Application developers specialise in technology creating apps for different platforms such as Android (Java) or (Kotlin), iOS (Objective-C or Swift) or Windows (C#). Those who program on more than one platform are known as cross-platform developers.
You could be:
sitting down with clients and discussing
creating and implementing the source code using the different programming languages
testing the source code by running quality assurance tests
troubleshooting and debugging apps to optimise performance
keeping up to date with the latest technology for mobile apps
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job
Salaries for an app developer start at around £20,000 for graduates, rising to between £34,000 and £40,000 with experience. Senior app developers can earn between £45,000 to around £70,000.
You could be based in an office environment working for a software company.
You would work as part of a team including software engineers and systems analysts.
A typical working day is 9.00am to 5.00pm however working longer hours and evenings and weekends is quite common, especially when working to deadlines.
You can expect to spend long hours in front of a computer terminal so frequent screen breaks are advised.
An App developer would be expected to have a relevant degree (SCQF Levels 9-11).
For entry to a degree course, you need 4-5 Highers, usually including Maths.
You can do a BSc Hons Web and Mobile Development at University of the West of Scotland while Edinburgh University and Robert Gordon University offer a BSc Hons Computer Science, which includes web and mobile app development. Some degrees in web development cover applications development.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a relevant degree then you could study for a relevant postgraduate course (SCQF Level 11).
You must be familiar with computers and standard software and have knowledge of high level programming and related technical skills.
Experience of development methodologies is necessary.
What Does it Take?
You need to have:
good communication skills
the ability to work cross-platform
modern computing language programming skills
agile methodologies experience.
There are many training courses you can do such as Google Developer training for Android Apps, Swift courses for Apple iOSapps, and also Windows apps on the Universal Windows platform.
The British Computer Society offer Foundation and Practitioner certificates in Agile and Agile Scrum.
You could go on to work for Apple or Microsoft developing apps for Mac or Windows and mobile apps for Android, Apple or Windows phones.
You could work freelance or do contract work (usually jobs lasting for a few months at a time).
There are opportunities in systems analysis (see the Systems Analyst job profile), or promotion to senior app developer or applications project manager.
If you are considering a career in IT, look at the Tech Future Careers website. You will find the video case studies of workers and general information on the industry useful.
Bubble Jobs the leading job board for the digital industry has many good articles to help you in your job search. They also have a Careers Portal for graduates.
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