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Mobile Application Developer Noncredit Program

​Everywhere you look, people are using smartphones and mobile devices. The IT world is in overdrive making sure that there are dynamic new software applications to keep up with consumer demand.
Mobile application development is the next hot job sector, with mobility named the number-one workforce need at last year’s Texas Community College Technology Forum identifying trends and innovations in computing technology. Specific training through continuing education courses may be just the edge you need to turn your interests into a career.

What does a mobile app developer do?

Mobile application developers — a specialized subset of software developers — write computer programs for mobile devices such as handheld computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), smartphones and cellphones. This work requires a person experienced in multimedia applications and multiple mobile computer programming languages.
One of the key elements in all mobile applications is network integration. A mobile app developer must be familiar with network standards and protocols, knowing how to build software applications that can use these technologies considering a wide array of screen sizes and hardware configurations. The challenge is how to make mobile apps user-friendly and esthetically pleasing under the constraints of ever-changing platforms.

​Why is this a fast-growing occupation?

Software developer is number one of U.S. News and World Reports’ “best technology jobs” well as the top ranked in its 100 best overall jobs. Mobile operating systems are relatively new — so the demand for strong mobile application developers is high and supply is low.
According to projections by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics through 2022, employment in computer technology services will grow at more than four times the rate of all industries.
Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas’s targeted occupations through 2014 projects 11 separate IT positions as high growth areas, with the largest number of openings for software developers, nearly 16,000. Next highest growth is projected for computer support technicians, systems analysts, network administrators and programmers.

Where do mobile app developers find jobs?

As a general rule, most application developers who have full-time jobs work at major technology companies. Many software developers are transitioning into mobile application development by necessity. There are also many self-taught freelancers selling their apps on their own, having honed their skills in their college dorms or garages.

What kind of person is good at mobile app development?

Do you have the personality for this kind of work? Successful mobile app developers are dynamic, energetic and creative individuals with a passion for producing consumer-based products.
Abilities for succeeding in this field include:
  • Expert knowledge of multiple applications and operations
  • Excellent abstract reasoning
  • Problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to learn programming languages quickly

What skills are required?

Businesses typically develop mobile applications for multiple platforms at once to maximize market penetration and return on investment. The more mobile development platforms you learn and master, the more opportunities you’ll have as a professional mobile application developer. With constantly changing and evolving technology, quick learners will fare best in a highly competitive job market.
Mobile application developers typically write programs using platform-specific programming languages, which include:
  • Java for Android for multiple vendors
  • Objective-C and the new Swift for iOS on Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods
  • C++ for multiple vendors
  • C# for Windows mobile for multiple vendors
Good user interface (UI) design is essential to creating marketable mobile apps and considers constraints, screen, input and mobility with the goal of a user-friendly interface. Good mobile UI design takes into account users' limited attention, minimal keystrokes and goal orientation with minimum functions.
An application developer working for a large company might lead the entire app life cycle from the conceptual stage through delivery and post-launch support. Job duties might include working closely with other developers and product managers, building prototypes and creating device-specific user interfaces.

​What are average salaries and job growth?​ lists average salaries of application software developers in Texas as $51,000 a year.
America’s Career Infonet gives detailed information about:
​​Job Median​ Hourly Rate  Median​ Annual Salary Projected Job Growth Through 2020​
Software developer, applications​ ​$45.01 ​$93,600 ​+23%

Mobile App Development Programs at Colleges of DCCCD

Noncredit classes in Android App Development are offered at:
  • North Lake College Continuing Education: 972-273-3386
  • Richland College Continuing Education: 972-238-6145
However, noncredit computer courses from basics to advanced programming are offered at all seven colleges of DCCCD at various times of the year.
Note that program content, length and cost vary; please check with the college of your choice to ensure the right fit for your goals and for any given semester.
  • Brookhaven College Continuing Education: 972-860-4775
  • Cedar Valley College Continuing Education: 972-860-8295
  • ​Eastfield College Continuing Education: 972-860-7114
  • ​El Centro College Continuing Education: 214-860-2262
  • Mountain View College​ Continuing Education: 214-860-8835​
  • North Lake College Continuing Education: 972-273-3386​
  • Richland College​ Continuing Education: 972-238-6145
Get more information on other career paths in Computer Information Technology​.​