What Is an Application Developer?
Application developers are software development professionals who create applications for operating systems or devices, such as smart phones and tablets. They typically need to earn a four-year bachelor's degree in computer science or a related subject to get into the field. Application developers are also expected to be creative and detail oriented with good problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills. The following chart summarizes the requirements, qualities, salary, and job growth of an application developer.
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field|
|Key Qualities||Creativity, problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||26%|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$103,620|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Software Application Developer Job Description
Application developers oversee the entire life cycle of a software application. They design and create the application, code it, and then test the product for functionality and errors. Further, they must ensure that other requirements are met, such as performance and security. The section below offers a more detailed overview of an application developer's responsibilities and duties.
Application Developer Roles and Responsibilities
Application developer responsibilities include analyzing data to determine an application's specifications and requirements; sometimes developers collaborate with other computer specialists during this process. They then meticulously design the application, documenting every aspect of the process for future reference. Once the design is complete, the application is coded. Usually, computer programmers handle this task, but it is not uncommon to find developers writing their own code. After coding, they test their application through stringent routines and procedures to ensure that it runs smoothly and with optimum operational efficiency. Glitches, if any, are fixed. Often, developers are required to troubleshoot or modify existing programs to improve performance. Other duties of these professionals may include designing databases for organizations and supervising programmers.
Application Developer Education Requirements
To become an application developer, you will typically need an undergraduate degree in computer science or a similar subject, such as computer engineering. There are several schools with software development programs that feature coursework relevant to the job. Knowledge of computer programming is also essential. For example, a mobile app developer job description could ask for a good handle of areas such as HTML, Java, MS/SQL, and PHP. As with software development, there is no shortage of computer programming schools.
While a bachelor's degree will usually suffice, some employers may seek candidates with a master's degree in computer science, especially for higher-level positions. This job also requires a substantial amount of work-related skill and knowledge, which is typically acquired through on-the-job training.
App Developer Salary and Job Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for application developers is $103,620 (May 2018). The profession is projected to grow 26 percent in the period 2018-2028, which is well above the national average for all occupations. The primary reason for this healthy outlook is the continuous demand for computer software, as consumers are expected to seek newer and better applications for their smart phones, tablets, and other devices. Additionally, industries such as health and insurance will continue to demand more innovative products that improve the efficiency of their digital platforms.
Candidates who wish to become application developers must first complete a bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar subject. Knowledge in computer programming is also a big plus in this profession, which has a bright future.