How to Become an App Developer (Portfolio, FAQs) | 2023

App development is a highly fulfilling career path. The average annual income of app developers is impressive, and this job also offers many professional and personal development opportunities.

With the continuous growth and evolution of the app development industry, becoming an app developer in 2023 can be a rewarding and lucrative career choice.

Whether you’re a coding enthusiast, a tech-savvy individual, or someone looking to switch careers, app development offers exciting opportunities to create innovative and impactful applications that can be used by millions of users worldwide.

What is App Development?

App development is creating software applications that run on mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices.

It involves designing, coding, testing, and deploying applications for various platforms, including iOS, Android, and web-based technologies.

Who is an App Developer?

An app developer is a professional who designs, codes, tests, and deploys software applications for mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices.

App developers use various programming languages, frameworks, and tools to create applications on platforms like iOS, Android, and web-based technologies.

App developers are responsible for the entire app development lifecycle, from concept ideation to design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.

They collaborate with other stakeholders, such as designers, product managers, and quality assurance teams, to ensure that the app meets the desired functionalities, user interface (UI), and user experience (UX) requirements.

What is the Role of an App Developer?

App developers plan and create apps for mobile devices. Even though a sizeable number of them work independently, most app developers work as app development project team members.

These teams feature other tech professionals such as graphic designers, content writers, and UI/UX designers.

Is App Developer a Good Career Path?

App development is one of the best careers in the world.

Besides the fact that app developers are highly sought after worldwide, several career opportunities are available.

As an app developer, you will most likely work from the comfort of your home, which allows you to enjoy a flexible work schedule, and the company you work for can pay for you to participate in conferences, allowing you to grow your professional network and learn more.

Additionally, app developers are one of the best-paid professionals in the world, and it is a job that offers an opportunity for consistent self-development.

It is also an excellent career for you if you love to solve problems and desire to enhance your creative abilities.

What is the Average Annual Salary of App Developers?

The average annual salary of an app developer is $100,000. However, the salary of app developers varies according to their experience, special skills, and professional certifications.

How Long Does it Take to Become an App Developer?

It takes an average of three to nine months to complete an app developer course and as long as six years to complete a programming program.

How to Become an App Developer

To become an app developer, you must acquire the necessary education and training.

While there is no specific educational requirement to become an app developer, most employers or clients prefer candidates with a formal education in computer science, software engineering, or a related field.

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is the standard educational qualification for app developers.

However, some app developers may have pursued other degrees or certifications depending on their career path and goals.

For example, you may pursue a degree in a relevant field such as information technology, computer engineering, or software development.

In addition, gaining practical experience through internships or real-world projects is crucial for building your skills as an app developer.

Many developers start by creating apps or contributing to open-source projects to gain hands-on experience and showcase their skills.

You can become an app developer by following the steps below:

1. Develop your coding skills

You cannot become an app developer if you don’t know how to code.

Even though you can still use a basic online tool to develop any app, developing a quality app requires applying coding skills.

Coding lets you personalize your app and add features not found in the visual-building engine.

You can learn how to code by enrolling in a coding program at the university or teaching yourself online coding courses.

There are several online courses out there that will empower you with the knowledge that will make you an excellent app developer.

However, many such programs are not cheap and may cost up to $150.

Additionally, don’t try to be a jack of all coding languages; instead, pick a language and train to become a master at it.

2. Obtain certifications

Obtaining certifications as an app developer is a wise step to take. It will prove to your prospective employer that you are intentional about your growth as an app developer.

Coding certifications are also necessary if you decide to work independently as an app developer and not in a team structure.

However, you can only earn a coding certification if you pass the qualifying exam.

3. Create a resume

Even though there is a high demand for app developers worldwide, the competition in this profession is also incredibly high.

So, besides having just a few skills, you must possess a convincing resume to stand out as an app developer.

Submitting a convincing resume is one of the ideal ways to impress your prospective employer.

A good resume should provide details on your work experience, the duties you performed during your past jobs, information on your present job, academic qualification, professional certifications, and personal details.

4. Apply for professional openings

Immediately you create your resume, proceed to create a resume for each job opening that you want to apply for.

Before submitting your resume and cover letter to anyone, read through the job description you are applying for to discover the skills and roles highlighted in the listing.

Employers will always check for the related skills on your resume, so it’s ideal for you to mention several such skills on your resume that you possess.  

Essential Skills for App Developers

As an app developer, possessing a solid skill set is crucial for success in the field. Here are some essential skills that aspiring app developers should cultivate:

1. Proficiency in Programming Languages:

App developers must be proficient in programming languages commonly used in app development, such as Java, Swift, Kotlin, C++, Python, and JavaScript.

Understanding these programming languages’ syntax, structure, and principles is fundamental for writing efficient and effective app code.

2. Familiarity with App Development Frameworks and Tools:

App developers should be familiar with popular app development frameworks and tools, such as React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Android Studio for Android app development, and Xcode for iOS app development.

These frameworks and tools provide a structured approach to app development and can significantly streamline the development process.

3. Understanding of UI/UX Design Principles:

Creating visually appealing and user-friendly apps requires a solid understanding of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design principles.

App developers should be able to create intuitive and visually appealing app interfaces, considering factors like layout, color scheme, navigation, and usability, to provide an optimal user experience.

4. Problem-Solving Skills:

App development involves encountering and solving various challenges and issues. App developers should possess strong problem-solving skills to identify and address these challenges effectively.

This includes debugging, troubleshooting, and finding efficient solutions to technical issues that may arise during app development.

5. Attention to Detail:

Attention to detail is crucial in app development to ensure the app is functional, visually appealing, and user-friendly.

App developers should have an eye for detail and be meticulous in their coding and design work to avoid potential bugs, glitches, or other issues affecting the app’s performance.

6. Communication Skills:

Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential for app developers.

This includes effectively communicating with team members, clients, and other stakeholders, understanding requirements, documenting code and app features, and providing timely updates on progress.

Clear communication helps ensure smooth collaboration and project success.

Building a Portfolio as an App Developer

Having a solid portfolio is essential for showcasing your skills and expertise as an app developer. It serves as a visual representation of your work and helps potential employers or clients evaluate your capabilities.

When building a portfolio as an app developer, consider the following tips:

1. Highlight Your Best Work:

Select the apps or projects that best demonstrate your technical skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.

Showcase a variety of apps that highlight your versatility and expertise in different types of app development.

2. Provide Project Details:

For each app in your portfolio, provide a brief overview of the project, including the technologies used, your role, and the challenges you faced.

Include screenshots or demo videos to visually represent the app’s interface and functionalities.

3. Demonstrate Code Quality:

Share your code examples to demonstrate your coding skills and best practices. Use GitHub or other code repositories to showcase your coding abilities and the quality of your work.

4. Showcase User Experience (UX):

Highlight your apps’ user experience (UX) aspects, including intuitive navigation, seamless interactions, and visually appealing design.

Demonstrate how your apps meet the needs of the target users and provide an exceptional user experience.

5. Keep it Updated:

Regularly update your portfolio with new projects, technologies, and skills you have acquired.

Keep your portfolio current and relevant to showcase your latest work and stay competitive in the app development industry.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Become an App Developer

What programming languages should I learn to become an app developer?

As an app developer, it’s important to have proficiency in programming languages commonly used in app development, such as Java, Swift, Kotlin, C++, Python, and JavaScript. These languages are widely used in various app development platforms and can help you build apps for different operating systems like Android and iOS.

Do I need a formal computer science or software engineering education to become an app developer?

While a formal computer science or software engineering education can be beneficial, becoming an app developer is sometimes a flexible requirement. Many successful app developers have learned through self-study, online courses, coding boot camps, and practical hands-on experience. However, having a solid foundation in computer programming concepts and algorithms can be advantageous.

How important is building a portfolio as an app developer?

A portfolio is crucial for aspiring app developers as it showcases their skills, projects, and experience. It can be an effective way to demonstrate your capabilities to potential employers or clients. Creating a portfolio with diverse app projects showcasing your technical skills, UI/UX design abilities, and problem-solving skills can significantly enhance your chances of landing a job or securing freelance work as an app developer.

What are some common challenges faced by app developers?

App development can come with its fair share of challenges. Some common challenges app developers face include keeping up with the rapidly evolving technology landscape, dealing with compatibility issues across different devices and operating systems, ensuring app security and data privacy, managing tight deadlines, and effectively collaborating with team members or clients.

Can you learn app development by yourself?

The best languages for app development are Java, C++, Rust, and Kotlin.

How much money is needed to develop an app?

You can use free online courses to learn app development independently today.

What is the best degree for an app developer?

Acquiring a bachelor’s degree in software development will be the best to become an excellent app developer.


Becoming an app developer can be a fulfilling and promising career path for those passionate about creating innovative applications and contributing to the fast-paced world of technology.

As the app development industry evolves, staying curious, continuously learning, and adapting to changing technologies and market demands is essential.

By combining technical skills with creativity, dedication, and perseverance, you can position yourself for success in this competitive field.

More so, a profession as an app developer offers a lot of potential rewards. App developers earn handsome salaries and have numerous professional and personal growth avenues.

This article has provided information on the steps to become an app developer.

However, besides the above skills, you must possess cross-platform development, product management, and Internet of Things skills to succeed as an app developer.

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Anietie Edem
Anietie Edem
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