The mobile app development field is deep and wide. However, there’s a significant gap between those who know a little about developing apps and those whose skills are in high demand. If you want to carve out a successful career as an app developer, it’s important that you learn the basics and establish a solid foundation upon which you can grow in the years to come.
The Demand for Mobile App Developers
Mobile app developers have been in demand for the better part of a decade and will continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future. The mobile apps industry has yet to peak and some estimate it’ll reach $99 billion this year.
There are many factors that make the mobile app developer career field an attractive one. Not only is it one of the few high-paying fields where you have the ability to earn six figures without a college degree, but it also promises ample flexibility. App developers often work remotely and can design apps for companies in a variety of industries. For this reason, job burnout is quite low.
5 Ways to Improve Your Skills
Developing apps is like anything else – it requires knowledge, experience, and creativity. As you seek to enhance and expand your skills, you’ll find the following tips helpful:
- Surround Yourself With Smart People
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn is famous for pushing the theory that we are all the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. It’s a commonly accepted idea in the world of psychology and one that app developers shouldn’t shy away from.
The people you spend the most time with shape who you are, philosopher Maarten van Doorn writes. They determine what conversations dominate your attention. They affect to which attitudes and behaviors you are regularly exposed. Eventually you start to think like they think and behave like they behave.
If you want to improve your skills, make sure you’re spending time with people who are more talented, creative, and experienced than you are. Some of their attributes will rub off on you.
- Gain On-the-Job Experience
It’s not enough to surround yourself with other developers. You won’t become a successful app developer through osmosis. You also need to gain some on-the-job experience.
Nothing can replicate developing apps with your own hands. You’ll mess up, succeed, discover how you think, and find motivation in the creative processes of your brain.
- Stay Up to Date on Trends
Though the fundamentals of app development may remain relatively stable over the years, numerous trends are constantly evolving. Being aware of these best practices will enable you to be competitive in a crowded niche. For example, app security is a major focus at the moment.
As a developer, you need to take precautions and use encryption as well as other tactics, like two-factor authentication (2FA), to protect sensitive info, BuildFire advises. Make sure users can wipe all of their data if their device gets lost. Set up automatic backups as well.
- Invest in Formal Training and Courses
In addition to your on-the-job experience, it’s helpful to supplement your learning with formal training as well. This allows you to add to your underlying talents and keep your developer skills up to date. There are a multitude of ways to do this, including through local community colleges, online education platforms, and via local developer groups and associations.
- Network Like a Maniac
You can learn a lot on your own, but it’s important to have powerful connections with other talented people – both inside and outside of the industry. Networking allows you to build, nurture, and enjoy these relationships.
Networking can happen in a formal way – like at industry conferences and events – as well as informally – like at bars, parties, and family gatherings. Treat everyone like a potential connection and watch as your professional network grows.
Set Yourself Apart
As previously mentioned, there’s a significant difference between being an app developer and a skilled app developer. In order to be competitive and make good money, you need to set yourself apart. Begin refining your skills and don’t be afraid to try new things. Both your successes and failures will shape you.