Mobile apps development is one of the top, on-demand digital/IT skills out there. In this article, I want to share with you things you need to know to get you started with your journey into building mobile apps, whether professionally or as your own products.
Why am I sharing these?
Because I’m an advocate of skills. I believe that having a great skill is better than having most jobs because while the job can easily disappoint a great skill hardly disappoints.
Getting started with mobile apps development
Being a professional app developer myself, I know I have some tips that can help a beginner who wants to get started learning mobile apps development. It will help you if you have an overview of what it is all about and what is involved.
Mobile apps development is about building apps that run on mobile devices.
There are apps specifically made for desktop computers. These desktop apps cannot be installed and used in mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc). Similarly, apps are built to run on mobile devices. These apps specifically created for mobile devices cannot be installed and run on desktop computers.
As a mobile app developer, your task is to build apps that work seamlessly on mobile devices.
The main tool for app development
Programming is the main technology behind mobile apps development. This means that for you to become a mobile apps developer, you have to learn to code first.
But here is the cool part: coding is fun!
Yes, it is fun and easy to learn despite that to most people who don’t code, programming sounds like one very difficult thing. But I am telling you today that it is not as challenging as you’ve heard.
Programming languages for mobile apps development
The popular programming languages used to build mobile apps and the type of apps they are used to build include:
- Swift – iOS apps
- Kotlin – Android apps
- Java – Android apps
- DART (Flutter) – Hybrid mobile apps
As you can see, there are at least a handful of programming languages to choose from when you want to learn app development.
Do you need to learn all of the languages?
No, you don’t! You just need to pick one and get started. When you feel you are good at it, you can pick another language. It is simply not necessary to try learning all the languages at the same time. Just be very good at one. You can add more when you are very confident with one.
Tools you will need to build mobile apps
To build apps without much stress, you will need some tools, some of which are described below:
My guess is that you already know that you need a computer to build apps. Try to get a computer with good specs and good hardware so you don’t end up with a slow computer or one that hangs. It could be frustrating coding with computers that hang.
An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that has most of the features needed to build mobile apps. You have to install the IDE on your computer.
Some of the popular IDEs for mobile development are:
- Android Studio – for Android apps development
- Xcode – for iOS development
- VSCode – for React Native developers
Pick the right IDE, depending on the type of apps you want to build.
Building your first apps
When you have learnt at least the basics of the programming language of your choice (which will depend on the type of apps you want to build), the next thing is to start putting those pieces of codes together to build real apps.
This is where it all begins to make sense! It makes much sense because you turn those theories into practical, real-life apps!
At this stage, you can focus on simple projects. It is a step-by-step thing. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take up some big challenge if you want to. But don’t let yourself get frustrated and discouraged because you find it difficult to build something complex. Do what you can do now, then give yourself a bigger challenge.
Don’t give up:
At first, some things will seem frustrating but don’t let that discourage you. It is a NORMAL thing that every programmer pass through.
Learn by doing:
The most effective way to learn programming or building apps is by doing it yourself. Don’t read codes like a novel or some bedtime story. Make it a habit of coding things you learn.
Start with one:
Kindly avoid a “Jack of all trade” approach else you might end up a “master of none.” Start with one programming language/platform. When you are comfortable with it you can learn additional ones.
Got a question? Drop it in the comment box below.