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Smartphone App Development May Be Your Now Opportunity

Mobile technologies are on the rise. The number of people with smartphones is increasing both in the U.S. and around the world. TechCrunch reported in 2010 that the global smartphone app market could grow to 15 billion by 2013. According to Appiction, a large iPhone/ mobile developer, 10 billion applications have already been downloaded. Appiction quotes market research that projects 42.9% growth in 2011 alone; a lot of this reflects people upgrading from low function phones to higher ones.

Smartphones offer far more than games, business applications, and basic utilities. They can help medical professionals screen people and help people with developmental disorders communicate. There’s a lot for software developers to do. Each platform – Apple, Android, Blackberry -- has its own applications, and there’s intense competition among developers. There’s a place for people with graphics, coding, and software engineering backgrounds. Some software engineers work on creating innovative new designs; others work on cross-compatibility or replicate designs that have worked on other platforms (including traditional web pages).

Breaking into the Mobile Application Industry

How does one break into the industry? People often start developing apps young, and they do it out of passion. A nineteen-year-old student at the University of Ulster in the UK created an iPad/ iPhone app that his younger brother, who’s autistic, could use to comfortably manage daily activities. Many people get their start building games, sometimes while still in high school. There are some self-taught entrepreneurs, but advancing in the industry often requires the same success indicators that other technical industries do: education, usually at the baccalaureate level, and internships.

Some ads specify a degree in computer science or a related field. In recent years, the number of viable options has grown. An apps developer can select software engineering; this gives a solid introduction to the software lifecycle. Software engineering programs are good at giving students opportunities to carry out real world projects under supervision from start to finish. Some positions do specify familiarity with particular models; agile models are popular among many companies that develop apps.

It is also possible to earn a degree in software development or even app development. Different programs will have slightly different focuses. Quality assurance is a big part of the app development process, so some courses emphasize QA while others emphasize design. There is no one right path; candidates will want to choose something they’re passionate about.

It’s not all about earning one slip of paper. Some candidates have quite a few internships to their credit by the time they graduate. Some employers will ask to see an online portfolio. Bianor invites applicants to note extras like conference presentations or publications. Rhomobile asks about work on open source projects.

If you’re considering the field, you might want to take a look at the portfolios posted on mobile development websites – you’ll find a lot of apps on display. You might visit the Bianor, SocialCubix, or Rhomobile sites. It can also be good to peruse job ads well in advance, so you have an idea of what type of program and which school to attend.

Smartphone App Development Business Options

There’s a place for people with multiple skills, including business savvy. Teams from computer science and software engineering programs at New York colleges recently participated in Startup Weekend, an entrepreneurial software development competition.

There’s certainly a place for software entrepreneurs out there in the real world. Software giant Apple allows private developers to display their wares in the Apple store and carry off the lion’s share of the profit… if they’re successful. Developers who work for startups, or are self -employed, typically make quite a bit less, but for some, it’s a great way to spend the decade or so after college.

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