My introduction to mobile was a rough start. In fact, it was so rough I told myself I was never doing that again. When my first job offer came around though, they were short on iOS and Android developers.. and well, being rather desperate as a single mom with loads of student debt, I jumped in head first. Little did I know, it was the best decision I could have made. I took iOS by the horns and have now specialized in it for over 5 years. I’ve also dabbled in web and Android, but iOS has remained my passion. Why am I telling you this? Sometimes the learning curve is intimidating, but mobile development has come an extremely long way. If you've checked it out before, I guarantee things are different.
Being a mobile developer is a lot of fun because the technology is always changing. There’s usually a new operating system every year, which also usually means a new phone with it. New phones (may) bring new technology, such as most recently Augmented Reality capabilities.
Mobile isn’t ONLY for phones and tablets though! Beacon technology, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality headsets, wearables such as Glass and Fitbit have also fallen under the mobile category. It definitely keeps things interesting. I’ve built applications that read temperature and heart rate from wearables, along with applications that put fun filters on images from the camera. Every application can be SO different! There’s always a new learning curve to explore and new things that other developers haven’t (at least documented) yet.
The salary for mobile developers is generally higher (depending on your location) than other types of development roles. Part of this is because the technology is so new (~20 years) compared to web (~40 years). Mobile developers are hard to find also. The good developers are all gainfully employed and the pipeline is very small. According to PayScale, an entry level mobile developer can make an average of $69,000 dollars per year! That’s already toward the top half of the US middle classes salary range. If you’re interested in mobile development, I strongly encourage you to check it out!
Apple has released Swift, a swanky new programming language that has redefined iOS development (for the better!). To get started building for iOS you need a Mac with the latest Xcode installed. Android has incorporated Kotlin into its development practices which offers a cleaner syntax and easier learning curve. To develop for Android, you need a computer capable of running Android Studio (no specific computer required unlike Apple ). PLEASE check it out. Mobile development is HOT right now and for the foreseeable future. Take advantage.