The below is a guest post.

A mobile app is a software product designed for use on tablets and smartphones. They can be downloaded for free or a price from online app stores, such as Google Play, Window’s Phone Store, or Apple’s App store. These days, there’s an app for just about everything, from finding a restaurant to buying a used car. The increased proliferation of mobile devices is driving demand for more and more software technology. The projected number of app downloads for 2017 is 268,692 million. This translates very positively into the job market for app developers.



How to Become a Mobile App Developer

You may be surprised to know that there isn’t a singular pathway to this profession. A degree in software engineering or computer science is a good basis to start from. But if you prefer not to go this route, there are courses that are focused specifically on mobile app development. There are different facets of app development, and the more you become certified in, the better this will look to your prospective employers. Find out more about specific training options to become a mobile app developer, discover Simplilearn and their range of online resources.


What Does the Job Entail?

Application developers are the brains and imagination behind some of the greatest mobile games, word processors, email programs and sharing software. App devs most often work in teams to analyze the current application market and the trending apps. They will create new ideas for apps for the general public. Alternatively they may have a client bring them a specific idea to design.

Once they have an idea, they know just how to brainstorm so they can flesh out every aspect of the concept.  Because they are fluent in coding languages, they can use them in creative ways to develop unique applications. Depending on the type of app in progress, developers may team up with data specialist, graphic artists or other software specialists to assist with the development of the app.


Skills and Requirements

There are a number of technical and non-technical skills required for mobile app development.

Market analytics: Mobile app developers must be able to identify customers’ needs and create new solutions to meet those needs.

Creative flair: Creativity is invaluable so that app developers can approach new problems from fresh angles to develop lasting solutions.

Communication skills: App developers must have the ability to clearly communicate their ideas to their clients, the other members of their team, and their management.

Teamwork: Even if you are an independent app developer, you will still need to work with other people some of the time. It pays to be a good listener and to be able to take on board the opinions of the rest of the team.


How to Succeed as An Independent App Developer

If you have the training and the know-how, instead of working for a software development company, you could work independently.  Here’s some tips on how to do this.

  • Study the competition: You already know there are hundreds of thousands of apps out there. If you want to succeed as an independent developer, you have to familiarize yourself with the competition. Don’t just look at the best sellers, look are the really bad ones and see how you could improve on them.
  • Plan your time: To maximize your output, focus on developing simple apps that will be ready to publish within six to eight weeks. This way you can be testing multiple ideas simultaneously and you will soon have a portfolio put together.
  • Put you passion into it: Create an app that you would want to use. If you don’t love your own idea, no one else is going to. Having said that, don’t be blind. Make sure you do plenty of research. Check out the competition and spend an appropriate amount of time on market analytics.
  • Keep it simple: The idea is to create an app that is so user-friendly even someone who is not very knowledgeable about technology can use it easily and enjoy it.
  • Don’t give up: Some of the best and most enduring apps around took almost a decade to become successful. Be persistent. Keep up-to-date with the trends and learn as you go.

Application developer is a great career path to follow. Jobs are predicted to grow rapidly between now and 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor, app developer jobs will increase by 28 percent.

Bailey George works as a careers consultant and shares his knowledge all over the web. He is passionate about technology and helping young people succeed.