What Software Jobs are in Mobile Application Development?

Mobile Application developmentWith the explosive growth of mobile devices over the past decade, the number of software jobs in mobile application development has dramatically increased. Today, developers are confronted with four platforms that demand their attention: the market leaders, Android and iOS, are increasingly battling with Blackberry’s new mobile operating system and the Windows Phone environment for attention from consumers and developers alike. Thanks to the growth of this industry and the almost unlimited opportunity presented by new mobile applications and games, there are actually quite a few software jobs in the mobile development industry that are worth noting. From brainstorming to programming and promoting, the opportunities are enticing for those with a computer science background in particular.

Cross-Platform Compatibility: A Key Software Role in the Industry

During the desktop operating system wars, which were waged largely between Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, developers only had to worry about whether or not their applications worked on two mainstream computing platforms. That would seem almost quaint to software developers in the mobile app world, who contend with four major platforms when they create an exciting new game or productivity app. One of the most important roles in this industry is the one that checks for cross-platform compatibility. Companies dedicate entire teams of professionals to porting a successful application from one operating system to another. They carefully reconstruct interfaces, features, and system integration hooks, to make sure that the app is as seamless as possible across all devices.

Beta Development and Testing is Also Important

Another key software job in the mobile app industry is that of the initial beta tester. While many companies have outsourced this task to individuals who are willing to put up with a program’s early bugs, most companies still have an early development and testing team that does some internal debugging beforehand. Developers will typically install the application on multiple devices that run different operating systems, and they may even test the application with different versions of the same operating system. By getting the biggest and most obvious bugs out of the way early on, they ensure that public beta testers won’t risk the security or integrity of their personal information as they seek to become the first people to use a new version of the app.

Demonstration, Promotion, and Stoking Industry Interest

Though mobile applications are smaller in size than their desktop counterparts, these programs still require an extensive amount of work. The typical mobile application can cost up to $300,000 over the course of its first few pre-release cycles and its first few public iterations. That’s no small price tag, and it means that software developers often must play the role of salesman alongside their more traditional programming duties. For this reason, software developers can be expected to demonstrate their software at conventions and trade shows, smaller meet-ups, and an in online videos, and they can be expected to use the application’s early features to raise funding, set an initial price tag, and market the app in a way that recoups its early development costs.

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From Development to Promotion, Plenty of Tasks for Software Developers

Whether it’s early testing of a new application or ongoing work to ensure the cross-platform stability of an existing application, there’s plenty of work to be had for software developers in the mobile application industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, due to the fast-growing and competitive nature of this market, software jobs in mobile application development are characterized by taking on several different titles, tasks, and approaches, throughout every stage of the development process.