With a single swipe or click, we are able to complete many different tasks and transfers across multiple areas. Mobile apps have changed the way we do business, communicate with each other, and access news, entertainment and other information. This invariably points out to that the role of a mobile app developer has become ever more essential to provide users new ways to engage with their smartphones. In fact, IT Career Finder called mobile application developer the best computer job through the year 2020 because of its exponential growth rate:
Mobile App Developer Career Projections | 2010 – 2020.
- 10-Year Growth: 32% (Higher than Avg.)
- 10-Year Growth Volume: 292,000 new jobs
- Average Salary: $95,000
So how does one become a mobile developer? You pick a Mobile OS Platform such as – Android, iOS, or Windows Mobile. Learn the technical skills to develop an app, come up with a creative and relevant idea for an app, polish your soft skills, conduct extensive research about your target market and start your journey.
Why Android is a preferred platform to develop software.
With more than 50 percent market share, Android is one of the dominant mobile operating systems. It’s used to run millions of apps on smartphones and tablets, and a variety of other smart devices:
Working as an Android developer can be extremely rewarding. It can also be highly challenging, especially if you are just getting started. It is very important to know and acquire the technical skills required to be successful as an Android Software Developer.
Some of these specific technical skills are:
- Java: It is a requirement to be fluent in the programming languages in Java. While Android apps can be developed using a number of different technologies, most roles are for development using Java and Android Studio in the Integrated development environment (IDE). If you are not familiar with Java programming it makes sense to go through a course which teaches basic syntax and programming structures along with lists, control structures, loops, object-oriented concepts and other variables. You will need to familiarize yourself with basic Java concepts like loops & if statements
- Familiarity with APIs: A lot of apps today have a network-based element making it sometimes essential to work with different application program interfaces (APIs). It is always a good idea to be familiar with multiple interfaces as it increases your options for development and growth.
- Android SDK: Android Software Development Kit includes a comprehensive set of development tools to create applications for the Android operating system. This makes it very important for aspiring app-developers to be well versed with the Android SDK. One should also be competent in operating the debugger in IDE to be able to troubleshoot any bugs in the code.
- Back-end Skills: Backend computing skill may include Database Management, Security, Interaction with Hardware, and Memory allocation implementation. Fluency in all of these areas is a must.
- Web development languages: Knowledge of HTML and CSS will help a developer to decide the Positioning of various components, deciding the colours, fast loading and operation of the application. XML, though important is fairly easy to understand. You will need it for design purposes and it can be learned on the go.
You will also need to know the steps to install an IDE like Android Studio or Eclipse. A lot of tutorials about Android app development are based on Eclipse. So, it will make sense for a beginner to start with Eclipse & graduate to Android Studio. Android Studio is the way ahead for Android IDEs & comes with helpful features like auto-correction and the preview view next to an XML file.
Another great resource for anyone who wants to become an Android Developer is the Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. Many people consider it as the best book to learn about Android development from as it uses a practical approach to developing apps, which are compatible with all versions of Android.
Other skills discussed above will be a value addition for anyone who is trying to enter the world of Android development. Technical skills are important as they help you design great apps whereas the non-technical skills like communication, collaboration and writing will help you showcase your all-round abilities and succeed in this field. This particular market provides an endless list of opportunities that are coupled with a relatively low cost of learning and implementation.
Madarapu Nagaraju is a co-founder and director at KnowledgeHut. With over seven years of experience, he possesses a bias for innovation and has an ability to connect the dots between thinking up strategies and executing them on the ground. He has played a pivotal role in building international alliances and expansion of the learning business overseas from one centre in Bengaluru to over 90 countries.