Mobile devices have become an essential part of human life. According to Statista, over 3.5 billion people in the world own a smartphone and this number is expected to increase even more by a whopping several hundred million over the next few years. Given this, the demand for mobile application developers continues to rise. Companies are presented with a big pool of aspiring mobile application developers, only on the lookout for the most outstanding ones. To put yourself at an advantage among hundreds of other candidates, you must possess a specific set of skills needed for mobile application development:
1. Seasoned in multiple programming languages
One of the most significant skills a company desires for their mobile application developer is someone who is experienced in multiple modern programming languages. Knowledge of several languages implies that you are well equipped to take on different situations as compared to a specialist who only knows one language.
2. Well-versed in cross-platform app development
An aspiring mobile app developer knows that he should go beyond just learning one platform. Most companies look for a developer who knows how to code the ‘big three’ operating systems in mobile application development– iOS, Android, and Windows. Having a good grasp of the three platforms will enable the company to capture more audience, while also saving resources such as time and money since there is no need to hire a second developer to produce another platform-specific application. If you’re able to build an application that is functional across the Apple App Store and Google Play store on any device, you will definitely outshine your competitors.
3. Skillful in UI/UX Design
The most vital aspect of mobile application development is being able to create a quality User Interface (UI) design to compliment its functionality. The way your application is built in terms of its usability and design will determine the User Experience (UX) and its overall success. To increase user engagement, a mobile app developer needs to ensure that the apps are responsive, smooth, easy to navigate, and appealing to the user’s eyes.
4. Proficient in cybersecurity
Security is crucial in mobile app development especially with the increasing number of malware attacks happening recently. Applications that store confidential information and sensitive user data such as online banking or money transfer applications, need to be heavily protected to avoid vulnerability to hackers. The most prevalent cybersecurity risk is extortion hacking, which not only jeopardizes company data and money, but its image as well. A developer who has experience in data encryption and mobile app security will most likely stand out to his potential employers.
5. Capable of optimizing for business
With so many existing applications today, it’s easy to get buried in it all. Thus, aside from building an application that has incredible UI for successful UX, a mobile app developer must also know how to optimize it in order to be seen among the thousands of other applications in the same category. The application could be the best in the market, but it won’t sell unless it’s highly visible to the consumers.
6. Experienced in Agile Methodologies
To make the whole process of developing a mobile application easier, the developer should be experienced in Agile Methodologies or in simple terms, stages of development. According to Agile Alliance, “Solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams utilizing the appropriate practices for their context.” These planning methodologies allow a more systematic process that is simple and easy to follow. If you’ve experienced working in an environment that follows Agile Methodologies, your prospective employer will most likely be impressed.
Soft Skills Needed For Mobile Application Development
Aside from the hard or technical skills needed to succeed in the field of mobile application development, an aspiring mobile application developer should also have the following:
1. Analytical skills
A good mobile app developer should know how to analyze the way the target audience/consumers use their devices in order to create an application tailored to their wants and needs. This will play a major role on how you will develop your UI which, as mentioned above, impacts the UX and overall success of the application.
2. Creative skills
Apart from analyzing your target audience and prospective consumers, you need to be able to build an application that is useful for everyday tasks or even more specific activities. You can create an application in so many ways– from its features to its design. However, with the right amount of creativity, you might be able to create something different or new that sets you apart from your competitors.
3. Communication skills
There’s a high chance that you will be working in a team consisting of other developers. To ensure a good working relationship, you must know how to effectively communicate your ideas and instructions to them. Aside from that, you might need to reach out to others who are also non-technical, therefore you should be able to explain technicalities to them in a way that is easy to understand.
4. Problem solving skills
Like any other developer, you should be able to solve problems when they arise. This could come in the form of a code or feature that is not working, as well as negative feedback from your application’s users. You need to be able to stay on top of these and come up with solutions that will help correct or improve the application.
With the increasing use of technology through smartphones and tablets, there’s no better time to pursue a career in the mobile application development field than now. The skills mentioned above are the key skills you should focus on if you’re highly determined to land that job as a successful mobile app developer.
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