What are the Top 5 Skills for a Successful Mobile Applications Developer?

The app market has changed a lot since the initial years of technology. For instance, the end users currently want diverse apps that can serve multiple needs at the same time. Therefore, the app companies are targeting multiple platforms like smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. While developing these compact apps, the app developers will come across multiple complexities. An efficient mobile device lab is one such parameter that helps in the efficient execution of the test cases. Other practices like Agile Methodologies and Automation Testing can also influence this process. These integrations will not only improve the app quality but also the efficiency of the overall test environment.

With this article, we will understand the top skills that will help developers become successful in the segment of Mobile app development. We will also understand the best practices, tips, and tricks for mobile app development.

Rising Popularity for Mobile Apps

Mobile devices are gaining a lot of popularity in recent years due to their portable infrastructure. The most favorable point to justify the rise of mobile devices is their ability to perform like a desktop computer while being able to fit in the pockets of the end users. However, the mobile device market is also one of the most diverse segments of the industry as thousands of new devices come in the market every year. All these devices are unique in terms of software and hardware configurations. So, while working with mobile applications, it becomes almost impossible for the developers and testers to generalize the test cases.

Moreover, it is also not advisable to restrict the test cases to only emulators and simulators as they cannot replicate the physical parameters of a device. Real device testing is also a crucial part of mobile app development as it helps to understand the behavior of the application based on multiple physical parameters like unstable bandwidth, low battery, or any user interaction errors. Current market surveys believe that more than 56% of the total Internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Moreover, various experts believe that this number will continue to rise in the coming years.

Analyzing the Mobile App Market

Currently, the three most popular platforms in the mobile segment include iOS, Android, and Windows. Android being the largest player in this segment has more than 70% of the users all around the globe. However, from an application company’s point of view, it is very important to focus on all three platforms to receive an optimal segment of customers. The most ideal approach to this issue is to create a hybrid application architecture that can be functional on multiple platforms. It will not only save the time and resources of creating a native app but will also be practical in the long run. This is because after creating a hybrid app, the developers can easily update it to add new features in the long run.

Moreover while working on mobile applications, it is also important to understand the influence of geographical demographics on the user base. For instance, in countries like India, more than 65% of the population comes from rural areas and lacks the technical knowledge to access complex apps. Therefore, the developers should focus on creating a simple user interface that can be appealing to all users and help drive the popularity of the app. Moreover, a market survey shows that more than 70% of the users do not update their devices for 2 years. So, developers and testers need to ensure the stable performance of their apps on outdated devices and software combinations.

Top Skills for Successful Mobile Applications Developers

Since many new developers are transitioning to the segment of mobile app development, we have created a list of some of the most important skills that can help them shine in this industry:

1.     Knowledge of Programming Languages

  • While working on mobile applications, developers and testers need to have ample knowledge of multiple programming languages to create the core infrastructure of the app. Some of the most popular languages include Java, Kotlin for Android, and Objective-C, Swift for the iOS platform. Other than these popular choices, developers must also ensure that they are familiar with other languages including Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin. This is because all these languages are used for creating cross-platform applications that can be functional on multiple devices at the same time.
  • To properly utilize the knowledge of multiple programming languages, we would advise the application developers to thoroughly create a test plan and choose a programming language that can suit their preferences and the requirements of the project. We also advise the business and production teams of the app company to have at least a basic knowledge of the programming language that is being used by the app development company. This practice will help to create a basic awareness of the current status of the application development project.

2.     Designing the User Interface and the User Experience

  • As we already mentioned earlier, the user interface has a crucial role in creating the bridge between the application infrastructure and the end users. This is because using the user interface, the developers can create a compatibility layer that can help simplify the complex application infrastructure. So, while working on mobile apps, developers must be able to create a simple and intuitive user interface along with a properly functional user experience. Some of the most important parameters that they must consider in this process include visually appealing layouts and smooth user interactions on the app.
  • While designing the user interface, the developers must also remember that the display sizes may vary widely depending on the device. So, it is very important to perform proper testing to ensure that all these elements are properly placed irrespective of the display size and are also functional in all instances. Some of the common errors that can arise due to discrepancies in the user interface include malfunctioning of the UI elements or a complete crash of the app infrastructure. In case this event happens after the release of the application, it can send out a completely negative image of the company’s practices.

3.     Professional Knowledge of Development Environments and Tools

  • The mobile application developers must be adapted to various development environments and tools including Android Studio (for Android OS) and Xcode (for the iOS Platform). Knowing cross-platform application development tools like React Native is also an added benefit considering the nature of the modern mobile application development industry. Moreover, the app developing companies should also ensure that the mobile developers and testers have ample knowledge of multiple version control systems like Git. This knowledge will help them to deploy collaborative development in the application development life cycle.
  • While working on mobile applications, the developers should also consider the prospect of integrating cloud platforms to improve the accuracy of the mobile test cases. This is because the prospect of maintaining and setting up a device testing lab is highly expensive and hectic for new developers and testers. On the other hand, using cloud platforms, the developers can achieve similar test results by executing the test cases on thousands of real devices through remote servers. Moreover, modern cloud platforms like LambdaTest allow developers to integrate additional features like AI-integrated test execution, live test activity logs, and a native bug tracker.
  • Cloud platforms also allow developers to perform automated cross-browser testing on mobile applications. This is the prospect of executing the app on multiple devices and operating system combinations to verify its stability and functionality.  

4.     Ability to Integrate APIs and Third-Party Libraries

  • The mobile app developers must have proper knowledge about the integration of application programming interfaces. They should also be able to utilize third-party libraries for functioning including social media integrations, location services, and payment gateways. Using this skill, the developers can ensure that all their applications can stand up to the modern expectations of the app development industry without breaking the development cycle or expanding the company expenses. While working on mobile applications, the developers can also integrate advanced testing processes like automation testing that can help them integrate various third-party libraries and dependencies for further improving the quality of the application.
  • By automating the repetitive testing instances, the developers can not only save a lot of company time and resources but also use it for creating innovative features for future mobile app updates. Market surveys show that more than 66% of mobile app development companies have already transitioned to complete automated testing practices.

5.     Mindset for Problem-Solving and Debugging

  • As we already mentioned earlier, the mobile application market is one of the most cluttered segments consisting of thousands of devices. So, one of the most common phenomena that app developers will encounter is critical bugs in the source code. So, the developers must have strong problem-solving skills to identify and resolve the issues as soon as they appear in the application infrastructure. Some of the most important abilities that mobile developers must possess include the skills to debug, troubleshoot, and optimize the code to ensure smooth and efficient functioning of the application.
  • We also advise the app developing companies to maintain a proper mobile app debugging environment that can allow them to ensure the stability of the application infrastructure before it is forwarded to the end users. The app debugging environment will also store information about all the bugs and errors that have been detected in the previous versions of the application. This information will act as a crucial reference point when the developers are rolling out future updates to the app.  

Additional Considerations for Successful Mobile App Development

The developers must also have proper willingness and adaptability to continue learning and staying updated with the rapidly evolving mobile application technology. This is because as the mobile industry continues to evolve, being flexible and receptive to all the upcoming trends, frameworks, and languages will help them to create a sustained environment that is destined to succeed in the coming years.

The Conclusive Views

All the skills that we discussed in this article will massively help application developers and testers elevate their standards of mobile application development. However, the developers need to remember the specific skills will massively vary depending on the preferences of their testers and the specific requirements of the application development project. So, one of the most important factors is to thoroughly go through the app’s requirements and understand its needs. The developing companies should also conduct thorough market surveys to spread regular awareness about all the new trends and innovations in the segment of mobile app development and testing.