What is Mobile Application Development?

Mobile Application Development is the set of processes and procedures involved in writing software for small, wireless computing devices & handheld devices such as smartphones, tablets, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) or Enterprise Digital Assistants.

These applications can be pre-installed on phones during manufacturing platforms, or delivered as web applications using server-side or client-side processing (e.g. JavaScript) to provide an “application-like” experience within a Web browser.

The three main operating systems that are employed for mobile application development are Android, Windows & iOS.

What are the technical skillsets & qualifications you require to work in this vertical?

Mobile User Interface Designing
The most important aspect of mobile app development is to build an excellent user interface (UI). The UI of any software (or application) is responsible for the interaction between the user and the software. Some primary elements of UI designing are:
• Positioning of components where the user is likely to expect them.
• Making use of colors.
• Fast loading and operation of the application.
• Activity Indicators.
• General help and basic tips.

Backend Computing
Backend computing may include:
• Database Management
• Security
• Interaction with Hardware
• Memory allocation implementation

Another important skill required to develop mobile applications is the knowledge of programming. Programming as a whole, might include several things:
• Getting hands on some commonly used programming languages like C, C++ and Java.
• Getting familiar with mobile platform Application Programming Interfaces (API) like Apple iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian.
• Learning web development languages like HTML 5 and CSS.
• Using cross platform mobile suites like Antenna and AMP (Accounting-Management-Promotion)

Business Expertise
Business expertise is a must to stand in the competition. A lot of people may not realize this but business skills also play a critical role in this field. An example of such a skill could be that a mobile application developer should know how to build an application for optimizing it’s visibility in the list of the available applications of the same category.

What are the certifications required to become a Mobile Application Developer?

Most people who are interested in a mobile app development career opt for a bachelor’s degree program in computer science or software development or a specialized associate’s or bachelor’s degree in mobile application development.

This article lists 14 mobile certifications that Mobile Application Developers can choose from. The learning tree offers various certificate courses for mobile application development specialists. Based on interest, students have the choice to pursue any one of the three (3) OS-based tracks (iOS, Android or Windows Phone) to obtain their certification.

To become an Android Certified Application Developer you have to pass the exam AND-401 which tests your knowledge and experience on topics covered in the course titled “Android Application Development”.

The Certificate in iOS App Development program provides a comprehensive set of courses in iOS app development that takes students from developing a concept to implementing and marketing an iOS app.

What are the career opportunities for a Mobile Application Developer?

One can explore job opportunities for Mobile Application Development in the following areas:

Mobile Applications Developer or Engineer (Primary Skill: Programming)
Mobility Architect (Primary Skill: Architectural Skills sets in addition to design & programming experience)
Mobile UI designer (Primary Skill: UI experience, imaginative & artistic skills)
User Experience and Usability expert. (Primary Skill: UI & UX design, interpersonal communications & metrics)

What is the scope for Mobile Application Development?

Mobile app development has been steadily growing, both in terms of revenues and jobs created. A 2013 analyst report estimates there are 529,000 direct App Economy jobs within the EU 28 members, 60% of which are mobile app developers.

In the future, it’s expected that a majority of mobile application development efforts will focus on creating browser-based applications that are device-agnostic. Browser-based applications are simply websites that are built for mobile browsers. Such sites are built to load quickly over a cellular network and have finger-friendly navigation.