Becoming a mobile app developer is a lucrative opportunity, no doubt. On average, people in this job earn around 117 thousand dollars per year (source: Indeed). But it’s hardly the kind of career you can start building with zero preparation whatsoever.
When you apply for entry-level job openings, you’ll need to show your potential employer you know your way around certain programming languages, frameworks, and tools. But the list of demands is usually quite long; plus, it can differ from one company to another.
Some of the best user experience design agencies are recommending that you should also look into user personas, user interviews, and key metrics.
So, what skills must you show to get your foot in the door? Keep reading to see the 11 must-haves for any mobile app developer today.
Top 5 Skills Required for Mobile Application Developers in 2023
- Mobile User Interface Design
- Cross-Platform App Development
- Backend Computing
- Modern Language Programming Skills
- Business Capability
Top Technology or Skills Required for App Development
First Things First: Get Ready for a Long Ride
Before you even dream about a mobile app development career, you need to come to terms with one thing. Building the right set of skills will take a lot of time – and commitment.
So, make sure you don’t lack both. If you’re a student, outsource your homework to an essay writing service online by EssayPro and prioritize acquiring the competencies listed below. Make sure to use every moment of your free time to hone your skills. And make sure to:
- Focus on practice rather than theory;
- Build a portfolio;
- Use real-world case studies and tasks in your practice;
- Find a mentor.
Part 1. Skill Required For Native App Development
Let’s start with what you need to know to create native apps. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, these applications are marked by the best performance and UX possible. They’re written in native programming languages and have no limits on the kinds of features or integrations you can implement.
Learn Kotlin, Android SDK & Android Studio
If you aim to create Android apps, Kotlin is the programming language you need to master. (It replaced Java in 2019 because it’s more concise than its predecessor.) It’s designed to be interoperable with Java, so learning Kotlin will be a piece of cake if you already know Java.
Android SDK (software development kit) will be your main toolbox when you write code. So, you need to know your way around its debugger, libraries, documentation, and emulator.
Android Studio is the integrated development environment (IDE) you’ll use most. While you’re mastering it, pay special attention to the layout editor, template-based wizard, and quick fixes.
Learn Swift, iOS SDK & Xcode
Swift is Kotlin’s counterpart for native iOS app development, and their histories are quite similar. Like Kotlin, Swift also replaced Objective-C as the main programming language for iOS devices. The reasoning was the same: Objective-C remained unchanged since the 1980s.
As for the SDK and IDE, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise: you can’t use them on Microsoft Windows computers; they’re available only on macOS. So, if you want to create iOS apps, you must have a Macintosh.
Part 2. Skills Required for Cross Platform App Development
Native apps have their drawbacks: you can’t reuse any of the code of your iOS product to create the same application for Android. That’s why cross-platform technologies are in such high demand. With special tools, you can write the codebase for both apps in one language, cutting the development time and costs in half.
Backed by Microsoft, Xamarin is a free open-source platform that allows developers to write the codebase with C# and the .NET framework for three target platforms: Windows, Android, and iOS. That codebase gets connected to native components via so-called bridges.
As you probably have already guessed, if you want to use Xamarin in your development, you’ll need to master C# and the .NET framework first. Those are the only two prerequisites, however.
Part 3. Some More Essential Skills for Any Mobile Developer
Being a mobile app developer isn’t just about writing the code, much like being a blogger isn’t just about writing posts. Apart from coding, you’ll also need to collaborate with other developers, improve the codebase, write documentation, and more. Here are seven skills you’ll need for that.
Using Git Software
This is the standard tool that development teams use to collaborate on any project. So, knowing how to work with repositories, code reviews, pull requests, and merging is a must for you. You can start with GitHub, it’s the most commonly used Git tool out there.
UI & UX Design Basics
The apps you create have to be user-friendly, period. So, even if you spend your days writing code in the IDE, you still have to understand the key principles of usability and user experience to succeed at your job. You should also look into user personas, user interviews, and key metrics.
Whenever you write code, you have to assume someone is going to try to find exploits in it and use them. So, you have to be aware of the basics of cybersecurity – and how to apply them when it comes to a particular language, library, or framework.
Writing Clean Code
If you don’t do this, maintaining and updating it is going to be hell for anyone who isn’t you. In a nutshell, writing clean code means naming variables properly, avoiding disinformation, being consistent, keeping your functions small and single-purpose, among other things.
Testing & Debugging
No one can write a perfect piece of software on the first try. What matters is how you pin down the errors in the code and fix them. And to do that, you need to be aware of different types of testing, how to use the right tools, and what to do with bugs.
When you’re a beginner in the world of coding, you might not think about commenting at all. But every line of your code has to be documented well for anyone who will work on it in the future. That means leaving comments that explain what purpose every function, variable, or class serves.
Agile Methodology Principles
The majority of development companies build their day-to-day operations on this methodology, so you have to know what it means in practice. In other words, get educated on its core values, iterations and increments, feedback loops, etc.
Part 4. Soft Skills Are Integral, Too
Apart from all of the technical skills above, recruiters always prioritize candidates that possess the following five soft skills:
- Communication and interpersonal skills;
- Collaboration and teamwork;
- Analytical mindset;
- Thinking outside the box.
Here are 10 Important Android App Developer Skills
- Sound Understanding of Business
- An Unprecedented Knowledge of Java and Kotlin
- The Significance of Critical Thinking
- Need to be an Ardent Researcher
- Need to be Technically Sound
- Vital Sense of the UX/UI
- Required Skill in Cross-Platform Solutions
- Adaptability is the Key
Skills that you must have to become an iOS developer in 2023
- The Swift 3.0 programming language
- Apple’s Xcode IDE
- Spatial Reasoning
- Design Guidelines
- UI and UX design experience
- Apple Human Interface Guidelines
- Core Data
- Grand Central Dispatch
This has been just a brief overview of all the skills you will expect when you start job hunting. There are plenty of aspects and peculiarities for every one of them, so make sure to do your research before diving right into the learning process.
If it looks somewhat overwhelming, it’s because it is a lot, objectively. That said, there’s nothing impossible about acquiring all of those skills, whether you sign up for a bootcamp or study on your own. And yes, you can do this on your own!