Mobile apps are an exciting recent development. With the revolutionary success of the iPhone and Android phones, smart devices are now outselling desktops and laptops. These platforms provide consistent targets that allow developers to tune their software for small sets of hardware. iTunes and Google’s Play Store give developers simple platforms that allow the world to find and access a developer’s app without the developer having to risk spending a significant amount of money on advertising. Apps present a tremendous opportunity for developers, and the following courses will help a future app developer learn the skills necessary to successfully enter the exciting world of mobile application development.
Google’s development environment uses the Java programming language. Java, an object-oriented language, is currently the most popular language in the world. App development for the Android platform, therefore, utilizes the same set of skills that most colleges teach. Once a student has finished their first Java course, they should have the skills necessary to begin to read Google’s development documentation and start programming for the Android platform. The tools used are free and available on almost all desktop operating systems.
Apple’s ecosystem is based on the Objective C programming language, which is not often taught in colleges. Though a few colleges do teach it as an elective, Objective C is primarily restricted to Apple programming. However, colleges will teach courses that give a student the skills necessary to begin developing for iPhones. C is often taught as the first language computer science students learn. While C and Objective C are fundamentally different on some levels, the syntax of the languages are similar. Additionally, students will inevitably learn object-oriented programming, which is the basic programming paradigm utilized by Objective C. With the skills learned, students have the requisite knowledge to learn Objective C fairly quickly and begin iPhone development.
While courses provide the necessary skills for mobile application development, courses alone are often not enough, especially considering the fact that colleges still base their lessons primarily on desktop paradigms. In order fully immerse themselves in app development, students should seek out fellow students who wish to develop mobile apps and work together. Through collaborate effort, a dedicated group can apply the principles learned in class and in free online sources to supplement a college career load that does not yet focus much on app development. Additionally, these efforts can lead to future connections and potentially lead to the next great app team.