Mobile App Development

App development career track

What is Mobile App Development?

Mobile development is building software to run on mobile devices like tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches. Everything from Instagram to enterprise apps fit in this category. Mobile apps are built for the general public, private companies, and the government. Mobile apps might be native (written in a specific platform’s language) or non-native, written to work on multiple platforms. Android apps are typically written in Java while Apple/iOS apps are written in Swift or Objective-C. These languages are preapproved by the vendor who manufactures the device. 

Mobile App Developer Jobs

Mobile app developers are in high demand regardless of which platform you choose to build for. The mobile app economy is expected to hit $102.5 billion in revenues in 2020. There have never been more mobile devices on the market as there are right now. After a mobile development bootcamp, you can design native apps for a vendor like Apple or Google, develop apps at a startup, or even create your own app and start a business yourself

Here is a list of the most common Mobile App Developer job titles for bootcampers:

  • Mobile Application Developer
  • Mobile Application Programmer
  • iOS Mobile Application Developer
  • Android Developer
  • Mobile Engineer
  • Mobile Software Engineer
  • Hybrid Mobile Application Developer
  • Mobile Developer
  • Software Developer, Mobile

Mobile App Developer Job Description

The job description for a Mobile App Developer often depends on the employer. The primary duty of a Mobile App Developer is to create, maintain, and implement source code that meets the requirements of the client. A Mobile App Developer should understand the different platforms, tools available, and be able to design for any mobile device. They should be able to communicate clearly and effectively with their team in order to fulfill the client’s needs. The Mobile App Developer should understand the entire development process of an application. As such, they’ll also understand how to develop a minimum viable product (MVP). Their duties may include one or all of the steps in the design, develop, test, release, maintain lifecycle. 

Mobile App Developer Salaries

Mobile Developer Job Average Salary
Mobile App Developer $41,195-$108,890
iOS Developer $80,343
Android Developer $77,442

 

Mobile App Developer Skills

Most app developer positions do not require a degree but they will require you to prove your skills with a coding challenge or whiteboarding. You should have a portfolio of your own apps ready to show potential employers, too! Strong communication skills are a must in app development because most positions require collaboration with other designers, developers, and departments as well as interaction with clients. 

A Mobile App Developer should have strong analytical skills, be creative, pay attention to little details, and be able to solve problems with little to no assistance. Depending on whether you choose to develop for Android, iOS, or both will determine if you need to know a few of the technologies listed below or most of them. You will be able to learn these skills at a mobile development bootcamp.

To be an Android Developer you’ll need to know:  

  • Java - is a core language that is the most commonly used language for Android development. Apps built in the Android Studio are written in Java. 
  • C++ - C++ is an object-oriented core language that is less commonly used but still sometimes found in Android mobile apps. 
  • Android Studio - Android Studio is the official Integrated Development Environment for Android app development. 
  • Eclipse - Eclipse is a tool similar to Android Studio used to develop code for android apps. 
  • XML - XML is a markup language used to store information. 
  • Kotlin - Kotlin is an open-source, programming language. It’s designed to be more concise and work well with Java and JavaScript. 
  • Unity - Unity is used for Android game development. 

To be an iOS Developer you’ll need:

  • Objective-C - Objective-C is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language that was created in 1980. It is the main language used for iOS and macOS. 
  • Swift - Swift was created by Apple in 2014 as the first protocol-oriented programming language. It’s used to build apps for the iOS platform. 
  • Xcode - Xcode is the Integrated Development Environment for iOS apps. 

You can develop on both operating systems using:

  • React Native - React was originally released by Facebook as a framework for JavaScript with User Interface in mind. React Native is the mobile development version which also keeps User Interface as its top priority. It brings web development concepts to the mobile development world. 
  • Text Editor - A text editor is a computer program that allows users to edit a variety of programming language files. 
  • Chrome Debugger - The Chrome Debugger API can be used to debug JavaScript and CSS. 

Other useful skills for Mobile App Developers include: 

  • HTML - HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It is a standardized markup language used for creating a webpage. These pages can include writing, links, pictures, sound, and video. HTML is used to denote these elements so that the web browser can display them correctly. 
  • CSS - CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is used alongside HTML and JavaScript to control the layout and presentation of a website.
  • JavaScript - JavaScript is the most popular language on the web. It is a scripting language used to enhance and manipulate web pages by adding interactivity.
  • Frameworks - JavaScript frameworks are collections of JavaScript code that provide developers with prewritten code to use for routine actions and to easily implement best practices and standards. 
    • jQuery - jQuery is a JavaScript framework that simplifies a variety of programming operations like mouse clicks and keystrokes, adding and deleting elements, and dynamic content that is readable by search engines.
    • Bootstrap - Bootstrap is a CSS framework for developing responsive and mobile-optimized websites.  
    • ReactJS - React is an open-source JavaScript framework from Facebook that provides a view for HTML data or user interfaces.  

Android vs iOS Mobile App Development

The demand for Android and iOS Developers are about the same, with about 5,000 open jobs each in the US on average. The pay for Developers on both platforms is almost equal as well. In the US market, iOS controls about 58% while Android makes up about 41%. Globally, however, Android takes over 73% of market shares while iOS rings in at just 26%.  

Aditya Narayan, the CEO and co-founder of TurnToTech says, “Because there is so much opportunity in mobile right now, it’s completely legitimate to go with what you like to use as a user. But you can be more analytical than that. If your aspirations are tied to the international market, Android is a good option. If your focus is the US market or you want to monetize through in-app purchases, iOS is your best choice. It’s not a once in a lifetime decision. If you can write apps in iOS, you can easily transition to Android and vice versa.”

How to choose between Android vs. iOS: If you’re starting as a complete beginner, then Android and iOS will likely take the same amount of time to learn. If you’ve already learned Java, start with Android. If you’ve already learned C++ or C, pick up iOS first.

How to Become a Mobile App Developer

You could get a degree in computer science and then teach yourself Swift, Objective-C, or Java online. This option will take ~4 years and cost over $100,000. While Android and iOS aren’t the only platforms out there, they do comprise 99% of the market. 

Mobile Developer Bootcamp

Learning to code with a bootcamp is probably the fastest option. If you learn better in a classroom, need career assistance, or want the connection of a cohort to bolster your learning experience, then bootcamp is for you! Most bootcamps specialize in either iOS or Android. Mobile bootcamps can range from 5 weeks to 10 months, and vary in price from $5,000-$15,000. Tuition range depends on a variety of factors based on location, immersive vs part-time, online vs in-person. Many bootcamps now offer deferred tuition, Income Share Agreements, and financing options. 

Online Learning Resources

Of course, you can learn the technical skills to become a Mobile App Developer entirely online. This option is for the self-starter who is disciplined and creative enough to build their own curriculum or pay for an online, self-paced curriculum. Online resources like Team Treehouse and Codecademy offer free trials and paid monthly subscription. 

More articles about Mobile App Development


Article


How to Find Remote Developer Jobs

Learn how to find an online job after coding bootcamp with insight from the CodingNomads co-founder!

How to find remote coding work

Ultimate Guide


Beginner's Guide to Swift

Everything you need to know about the iOS language created by Apple – including how to learn Swift!

How to learn swift

webinar


Developing for iOS: Objective-C vs Swift

Bloc mentor Steve Schauer teaches us all about the two mobile development languages!

Ios objective c vs swift

The 99 Best Mobile App Development Bootcamps

  • Avg Rating: 4.76 (497 reviews)

    Tacoma, Spokane, Bellingham, and 43 more...3 Courses

    nucamp-logo

    Nucamp is a part-time, 22-week full stack web and mobile development bootcamp in underserved communities across the U.S. and online. Nucamp offers a hybrid learning...

    Read our Full Review of Nucamp
  • Avg Rating: 4.3 (458 reviews)

    Sydney, London, Melbourne, and 32 more...18 Courses

    general-assembly-logo

    General Assembly offers short and long courses in web and mobile development, product management, data science and more, online and in-person, across 15 campuses in 4 continents. Focusing on the most relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business, and...

    Read our Full Review of General Assembly
  • BrainStation

    Avg Rating: 4.68 (407 reviews)

    Vancouver, Toronto, New York City, and 1 more...31 Courses

    brainstation-logo

    BrainStation offers full-time and part-time courses in data science, design, development, marketing, and product in New York City, Toronto, Vancouver, and through an Online Live platform. BrainStation’s goal is to empower individuals, businesses, and brands to succeed...

    Read our Full Review of BrainStation
  • Avg Rating: 4.72 (361 reviews)

    Online39 Courses

    udacity-logo

    Udacity offers Nanodegrees which are online immersive full-time and part-time programs, ranging from three to six months in length for students worldwide. Nanodegree courses are available in subjects like data science, artificial intelligence, programming, autonomous...

    Read our Full Review of Udacity
  • Devmountain

    Avg Rating: 4.6 (287 reviews)

    Dallas, Phoenix, Lehi, and 1 more...6 Courses

    devmountain-logo

    Devmountain is a technology school that offers full-time and part-time programs at campuses in Lehi, Dallas, and Phoenix. The immersive courses include iOS Development, Software QA, User Experience Design, and Web Development. The Web track covers front-end and...

    Read our Full Review of Devmountain
  • Avg Rating: 4.88 (198 reviews)

    Jakarta3 Courses

    hacktiv8-logo

    Hacktiv8 is a 12-week full-time web developer bootcamp in Jakarta, Indonesia, with a focus on full stack JavaScript. Students spend 11 hours per day, 5 days a week studying the latest technologies alongside professionals from the local technology industry. Students...

    Read our Full Review of Hacktiv8
  • Avg Rating: 4.85 (195 reviews)

    Orange County, Los Angeles, Online, and 1 more...6 Courses

    sabio-logo

    Sabio is a developer community offering 12-week full-time coding bootcamps in Los Angeles and Orange County. Sabio focuses on .NET/C# and trains across the full-stack in Mobile, Front End, Back End, Source Control, Database and Development platforms. Its project-based...

    Read our Full Review of Sabio
  • LearningFuze

    Avg Rating: 4.99 (181 reviews)

    Irvine, Orange County, Online5 Courses

    learningfuze-logo

    LearningFuze offers a full immersion, 12-week web development bootcamp through live, virtual classrooms and in Irvine and Orange County, California. Students learn full-stack front and back end development including HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript/jQuery, PHP, MySQL, React,...

    Read our Full Review of LearningFuze
  • Avg Rating: 4.71 (158 reviews)

    Portland, Seattle, Online5 Courses

    epicodus-logo

    Epicodus is a coding bootcamp offering part- and full-time courses online and in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. The first 5 weeks of Epicodus’s full-time program are offered for free. Students learn everything they need to know to get a job as a web...

    Read our Full Review of Epicodus
  • Avg Rating: 4.21 (125 reviews)

    Seattle, Online19 Courses

    code-fellows-logo

    Code Fellows offers full and part-time software development, ops and cybersecurity courses online and in-person from their Seattle, Washington location. Since their first cohort in 2013, Code Fellows has taught over 1,400 graduates and iterated on their curriculum and...

    Read our Full Review of Code Fellows