Smartphones have become the largest marketplace in the world. It is an influential platform to advertise and sell quickly and efficiently. As more companies embrace this change, there is rapid growth in the mobile applications segment.
Creating a mobile app is an art. Each one requires a dedicated team of individuals to design, develop, run, test, and maintain, to function seamlessly. Companies are constantly seeking new talents to bring their app dreams to life on different platforms like iOS, Android.
Given the increasing demand in the segment, it is the right time to begin the journey as a developer to learn and create your apps. Here is a beginner’s guide to understanding the first steps towards becoming a developer.
Pick Your Platform
The first step towards building your skillset as a developer is identifying a mobile application platform you will be creating for. iOS and Android are the two leading mobile platforms. Others include Blackberry RIM, Symbian, Windows. Web apps are also becoming increasingly popular in the last few years due to cross-platform capabilities.
Evaluate Your Base Skill Sets
Post choosing a platform, it is time to evaluate your existing skills to learn. A good understanding of basic software development skills is required to become an app developer.
Start by answering a fundamental question – where do I stand?
You may be an existing software developer with experience or knowledge of programming and other essential development concepts. In this case, you will require guidance to transfer your knowledge and skills to develop in a different platform. You can seek online resources such as video tutorials and eBooks to learn and practice this transition.
You may be a complete beginner in programming. In this case, you have to learn the foundations of programming, critical concepts like object-oriented programming to know how a mobile app works. You can seek online courses and certification programs that teach basic concepts of application development.
Learn The Language
Learning the suitable programming language for the chosen platform is the next step. Companies typically use different sets of programming languages for the front-end and back-end development for the apps. It applies to web app development as well.
In the case of Android development, learning programming languages like Java or Kotlin is crucial. Java is the most popular language for software development and is also relatively easy for beginners to learn. It can provide the appropriate foundation to progress as an android developer. You can use videos and other resources provided by Google`s Android Developer community and build in libraries to learn the basics of android programming in Java.
Kotlin, on the other hand, is an advanced version of Java. It is more relevant to modern android development and is preferred by new developers. It is still a language under development and can therefore be a good choice to learn after Java programming.
Apart from the essential programming languages, you will have to learn SQL for database creation and management. Java combined with SQL can be a great starting place for beginners in android app development.
Another important part of android development is designing the application. It would require knowledge of XML. While XML is comparatively an easy language to learn in a short duration, you can also utilize design tools readily available online to create the interface without having to program using XML.
The app development life cycle for iOS requires knowledge of different programming languages to android, like Swift or Objective C. Most apps available today for the iOS platform are built using Objective C. If you plan to work for an iOS development company, learning Objective C is necessary to debug existing codes.
Swift is the modern language for iOS development extensively used by companies since its introduction in 2014. Learning Swift can help you build new applications relevant to the latest technology. Also, learning SQLite, the most common database program for iOS, is essential.
Tip: A good alternative to learning these programming languages would be to use existing app development platforms and software. These tools allow a significant degree of customizations to their templates, which you can leverage to create your very own app without having to code the entire application from the basics.
Practice To Make Perfect Apps
One of the simplest ways to learn app development is to practice. The more you code, the more you learn. When you start to practice, you know how to debug, test, and run an app physically, which is better than just learning from resources.
Start by creating a simple app idea. You could try to recreate an app that is already existing or build something new and unique. Apply every concept or aspect of programming you learn about each day to build this app. From design layout to the final app release, try to go through each step of the development life cycle for your app to familiarize with them. Take help from online forums, communities, friends, and mentors throughout the process to learn it thoroughly.
Don’t Forget To Stay Update
The world of mobile apps is an ever-evolving space. There are new platforms, programming languages, databases coming up all the time to make applications more straightforward and more efficient to build, maintain, and use. Staying up to date with the latest updates and changes to your development platform is crucial to stay relevant in the industry.
Mobile app development opens the doorway to several extraordinary opportunities for a bright career. Taking the first steps towards learning and practicing app development can be a fun and rewarding experience. Follow this guide to ensure you benefit from this growing market abundantly.