TechnologyTop 5 Skills Every Mobile App Developer Must Have

Top 5 Skills Every Mobile App Developer Must Have

Mobile apps are software developed for use on smartphones or other mobile devices and usually offer a specific function. Besides gaming and social media use, many other apps help provide essential services like keeping track of and monitoring health, serving as learning or study guides, boosting home security, and even keeping track of bills and other expenses. Nowadays people are not only exposed to more technology but are also more reliant on technology especially given the restrictions brought about by current global conditions. Here are some important mobile app statistics from the last year:


  • Annual app revenue for 2020 reached $111 billion and is projected to increase in the next few years
  • Users downloaded 218 billion apps in 2020 compared to 204 billion in 2019
  • Advertising on mobile apps reached $240 billion and is projected to grow to $290 billion by 2021
  • Smartphone users spent $143 billion overall on apps in 2020
  • Average smartphone user has an average screen time of 4.2 hours and uses around 30 apps monthly and 10 apps daily


Behind every great app is a developer or team of people who execute ideas into apps used by the public. While people are easily able to use and enjoy these apps, developers behind them work tirelessly to make sure these run smoothly and are able to provide whatever service they should properly. The demand for software developers is only projected to increase in the next few years to not only create better apps but also help manage workloads, make sure existing apps and technologies continue to run smoothly, and continue to provide solutions to various software problems. Here are some essential skills to possess if you’re considering a career in mobile app development.


Programming languages

From JavaScript, Objective-C, Swift, Python, HTML5, C#, and C++, programming language knowledge is a must for mobile app developers. Programming languages are basic to mobile app development since these are used to instruct a computing device to perform specific tasks. JavaScript, for instance, is the most widely used language on the internet, runs smoothly in most environments, and is best suited for cross-platform development; iOS apps are made using Swift and Objective-C, and most Android apps are created using Java and Kotlin. According to Stack Overflow’s 2020 developer survey, the top 10 most used programming languages are JavaScript, HTML/CSS, SQL, Python, and Java as the top 5 and Bash/Shell/PowerShell, C#, PHP, TypeScript, C++, and C completing the list.  Depending on the platform you’re developing for, it’s best to have a good understanding of the language best suited for the platform and back it up with another language if you want to develop apps suited for multiple platforms.


Different types of software, roles, and companies may require an understanding of more than one programming language, but knowing multiple programming languages can also set you apart from other developers. 


Cross-platform development

The mobile app scape has three major platforms–Android, iOs, and Windows. Being able to code in more than one platform can help translate apps cleanly from one platform to another, can save an app company costs, and can also help provide app users better service support across any device. Having a working knowledge of being able to code in more than one platform will not only give you the experience you need to be a seasoned mobile app developer but can also help you build a better profile and lead to more opportunities as well.


User interface design

The user interface of an app is one of the first things users see and is responsible for the interaction between the user and the application. While having high-end backend functionality is a must, having a good app design can add to an app’s marketability. Some components of UI design include using a coherent color scheme and design pattern, indicators for activity, a general help option, app responsiveness, and quick loading and operation. Apps on different operating systems may also have slightly different design guidelines and respective orientations as well. For instance, Apple apps’ primary themes of clarity, deference, and depth differentiate iOS apps from other platforms, while Android apps give importance to the range and compatibility across devices, platform versions, and device sizes. Designing apps for multiple operating systems means ensuring not only a uniform appearance but also giving users a seamless experience across platforms.


Business ability

Developers may overlook the business aspect of an app, but knowing how to make the most of an app’s visibility in a competitive market is also an essential skill a mobile app developer should have. Developers should for instance know how to make an app that can automate crucial business processes like accounting in real estate stand out from other apps not only through its user experience but also against other available apps in the same category, make good investment decisions, and make sure these decisions are aligned with the app’s growth strategy.


Back-end computing skills

The back-end of an app includes functions that are accessed and navigated to by digital means and refers to the parts of an app that users can’t access. While having a good front-end system is important, developers should also be able to manage an app’s hardware interaction, security, execute memory allocation, testing, debugging, and know the core computational ideas of the system to make sure an app performs well in all aspects. Back-end computing skills also cover managing an app’s database—a server or cloud-based means for apps to store and manage data that mobile devices access through a network. Examples of these databases include SQLite, Realm DB, ORMLite, Couchbase Lite, and Berkeley DB, each with different features depending on the platform you’re developing for. Other back-end skills include running regular performance and maintenance tests, addressing bugs and app crashes, as well as coming up with solutions, and analyzing app usage, activity, and performance to improve the overall app experience.

Besides these technical skills, mobile app developers should also be able to work well with teams or clients and possess good communication skills, both in speech and in writing. These will be helpful to be able to ask the right questions to get a better understanding of what a client needs, give detailed instructions to a team, explain the details of an application even to non-technical clients, and even overcome the challenges of virtual meetings. A developer should also be open-minded and be willing to learn new concepts as technology evolves every day.



About The Author:

Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That’s why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.

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