Becoming a software developer is usually not the first career choice that people think of, but it can be one of the most rewarding. Mobile app developers often have an edge over other types of developers because mobile apps are what’s “hot” right now.
However, it isn’t easy to become a mobile developer without some sort of formal training or education in computer programming. Although employers may sometimes make exceptions for experienced programmers with only high-level language skills, having certification to back up your coding expertise will definitely work in your favor when applying for jobs or trying to find freelance clients who need your services.
The good news is that there are hundreds of certifications out there for software developers, and many companies offer low-cost or free online training to help you get started.
The following are steps you can take to achieve certification and thereby make yourself an even more appealing candidate for the jobs of your dreams.
Step 1: Choose Your Path Just like with any other profession today, there are many different paths that can lead someone to becoming a mobile app developer. According to Mobile App Developers expert’s, the three most common paths are acquiring an associate’s degree , getting into coding boot camps , or studying online.
Associate’s degrees – There are hundreds of universities out there that offer digital arts engineering technology (DAET) degrees in areas such as game programming, graphic design, multimedia production, and computer animation. These programs usually consist of two years of full-time study and may include courses on topics such as math, science, computer science, network administration, human-computer interaction design, web programming, and popular commercial software applications. You can also expect courses on topics such as graphic arts concepts, animation principles, multimedia authoring tools, 2D/3D modeling techniques, game design concepts, networking infrastructure technologies, and more.
Step 2: Get Certified Once you’ve chosen your path, you’ll need to get certified. While some online training providers offer certification through third-party organizations like the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) or International Council for Online Educational Standards (ICOES), taking an actual course at a code boot camp will usually result in a certificate of completion from the school itself. Not only do these certificates look great on a resume, they also confirm that you have met certain standards set by the company offering the program. Keep in mind that depending on how extensive your coding education is, some jobs may require specific certifications. For instance, if you want to work as a developer for Apple , Google , or Oracle (to name just a few) then you’ll need to either hold an active apple developer license or become certified through third-party companies like IBM . Microsoft and Adobe also offer professional level certifications for developers who want to show off their coding skills.
Step 3: Gain Relevant Experience While certification can help boost your resume and make you more appealing to potential employers, it’s the side projects and real-world experiences that will ultimately get you hired. Side projects are great because they allow you to showcase your knowledge of various software tools and languages, while experience gives prospective employers the opportunity to see what kind of work you can produce in a professional environment.
Step 4: Start Building Your Online Presence Once you’ve gotten some experience under your belt and completed a few side projects, it’s time to revamp your resume and beef up the list of skills on your profile. If you don’t have anything substantial yet, start working on one or two small projects—whether its an app for fun or some open source software that solves a common problem. You can also create a personal website to highlight those achievements as well as provide more insight into what type of work and interests you pursue outside of coding.