Today, we’re going to give you a sneak peek into what it’s like working in app development. This includes what goes on behind the scenes, the challenges you face, and the skills you need to do the job.
What skills do you need to become an app developer?
Clearly, you need an extensive understanding of software development and design to get involved in the app development world. These days, there are full university courses that give you these qualifications, or you can take classes online as well.
You’ll also need to know how to code and use different programming languages, preferably ones that are currently popular – like SQL and Java. If you’ve got experience working with typical development methods like Scrum or Agile, then this will also benefit you moving forwards. Lastly, it’s essential that you have a deep understanding of the entire app development process and lifecycle.
Along with all of this, it’s highly beneficial to have the following skills:
- Time management
What key challenges will you face every day?
All jobs present different challenges but being an app developer is somewhat unique in that every day can bring a new problem. When you’ve been given a project to work on, there are some immediate challenges you must overcome. For example, the communication side of things is where a lot of problems stem from. As an app developer, you could have clients in different time zones, running multiple businesses, or being generally busy. Therefore, if you message them to ask a question, it could be hours before you hear back from them. It can make every day very unproductive, so the secret is getting as much information in the initial project brief.
Then, you have all the technical challenges as well. For example, developing an app on a platform you don’t always use. It can take a while before you fully get the hang of things, meaning you could make mistakes that need to be ironed out.
Furthermore, a significant aspect of app development is testing and re-testing. The very nature of this means that you will come across stumbling blocks where your app keeps crashing, certain things don’t work, and so on. It’s part of your job to embrace these challenges, come up with solutions, and keep testing until you find the perfect combination.
What does the typical app development process look like?
Next, we’ll look at what it takes to start a new project and develop an app for a client. Obviously, it all begins with the client. If you work for an agency, they may delegate clients to you, if you freelance, then you need to find them. A great idea is to develop your own apps so you can showcase your talents and draw in some new clients.
Let’s assume you have a client; the first stage is understanding their goals and aims. It’s imperative to schedule an initial meeting where you can discuss everything with them. It can be over Skype or in the flesh, just ask them about their app, what they want it to do, and so on.
When you’re both on the same page, it’s time to go away and begin a process called wireframing. Essentially, this is where you sketch the app to determine how it will function. It gives you a good plan to follow, and you can show it to the client to make sure you’re still following the same vision.
From here, it’s a case of developing a very basic prototype, so everyone gets a feel for the app. Then, you start designing it and developing the software. By the end, you’ll have a version of the app that you can test. Give it to the client, get their target audience to sample it, and receive feedback. This shows you any bugs and what people like/dislike. Now, you go away and right any wrongs, before testing it again.
Soon, you have a fully developed app that works exactly how you envisioned. Take it to the client and ensure they’re 100% happy with the final product. Then, you can submit it to the relevant app stores, wait for approval, and people can download it. Your client pays you, but you still must keep an eye on your app to monitor performance and feedback. It’ll need updating from time to time, so ensure you can handle this.
As you can see, app development is not for the faint-hearted! You’ll have daily struggles, and it can be mentally challenging. But, it’s such a booming industry with a positive outlook. So, if this is a career you like the sound of, then get in touch today!
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