App development is one of the most exciting and innovative careers a tech professional can get into. With mobile devices, programming languages and customer needs constantly changing, it's a dynamic and fast-moving industry, and it's also one that's expanding.
A Progressive Policy Institute report released in March this year estimates that jobs in the Australian App Economy have increased by 11 per cent since 2014. Competition for the top positions, however, is fierce. What do you need for a job in app development?
1) Modern programming languages
Apps are complicated, and it helps to have a basic understanding of at least some of the following programs:
While Java is the official language of Android app development, Apple have some slightly more niche programs that they use. These include Xcode and Swift (Apple announced the release of Xcode 9 just this September). Employers are looking for candidates who are proficient in these languages, and it's important not to focus on only Android or Apple. The best apps are multi-platform and your skills should reflect this.
A sound knowledge of design is also useful. You can have the best app in the world, but if it's not user-friendly it won't succeed. So modern design skills such as UX and UI are a must for app developers.
The best apps work across multiple platforms.
2) A published app
While this isn't essential, it'll certainly help you stand out from other candidates. A published app, even if it's a fairly simple one, will show employers that you understand the basics, including what's involved in submitting and marketing an app and how to test it for bugs and glitches. If you do have a published app, it's a good idea to link to this when you submit your application, so you can discuss it with potential employers if you get to interview stage.
Whether you've seen a problem that an app could solve, or thought of a really cool idea that mobile users will love, creativity is an essential part of what makes the best apps triumph. So, while it's important to have the technical skills, developing your creativity and ability to express those ideas is also a must-have for a successful career in app development.
If you're thinking about getting a job as an app developer, our specialist team can help. See what roles we have available now!