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Learn Mobile Development

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Mobile Development

Mobile Development is the process of programming applications for dedicated mobile devices. As mobile devices, particularly smartphones, are becoming more and more common in our everyday lives, industries and institutions from almost every professional field are making greater use of mobile applications. This broad usage includes private-sector venture-capital start-ups, more traditional commerce industries, and public-sector agencies. In this overview, you’ll learn more about mobile development, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn it to determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

Mobile development is the sub-field of computer programming that focuses on developing applications and software programs optimized for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. By the end of the decade, it is expected that there will be more smartphones in the world than people, so anyone interested in working on the bleeding edge of computer development will want to consider learning mobile development skills. If you’ve always wanted to learn mobile development but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn mobile development, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use mobile development.

What is Mobile Development?

As of 2021, there were as many as 6.4 billion smartphones worldwide. For smartphone users, The vast majority of smartphone users engage with their device using their apps–up to 88% of total use. Mobile applications are quickly becoming the most common way we interact with the digital space, and this shifts virtually every industry, company, and institution to prioritize using mobile applications in their branding and marketing strategies. In addition, adjacent industries, such as the mobile gaming industry, are becoming massive sources of revenue, meaning that more and more companies are moving towards mobile development as a primary, rather than a secondary, focus.

Learning mobile development skills involves learning general programming principles and tools, and languages explicitly designed for popular mobile devices. Both iOS and Android devices take advantage of proprietary programming languages built from the ground up to be optimized for those devices. Mobile development differs from general programming in that it emphasizes how applications can be designed to run optimally on any mobile device since there is a world of difference between an iPhone 12 and a Surface Tablet. Mobile Developers will be tasked with learning all the skills required to ensure that all of the application's necessary features are functional and easy to utilize regardless of who is accessing the application and on what device it is being accessed.

Read more about what mobile development is and why you should learn it. 

What Can You Do with Mobile Development?

One of the most compelling reasons to learn mobile development skills comes from the fact that the technological infrastructure is constantly improving. What was unheard of five years ago has become the technical default, and developers are constantly improving the hardware and software associated with mobile devices. This evolution makes mobile application development an incredible specialization for developers who want to be on the cutting edge as new industries and practices emerge. Whether you are interested in designing new mobile games, essential accessibility services, or working within newly emerging digital marketplaces, mobile app development skills will significantly boost your potential.

Mobile application development is also an excellent skill set for working within the developing world of the internet of things. Our phones and tablets are becoming more directly integrated with the devices and objects we interact with daily. From QR code readers to digital assistants to medical alert technology in wearables, mobile devices serve many seemingly mundane but still vital functions in our everyday lives. While developers looking to work in this field will need to learn other advanced programming skills, students with a background in mobile development will have a much easier time creating complex applications meant to extend the reach of the mobile device.

Careers that Use Mobile Development

Since mobile software applications are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, more and more industries are beginning to prioritize the importance of mobile applications. New mobile applications for companies can range from new business start-ups to companies trying to build brand loyalty to government agencies looking to make vital services more accessible for users. Thus, many different career paths are available for anyone with a background in mobile development. A few of these options include the following:

Web Developer: Web Developers are programmers who specialize in building web applications and assets for those applications. They use various programming languages, depending on the project specifications and the functionality they want to build into their applications. Many Web Developers work closely with mobile development projects to ensure a seamless connection between browser-based and mobile applications. Web Developers will be less specialized than their mobile development counterparts, but they will still benefit from learning how to design assets and code for mobile development projects.

Mobile Developer: Developers are specialized programmers working on dedicated mobile design and development projects. They are likely to work with either Swift (for iOS) or Kotlin (for Android), meaning that they will be working with proprietary technologies and programming languages designed to optimize the performance of their software on specific devices. They are also often deeply involved in the planning stage of a project since mobile development languages tend to be more narrow than web-based alternatives. As a result, dedicated mobile developers can earn more than their non-specialized counterparts, but they will need significantly more specialized training to serve this role.

Software Project Manager: In most professional environments, mobile applications are developed by teams of employees working on discrete aspects of the project, including designers, developers, market researchers, beta testers, and other vital elements of the design process. Ensuring that these teams work together and projects are completed on time and within budget is the role of Software Project Managers. Software Project Engineers need not only to know the programming languages being utilized to build their mobile development projects but also to know the soft skills necessary to oversee the human element of the project.

Why Learn Mobile Development?

As of 2017, mobile use has surpassed desktop PC use for overall web access purposes, 53-46. This gap is expected to increase meaningfully, and the difference only becomes more and more skewed as it is broken down generationally, with younger audiences using mobile devices far more frequently than older audiences. As such, mobile development is growing more valued in almost every corner of the digital development landscape. Anyone hoping to work in the rapidly changing world of web development will benefit from learning mobile development skills. 

Mobile development is also becoming increasingly pervasive in virtually every industry, especially as younger audiences default towards mobile devices as their primary way of interacting with the digital world. Thus, cutting-edge start-ups and new businesses are beginning to prioritize the functionality of their mobile applications. Services such as Uber rely upon mobile applications for both consumers and contractors. In addition, older institutions, including public sector institutions like government agencies and universities, have shifted towards mobile applications that users must interact with to access essential services. Since 2018, mobile gaming revenues have outperformed PC and console gaming revenues combined to the tune of $70 billion. No matter what kind of field you want to work in as a developer, investing in fostering mobile development skills is likely to help open doors.

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How to Learn Mobile Development

As mobile development skills are becoming increasingly in demand, there is an ever-increasing number of places to learn those skills. Service providers offer both in-person and online mobile development courses, and those online courses are available as both live and asynchronous training options. While every student will learn differently, these different training methods tend to come with certain benefits and disadvantages that can make it easier for knowledge seekers to find the right training option.

Many trainees find that live instruction is the best way to learn a new skill, particularly one as complicated as computer programming. Live instruction courses allow students to work with expert instructors, and these classes are relatively flexible, offered both in-person and online. These classes allow students to work directly with professional mobile development instructors who can provide class participants with personalized feedback and assistance. Students will be able to work on hands-on projects that replicate the kinds of mobile development work they can anticipate handling in their professional lives. These courses are ideal for individuals with the time and availability to attend regular classes, even though they are more restrictive in offerings than other options.

Those requiring flexibility in their training may consider an on-demand mobile development course. These training programs offer individuals the chance to learn mobile development skills at their pace, giving students with work and family obligations the opportunity to receive a mobile development education still. These courses differ wildly in their content and delivery method, but they are generally cheaper than their live training counterparts and will usually include a significant component of recorded tutorials. These courses lack live instructors, so that participants will miss personalized feedback on their work. Learning mobile development can take significantly longer without an expert to consult, especially acquiring more complex concepts.

Future students who are partially confident that they want to build a career out of mobile development but are still interested in getting a feel for the skills required before they decide on more training will want to explore the free training options available to them. Noble Desktop offers free web development training seminars, a valuable way for students to learn the basics of programming without needing to enroll in a professional training course. Since mobile development courses require that prospective students are familiar with the basics of web development, future learners may take advantage of free resources before enrolling. They may enjoy the Intro to Front-End Web Developmentseminar and the other videos on the Web Development playlist on Noble’s official YouTube page.

Read the complete guide on how to learn mobile development.

Free Introductory Mobile Development Course Online 

Potential students who aren’t ready to jump into a complete mobile development course may consider free training options. Since mobile development languages are advanced programming skills, the most common kind of free training resource that students will benefit from is a more generalized web development programming tutorial. Interested individuals can take advantage of Noble Desktop’s Intro to front end Web Development seminar to learn the basic coding principles of HTML/CSS and JavaScript. This seminar can help participants decide whether or not they want to continue with an advanced programming education. Once students have decided to continue, they may wish to take advantage of the course offerings available on Noble’s official YouTube page on their Web Development playlist.

Noble also offers an Intro to React seminar, which covers the basics of using JavaScript’s React library for front end development. While this seminar isn’t focused on mobile development, it does cover how React Native, Meta’s open-source software framework, can be utilized to develop applications for Android and iOS devices.

Curious individuals may also explore the free training seminars available through service providers such as Udemy and Coursera. On top of these options, since most major mobile applications are developed for iOS and Android, both Apple and Google offer tutorials on using the proprietary languages and code editors used for developing applications on their platforms.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Mobile development is a relatively challenging kind of computer programming because of the many different variables, and the languages are less flexible. However, it is still an in-demand career skill that comprises a lot of versatile and transferable skills. Mobile development is probably not the best-suited skill for novice developers to try and pick up. Still, with sufficient training and experience, it is a set of skills that are very productive in the long run.

While there are no technical prerequisites to learning mobile development, experts strongly recommend that languages like Swift are not the first programming languages you opt to learn. Enrollees in a dedicated mobile development course want experience working with computer code. There is no specific language requirement, but learning HTML/CSS and JavaScript are likely places to start. Prospective students should also know how to use code editing applications and test and debug code.

Almost all mobile application development languages are free and open source, so participants won’t have to pay a fee to work on their projects. Similarly, even proprietary code editors like Xcode are free to use. All major app stores require users to pay a yearly fee and register to have their apps visible for download. These fees vary depending on the platform but can range from 20 to 100 dollars. In addition, while not a direct cost, app stores will take a cut of the profits from sales, so programs working on their applications will want to consider that.

Read about how difficult it is to learn mobile development.

How Does Learning Mobile Development Compare to Other Fields?

Mobile development represents a good-sized niche subset of web development. This large market share is because most dedicated mobile development uses specialized programming languages, such as Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android. Thus, most people who receive mobile development training will become already familiar with basic programming skills and will instead be deciding how to expand on their repertoire of coding knowledge. Prospective students interested in advanced programming training will want to consider some of the different fields and languages they can learn.

Individuals may wish to expand their programming options and learn front end web development skills. Learning such skills includes HTML/CSS and JavaScript and its associated libraries like React and jQuery. Front end development concerns itself with the programming languages that inform a web browser how to display a webpage and how to build interactive elements into that display. As a result, front end programming is responsible for all web application elements that users see and interact with. Frequently, an element of front end web development is applied to mobile development, but mobile development languages are far more versatile in their stereotypical environments.

The alternative to front end development is back end development programming, which utilizes languages like Python, Ruby on Rails, and dedicated JavaScript libraries like Node.js that handle the hidden infrastructure that allows a webpage to run. These are the elements of a webpage that users won’t have access to and perform vital functions such as connecting to servers, querying databases, or running certain kinds of code. Learning languages like Python will also give students a chance to learn more advanced data science and machine learning skills, which are also cutting-edge parts of modern web development.

Finally, students may combine these skills to become Full Stack Web Developers, expert programmers who handle both the front end and the back end operation of web applications. The path of a Full Stack Developer requires significantly more training. Still, the languages that students will learn are incredibly versatile. Future Web Developers may transfer their skills to other professional programming positions since learning a back end language doesn’t preclude coders from finding a job as a Front End Developer.

Individuals interested in learning about front end development, back end development, or full stack development should consult Noble’s Learn pages to discover more about these career paths.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Mobile Development

Potential students may be looking at the number of different training options available and worry that they need help finding the course that best suits their needs. This concern is understandable, but while every student does gather information differently, potential enrollees must explore a few critical issues for each course. Future coders should consider the amount of skills training they feel is necessary to reach their goals and the amount of prior knowledge and experience they have going into their training.

Since mobile development involves advanced, specialized programming languages, future students will want a decent amount of prior programming experience before enrolling in a course. For curious individuals looking to gain this background knowledge and set themselves up for long-term success, a career-skills program like Noble’s Web Development Certificate program is ideal. These classes provide students with a robust computer programming education and teaching skills like coding fundamentals and HTML/CSS to give students the tools for more advanced lessons on subjects like JavaScript libraries. These courses tend to be the most expensive and logistically-restrictive options, but they are also the best route for building long-term career skills.

Those with coding experience who want to dive into the world of mobile development will want to consider a focused skills bootcamp, such as Noble’s iOS App Development Bootcamp. These focused courses teach students how to work with a single important tool or programming language for dedicated mobile development projects. These courses tend to be cheaper than career-focused courses, but they also have stricter prerequisites and won’t be as focused on preparing enrollees for a career in mobile development.

Students who aren’t entirely sure that mobile development is the right path for them may wish to take advantage of a free training seminar or course. These classes will teach students the basics of programming and the simple functionalities of coding languages ranging from HTML to Swift. These courses won’t be enough to help students learn how to code mobile applications in a professional context. Still, they will prepare students for further mobile development training should they decide that learning these skills is right for them.

Learn Mobile Development with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Students looking to learn mobile development skills will need a decent amount of focused training. They will need to learn programming basics, web development programming languages, and specific programming languages built for mobile operating systems like iOS and Android. However, no matter your level of experience, Noble Desktop has a mobile development course that fits your needs. Whether you are an experienced programmer or you need to learn HTML/CSS, Noble Desktop offers individual bootcamps and career development classes that can help you on your way to becoming a skilled Mobile Developer. Experienced instructors teach Noble’s classes, bringing expert-level web and mobile development knowledge. Learners can take Noble’s classes in-person at Noble’s Manhattan campus or online in private digital classrooms. Even online, class sizes are kept small so that students aren’t competing with each other for their instructor’s attention. Plus, anyone enrolling in a Noble training course will have an opportunity to retake the class, for free, at any point within a calendar year, giving prospective students peace of mind. It allows beginners even more chances to get hands-on mobile development skills.

Individuals with prior coding experience may wish to enroll in Noble’s iOS App Development Bootcamp. This class will teach members how to work with Apple’s Xcode code editing program and their Swift programming language to build optimized applications on mobile iOS devices. Students will learn how to build interactive swipe and touch screen elements and how to add assets to the application, its launch screen, and its presence on the App store. By the end of the class, individuals will develop and post their applications to the App store. They will also understand how the mobile development process works from start to finish (people should be aware that posting applications to the app store require a paid Apple account, which every participant will be required to sign-up for to complete the course).

Those with less coding experience but still want to learn the necessary skills to work as mobile developers will want to consider enrolling in Noble’s Full Stack Development Certificate program. This program doesn’t focus specifically on mobile development. Future coders wishing to specialize in that field may need additional training, but learning full stack development skills is integral to becoming a successful and well-rounded developer. In this class, students will learn how to code web pages in HTML/CSS and JavaScript, languages that mobile developers use to build non-proprietary versions of their applications. In addition, students will learn essential JavaScript libraries and how to develop and maintain the infrastructure upon which applications operate. This career-focused course provides participants professional development training, including one-on-one career mentorship and portfolio development workshops. Pair this training seminar with Noble’s iOS Development Bootcamp for further specialization in mobile development.

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