What’s next? You’re about to graduate, in the midst of your studies, thinking about a career change. Or maybe you’re just not ready to retire. You’ve visited a career counselor, taken a few online career tests and talked to various family members. The only conclusion you’ve come to is that you don’t want to be a doctor, lawyer or an accountant. The only thing you are certain about is that you have absolutely no idea what you want to do or where to start looking. You are overwhelmed with anxiety and you feel like one of the “lost boys” in Peter Pan’s Neverland.
Take three deep breaths… Stafflink is here to help. We are starting a new blog series called “What Does It Take To Be A…” where we will spotlight a new IT and/or technology related career each blog. These blogs will focus on introducing you to the career, how you can transition into the field and various steps you can take to be successful within the field.
Explore Careers in a Thriving Industry. This week we are going to discuss what it takes to be a Mobile Application Developer. As of 2010 the mobile app industry was worth approximately $7 billion dollars and is expected to grow to 17.5 billion by 2012 (GetJar). The market is responding to consumer demands, because when Apple says “there’s an app for that”, they mean it. So what does that mean for you? Well, it means that companies are in dire need of Mobile Application Developers to help them keep up with the market, make all of their applications and meet consumer demands.
Mobile operating systems are new – so the demand for strong mobile application developers is high and the supply is quite low.
What is a Mobile Developer?
Mobile App Developers are essentially the rock stars of the IT world. They are a fresh generation of techies. The profession is new – so the majority of people in the field are recent grads who taught themselves smartphone platforms in their university dorm. There is also a growing demographic of software developers who are applying their core development skills to transition into mobile application development.
Choose how you will get paid. As a mobile application developer you can:
- Work for one particular company as a full time permanent employee
- Work as a consultant on contract for many companies
- Work for yourself as a start up and sell your own applications straight off the web
Do you have the personality? One thing mobile app developers all have in common is that they are dynamic, energetic and creative individuals with a passion for producing consumer based products. Mobile application developers are responsible for creating imaginative and vibrant applications that are user-friendly and efficient. The challenge most mobile developers are facing is how to make mobile apps user-friendly and esthetically pleasing under the constraints of a small and ever-changing platforms with touch interface capabilities.
What does it take to be a mobile application developer?
If you are interested in a career in mobile application development there are a few things you will want to do.
- Learn the Basics: Although there are no formal education programs in Canada purely dedicated to Mobile Application Development, receiving a general education of core development tools is beneficial. Some options are a 2 or 3 year College diploma or a 4 year University degree in Computer Science / Software Development.
- Determine Your Niche: Decide which smartphone platform you like best. To begin your career you may want to focus on a particular mobile device in order to start building advanced knowledge and expertise. Also, think about whether you are more of a risk-taker or someone who prefers a bit of guidance to determine whether you should be an independent consultant or an employee dedicated to one company.
- Plan and Network: Set a goal. Plan out an application that you would like to make. Get those creative juices flowing! Attend mobile development conferences in your area so you can network with like-minded people. There is a great one called “Mobile Mondays” in Toronto.
- Private training: Seek out independent courses and mentors who can help you develop your skills. Read blogs, check out Youtube videos and enroll in seminars. Participate in any form of information sharing that may help you develop your skills.
So what do you think? If mobile app development is not up your alley, join us next time for another session of “What Does It Take To Be A….”