How to Become a Mobile App Developer ?

With this sudden spurt in the popularity of mobile apps, “mobile application development” has become a popular specialization in software programming.  Shekhar  has spent more than 10 years in the US and Singapore , where he studied and worked on several early stage startups in Silicon Valley  & fortune 500 companies including Thomson & Thomson , Bayer Corporation,Bovis Lend lease ,Cobb EMC, Deutsche Bank , HD Supply ,Amazon, Delta Airlines ,Singapore Airlines , DBS bank ,Land and Transport Authority of Singapore etc..He  has in-depth knowledge about Mobile Payments, Mobile virtual Check Ins, Mobile Device Management and Enterprise Mobility.

 

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What do you mean by a “mobile app”? Who is a mobile app developer?

A mobile app is a software program that runs on a mobile device such as an Apple iPhone or devices running Google Android operating System. Typically mobile apps are either native (written for a particular mobile operating system such as Apple iOS or Google Android) or they are Mobile Web based apps that use markup languages such as HTML5 and require a browser to run.

A mobile developer is a software engineer or software programmer who can design, develop and test mobile application on one or more mobile operating systems and devices (such as Apple iOS or Google Android)

 What kind of academic training would I require to become a mobile app developer?

You need to be proficient in a programming language such as C, C++, Objective C for writing applications on Ios (iPhone, iPad) or Java (Android, Blackberry OS). You should understand the basics of UI design and also the basics of application design, development and testing. Once you have the basics then you have to choose what platform and mobile operating system you want to specialize on and focus on it. If you want to become an iPhone & iPad developer you have to learn Objective-C, xCode and Interface Builder on Mac OS-X platform.

If you want to become a Google Android developer you have to be proficient in Java and learn Android development. Android development can be done on Mac OS-X, Windows or Linux environment.

 Are there any certified courses / diploma / degree programmers? Are there any institutes that offer these courses?

Currently neither Google nor Apple have any certified developer programs available. However, many public and private institutions offer programs leading to diploma or certifications. Further, many educational institutions are including Mobility technology as part of their curriculum.

Also, many corporate companies in the technology sector recruit and train people on mobile applications design and development skills.

What are the most popular programming languages used? How do I select which language to specialize in?

Java on Android, Objective-C on IOS and HMTL5 (cross platform mobile apps) are the most popular languages and mobile platforms. Other choices include Java (J2ME) for Blackberry OS, C# with XAML for Windows Phone 7.

 What kind of career paths would I be looking at in this field? Which companies / organizations are the best to work with in this field?

As you specialize in the field, you can look at exploring the following career paths:

  • Mobile UI designer (requires artistic and creative skills)
  • User Experience and Usability expert (requires understanding of human interaction and ease of use metrics),
  • Applications developer/engineer (requires programming skills), Mobility Architect (requires programming, design and Architecture skills)

With enterprise mobility being a fast emerging technology area, many IT companies are ramping up their operations and capabilities to effectively meet the mobility needs of their customers. This opens up many career opportunities for those who have the right expertise in this area.

 What is a day in the life of a mobile app developer like?

You may be spending part of the day writing or understanding the requirements for the mobile app and interacting with end users in determining usability and user experience.

 What is the future of mobile app development? How will it evolve in the coming years?

The future is pretty bright. Smart phones are outselling PCs and laptops, they will be the default devices for running client software applications. Mobile app development is evolving to integrate with television, in-car navigation & entertainment, shopping, commerce, banking and will be ubiquitous. It is safe to say that the future of apps is “mobile”!

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