You have seen programmers in the movies which are often introverts and paid obscene amounts of money, but real life isn’t like the movies. While some programmers or app developers may be introverted not all of them are and not all app developers make a huge salary. In fact, independent app developers sometimes don’t even cover back the fees to get their apps listed on the app store.
In this article, we will give you some tips on how you can prepare for a career as an app developer.
Decide on your operating system
When starting off you may not have the budget to work with both Android and Apple computers. So stick with what you know. If you own a PC learn Android development first and the same goes for Mac devices.
That said if you have access to both operating systems it may come down to the language that these apps are coded in. Android apps can be coded in Java which is a language that has a rich history and support for if you get stuck on your development journey and could be a little easier to learn than IOS programming which has changed over the years from Objective C to Swift.
If you don’t have a preference try both of them first and see which language feels more comfortable to you. You may also want to consider if you want to be an iPhone developer or Android developer and which are in more demand in terms of job prospects.
There are no right or wrong answers and being an Android or IOS developer is going to be an awesome career to pursue.
Decide on the types of apps you want to make
The types of apps you want to make can also influence the languages that you will have to use to create them. If you want to code Medical apps for example you won’t need to know the different game engines which are using in game development. Having a rough idea of the types of apps you want to build will allow you to focus your time on learning the right skillset.
In the example above with a medical app, the programmer would benefit from learning how to use databases to store user data rather than how to render particles for an explosion effect in a game.
If you want to go down the independent developer route you will need to team up along the way with other talented specialists. For example, you may be a great coder but you struggle with artwork. A good app needs to run well while looking aesthetically pleasing.
Most developers won’t have the time or skill set to learn design so in this case teaming up with someone will be beneficial. If you don’t have the budget to pay someone you could look to team up with a designer and split the profits.
With that said you should warn the designer that there might not be any profits especially if this is one of your first apps. Apple’s app store has a yearly development fee to keep your apps listed and a sad statistic is most developers don’t earn enough money to pay for this fee.
Do you need a degree?
You don’t need a degree to become a programmer or app developer, with that said if you are in college or university studying programming or development it is going to benefit you when applying for jobs. Certain businesses will require you to have a degree but thankfully most won’t as long as you can demonstrate that you have the technical knowledge to do so.
If you don’t have a degree you are going to need to build your own apps, get them live on the app store, and be able to showcase you have the technical knowledge and skills to be considered for the job.
Either way, having a portfolio of apps is going to benefit you and one way of building a portfolio is to practice.
The best way of practising and getting better at building apps is to build apps as often as you can. Each app should get more complex and have new features by doing so you are going to expand on your skills.
Some websites that can help you improve on your coding knowledge include:
Entering the job market
App development is in big demand and as more people use their mobile devices it’s going to get more popular. This will result in the demand for developers to increase leaving you with a great opportunity to start your career as an app developer.
When you have a portfolio of work and are confident in your skills you should set up a LinkedIn profile and add all of the IT recruitment companies in your local area, or if you are willing to travel add them in that location too.
LinkedIn is a great way of connecting with the right people so you can also use it to connect with owners of companies you would like to work with too.
Once your LinkedIn is set up you can also try some freelance app development work on the side. This will give you the real-world experience of dealing with clients and real-world problems. One word of advice would be to not take on hugely complex apps right away because you may get stuck and as a freelancer, you don’t have anyone to turn to if something goes wrong. Websites such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com are great places to find freelance app development jobs.
Your job as an app developer is never done and as devices become more complex you will need to keep up to date with the latest technologies. If constantly learning and being busy constantly while having to solve problems daily is something that sounds good then an app development career is for you.