How to become a mobile app developer?

Page reviewed by: Abhinav Girdhar | Last Updated on September 6th, 2023 2:37 pm

An application developer is a software engineer or programmer who is responsible for the development of applications, or software programs. They are responsible for designing, coding, testing, and debugging applications. Application developers have experience in a variety of programming languages and computer systems, and they use their knowledge to create software solutions for businesses and other organizations.

Apps are essential for today’s digital lifestyle, providing users with access to information, entertainment, and services. App developers create the user experience for these apps and make them easier to use. They also help ensure that apps are secure and perform optimally on different devices. With the increasing popularity of mobile devices, app developers have become an integral part of the tech industry.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the requirement for mobile app developers would increase by more than 57% in the period between 2010 and 2020.

We live in an era where mobile app ideas are bubbling underneath every conceivable surface and at one point or another, every aspiring entrepreneur has asked themselves – how to become a mobile app developer.

Here, we will be talking about a number of topics that are relevant for mobile app developers including the mobile app development process, how to start an app development company, and more.


  1. Why get involved in app development?
  2. What does an app developer do?
  3. Skills of an application developer
  4. How to become a mobile app developer
  5. Planning the budget for mobile app development
  6. Key Challenges Faced By A New App Developer
  7. Learn How to Become a Mobile App Developer
  8. Summing Up

Create Your App

Why get involved in app development?

Getting involved in app development can be a great way to learn new skills, develop creative ideas, and potentially start a successful business. App development is an ever-growing industry, so it can also be a great way to stay up to date with the latest trends and technology. Additionally, many app developers have the potential to make money from their apps, so it can be a great way to supplement your income or even create a full-time job.

Why get involved in app development?

What does an app developer do?

An app developer, sometimes referred to as a mobile application developer, is responsible for creating, designing, and programming mobile applications for various platforms. They are often involved in all stages of the development process, from concept and design to coding and testing. App developers must be knowledgeable about the platform they are developing for and must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the mobile industry.

Roles and responsibilities of an application developer

An Application Developer is responsible for designing, coding, testing, implementing, and maintaining software applications. They must have the ability to develop applications for multiple platforms and be familiar with a variety of programming languages. Depending on the job, they may also be responsible for creating user interfaces, integrating existing components into a software system, and performing tests to ensure the proper functioning of applications. Additionally, Application Developers may be required to provide technical support for users.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Designing and developing software applications according to requirements.
  • Writing code in a variety of programming languages.
  • Testing applications for errors and debugging them.
  • Integrating existing components into a software system.
  • Creating user interfaces.
  • Documenting design features and implementation details.
  • Performing research on emerging technologies.
  • Providing technical support for users.

Create Your App

Skills of an application developer

An application developer is a software engineer who creates, tests and maintains computer applications. Application developers are responsible for developing the software’s functionality, functionality testing, bug fixing, and maintenance. They are also responsible for producing technical specifications and design documents, as well as providing technical support.

Soft skills:

  1. Good problem-solving skills are also important for application developers. They must be able to identify problems quickly and efficiently in order to provide a solution that meets user requirements. In addition, they must be able to think logically and have excellent troubleshooting skills in order to find solutions to complex problems.
  2. Application developers must also have strong analytical skills in order to understand user requirements and develop appropriate solutions. They should be able to interpret data and analyze trends in order to identify opportunities for improvement or new features. They should also be able to evaluate different approaches to solving a problem in order to determine the most effective one.
  3. Communication skills are essential for application developers, as they must be able to effectively communicate with both technical and non-technical people. This includes being able to explain complex concepts clearly and concisely. They should also be able to understand user needs in order to develop applications that meet those requirements.
  4. Time management is another important skill for application developers. They must be able to manage their time effectively in order to meet deadlines and handle multiple projects simultaneously. They should also be able to prioritize tasks in order to ensure that the most important tasks are completed first.
  5. Finally, an application developer must have good interpersonal skills in order to work effectively with other members of the development team, as well as with users of the software. They should have strong leadership qualities in order to motivate their team and ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.
  6. App developers must also have the ability to collaborate effectively with their colleagues and stakeholders. App development is a team effort that requires collaboration among members of different teams. App developers must be able to work together with other members of the team in order to create a successful app. Furthermore, they must be able to take feedback from stakeholders into account when making decisions about the design and functionality of the app.
  7. Finally, it’s important for app developers to have a positive attitude and enthusiasm for their work. An enthusiastic attitude helps motivate other team members and encourages collaboration between them. Additionally, it’s important for app developers to have a passion for learning new technologies and staying up-to-date on the latest trends in mobile app development. Having a positive attitude towards learning can help ensure that they remain competitive in the industry.

Soft skills are essential for any app developer looking to become successful in their career. Communication, problem-solving, collaboration, enthusiasm, and a passion for learning are all important soft skills that an app developer should possess in order to be successful in their role. With these skills, app developers can ensure that they stay competitive in the industry and create apps that meet the needs of users.

Hard skills:

App development is the process of creating, testing, deploying, and maintaining software applications for various platforms such as mobile, web, or desktop. It involves a range of technical and creative skills. To become an app developer, you will need to develop both hard and soft skills. Hard skills refer to the technical abilities and knowledge required to design, develop and deploy applications. They are measurable, transferable, and specific to a particular job or industry.

  1. The first hard skill required to become an app developer is coding. Coding refers to writing instructions using a programming language in order to create a software application. Different programming languages are available for different platforms. For example, Java is often used for Android applications and Objective-C is used for iOS applications. Aspiring app developers should be able to write code with efficiency and accuracy. They should also be able to troubleshoot any errors that occur during development.
  2. Another hard skill needed to become an app developer is database management. Database management involves creating and managing databases that store application data such as user information, settings, preferences, etc. This requires knowledge of different database management systems (DBMS) such as Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, etc. A good understanding of database structures and query languages is also important in order to be able to effectively manage data stored in the database.
  3. Other essential skills include user interface (UI) design, user experience (UX) design, version control, software testing and DevOps (development operations). UI design involves creating the graphical user interface of the application which includes the layout, menus, buttons, etc., while UX design involves creating an intuitive user experience by focusing on how users interact with the application. Version control involves keeping track of changes made to the code over time in order to make it easier for developers to collaborate on a project. Software testing refers to testing the application for bugs or errors before it is released in order to ensure its quality and performance. Finally, DevOps involves automating software development processes in order to speed up the development cycle and improve productivity.

Overall, becoming an app developer requires strong technical abilities as well as creative problem-solving skills in order to create effective user experiences. The hard skills mentioned above are essential for any aspiring app developer who wants to excel in this field.


Create Your App

How to become a mobile app developer

Now, as a concept, Mobile App Development may seem complicated and an uphill task. However, like any other skill, app development can be learned when you invest time and practice dedicatedly, of course with help from experts.

Let’s start with the reasons why you may be considering becoming an app developer, and then discuss the approach that is best suited to your intent.

Probable reasons why you want to become an app developer

There are millions of apps everywhere, literally millions.

The current trends indicate that by 2022, the annual mobile app downloads will reach 258 million

However, just because the app space is stuffed with millions of apps, it doesn’t mean you should be disheartened.

Yes, you will face competition, but not all of these would be awesome apps in exactly your industry, doing exactly what you want to accomplish with your app.

You must create an app that genuinely makes a difference and offers something better than all the other apps in the market. And, to make that happen, you first need to learn app development so that you can create an app all by yourself.

Reasons why you want to become a mobile app developer

Now, let’s take a look at the most probable reasons that may be driving you to become an app developer yourself.

You want to build your startup

If you have a brilliant new app idea that stands to become as huge as let’s say WhatsApp or Instagram, well…kudos!

Ambitious, as it may be, this is where you stand to make the most profit.

In this case, you will have to start from scratch and learn how to develop an app from the scratch! Additionally, it is critical that you have clarity on your app monetization strategy. Of course, you can charge people for downloading your app, however, a majority of mobile apps are available for free.

You want to be a freelance mobile app developer or start an app development company

If you are planning to start freelancing or start an app store of your own, you already have a monetization strategy in place. You develop apps for your clients and then charge them for it. You can crank up your profits by applying your marketing skills and offering consultancy.

You want to create an app as an extension of your business

In case you fall under this category and are planning to create your own app to serve as an extension of the brand you have created, the business, or even a website, you have a lot that you need to think about. The first of your worries should be the budget you have at hand.


Create Your App

Planning the budget for mobile app development

Though the budget for app development varied from app to app and depends on multiple elements, the majority of the businesses set apart a budget between $250,000 and $500,000 for the 12 to 18 months that follow.

It does come across as a steep budget, but then, the costs vary and are dependent upon the location.

In North America, the cost of app development is, on average, about $150, whereas in Indonesia you would be paying about $10 an hour for the same job.

So, if travel to Indonesia isn’t on your cards, your app may take about 7-9 months and cost you about $270,000.

Not many businesses have that kind of resources or time to invest in app development.

This, however, does not mean that you can never get a mobile app for your business. Read further ahead to know about the most cost-effective ways to develop your app, particularly if you have budgetary constraints or do not have the time or skill to develop one yourself.


Create Your App

Key Challenges Faced By A New App Developer

Here is the list of major key challenges that an app developer needs to prepare for and have a handy set of solutions right at the beginning.

1. Creating an App that Stands Apart

In today’s digital era, the market is flooded with a plethora of content when it comes to app development. The app stores are bursting at the seams with one app after the other finding their way on to the platform. With hundreds of apps running into the app stores every day, it is critical that you as an app developer come up with an idea that is unique. You must perform a lot of research to come up with the idea for the app. Make sure you understand your target market, the issues that the app intends to address, the solutions provided by the app, the competitors, the existing versions, price of the app, and what your app will offer that no one else does yet.

2. Smooth Cross Platform Functioning

Gone are the days when you could create an app that supports a standard device size or a single platform. Consumers are nowadays using a variety of devices with different Operating Systems, screen sizes, pixel intensities, embedded technologies, and more. You must not now design and develop an app that works only on the latest platform, it needs to have the ability to transcend through as many devices and configurations as possible. To prevent this from happening, you can create an ap with a responsive design that gives more liquidity to the screen and hence can be adjusted as per the format and size of the screens.

3. Keeping it Simple

Keeping an app simple is one of the most overlooked challenges. An app gets overlooked as it is such a basic thing that we as developers might end up taking it for granted. Make sure your app does not make the user think; the interaction or navigation in the app should come naturally. An app needs to be self-explanatory for it to be considered good. To fix this pitfall, you need to make your app simple and clear. A concise app brief, a crisp structure, tutorials etc. are just a few of the many ways in which this may be done.

4. Create an Interactive App

An app needs to be interactive as interactions with the users hold a great importance when it comes to the success of the app. You must create a well chalked out plan for the interactions you want to include a long time before the design phase, in the interest of saving up on crucial time during the phase. You can also explore options other than tap and swipe, consider including tilting, shaking, flipping etc. to make the interactions more engaging.

5. Smart Marketing Or Promotion

Promoting an app and taking it to the market comes with a set of challenges that are not limited to stringent timelines, stiff competition, and lack of appropriate platforms. You need to market your app to the right audience if you want it to become successful. You can always take the help of various apps available for the purpose. You can also seek professionals who can market your app banking on their experience and expertise.


Create Your App

Learn How to Become a Mobile App Developer

1. Learn how to code

The first option for anyone who wants to become an app developer is to learn how to code from scratch. Learning to code does not really mean you would have to spend years in school and thousands of dollars to get formal education. There are multiple online resources rich in video, audio, and text content that can help you learn how to code for app development.

The requirement for most of these resources is a computer and a Wi-Fi connection. Two of the most effective platforms I recommend are Team Treehouse and Code Academy. However, coding is only one part of the entire app development process. There is a lot more that goes on between getting an app idea and finally converting it into an app that your targeted app users can download it on their devices and start using it.

This is where the proverbial lean startup methodology can help you. This means, instead of spending years perfecting a product and launching it with chances of it failing entirely, you should continue research and keep getting feedback from users all through the app development process.

Following the lean startup methodology lets you make necessary changes through the app development process and prevent any errors that have a large-scale impact. In fact, this process lets you address the proverbial question – whether you should continue working on the app, or cut your losses and be done with it, to avoid bigger losses in the future.

Three basic principles that you must adhere to include –

  1. Build
  2. Measure
  3. Learn

Becoming an app developer is an exciting and rewarding career choice. With the ever-expanding technology industry, app development is a field that requires a variety of skills and knowledge to be successful. To become an app developer, you must have a combination of technical abilities, creative problem-solving skills, and business acumen. Here is a guide to help you become an app developer:

2. Build Your Technical Skills

The most important skill for an app developer is a strong understanding of computer programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other coding languages. Familiarity with popular frameworks such as React Native, Ionic, Xamarin, and Flutter can also be beneficial. It is important to keep up to date with the most recent trends in programming and technologies. You should also develop your knowledge in other areas like databases, hardware, software libraries, compilers and network communication protocols.

3. Get Educated

Although it is possible to become an app developer without formal education, having a degree or other professional certifications can give you a competitive advantage. There are various educational programs available in the field of computer science that can help you build the skills needed to become a successful app developer. Additionally, taking courses related to mobile development will provide you with the necessary foundation to develop mobile apps.

4. Get Experience

Experience is essential if you want to become an app developer. Working on projects with real-world applications will help you gain valuable skills and experience that employers are looking for. You can find opportunities by joining online communities or signing up for hackathons or coding challenges. Participating in these activities will help you gain exposure and hone your skills as a developer.

5. Develop Your Design Skills

An important skill for any app developer is having a good understanding of user experience (UX) design principles. You should familiarize yourself with basic design principles such as color theory, typography and layout design as well as other tools like Adobe Photoshop or Sketch. Additionally, learning about common design patterns and techniques used in mobile apps will help you create effective user interfaces (UI).

6. Prepare Your Portfolio

Creating a portfolio of your work is an important step in becoming an app developer. Your portfolio should showcase your best projects and demonstrate your technical abilities as well as your ability to solve complex problems creatively. The portfolio should include screenshots of the apps you’ve built along with a description of the features and any challenges you overcame while building them. Having a portfolio will also help employers get an idea of your capabilities as a developer.

7. Network & Promote Yourself

Networking is another essential step in becoming an app developer. Connecting with people in the industry can open up opportunities for collaboration and potential job offers. Social media platforms like LinkedIn are great resources for connecting with professionals in the industry and promotional activities such as writing blog posts or speaking at events can help increase your visibility as an app developer. By following these steps, you will be well on your way to becoming an app developer. This field requires dedication and hard work but it can be incredibly rewarding when you see your ideas come to life in the form of mobile apps used by millions of people around the world.

Summing Up

Becoming an app developer can be a rewarding career path, as you’ll have the opportunity to create something meaningful and make a real difference in people’s lives. It’s a great way to tap into your creative side, and if you’re dedicated and willing to put in the work, you can achieve success. As we’ve seen, to become an app developer, it’s important to have a good understanding of coding languages such as Java, HTML, CSS, and SQL along with a working knowledge of mobile platforms such as iOS or Android. Additionally, it’s beneficial to have experience with software development tools like Xcode or Android Studio. Finally, it’s important to understand the design process and have the ability to create user interfaces that are intuitive and easy to use. By having the necessary skills and knowledge, you can break into the world of app development and start creating successful apps that make a difference.