Careers Watch

Exploding demand for mobile apps developers

According to a TRAI Report, India’s active mobile telephony connections exceeded 1.18 billion in March 2018, national penetration of 92 percent


The demand for applications (‘apps’) software for digital hand-held devices — mobile phones, tablets and i-pads — is booming globally. Apps can be pre-installed or delivered as web applications by innovative software engineers to enable users of hand-held devices access a range of services at the press of a button.

The latest apps which are becoming the norm, are changing the way the world communicates, does business and accesses news and entertainment. There’s a world of digital opportunity for clever young engineers who are taking to apps development as a fast-track career path. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), India’s active mobile phone connections exceeded 1.18 billion in March 2018, which translates into national penetration of 92 percent.

STUDY PROGRAMMES. The essential skill-set required for a career in apps development is grasp of the software development cycle and suitable software languages such as Java, Swift, HTML 5, Java Script, C, C++, C# etc. Mobile apps developers also need to choose the operating system (aka platform) such as Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS, prior to learning the appropriate programming language to ensure compatibility with the chosen platform. Currently, there are five major mobile platforms, each with its own core language and development environment.

Academically, graduate/post-graduate qualifications in computer science — B.Tech, MCA, B.Sc (IT) — provide a sound foundation for successful careers in the mobile apps space. Moreover, specialised training and qualifications in the aforesaid programming language will prove useful. However, professionals from non-technical backgrounds can also transform into apps developers by attending specialised diploma and certificate apps development programmes of private academies and training institutes.

REMUNERATION PROSPECTS. Career development and progression opportunities in this specialised discipline are immense, and span start-ups to established enterprises. Typically, apps developers start as trainee engineers and progress to become software developers and mobility architects in IT companies. Later, they are awarded titles such as mobility strategy consultants and mobility test engineers. Remuneration packages of professionally qualified apps developers range from Rs.3-5 lakh per annum, and for gifted pros who deliver ‘killer apps’, the sky is the limit.

“Apps development is the new driving force of the contemporary IT industry. With over 10 billion mobile internet devices expected to be in use worldwide by 2016, the mobile applications industry will need to grow exponentially to meet the demand for increasingly complex apps,” predicts Husain Raniwala, senior software developer of 100 K Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a successful mobile apps development company promoted by him in 2011.

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE. A self-confessed computer geek from his schooldays during which he acquired a penchant for developing software, Raniwala graduated in commerce from Burhani College, affiliated with Bombay University, and subsequently acquired a software engineering diploma from NIIT, Mumbai. After acquiring the necessary skills and experience, in 2011, Raniwala launched 100 K Solutions which has developed several killer apps for client companies. “The apps development business has finally come of age with the emergence of a huge global market which will generate an annual revenue of over $69.7 billion (Rs.487,900 crore) by the end of 2020,” says Raniwala.

With the ICT (information communications technologies) industry in a constant state of evolution and flux, and tech innovations and new products pouring into the global marketplace, Raniwala believes the IT industry and the mobile apps business in particular, offer box-office busting opportunities to IT professionals with inventive minds. 

“Mobile connectivity is the future of IT and ICT, and all their services and offerings are likely to be provided through apps. Currently India has more mobile connections than computers and televisions sets. Therefore the future is exciting for qualified apps developers,” predicts Raniwala.

(Excerpted from 101 Great Careers for the 21st Century by Indra Gidwani, 2016)