Previously, we conditionally divided mobile development into two areas: by the purpose of the product and by technical parameters. And if the first point at the time of mastering the profession will not greatly affect the educational process, then the choice of platform is of fundamental importance.
To decide what to write code on, a novice specialist can go in two ways: from personal preferences (try different options and stop at what you like best) to following the requirements of a particular employer whose team he wants to get into.
It is worth noting that large IT companies prefer “pure” developers who are fluent in one platform (iOS or Android). “Mixed” specialists practicing hybrid and cross-platform development are a little less interested in them.
Many advise you to start your journey in mobile development with Android. And if you came to mobile without an IT background, even more so. This is due to the availability of technology and information, the abundance of structured guides and books for mastering the platform.
What are the requirements for a candidate for the position of mobile developer
There are a number of specialized basic knowledge and skills, without which the chances of getting into a good project are significantly reduced:
- knowledge of programming languages depending on the chosen platform (Objective-C, Swift, Java, Kotlin and others);
- excellent understanding of the principles of the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, the ability and experience to upload applications there;
- understanding of the specifics of design, layout, design of mobile applications, UX \ UI;
- knowledge of the basics of object-oriented programming;
- possession of the tools necessary for the project (libraries, platforms, frameworks);
- ability to read and correct code written by other developers.
- Application debugging and testing skills;
- knowledge of English;
- understanding of the application architecture, the ability to harmoniously build it;
- ability to write technical documentation for created applications.
Android specialists write in Java & Kotlin. These languages are a mandatory requirement for applicants. In addition, the candidate must be familiar with the Android SDK system, know the entire architecture and environment of Android.
It will also be useful to familiarize yourself with the additional resources of the platform. Android has a dedicated developer site with helpful documentation, an alternative version of the Google Wear operating system for programming smartwatches, and a separate platform for working with augmented reality apps. Otherwise, the requirements do not differ much from the general ones listed above.
To work on the iOS operating system, you need Swift in the first place, as well as Objective-C. It is important to consider: to write for iOS, you need technology from Apple. Most often, the company offers corporate laptops to employees, however, if you are a freelancer, you may have to take care of the equipment yourself. At the same time, do not forget that Apple is a separate caste and a rather closed ecosystem, so you still have to get used to working on a conditional MacBook.
By the way, you should not think that by choosing one of the platforms, you will close the other for yourself. Knowledge is power. Many employers require knowledge of the competitor’s architecture and programming principles, so it’s a good idea to navigate each of the platforms.
What personal qualities should a mobile developer have?
The classic set of the ideal employee has not been canceled either. Responsibility, the ability to work in a team, stress resistance and an adequate response to criticism, an analytical mindset and skills for long-term concentration on a task will also increase the chances of a developer to get into a serious team and stay in it.
The ability to self-learn is especially important for the applicant, because, as we said above, the industry does not stand still, which means that studies will not end with courses or a university, you will need to deal with new “features” further, but by yourself.
Is it necessary to know foreign languages for a successful career?
Without a confident knowledge of the English language, it will be difficult for a mobile developer. In addition to the basic terms, concepts and structures that appear even in the programming language, English will accompany you at all stages of mastering the profession. For example, not all documentation for iOS developers is generally translated into foreign languages.
Proficiency in English will open up huge opportunities for self-development, which feeds the developer. There are often online conferences or webinars in the world that need to be watched in this particular language.
But the most important thing here is potential employment. Many developers, in order to gain experience and decorate their resumes, get internships at the largest IT companies.
In addition, many go on to freelance in the future and find clients all over the world, communication with them usually takes place in English
Where to learn mobile app development
The managerial boom has passed, and the queue for law and economics schools is shrinking, because today’s graduates are inspired to watch films about Silicon (Silicon) Valley. However, IT companies do not stop complaining, believing that the market is more empty than full. There are many applicants, and sensible ones – 1 to 100.
In addition to referrals to universities around the world, many online schools on mobile development appear every year, and large employers often offer their courses for potential employees.
For example, we launched our own educational project in order not to wait for specialists to grow up, but to speed up this process in a controlled manner. Teachers are developers themselves, who know their business not in theory, but in practice, and can share real experience with IT leaders. Knowledge of applied sciences in universities is outdated. They teach fundamental sciences very well, but they do not teach the modern Web\Mobile technology stack.
Of course, one course is not enough: the amount of independent work and continuous practice plays a huge role. Dozens of certificates and diplomas do not guarantee the creation of at least one application. New approaches, techniques, technologies and platforms are constantly emerging in mobile development, so you need to constantly learn.
On the courses of educational platforms, on YouTube videos, through specialized literature or together with a mentor – there are many options, but it is best to combine all available sources of knowledge and put it into practice.