How to Become an App Developer in 2020


How to Become an App Developer in 2020

You probably have at least 20 apps on your mobile phone and wondering if you could ever build one. Or let’s say you have a social problem your app can proffer solutions to but you don’t know how to develop one. Well, if you read this article on How to become an app developer in 2020 to the end, you will definitely, be on your journey to developing your first app.

The first-ever app development could be traced to the 1960s. During this period assembler code was the development language of choice because of its low CPU and storage resource requirements.

Since then, IT application development has been on an evolutionary journey. The 1970s saw this application development graduate to COBOL programs. Actually, many of these early Assembler and COBOL programs used the GOTO instruction as a code reuse technique.

Also, the evolution of the database management system is traceable to the 1970s alongside data dictionaries or repositories. Following the trend of events, app development has gone through a series of the evolution of which the 1998 IBM eclipse is the most notable.

These evolutions have seen the birth of amazing apps that aid make life easier and more comfortable. Also, this evolution makes app development an easier task for those who are willing to take the pain of learning the nitty-gritty.

As it stands, you can become a developer now from the comfort of your home if you have a teachable spirit and good with codes. How to become an app developer in 2020 is an article written to guide you through this journey.

Take a quick glance at the table of contents below to get highlights of other sub topics discussed extensively in this piece.

Who is an App Developer?

It is no hearsay to posit that the world is now a global village. One of the feats that made this possible is the internet and apps too. Basically, applications have become inherently necessary in all sectors of the economy.

Financial outfits, call centers, products, and services dealers that provide services all need apps either for reaching out to customers, collecting customer’s information, or storing data. Apps have become an essential and easy go-to.

These apps are usually created by individuals we may choose to call app developers. These app developers are computer software engineers whose primary responsibilities include creating, testing, and programming apps for computers, mobile phones, and tablets.

These developers typically work in teams and think of ideas and concepts either for the general public or for a specific customer need. You may be wondering how you can become a professional app developer, read this article to end to find out.

What are the Types of App Developers?

Well, classifying app developers may be a bit difficult. This is because all apps have prerequisites that every developer must know. So, a developer is likely to develop all-round products irrespective of the type of app.

However, app developers can be classified according to the types of apps the build and deploy. This by implication means, app developers can be classified into:

Generally, apps are built by programming codes. When these codes are enabled to function on websites only, such an app is a web app. Hence, a web app developer is a software designer or engineer who is involved in the development and design of web and/or network applications.

They work in a variety of organizations of any size, and some work as independent freelancers.

Some notable web apps across the globe include: Google apps like gmail, google doc, drive and other google products. Other examples include Facebook and Microsoft 365.

Either for iOS or Android, Native app developers build apps that work only on a mobile. In clearer terms, native app developers create mobile apps.

Basically, mobile app development is the act or process by which a mobile app is developed for mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants, or mobile phones.

Some notable mobile apps across the globe include: ,

  • Whatsapp
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Uber, etc.

Obviously, most web apps also function on mobile apps. This is possible because of the services of cross/hybrid developers. This developers with one programming language develop apps that could function as web apps and mobile apps.

Hence, Hybrid developers create mobile apps for multiple devices by writing code in one programming language.

Types of App Developers by Experience

There are numerous programming languages out there for app developers to learn. The higher the number of programming languages, the higher your chances to build more complex features and apps.

Previously, this article posited that classifying app developers can be a difficult task. However, app developers can be grouped based on their years of experience and app programming skills.

If you intend to become a certified app developer, you should aim for professional app developing skills. Classifying app developers by experience, app developers could be:

 Professionals App Developers

Just as the name implies, professional app developers are developers who understand the computer and mobile device programming codes very well. In fact, they have this knowledge at the tip of their fingers.

These professionals take programming as a full-time job and spend long hours in a day writing codes and solving bugs. In fact, most of them have a high level of satisfaction from each bug solved and they seem to be the happiest when they are deep in the weeds with their sleeves rolled up.

They are more interested in tackling big challenges involving mission-critical applications or systems. Being a certified app developer means you have and grow with recent trends of programming languages.

The Power Builders App Developers

Unlike professional app devlopers, power builders may not necesarily hold a traditional degree.

They may not understand the coding know-how of professional developers or have any technical training, however, power builders app developers can write a decent script in python and ruby coding languages. Most of them understand relational databases and usually have a background in business either as consultants or analysts.

While they can develop premium but simple apps especially, for business-related issues- power builders app developers lack the tenacity to build complex apps.

Builder app developers understand the basics of app development. While they may not build an app from scratch to base, they seem to make all your problems disappear with a few swift keystrokes.

Most builders became basic programmers through their quest to figure out how to use technology to fulfill their tasks at hand more efficiently. Builders can develop apps by translating their advanced Excel knowledge on a no-code app development platform.

If you’ve spent enough time messing around with databases, you also have the skills needed to become a Builder and develop your own basic apps.

Google offers scholarships to students who wish to become app developers. See how to apply for one here.

Where Do App Developers Work?

There are numerous job opportunities for app developers. App developers can actually, work in any field or sector of the economy.

App developers may choose to work as freelance developers depending on their programming experience. As a freelance developer, you can work for as many companies as possible as long as you are able to deliver within a given time frame.

Most freelance developers concentrate on solving bugs for different companies. This avails them more time and flexibility to work for as many as possible.

Also, app developers can build apps from scratch for different business sectors or be fully employed to manage existing apps for big brands and companies.

In fact, they could also work for big IT firms like Andela, Silicon Valley, and the rest of them as part of the IT professional teams. Here they will work hand in hand with software engineers and systems analysts to write codes for big projects.

How Much Do App Developers Earn?

App developers have different streams of income. For instance, they could earn money by building apps for others, maintaining an already built app for their employer, or simply through google ad sense and pay per download for their own apps on the play store or iOS.

Hence, it may not also be easy to trace or place how much developers earn periodically. However, the statistics below give a clue to how much you may earn as a developer of apps.

It is more important to note that your level of work experience will greatly influence your monthly or annual pay as an app developer.

  • Worldwide mobile app revenue in 2016 – $88,5 billion
  • Indie app developer average salary – $1,500 / month
  • US mobile app developer average salary is $107,000 / year
  • Indian mobile app developer average salary is $4,100 / year
  • iOS app developer salary highest in US is $139,000 / year
  • Android app developer salary highest in US is $144,000 / year

How to Become an App Developer in 2020

To become an app developer, you must satisfy all requirements. Though you can become a developer on your own without a traditional degree, most employers will require some form of formal education before they can employ you.

However, if you intend to become a freelance app developer you can opt for online classes. In fact, online classes may aid you to become a good mobile developer; especially, if you are interested in building your own app to solve either a business or social problem.

Subsequently, this article will outline the basic requirements to become an app developer, schools to get a formal training and how much it may cost. A full guide on how become a good mobile app developer is all you need after reading through the requirements.

What are the Requirements to become an App Developer?

Becoming a good app developer is not easy. App development involves a lot of codes and to excel in code writing or programming, you must be analytical and be able to pay attention to details.

If you are wondering want you need to become a good app developer, tick good against the skills below. Itemize the ones you have and list out others you need to learn or imbibe. Fortunately, there are online short courses to aid you enhance these skills.

  • Analytical Skills: To be a successful app developer either on your own or through formal training, you need strong analytical skills. This will aid you to recognize the needs of customers, and creating new applications that answer those needs
  • Communication Skills– Basically, even as a freelance developer, you need to be able to communicate effectively with your clients. Also, a professional app developer needs this skill to communicate ideas to coders, teammates, and management.
  • Creativity – App developers need these skills to invent new ways of handling problems and developing innovative applications. So it is essential you learn or imbibe this creative skill.
  • Customer Service – Your income as an app developer depends on your ability to attract customers and retain them. Hence, customer service skill aids you to deal directly with clients and customers, answering questions, and fix issues.
  • Attention to Detail – This important to your ability to make all parts of applications work together for the application to function
  • Problem-Solving – As an app developer, you need problem-solving skills to make decisions that will move the project forward.
  • Teamwork – As part of a large team of developers, working well with others
  • Technical Skills – being adept in computer languages and having good technical knowledge

What are the Educational Requirements to become a Successful App Developer?

To become a good app developer, it is very important you gain some form of formal education. The numerous opportunities that abounds for developers can be fully harnessed with an educational degree.

Depending on how far you intend to go in your career, you should consider reaching the peak of education in this field. The basic educational requirement for app developers is a bachelor of science in computer science, software engineering or any related discipline.

The program you enroll for should be able to cover prerequisite areas of programming like basic coding languages like HTML and CSS.

Also, it is important to attend certificate programs in other programming language if you intend to make a career off app development. The schools below are the best options for you to get a degree to become a good android, iOS or web app developer.

Lone Star College is one of the largest and fastest-growing community colleges systems in the nation. Situated in Houston, TX, metropolitan area, offers app development programs for students who intend to develop an app for iPhone or become a good app.

Lone Star College’s Mobile/Web Application Development program prepares students to develop apps for consumers and businesses. This program for IT students and can be completed within two years and it awards an Associate of Applied Science degree.

It also offers a transfer program for students who intend to pursue a bachelor of science degree in mobile app development. To enroll for this program immediately, click the button below:

Estrella Mountain Community College

Estrella Mountain Community College is the youngest member of the 10-member Maricopa Community College District. Its been in existence in 1992, currently, it has over 40,000 students.

The institution offers an Applied Associate of Science degree in the Mobile Apps Programming AAS degree program. Students are expected to complete 64 credits courses that is focused on programming for mobile devices.

Students in the associate of applied science degree program earn credits in a full slate of general education courses that can transfer to a 4-year college or university

The program offers and equips students with all the need to excel in the tech industry. In fact, EMCC’s can specialize in any of these three distinct certificate programs: Programming; Programming and System Analysis; and Mobile App Programming.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers aan advanced certificate program foin weband mobile appications devlopement.

Basically, the offer is available only to students with a bachelor of science degree in computer science or related fields. However, students who wish to become app developers without a degree can be considered if they have relevant work experience.

This advanced program helps working professionals in IT develop their skills and earn a specialization without the demand or cost of a master’s degree. The program is offered online and ton campus to accommodate all students and reach out to distance students.

How Long Does it take to Become a Mobile App Developer

This is totally dependent on what level of education you intend to achieve, If you are a beginner with zero knowledge of basic computer languages, it is advisable you enroll for a bachelors degree or at least an associate of science degree.

Basically, you should expect to spend anywhere from 6 months to four years in school. If you opt for an associate degree, you will spend a minimum of four years, two years for masters and approximately 3 years for doctoral program.

For an associate degree, students should expect to spend at least two years in school. For students who intend to advance their programming languages as app developers, certificate programs that could last anywhere from 3 to 6 months are available to enhance their app development skills.

How Much Does It Cost to become a Mobile App Developer?

Well, how much you pay to get a degree or become an app developer is totally dependent on a number of factors. Such factors include; type of school, type of program, mode of classes, and how many credit hours your program offers.

Public schools tend to cost less than private institutions. in the same vein, a bachelor of science program will definitely cost more than an applied associate of science degree. Also, online classes are more costly that traditional degree classroom programs.

Finally, most institutions charge tuition based on credit courses. So, you should expect to pay higher if you are offering a lot of credit courses. However, statistics have placed the cost of becoming a developing whether with an associate degree or a bachelor of science degree at about $49,000 or $200 per credit hour.

Don’t worry about the tuition if they look too expensive. Simply apply to any of these World Bank Scholarships to get Financial aid.

Full Guide on How to Become an App Developer

Presumably, you are in the know the basic skillset and educational requirements you need to become a successful app developer. Like initially stipulated in this article, you will now get a step by step full guide on how to begin your career as an app developer. So, if you are still at lost on how to begin this career journey, take the first step below:

Step 1: Get a Formal Education

Once you analyse your skill set and passion, and app development is what you intend to do for the long term; you should get a formal training.

Basically, if you are still a high school student, you should begin to pay more attention to STEM related courses. Pass all your grade exams and proceed to a college or university.

Basically, you need at least a diploma in software engineering or computer science or its related disciplines to become a successful app developer. So, the first step you should take is to find a diploma, bachelor of the science degree program in any related field, and apply for admission.

This will definitely, equip you with the knowledge you need to design your first application.

Step 2: Choose a specialization

If you are enrolling for software engineering, computer science or any STEM related degree in your first step. In few months, you should be able to decide to settle for app development specialization.

When you have elective course, you should choose course that are closely associated with app development. This will give broader knowledge of what app development entails.

You should also decide where you intend to major. The essence of this is to choose the right programming languages for you. For instance, majoring in web app development may require you take one programming language more importantly than another.

However, you should begin with the most common languages like Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, C++ and Django. Other programming options will be determined by your area of specialization.

Step 3: Enhance your Math Skillset

Most of the algorithms you may use for your app development require the application of mathematics. So, it is very important that you take classes on calculus and statistics because you need this applied branches of math in software design and app development.

Step 4: Build your first app

If you strictly adhere to the first three steps, you should be able to develop your first app. The product you develop will serve as an exhibit when applying for a job or attending interviews.

Also, this product will help you identify your weaknesses and boost your level of confidence.

Step 5: Apply for Vacant Positions

From your first developed app, you should apply for app development once you feel you are ready. The possibility of getting a job within the first three months is very high.

An easier way to get your first big project is by letting people know what you do. You can also increase your chances by networking with people at conferences, seminars and career meetups.

Become an App developer FAQsHow long does it take to become an app developer

Earning a bachelor of science in app development or computer science may take up to four years. However, you can become an app developer if you enroll for an accelerated study program in software development in just two years.

What is the salary of a mobile app developer?

The salary of an app developer depends on your experience, employer, and apps built. Generally, app developers can earn as much $113,900 or at least $76,744.

How much does it cost to create an app?

Depending on the features of the app, an app development may cost as much as $100,000 – $500,000 for big projects while others cost as low as  $10,000 and $50,000.

How Do you Become an app developer?

To become an app developer, you need to get the right education, learn at least four programming languages, continuously practice by writing codes, then, sharpen your math skills.
Earn certifications and identify app development job opportunities.

Can I become an App Developer Online?

Yes, you can become an app developer online by enrolling for app development online courses. Interestingly, there are several websites and educational platform offering free app development courses.
If you are consistent and teachable, you should be able to build your first app once you complete your online app development program.


App development is one of the most lucrative skills in the IT industry in recent times. This is because every sector, business, or even individuals need one app or the other for smooth sailing of daily activities.

In fact, statistics show that the market for app developers is projected to grow geometrically in the coming years. It is absolutely, fine to build you app ideas on no-code platforms, however, with this full guide on how to become a good app developer, you can make extra cash from it either by working for people or building apps for business ideas.

Read this article to the end and begin your journey towards building an app and becoming a successful and professional app developer.


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