A Career in Mobile App Development

What is a Mobile App Developer?

As more and more individuals begin using smartphones and tablets for everyday use, software companies are rushing to create apps that provide entertainment value or meet consumer needs. This kind of technology has created a boom in business for those who can create the apps that consumers can't live without. According to a report by the Nielson Company, 94 percent of U.S. citizens over age 16 used a smartphone in 2012. With statistics like that, it's no wonder why mobile app development has become big business. So, who creates the mobile apps that are so popular today? And how can you become a mobile app developer?

What is a mobile app developer?

A mobile app developer conceptualizes and creates applications for mobile devices. Some mobile app developers may create apps based on their own ideas, while others are hired by companies to create apps for their particular brand or product. In addition to creating apps, mobile app developers must troubleshoot for problems and ensure optimum performance. Not unlike traditional software developers, mobile app developers make use of technology to create the mobile applications that we use in everyday life.

How can you become a mobile app developer?

If you want to become a mobile app developer, you may want to start by earning a bachelor's degree in computer science, software development or a related field. You may also want to earn a specialized degree in software application development or mobile application development. Since mobile app development is an evolving industry, it's also important to stay up to date on current technological advances. Currently, there isn't an industry standard for certification. However, some companies may require a certification beyond postsecondary education. For instance, CompTIA and viaForensics recently introduced CompTIA Secure Mobile App Developer Certification. The Mobile Development Institute (MDI) offers MDICD, a certified developer certification. Additionally, Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer (SCMAD) is now available for the Java 2 Platform. Before applying for certification, it's important to verify which choice would be best for your situation and employer.

A bachelor's degree may not be required if you have substantial experience in mobile app development. For many employers, your abilities are more important than your educational background.

Why would you want to become a mobile app developer?

The mobile app industry is growing at a phenomenal rate. In fact, revenue from mobile consumer apps is expected to grow to 51.7 billion dollars by 2016 (schools.com). That's enormous growth by any measure and it may be the reason why so many computer professionals are eager to learn how to create mobile apps. With so much money on the line, companies may be willing to pay top dollar for the best talent in the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national mean annual wage for software application developers was $93,280 in May 2012 (BLS.gov/oes, 2012).

Do you have what it takes to become a mobile app developer?

Mobile app developers need a variety of skills in order to become successful. Most importantly, they should have a broad knowledge of computer software and technological concepts. The creative side of the industry also requires that mobile app developers have the imagination and desire to create the unique and must-have apps that we all enjoy. In addition to having the ability to conceptualize and design, mobile app developers need to know how to properly create a user interface that's easy to use and functional. Mobile app developers also need to have experience in database management, security, hardware interaction and memory allocation. In addition, they should also be knowledgeable in a variety of software programming and web development languages.

Sources:
"How to become a mobile app developer," schools.com, Kristin Marino, August 27, 2012, http://www.schools.com/visuals/how-to-become-mobile-app-developer.html
"Mobile Application Development," searchsoa.techtarget.com, Margaret Rouse, October 2011, http://searchsoa.techtarget.com/definition/Mobile-application-development
"The Mobile Consumer - A Global Snapshot," PrepaidMNVO, February 2013, http://www.prepaidmvno.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Mobile-Consumer-Report-2013.pdf
"Software Developers, Applications," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151132.htm#nat
"Your next job: Mobile app developer?" Computerworld, Beth Stackpole, June 27, 2011, http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9217885/Your_next_job_Mobile_app_developer_

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