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Mobile App Dev

Mobile Application Developers create software for mobile devices.

The latest mobile devices and applications are changing the way we communicate, do business, and access news and entertainment. Businesses, consumers and programmers have embraced this innovative medium, making mobile application developer one of the most demanded and fastest growing IT career paths.

Mobile developers write programs inside of a mobile development environment using the Objective C, C++, C# or Java programming languages. A mobile app developer chooses the operating system (a.k.a. mobile platform) they will develop for, such as Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS, then learns the programming languages and software development environment for that platform.

Currently, there are 5 major mobile platforms, each with its own core language(s) and development environment:

Mobile Platform Core Language Dev. Environment Mobile Devices
Android Java Eclipse Multiple Vendors
iOS (Apple) Objective-C Xcode Apple Devices Only
RIM (Blackberry) Java Eclipse Blackberry Only
Symbian C++ Multiple choices Multiple Vendors
Windows Mobile C# Visual Studio 2010 Multiple Vendors

Businesses typically develop mobile applications for multiple platforms at once, to maximize market penetration and return on investment – so the more mobile development platforms you learn and master, the more sought-after you become as a professional mobile application developer. As you can see from the graph link above, Android & iOS dominate the market (combining for over 90% of U.S. market share), making these platforms the ideal place to focus your mobile application development education.

There are numerous mobile application developer training programs and accredited degrees that feature coursework in mobile application programming, mobile media design, app deployment & marketing for the leading mobile platforms. Compare the top-rated mobile development training programs in the U.S., Canada and online.

a.k.a. Mobile App Designer | Android Developer | iPhone Developer | BlackBerry Developer | Mobile Software Engineer


Mobile Application Developer Skills & Responsibilities

Typical day-to-day duties and in-demand skill sets for mobile application developers include:

  • Mobile developers are fluent in object-oriented programming languages such as Java, Objective-C and C++.
  • Mobile application developers code, test, debug, monitor and document changes for mobile applications.
  • Mobile devs are skilled at working inside the development environments of one or more the top mobile OSes.
  • Mobile app developers can implement application programming interfaces (APIs) to support mobile functionality.
  • Mobile application developers know the terminology, concepts, and best practices for coding mobile applications.
  • Mobile application developers migrate and adapt existing web applications to the leading mobile platforms.
  • In-house mobile developers work closely with other departments to brainstorm and optimize deployments.
  • Mobile application developers recommend changes and enhancements to existing mobile applications.


Mobile Application Developer Salary

  • Mobile Application Developer average annual salary (USA): $94,000
Mobile Application Developer Salary $94,000

Average salaries for mobile application developers and related positions:

  • Blackberry App Developer: $89,000
  • Software Engineer: $90,000
  • Mobile Software Engineer: $94,000
  • Mobile Application Developer: $94,000
  • iPhone Application Developer: $95,000
  • iPad Application Developer: $95,000
  • Java Application Developer: $96,000
  • Android Application Developer: $97,000
  • iOS Software Engineer: $102,000
  • Senior iPhone Developer: $105,000
  • Senior Android Developer: $107,000
  • Lead Java Developer: $110,000
  • Senior Mobile Developer: $111,000
  • Javascript Jquery Developer: $124,000

The hourly wage for mobile application developers varies widely – from $21 to $150 per hour – depending on the mobile developer’s location, portfolio, proficiency and known platforms.


Mobile Application Developer Education Requirements

Most employers seek mobile application developers with at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, mobile application development, mobile computing, computer science or a similar programming-centric field of study. Hiring managers for mobile development positions will also want to see a portfolio with samples of completed mobile applications and your best development projects. The following undergrad and graduate degree programs satisfy both of these requirements with hands-on courses wherein students create a range of applications for the leading mobile platforms, plus specialized lessons on presenting yourself as a top candidate for mobile developer positions, in which active mobile development practitioners help you assemble the apps created throughout the program into an industry-specific portfolio, resume and cover letter.

Marketable skills to look for in a mobile development education program include iOS application development (iPhone & iPad), Android application development, object-oriented programming (OOP), Java programming (Java SE/ME/EE), JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Objective-C and C++ programming, user-interface (UI) design, game & simulation programming, mobile app portfolio assembly, database & OS fundamentals, and mobile media marketing & deployment. The subject matter in mobile application development training works extremely well in online learning formats.

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