How To Pursue A Career As An Independent App Developer

Business Strategies for New App Developers


According to Canalys’ analysis, in 2012, in three months alone, people bought more than 173 million smartphones all over the world. In 2009, that figure was the estimated number of smartphones worldwide. As the number of mobile devices grows, so does the app market. A decision to make money on these developments is both wise and courageous. Although maybe the hardest part is to leave your current company, a prolific app developer also needs to have both creativity and the ability to recognize people’s needs.

One step at the time

You can become independent only when your app becomes widely used and recognized. Instead of leaving your current job, try developing a simple app in your free time and see how it fares on the app market. If people like what you made and start downloading your app, you are ready for an independent career.

Find out what users like

Without gaining a deeper insight into users’ behavior and preferences, your developer career might run into a dead end. You need to research and understand what problems you can solve and what service you can offer. Although people value user-friendliness, different platforms have different purchasing patterns. For example, there are more Android users than those preferring iOS. Yet, a study has shown that owners of Apple products are more likely to pay for an app.

Start your portfolio early

Experienced developers are capable of making their apps from scratch. The others who are still learning the ropes can use ready-made app builders. One way or another, your first task should be to build a professional portfolio. Instead of spending too much time perfecting one app, try to be more productive. This way, your portfolio will grow quicker and your experience will bring you closer to independence.

Get a certificate

App industry giants are always in search of certified app developers. And there are other perks, as well. App Store developers have access to cutting-edge tools and support from experienced developers in the crew. And as for the income, developers receive 70% of the profit that their app makes. Android market, on the other hand, is much bigger and your work may reach a wider audience. Google Play offers monetizing options that suit different app types. Those include In-app purchases, subscriptions, and AdMob ads.

Two is a company

Dividing tasks and responsibilities between two partners will result in more efficient work schedule. If you team up with another developer, your different expertise in mobile app development might be complementary and you may learn from each other in the process. As a result, not only will your business options rise, but also your revenue. At the beginning of your cooperation, draw out a detailed arrangement that will help you avoid any work-related and personal disagreement regarding the finances.

Play the home field

Many aspiring developers have a dilemma whether to leave their field of expertise and step into new territories in order to enlarge their customer pool. The main question is whether you can afford the time to become a native in an unknown environment. On the other hand, potential benefits may not justify the costs. For example, if you work full-time as a travel agent and develop apps on the sideline, your travel apps will probably be more successful than your accounting app.

The only way to break through stiff competition and earn your spot in a crowded marketplace is to make decisions based on facts and figures. At the end of the day, superb UX, attractive design and functionality mean little if an app doesn’t match users’ habits and needs.   


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