App Developer: A career guide


App Developer: A career guide

An app developer is a software engineer who designs, develops, tests, programs, and maintains apps for a specific platform, such as a mobile device, the web, or another operating system. This article will cover what an app developer is, what they do, and how you can become one. 

Application development is a growing industry for both independent and business developers. Unsurprisingly, demand for app developers has reached an all-time high, given that organisations are under constant pressure to deploy applications more quickly. But what does an application developer do?

What is an app developer?

Application developers often focus on a single type of development, such as a mobile app. They also participate in routine application updates and distribute the most recent update to users. They are an essential project management team member in charge of meeting user needs.

An application developer is a skilled member of a significant group of software specialists gathered to design, create, deploy, and update apps for various audiences that appeal to the organisation. 

Marketing companies frequently conduct thorough research to learn more about consumer wants. This information is given to app developers, who develop new applications that are affordable and accessible to the general public. The same fundamental application is developed in many versions that can be seen on different gadgets, including mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers.

What does an app developer do?

Several duties lie on the shoulders of application developers. These involve overseeing the lifecycle of a program, understanding certain coding standards, providing support, and working collaboratively.

Here is a comprehensive outlook on the roles and responsibilities of an app developer:

Application management

Application management is one of the most important duties of an application developer. It is a soft skill for app developers to manage the application lifecycle and the people engaged in the process to enable successful deployment and post-deployment updates.

Coding and design

A thorough understanding of coding and application design concepts is essential to being an app developer. In addition, application developers must be familiar with the appropriate programming language for the operating system they are creating, depending on their area of specialisation.

Some of the common programming languages include:

Monitoring, updates and security

After deployment, an application developer must be ready to monitor and make changes to the edition as necessary after the program is launched. This is essential to the application’s smooth operation and security risk mitigation.

App developers must also be familiar with the security mechanisms that shield users from outside threats and stay updated with the latest developments in technology and cybersecurity. For instance, app developers must be informed of the risks involved with this disruptive technology as more applications explore blockchain’s different uses.


The process by which app developers can recognise, classify, identify, and explain application-related issues is known as troubleshooting. It takes place in the testing stage of the lifecycle and involves close collaboration between developers and end users to discover system issues.

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Server engineering

An organisation’s app developer is also entrusted with server engineering duties. Learning the programming languages needed to create database software and back-end system technologies, networking servers, running network tests, gaining extensive knowledge with cloud servers, utilising cloud platforms like AWS, and more are all included.

In these situations, app developers might be expected to administer platforms and code server environment aspects necessary to operate critical systems.

End-user support and training

App developers must manage all training and support aspects as a crucial step in the deployment cycle. This could include hosting live problem-solving sessions, providing phone training and support, or working with other employees to create tutorials, graphics, or training videos.

This role includes ensuring updates are sent to maintain software functionality, ensuring all security requirements are met and debugging problems as they occur.

How to become an app developer?

The first step towards choosing your career in app development is ensuring you are truly willing to commit to the field. Here are the steps you need to follow to become an app developer.

  1. Learn software development
  2. Gain experience
  3. Improve your resume

Learn software development

Learning popular app development languages like Python, JavaScript, C++, etc., is crucial. Learning with a reputable education provider can also help when looking for your first role as an app developer. 

Gain experience

You can improve your coding abilities and confidence by gaining practical experience. For example, you can take an internship during your learning to obtain experience and improve your resume. 

Additionally, internships allow you to interact with other IT experts for career advice and potential job prospects in the future.

Improve your resume

You may improve your resume by adding the most recent educational qualifications, skills, and experience. In addition, you can upskill yourself by searching for certifications or talents that are in demand in the sector. You should also add the app development software names you know to increase your credibility. 

Additionally, make your resume relevant by including the job description’s keywords. It might improve your chances of being chosen for further consideration.

iOS app developer vs web app developer vs mobile app developer

App developers can specialise in a particular type of software development. If you need to know which field to choose, we have mentioned descriptions of every type of app developer to give you clarity.

iOS app developers

iOS, popularly known as the “iPhone Operating System,” is the mobile operating system that powers Apple’s mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad. iOS developers are skilled in its design, testing, debugging, and source control. These developers are familiar with either Swift or Objective-C, but it is beneficial to know both.

iOS app developers are proficient in building views, handling user interaction, displaying data, generating alerts, handling navigation, displaying images, integrating with REST APIs, and processing JSON since they are familiar with iOS.

Web app developers

Complex coding and programming are needed to create and run the apps we use daily. A web application developer must build well-designed, scalable, and efficient code to keep the apps running on the computer. They build website layouts and user interfaces by combining data from numerous back-end services and databases with basic HTML and CSS techniques.

A web app developer creates, develops, and codes websites. They should develop user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing websites with simple navigation. They should be proficient in HTML, JavaScript, and C++, among other web development languages. 

Additionally, they must be skilled in goal-setting, time management, and effective communication.

Mobile app developers

More and more people are choosing smartphones and tablets as their primary computers. Mobile app developers build computer programs for mobile phones and other devices and have specific training in designing small electrical equipment.

These developers work with small devices rather than designing for a bigger PC screen. In addition, these professionals know many computer programming languages and multimedia applications.

They often write programs in Java, C++, or Python. Therefore, mobile app developers must be familiar with the programming language used by each mobile device.

What skills should an app developer have?

Your resume’s skills section should reflect your abilities because it is almost as significant as the experience section. Fortunately, some of the skills you’ll need, so even if you don’t presently have them, you know what to work on.

Programming language skills

You need to be an expert coder to work as an app developer, especially in languages like JavaScript, C++, and HTML. Learning coding languages can give you an advantage over competitors because it will allow you to demonstrate your skill in developing useful mobile apps for employers. 

Back-end computing

It is beneficial to be familiar with back-end computing to offer solutions to problems with the system or coding. For example, you can tell whether the framework is inaccurate, the links are broken, or the security has been compromised. When that happens, you can address these problems before they become serious. 

The following are a few back-end concepts that an app developer must work on:

  • To keep data secure, a proper database management system is essential. It helps app developers create secure applications for users and protects personal data privacy.
  • You must build simple back-end frameworks for the apps to run seamlessly. 
  • App developers must know how hardware and software interact to handle any system- or equipment-related problems that may arise.
  • App developers can prevent information loss to outsiders and maintain the database’s security if they are familiar with the security issues that apps face. 

Software development knowledge

Working with the most recent software is one of the key components of developing apps. Therefore, you should be proficient with computers and have expertise in using software tools effectively. You can also broaden your skill set by learning to create new software programs and branching into the coding and mobile app development industries. 

You can take on various duties within the same job by combining multiple skill sets.

Cross-platform concept knowledge

The ability to develop applications for multiple platforms and operating systems is an excellent benefit for app developers. However, new platforms enter the market frequently, and you must develop the skills to stay updated. 

You can become a leader in various fields in the industry by acquiring a wide range of skill sets and an understanding of cross-platform concepts like service support, testing, and code reuse. So, you should continue learning new things and expanding your knowledge.

Agile development

App developers employ agile development methodologies to accelerate and streamline the app development process. If you break the project down into smaller pieces and prioritise the assignments, you can manage the stages efficiently. 

Agile development is a method for accelerating the processes and saving money on your projects while promoting improved teamwork and transparent communication with the client.

Cybersecurity skills

Mobile and web app developers must understand how to create secure mobile apps because sensitive information is vulnerable to cyberattacks in the modern world. You can create effective apps if you learn how to protect mobile apps, address security flaws, and reduce the risks of cyberattacks. 

Nowadays, cybersecurity is a crucial component of every organisation. Therefore, this expertise will give you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs.

Internet of Things expertise

App developers frequently need IoT skills, including understanding device security and connection and experience with how applications and devices connect to the internet. In addition, learning this skill can help you create more complex apps and the systems that run on them for businesses, such as corporate apps. 

App developers usually focus more on Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, which usually necessitate extensive acquaintance with specific development concepts and competence with systems security.

App developer career paths

Consider a career path for your work position while switching up your job search. It acts as a road plan for moving up the corporate ladder from one job title to another. For instance, if you began working as a web developer, you might eventually become a senior developer in your professional life.

Here are some job positions that you can consider as an app developer:

  • Software engineer
  • Software lead
  • .NET developer
  • Delivery manager
  • Web or mobile developer
  • Engineering manager
  • Java application developer

Future for app developers

IT hiring recruiters and managers report that there is still a severe shortage of skilled mobile application developers. Every sector of every market is looking for mobile applications to run their business from remote places. 

From 2020 to 2030, the demand for mobile application developers is predicted to soar by 22%, resulting in tens of thousands of new jobs and one of the biggest rises in any occupation in the past ten years. Furthermore, since iOS and Android devices now account for 99% of all mobile devices in use worldwide, these platforms will provide many job possibilities in the industry for app developers.


The market for mobile devices is expanding quickly. This expansion is fueling an exceptional need for mobile app developers. In addition, the demand for new apps will grow as device capabilities improve and more firms adopt multiple strategies to transform how people interact, conduct business, and access entertainment. 

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