With more and more smartphones, tablets, and smart watches going into more and more hands, the demand for app developers is booming. Whether you want to specialize in iOS or Android, developing apps for mobile devices is a promising career path. Learn more about how you can get started in app development and how you can get your first job in the field.
Choosing a Mobile Operating System
Two main operating systems run on smartphones and tablets: iOS and Android. Other systems such as Windows Mobile and Chrome OS also exist; however, these represent a relatively small part of the market. Each mobile operating system uses different sets of languages, so you're best off choosing in which direction you want to go before you get started. If you decide to learn Android Basics, you can always pick up iOS or Chrome OS coding skills later on.
Mobile Programming Languages
Once you've chosen a system, you can get started on learning how to code for it. If you want to Become an iOS Developer, you should learn Swift. Objective-C can also come in handy, as it's still a common component of some more established apps. If you're a budding Android developer, you should start by honing your Java skills. Once you've gained some experience in that language, you will also find C/C++ an asset.
Learning How to Write a Mobile App
When you first start learning how to develop mobile apps, you might start by downloading the software development kit for your operating system. For Android, this is the Android NDK (Native Development Kit), and for iOS, this is the iOS SDK (software development kit). These kits give you tools and frameworks for building apps, so you don't have to do everything from scratch. From there, you can choose to teach yourself or take a course. Completing online training has several advantages, including support when you get stuck, deadlines to help you stay motivated, and clear goals and objectives. The Udacity Catalog for Nanodegree programs offers options for both iOS and Android app development.
Getting Your First Job as an App Developer
Another major advantage to completing a Nanodegree program is that you can add a qualification to your resume when you're finished. This can help you out when it comes time to look for your first job. You can also use the projects you complete during the program in your portfolio, which is an important job-hunting tool, as it shows evidence you can work in the field. When it comes time to find a job, polish off your portfolio on GitHub, update your resume, and write a cover letter explaining how your skills can add to the company. Use concrete examples of projects you've completed to highlight your knowledge.