Career Guide

Applications Developer

Ben Maples  · Feb 25th 2021

Are you fascinated by mobile apps and software and can understand computer language like it’s your mother tongue?

iPhone with stacks of paper with a mouse and pens, pencils and a highlighter

You might have the right skills to be an applications developer, who create and translate software across a range of programs. If you’re known as the tech whizz amongst your family and friends you should take a look at our career guide below!

Applications Developer Career Guide

What is a developer?

A software application developer makes computers perform specific programs or tasks through code. They translate the client’s requirements and software specifications into programmable code and create and maintain programs. They tend to work within particular fields, from graphics and accounting software to office suites and mobile applications - arguably one of the most known and used.

Applications developers use computer language and knowledge to write apps for particular systems and across various platforms, from mobiles to computers. They focus on the applications software, whereas a systems developer will work with the software that allows computers to run. Systems software serve the applications software, which is what the users see.

What does a software application developer do?

An app developer will discuss specifications and requirements with clients, clarify expectations, performance and agree on a deadline. Then they’ll write the program by breaking it down to simple elements and translating the specifications into a programming language. You may either work on a particular area or from start to finish depending on if you’re in-house, for an agency or freelance specialist. Someone who is a developer for apps will respond to problems, product salutations, correct programs and adapt the program to new specifications if required.

If you gain business experience, you can progress into systems analysis or work within a managerial position.

They’ll test samples, check it works as intended and installs the program. After testing is complete, an IT developer will need to evaluate its performance, make changes and improve efficiency if necessary. An app developer may write reports around the operation of the software for the client, test the program on users and present the results, as well as update, modify and repair existing software. They need to keep up to date with program and software development, industry knowledge and work towards maintaining and improving their skills.

How to become an app developer?

An application developer needs an excellent level of technical knowledge, and most employers list a relevant degree as essential requirements for app developer jobs. Studying computer science, business, management, software engineering, mathematics, information systems, and sciences can help your career as a software application developer. However, suppose you have already studied at university but have a non-relevant app developer course under your belt.

In that case, you’re able to undertake an IT conversion course to establish your technical ability. In some cases, individuals can be a developer of apps without a degree, but instead be able to show extensive experience, commitment and interest as an applicants programmer. For example, if you have no professional qualifications but have taught yourself and have a great portfolio, employers will still consider you.

Applications Developer Career

What skills are useful for an application developer?

A software application developer needs excellent attention to detail, patience, creativity and analytical mind. They should be able to work while under pressure, with tenacity and an understanding of the business and client’s specifications. An applications programmer needs excellent communication, problem-solving and technical skills. Experience with high-level programming, following briefs and working towards a deadline is essential.

Also, developers need to be able to translate computer language to non-technical colleagues for manuals and operating reports for handovers. They’ll require superb writing and reading skills as well, to write reports and research to stay in touch with the latest app development software.

What is the average application developer salary?

Graduates can expect an app developer salary of approximately £20,000, but once established the android developer salary in the UK, as well as other areas, can be between £34,000 and £40,000. An applications development manager, or senior appl developer, can earn between £45,000 and £70,000, following extensive experience and evidence of high-level technical skill ability.

The average application developer salary is variable depending on the size, location and nature of the company’s business. The highest salaries are usually within London, the South East and built-up cities and within consultancy and finance industries. For those who are self-employed, you can set your rates, but an experienced developer can earn double the rates of permanent staff.

A software application developer makes computers perform specific programs or tasks through code.

What jobs are available for a mobile application developer?

The best way to secure employment is to look at IOS developer profile job adverts, or through social media where companies are trying to find a developer. Work experience is essential for some companies as they are looking for someone who can show they’re able to perform the work well. Most students take on a placement year during their degree or work part-time in an IT-related job. Another option is to get involved in university projects, charities or local companies.

There may be low-paid or voluntary job briefs you can complete at first to gain essential experience on your CV. It’s common for people to work from home over being a physical developer based in the office or agency. Having a driving licence may be an essential requirement as developers can travel to clients and businesses for installation, troubleshooting and implementation work.

If you’re a graduate looking for an app developer job, you can look in health, retail, financial services, and travel and tourism industries for opportunities. If you’d like a graduate training programme, try management consultancies, financial companies and major retailers. Otherwise, IT organisations tend to have large departments which manage their systems instead of paying a consultancy. Most companies in all sectors have apps and computer software management, so you could either work in-house permanently or through an agency who deal with several clients, from large international companies to small businesses.

Applications Develope

What are the software developer prospects?

You’ve applied for app developer jobs, been offered an opportunity but now wondering what your career will look like in 5, 10 or 15 years? Well, a graduate tends to start as an application programmer where ideally they’ll work within systems design or analysis. Suppose you get a spot in a large corporation. In that case, they usually have a structured career path which allows you to move up to a senior applications developer who has supervisory duties.

If you gain business experience, you can progress into systems analysis or work within a managerial position. Most individuals within application development specialise in either contracting or management or within a particular field like databases, application or a specific computer language (C++ or Java, etc.). If you do specialise, it can limit you to only working in this area, but you could become one of the few experts in the field, so there are benefits and risks.

A software application developer needs excellent attention to detail, patience, creativity and analytical mind.

Also, app developers can progress to project management where they’ll manage a team of programmers and oversee the specification and design of the project while balancing an array of responsibilities. Other developers choose to work freelance in contracting, where they can see higher rates of pay if they have extensive experience and an impressive list of contacts. If you pick this route, you’ll likely work as a system developer where you meet with clients, analyse and discuss needs, and write and install programs.

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