Step 2. Choose one of the major platforms
The major platforms are Android, Apple, Windows, Symbian and RIM (Blackberry). You can learn to code for any of these platforms, but you'll probably have to pick one first when you're just starting out.
Android dominates the market, but Apple is not far behind. One of these two would be a good one to start
Step 3. Use online development tools
For example, Apple offers the iOS Dev Center. In the center, you can watch tutorials and videos to help you learn to code. Android has a similar site, Android Developers Training. However, you don't have to rely solely on the official channels. Many websites offer free classes and tutorials, although you can also take paid classes if you want to take it to the next level.
- An example of a place where you can learn programming is W3Schools, a well-known website on the subject. There is a section on JQuery Mobile, which you can use for creating mobile apps. This code system is based on CSS3 and HTML5.
- You can also look for free online courses on a wide variety of topics, such as edX or Coursera.
Step 4. Consider marketing lessons
You can take classes while earning a degree, or cheaply through a folk university, or online, such as through Coursera, to develop your marketing skills. If you want to become an independent app developer, you will have to make your game known to the general public; otherwise no one will ever know of its existence.
Step 5. Learn entrepreneurial skills
Just like marketing skills, entrepreneurial skills are also essential for developing successful apps yourself. Business classes teach you how to monetize your app, as well as how to incentivize people to spend more on it.
Part 2 of 3: Practicing your skills
Step 1. Develop your own app
In the meantime, if you'd rather be hired by a company, developing your own app is a great exercise. It doesn't really matter what it is, as long as it's useful or fun. If you are looking for a job, then you have something of your work to show.
Get experience in the field, even if it's your own app, to gain an edge over other candidates
Step 2. Come up with an idea for an app
Of course, a large number of apps are games. Games help people pass the time. On the other hand, anything there is a need for is a starting point for an app. So the first step is to determine where there is a need. Look at your own life and that of friends, and ask yourself what problems you or they might have that an app would help solve. Once you have an idea, create a design for your app.
- For example, apps like DocScan and Scannable came about because people needed a way to scan and save documents when computers aren't close at hand. The people who developed the app saw a need and filled it.
- Other apps, such as recipe apps, make it easier for people to find and use recipes because it's easier to follow a recipe from a tablet or phone than from a computer.
Step 3. Focus on usability
First and foremost, an app should be easy for the customer to use. So the main page should guide the user through the app with clear buttons, contrasting colors and easy navigation.
- One trick is to make sure you use as much of the screen as you can. That doesn't mean you have to fill every available square inch with controls, because you need space around the tools to make them readable. You should use as much space as you can by making the buttons as big as you can. In a way, this means making the controls and buttons as simple as possible.
- Make it easy to understand. That means your users don't have to read how to use your app on other pages. They should be able to fully deduce this from the controls.
Step 4. Hire the help you need
While you may have the coding skills, you may not have the design skills you need. If you need help in a particular area, consider hiring people for it or partnering with people who agree to take a share of the profits as payment. However, be sure to indicate who contributed what when presenting the app.
If you're not sure where to get the people from, check out freelance sites like UpWork, where you can hire people in a variety of fields
Step 5. Don't forget to test the app for bugs
New apps always have bugs, so test your app. Have your friends test the app too, to see where the bugs are so they can be fixed. It also teaches you what works and what doesn't work in an app.
- In other words, let your friends download the app on your phone. Let them play with it to see if there are any hitches.
- It's also important to ask for feedback on how well the app and controls work. Ask friends questions like "Have you had any problems with the controls?" and 'What problems have you encountered in the app?'
Step 6. Convert the app to other platforms
Once you know how to build an app for one platform, it's time to convert it to other platforms. You will miss out on customers if you don't offer the app on platforms that all customers use.
- With each platform, you have to think about different issues. For example, when porting from iOS to Android, you should consider the difference in screen size. In iOS, the number of screen sizes is more limited than the Android, and your app will look a little different on each one.
- Another important point is to keep it simple. The more complicated it is, the harder it will be to port and make it look nice on different screens.
Step 7. Apply for internships
Another way to gain experience even while you are still a student is doing internships. You can often find internships through your school, as companies approach schools to find interns. You may even be able to earn some money with your internship to pay for your education or get college credits.
- Internships are a great experience, but don't expect to start programming right away. You will probably have to do at least some boring tasks at the beginning of your internship.
- Many of the major tech companies offer internships to local students, so check their websites too.
Part 3 of 3: Working in the field
Step 1. Be prepared to relocate
Certain areas are up-and-coming for this market. Silicon Valley in California is an obvious choice for this field. However, there are other more unexpected areas, such as Washington D.C., Alabama, Virginia, Utah, and Montana, which have projected growth in this area of up to 45 percent.
While some companies will let you telecommute, most will expect you to be in the office. Many technology companies value group creativity, which is easier to stimulate in an office environment
Step 2. Apply for vacancies
If you're planning to work for an IT company, start applying for job openings. You can find jobs on major job websites, such as Monster, Indeed, or Yahoo. However, you can also search the websites of major mobile app companies to find jobs. Think about the apps you love and find their developer. These are the places you want to apply to because you already have a passion for what they do.
The type of company you approach depends on what you want. If you work at a startup, you probably have more programming time with the app and maybe more control. However, you don't know if a business is going to succeed or fail at such an early stage. With a more established company, you're more likely to be working on a small portion of different apps, rather than being in charge; on the other hand, the company is more likely not to go under
Step 3. Use your experience
If you have a degree and experience, use it to get yourself a job. For example, if you've designed your own app, you have a way of demonstrating how well you can code or design. If you've done an internship at a company, you now have a wealth of experience that other candidates don't. Use what you have to differentiate yourself from other candidates.
Be sure to emphasize the experience you have in your cover letter. For example: if you did an internship, you could say: 'I would be a valuable asset to your company, because I have already gained programming experience in a similar IT company. I did an internship at XYZ Tech for six months in 2014.'
Step 4. Lead the way
When you work in the ICT industry, you always have to be aware of future developments. One way to do that is by reading ICT magazines, which often focus on what the future holds. With new coding platforms and technology entering the market, it is your responsibility to learn them so that your knowledge does not become outdated.
Step 5. Market your app and make a profit from it
If you start your own business, it means that you are everything to your app. You have to find the best way to profit from it, and then you have to market your app through all the major social media.
- Some companies offer the app for free, then charge money to make the game faster or more fun, such as offering play coins or stars. Customers can find all these kinds of incentives in the game, but the packs make the game faster for impatient players, especially if you make the pace of the game so that only a limited progress can be achieved in a day, without more of the in-game coins.
- Choose the right keywords. When naming your app and coming up with a description, think about what your customers will be looking for. What word would you use to find your app? Make that part of your title, description, or tags, if possible.
- Enable the sharing of in-game items. One way to encourage users to share is to enable ways to help each other in the game, such as giving other players extra lives. If users can share on the major social media platforms, such as Facebook, then oral advertising will be very rewarding.
- Don't forget to pay. You can post an app on Facebook or a mobile platform, but if you're not willing to pay for advertising, you'll have a hard time building a customer base, especially if you only rely on friends and acquaintances.