So you think you have what it takes to be an app developer? There are many different ways you can get started. First, you should ask yourself these key questions:

  • What made you want to be a developer?
  • What interests you the most? How will that translate into your projects?
  • Where do you see yourself within the next five years?

Answering these questions will help you find the company that’s best suited for your needs. But before you find your place to work, you have to make sure you’re educated and ready to take on the job. But how does one learn all this?

Get Educated

There are many different ways to learn to code so you need to find which avenue works best for you. Even if you do know a little coding, that may not be enough.

As the very true saying goes, practice makes perfect. Make sure you’re willing to constantly learn and hone your skills to stay ahead on the playing field.

Getting a Degree

Getting a degree in computer science at a university is great. You make so many connections, learn useful skills in many areas, and have a degree that you can “fall back on.” Taking the college route can be great for many reasons, but it can also be unnecessarily expensive, and a degree in this field isn’t always required.

One of the biggest benefits of getting a degree is learning how to solve problems. Coding requires that you pay close attention to detail and know-how to fix small, yet important mistakes. At a university, they will make sure you have these important skills down.

If college seems like the route you want to go for, do it! But if not, don’t worry! You’ve got options.

Coding Bootcamps

Bootcamps are a fantastic way to get started. They typically take from 3 to 18 months to complete and they’re a cheaper way to get a solid education. Not to mention that most companies are hiring straight after you complete the course.

Although these boot camps are less expensive than getting your degree, they can’t make up for the years of experience you’d be getting elsewhere. Bootcamps are a great way to learn to code, but your education can’t stop there.

With these rigorous camps, you’re learning in a fast-paced learning environment so you can get a quick start to your new career. If you’re looking for a hands-on way to extensively learn what you need to know, this is probably the route for you.

Learn alongside a Mentor

It might have been harder in the past to get a mentor, but adjusting to an online lifestyle means that location doesn’t really matter. Find someone you can learn from and make it your goal to learn everything they know and more.

Internships are also a great way to learn more about developing. Some universities will even count internships for class credits towards your degree. This is a great way to make strong connections and learn as much as you can.

Essential Skills

A good app developer needs a lot of specific skills and attributes. You’ll want to learn a variety of coding languages, experiment with problem-solving strategies, and train that eye for detail. With practice, you’ll be able to show your future employers that you have what it takes to be a part of their company.

Pick your Platform

IOS Development and Android development are two different playing fields, but you can absolutely learn both. In fact, you should strive to know how to work in both.

The technical skills you’ll need for IOS will probably lie within Swift and Xcode.

Swift is the main coding language and is known for being easier to learn on. With their frequent updates and modern language, this program is a winner. However, Xcode can be useful, too. Xcode was designed to make writing applications for Apple easy. Although a bit older than Swift, Xcode and its tools are essential for iOS developers.

With Android development, you’ll need to rely heavily on building UI with Javascript and XML. You’ll also need technical skills in Material Design Guidelines, data storage, and notifications to build a completely successful app.

Be a Problem Solver

Because code is always evolving, you need to practice using new technologies in creative ways to solve problems. This is the single best way to get hired as an app developer because every employer wants more problem-solvers. Some businesses will even put together coding tests to see if you have what it takes.

Fyresite CEO Jason Turnquist describes why coding tests are important for the hiring process. “We give incoming developers a coding test so we can understand how they solve problems in real-time. It also gives us a glimpse into how they code, technique, habits, problem solving, and understanding of the project scope.”

By successfully completing the test, your future employer will know that you have all the essential skills a great app developer needs.

Build Apps and Release Often

Experience is so important. Build your portfolio up and show your employer what you’ve got. By building more prototypes, you’re also getting great practice which is extremely useful.

Pay Attention to Detail

When they say the devil is in the details, they weren’t kidding. A single typo could cause the application to crash and fail, and you have to be ready to fix it. Paying attention to detail ensures that your mistakes are few and far between. You’ll thank yourself later.

Finding Your Perfect Fit

Development skills and education will land you a job, but you’ve got to make sure you’re a good fit for the company to really flourish.

Make sure your values align with those of the company and make sure that the environment you place yourself in will help you reach your goals. After all, why become a developer if you can’t work somewhere that lets you grow?