Similar Titles

Application Developer, Application Integration Engineer, Developer, Infrastructure Engineer, Network Engineer, Software Architect, Software Developer, Software Development Engineer, Software Engineer, Systems Engineer

Job Description

When we think of apps, we often think of the mobile apps we use on our phones for various things like taking photos or communicating with friends. But there are also web-based apps like Dropbox, Google Chrome, and Photoshop. Mobile apps and application software (aka “apps”) are all computer programs, but differ in scope, with mobile apps being more limited and specific in function.
The workers who create both kinds of apps are usually called App Developers. However, Software Developer is another title used for those who make application software, system software, and utility software. Many Software Developers can also make mobile apps for iOS and Android, though that isn’t usually their job. Mobile App Developers (also known as simple Mobile Developers) usually don’t have the training to make fuller programs like system or utility software, but they can work on specialized application software featuring graphical views. Essentially, they develop application programming interfaces (APIs) and translate code into easy-to-use device apps. 

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Creating and coding apps that may be used by millions of people
  • Helping app users achieve more productivity or relaxation
  • Changing people’s lives by enabling better communication
The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities

Working Schedule
App Developers may work on their own or for an organization as freelancers, contractors, or full-time employees. Hours and schedules are based on the capacity in which they are employed. Some App Developers are hired to work on a single project. Once completed, they may have to find additional work.  

Typical Duties

  • Manage app lifecycles from initial planning and design to development, testing, deployment, and support
  • Meet relevant team members to discuss and plan what functionality will go into apps to be developed
  • Consider end users and their wants and needs for the app
  • Discuss which systems the app will interface with
  • Plan ahead for foreseeable technical problems
  • Review project timeframes and costs. Ensure development can finish by deadline and within budget
  • Determine how to measure the app’s performance to ensure it meets standards
  • Design and modify software based on requirements, including security issues
  • Collaborate with team members such as designers, programmers, software engineers, and systems analysts
  • Maintain communications with project managers or other departments as development progresses
  • Have software quality assurance tested. Create detailed documentation as work proceeds
  • Address bugs and errors. Monitor functioning and make improvements and fixes as needed
  • Offer immediate support as apps are deployed
  • Additional Responsibilities
  • Capture data and generate reports and other documentation
  • Demonstrate the app’s functionality to stakeholders
  • Train other developers to ensure backup and continuity
  • Collaborate on live troubleshooting and pushing updates
Skills Needed on the Job

Soft Skills

  • Analytical mindset
  • Detail-oriented
  • Methodical
  • Objective
  • Organized
  • Patient
  • Practical
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Sound judgment and decision-making
  • Strong communication skills, including active listening
  • Teamwork

Technical Skills

  • Expertise in computer science and information technology
  • Knowledge of programming languages to develop native apps, hybrid apps, and progressive web apps
    • Popular languages and frameworks include Objective-C, Swift, Java, Kotlin, C#, Xamarin, React Native, Appcelerator, Cordova, Ruby, Python, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP
  • Knowledge of mobile app development software such as Quixy, Zoho Creator, AppyPie, AppSheet, Bizness Apps,, iBuildApp, Shoutem, Rollbar, JIRA, AppInstitute, etc.
  • Familiarity with server engineering functions and cloud platforms like AWS
Different Types of Organizations
  • Governmental agencies
  • Healthcare sector
  • Private organizations and companies
  • Retail businesses
  • Self-employed
  • Tourism industry
Expectations and Sacrifices

App Developers must keep up with constant changes in technology in order to produce cutting-edge programs that will attract users. They must be creative and original while following proven processes that will secure buy-in from stakeholders. When budgets and due dates are tight, they must work efficiently yet with as few mistakes as possible. Nothing can destroy an app’s reputation faster than a major bug that incites users to leave bad reviews. Security flaws can expose personal information, leading to potential lawsuits…meaning App Developers have a lot of responsibility resting on their shoulders!   

Current Trends

Mobile apps are everywhere these days, integrated into virtually all facets of our daily lives. As time goes on, that integration will continue. The Internet of Things app integration, for example, provides endless opportunities for users to connect all their devices and control them with a few taps of their phone. Meanwhile, with the advent of 5G technology, users around the world are now enjoying faster-than-ever connections, boosting the use of apps and creating a demand for even more.
Wearable technology is also evolving and catching on, creating the need for integrated apps. But perhaps mobile commerce is perhaps the hottest topic as eCommerce sales explode. Even non-eCommerce businesses are scrambling to create apps that make ordering more convenient (for example, food delivery app use has skyrocketed in the past few years!). 

What kind of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were younger…

 App Developers probably enjoyed learning about programming languages through hours of practice. They may have taken math and IT-related classes in high school or participated in online forums where they could share information and ask questions. A lot of developer gurus read industry magazines and articles or watch video tutorials to pick up new skills and stay ahead of the curve.
While the wide world of app and software development attracts people from all walks of life, sometimes introverted personality types are drawn to these fields more than extroverts or people who feel a need to be outdoors all day. Learning how to code takes a lot of time, focus, and persistence, so App Developers should be committed and able to follow through on projects.

Education and Training Needed
  • ~70% of App Developers hold a bachelor’s. 16% have a master’s
  • The most common degree majors are computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and information systems
  • A degree isn’t always necessary if you have enough experience, but having one can make you more competitive in the job market
  • There are numerous certifications that can also boost your credentials, such as:
    • Amazon Web Services Certification
    • Certified ScrumMaster
    • Microsoft Certified: Power Platform App Maker
  • App Developers should study programming languages and frameworks like C#, Cordova, CSS, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Objective-C, PHP, Python, React Native, Ruby, Swift, and Xamarin
  • Students should learn mobile app development software such as Quixy, Zoho Creator, Appy Pie, AppSheet, Bizness Apps,, iBuildApp, Shoutem, Rollbar, JIRA, App Institute, etc.
  • There are lots of bootcamps available that are shorter than a college degree program. You can find them in our program finder.
Things to look for in a program
  • STEM-related college programs should be accredited by ABET
  • Consider the cost of tuition, discounts, and local scholarship opportunities (in addition to federal aid)
  • Think about your schedule and flexibility when deciding whether to enroll in an on-campus, online, or hybrid program
  • Look for programs with active student clubs related to IT, programming, software development, etc.
Things to do in High School and College
  • Sign up for plenty of IT-related classes in high school
  • Start teaching yourself about coding with self-help books and websites
  • Participate in computer clubs, online programming forums, and related activities aimed at learning
  • Read industry magazines and articles. Subscribe to app developer YouTube channels
  • Sign up for a bootcamp if you want to learn a new skill (or freshen up an old one) without doing a college course. Find one in our program finder.
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) like the ones offered by edX or Udemy are another way to polish up your skills. We have some online courses in our program finder. Check them out.
  • Check out Mashable’s 10 Excellent Platforms for Building Mobile Apps
  • Start making practice apps as soon as you can. Don’t worry about making mistakes while you learn, Keep practicing, testing, debugging, and thinking up new ideas!
  • Create an attractive online portfolio of your work to showcase your talents
  • Try to land a tech internship while in college
  • Keep track of all your work and academic accomplishments for your resume and/or college applications
  • Join professional organizations to network, learn, and have fun!
  • Look at job posts early to see what skills and credentials are most in-demand
Typical Roadmap
App Developer Gladeo Roadmap
How to land your 1st job
  • Talented App Developers with the right mix of education and experience can usually find work without too much hassle
    • Look to the right and you will see notice for Triplebyte. You can get into a pool of candidates for tech companies by taking a quiz and showing what you got!
  • Advertise your portfolio online via LinkedIn and other platforms
  • Scan portals like, GitHub, Dice, F6S, Remotive, Crunchboard, JustTechJobs, and other developer job search sites
  • If you notice you don’t meet the qualifications for the jobs you want, go back and earn those credentials
  • Use quantifiable results on your resume, when possible (data, statistics, and numbers)
  • List all practical experience you have including internships, freelance projects, or volunteer work
  • Stay connected to your professional network and ask for leads on upcoming job openings
  • Keep up-to-date on the latest mobile app developments because things change quickly
  • Ask previous teachers and supervisors to write recommendation letters or request their consent (in advance) to list them as references
  • Do your research on potential employers. Learn their what kind of apps they produce, and mission, values, and priorities
  • During interviews, demonstrate awareness of app trends. Know your business and terminology
  • Review App Developer resume templates and sample interview questions  
  • Learn how to dress for interview success
How to Climb the Ladder
  • Never stop learning. Knock out extra education and training, such as a master’s or a new certification
  • Get specialized in a challenging area of app development
  • Build your reputation as a subject matter expert by designing great apps that work as promised
  • Treat everyone with respect, meet deadlines, and always offer solutions when making criticisms
  • Get published in IT journals, write online content, produce tutorial videos, and mentor others in-person or online
  • Never stop growing your professional network. Most jobs these days are found through connections
  • Stay active in professional organizations, attend conferences and workshops, and offer to give lectures
Recommended Resources


  • App Institute
  • AppSheet
  • Appy Pie
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Association for Software Testing
  • Bizness Apps
  • CompTIA
  • Computing Research Association
  • Crunchboard
  • Dice
  • F6S
  • GitHub
  • iBuildApp
  • IEEE Computer Society
  • JustTechJobs
  • National Center for Women & Information Technology
  • Project Management Institute
  • Quixy
  • Remotive
  • Rollbar
  • Shoutem
  • Zoho Creator



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