How to Become a Top Paid Mobile Developer

Mobile apps downloading into a smartphoneAre you looking for a career where you can work in a creative environment with cool people, the best equipment and great pay? That’s how it is for the top mobile developers.

We have a huge demand for mobile developers in Toronto, and a shortage of qualified people to fill the demand.

But the shortage of mobile developers doesn’t make it easier to land one of these jobs. It’s probably easier to become a doctor or a lawyer than it is to become a top mobile developer. But where’s the fun in that?

Companies hiring mobile developers are looking for a laundry list of skills and experience that very few people can supply. But, if you’re willing to put in the effort that it takes to meet those requirements, then you will build a great career as a highly in-demand mobile developer. You might even be able to write your own ticket.

Big money, multiple job offers, freedom – these are all part of the deal for top mobile developers.

Mobile developers make more money if they have …

  • Developed apps for more than one platform, for example iOs and Android
  • Developed a product from concept design through development, testing and implementation – experienced A to Z in product development
  • Worked on an app with a large number of downloads
  • Worked on complex multi-layered app designed for a large audience
  • Skills to do both design and coding of apps. Many developers that have done both the front and back end for mobile apps end up working as well paid contractors.
  • Developed a mobile app for a multinational company
  • Have great communication skills. If you can communicate with the non-technical business users about the requirements of the app you will make more money.

Your Mission: Become a Top Paid Mobile Developer

1) Research local mobile companies

Figure out who you want to work for and why you want to work for them. This will be very helpful when you are making connections. Some places to research companies that hire mobile developers:

2) Start filling in the gaps in your skills and experience

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but these are the most highly in-demand skills for mobile developers:

  1. iOS with Objective C
  2. Android with Java
  3. HTML5 with CSS3 for web app development

If you have experience with a combination of those skills, you'll earn more.

Look at job posts at the companies you want to work for. Search the jobs on Github, Twitter, LinkedIn, Workopolis and Monster to find out what else you need to add to your toolbox.  

Learn about native apps, web apps, hybrid apps. Find out everything you can about the current trends in mobile app development. Webkit, responsive design,

Take courses to fill in the gaps in your skillset. Many low cost and free courses are available online to get you started. 

3) Get your foot in the door

If you are transitioning from programmer to mobile developer, you have a head start. Look for opportunities to bring your skills to mobile development teams.

You may have to do some work for free. You may have to work alongside a mobile development team doing tech support, tech writing or design. But as you build your toolbox and chalk up some experience, you may be able to convince them to let you help out with the development side.

To build a network that may lead to job opportunities:

  • Start following the blogs of companies you want to work for. Make comments. Offer helpful feedback.
  • Go to public events such as Hackathons that are hosted by companies you want to work for.
  • Follow your favourite companies on LinkedIn. Follow key people on Twitter. Participate in conversations. After they get to know you, they might even be willing to Linkin with you.

4) Interview Prep

  • Many rapid growth companies will require applicants to do a test. Do lots of tests to practice. Do not go in cold.
  • Make sure you can explain how you used your skills on the job. Interviewers want to hear concrete examples of how you used the skills they ask about. They want to know how you personally contributed to the success of a project

Question for you

The shortage of experienced mobile developers has created a situation where some companies are paying mobile developers more than project managers. Is this justified?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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