With the increasing reliance on mobile technology in today’s digital age, businesses are investing heavily in app development to stay relevant and meet customer expectations. Due to the high demand for skilled professionals, there is no better time to become a mobile app developer than now.
But this is an ever-evolving field, so you’ll need a diverse technical skill set to appeal to potential employers. Aside from computer proficiency, you should know your way around multiple programming languages, have UX and UI design skills, cybersecurity knowledge, and the ability to learn and adapt to new technologies. And let’s not forget about collaboration and communication skills.
As you can see, the list of demands for mobile app developers is long. It doesn’t help that it also differs from year to year and company to company. But if you’re starting out, what should you pay attention to?
Keep reading to discover which skills are must-haves for mobile app developers in 2023.
1. Programming Language Skills
As a mobile app developer, you need a strong foundation in certain programming languages. These include Java, Kotlin, C++, C#, and Swift if you’re looking to get into iOS app development. Dart is also gaining in popularity.
The rule here is simple: the more programming languages you know, the more competitive candidate you are. Of course, you don’t need to be able to program in all of these languages – the choice of your programming language can depend on the platform you’re targeting. Still, given the continuous advancement of mobile apps, it’s wise to learn as many programming languages as you can.
2. Cross-Platform Development
Native app development is important, but in a world where Android, iOS, and web-based apps dominate, it’s crucial to be able to build apps that can run seamlessly across multiple platforms and devices. Having a diverse skill set and knowledge about cross-platform development, such as how to reuse code and test the environment will greatly increase your chances of good employment.
Familiarity with frameworks like React Native, Xamarin, or Flutter is recommended, as they allow you to write code once and then use it across multiple platforms.
3. Backend Computing
The backend development is the foundation of any mobile app. Having knowledge in this area can help you identify and correct any issues in the app before it reaches the public. So, when it comes to backend computing, what should you familiarize yourself with?
Understanding how to build and maintain backend frameworks so you can create a functional app is essential. You should learn how to use frameworks like Node.js, Ruby on Rails, or Django, as they allow you to build robust and scalable server-side components, plus ensure seamless integration between the app and the backend infrastructure.
You should also understand database management, APIs, security, and cloud services, as they’re all important for effectively implementing backend computing in mobile app development.
4. Working With SDKs & UI Kits
Working with Software Development Kits (SDKs) and UI Kits is considered an essential skill for mobile app developers in 2023. SDKs provide pre-built functionalities and tools that greatly simplify the integration of complex features into an app. Whether you want to incorporate social media logins, payment gateways, or add extra communication capabilities, SDKs can help you streamline the process. For example, by using the communication platform Sendbird Calls, you can incorporate screen sharing into your web app effortlessly, providing your users with seamless communication experiences that go beyond traditional messaging.
On the other hand, UI Kits offer a collection of ready-to-use components and design patterns. They provide a consistent and visually appealing user interface, ensuring a seamless user experience across different screens and devices. By utilizing UI Kits, app developers can quickly create intuitive, visually appealing interfaces, saving lots of valuable time and effort.
5. Cybersecurity Skills
Security should be one of the top priorities of any mobile app developer, especially when data breaches are on the rise. Understanding encryption, securing an app, and handling user authentication are all vital skills.
When writing code, you should assume there is someone somewhere just waiting to exploit and take advantage of it. You need to predict what threats may occur and how to avoid or deal with them during development.
6. Business and Communication Skills
Last, mobile app developers should have good communication and basic business skills. The former is pretty self-explanatory, but in short, clear communication, along with the ability to articulate ideas, is vital for project success.
Business skills include time management, strategic planning, marketing, and customer service skills. As an app developer, you should be able to meet deadlines, provide accurate estimates, and manage client expectations. You can make your app stand out and become a more competitive candidate with business acumen.