A career in mobile app development

Mobile phone with apps spilling out of it

There are literally millions of apps available today, from music to banking, that help people perform specific tasks. People who create such apps, known as developers, are high in demand. From a job security and job growth standpoint, it’s one of the best careers you can possibly imagine being in. The pay is competitive, and your career will help modernize the world.

What’s this career about?

A mobile application is a software designed for a smart phone or tablet for productivity or entertainment.

An app developer is a computer software engineer whose primary responsibilities include creating, testing and programming apps for mobile phones and other electronic devices. They write programmes inside of a mobile development environment using the Objective C, C++, C# or Java programming languages.

Mobile app development is a little different from general software development. Here resources such as memory, compute cycles, storage and bandwidth are both scarce and precious. Developers first choose the operating system (or mobile platform) such as Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS, then use programming languages such as Java and C++ to develop the necessary specifications for software. Once an app is complete and goes into production, the app developer works on creating patches (upgrades) that are periodically released to the public.

Male and female mobile app developers

A career in mobile app development presents an excellent opportunity to try new things and satisfy your curiosity. Developers typically specialize in a specific development area, such as mobile phone applications, graphics software, accounting software or office suites. They work for themselves just as often as they work for small, medium and large sized companies, building ‘native’ experiences that allow people to complete tasks, consume content and interact with brands and other people.

Marketing firms often conduct research in order to gather information relating to consumer needs. This information is then passed on to app developers who create new applications that meet the public’s needs in terms of use and cost. Several versions are made of the same basic application that can be read by different types of devices.


  • How do I get there?
  • Key skills
  • Institutes
  • Employment prospects
  • Pay packages

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Dr Vibha Gupta

Dr Vibha Gupta

Dr Vibha Gupta, a feature writer, is a Ph.D. in Mathematics from IIT Roorkee. Her book Careers: A Pathfinder and articles in various publications are an attempt to guide students in choosing a career according to their natural strengths, talents and skills.