What Does App Developer Do?

What Does App Developer Do?

Everyone uses apps, but only a specific profession can design and program them.

I think the biggest change, and the one we’re already starting to see take shape, is that globally the majority of internet usage will be done via a mobile device and for most people, the mobile web will be their primary – if not their only – way of experiencing the internet.”
– Peter Rojas, Co-founder of Engadget and Gizmodo

I think the biggest change, and the one we’re already starting to see take shape, is that globally the majority of internet usage will be done via a mobile device and for most people the mobile web will be their primary – if not their only – way of experiencing the internet.”

Peter Rojas, Co-founder of Engadget and Gizmodo

As an app developer, you are the creative mind of IT learn. Constantly looking for innovative solutions, you’ll transform novel ideas into apps for smartphones and tablets. For this, you need a lot of technical knowledge. The software should run smoothly on the common operating systems and end devices. You also cut the apps to the needs of users. The spectrum ranges from casual games for in between to helpful service apps to complex communication tools. The offer is huge and the competition in the app stores is tough. We will show you what awaits you when you face this challenge!

What app developer tasks?

At the beginning of every app is the idea of the company. Your first task as an app developer is to understand what the client’s goal is with the application.

  • What exactly should the implementation look like?
  • Does an established company need an app for a defined use case to round off the existing offering?
  • Does the app realize the real business idea for a young startup team?

In any case, you check and decide what is possible and feasible from a technical point of view. On the one hand, you are concerned with the technical feasibility and how you comply with the guidelines of the app store operators. These relate to data protection as well as design and business model. For example, it says that users’ privacy must be respected and that the user experience should be good. Functional reasons for rejection in the app store are, for example:

  • Bugs and system crash.
  • Use of non-public APIs.
  • Read data outside the set app container.
  • If the app has no uniqueness and copies other apps.

The strict guidelines are designed to protect users and prevent countless apps from flooding stores.

The concept of an app

Only then does it start to design the app? In the planning phase, it is important that you, as an app developer, understand: How do the future users of the app tick? How do they want to interact with the application and how can you give them the greatest benefit? Because only if the app is programmed in an easy-to-use way and brings real added value to the user, does it land on the home screen and is used regularly.

Most apps lose new users just a few days after downloading – on average, only 20% remain permanently active in the app. In most cases, you now create a first draft, which you present to the customer or manager, and develop this prototype on a feedback basis further…


Worldwide, each of us has an average of 80 apps on our smartphones – but we use a maximum of half of these apps regularly, i.e. at least 1 x a month.

If you work in a large company or an agency, you will constantly tune in with IT’s learners from other disciplines throughout the development process. These can be UX or UI designers as well as function designers and programmers.

App Testing: Performance, Compatibility, and Usability

Before you upload the app to the shop, you check and test that it works properly and you remove all bugs. Sometimes you develop several versions of the app at once because after all, it should work for different operating systems and run at least on the most used mobile devices. The testing catalog is now quite long and includes e.g. :

  • Performance.
  • Compatibility.
  • Usability tests.

The more smartphone variants come onto the market, the more performance differences you take into account. This ranges from CPU and RAM to screen size and resolution. The variety of hardware and software of mobile devices will regularly challenge you in “app quality assurance”. So it definitely won’t be boring!

Training and updates: work in progress

In addition to the pure development of the app, you are responsible for modifying it further and further. Because the work on an app doesn’t stop with the release. It’s just getting started. For example, you check that the app works properly after major system updates and that your users can continue to use it. Continuing education is an integral part of your remit. This is because the technologies and their fields of application are changing at a rapid pace. Although they usually build on each other, you still need to constantly expand your knowledge. Your job as an app developer is constantly changing, you never stop. This makes this profession particularly exciting.

Where can you work?

Apps are booming, so the demand for developers is huge. Especially in big cities, many companies need experts like you. In principle, you have opportunities throughout Germany.

If you work in an agency that specializes in app programming, you are always surrounded by colleagues from the same field. So you can still simplicity during the lunch break.

Lately, more and more companies are affording luxury and employing their own app developer. You will be involved in virtually all industries, from industry to trade. Depending on the size of the company, you sometimes work closely with the marketing department there. Together you develop ideas and put the products in an even better scene in an app. By the way: The app developer has many names, because the English language, which is often assumed in everyday work, is also reflected in the job title. When looking for a job, you should also look for jobs as an app developer, mobile app developer, or mobile developer.

What can you specialize in?

App development is already a specialization because all app developers are actually applications or software developers. The difference is that you specialize purely in mobile apps, i.e. native apps or web apps. While web apps are basically nothing more than specially programmed websites, native apps are programmed specifically for a mobile operating system.

Of course, you can become an all-rounder over time, usually, you focus on apps for a specific operating system like iOS, Android, or Windows Phone. Because there are big differences, not only in the technical development environment but also in terms of UX design and subsequent marketing. With about 85.1% (Google) and 14.9% (Apple), the two major players almost completely divide the smartphone market. App development for MS Windows is a niche.

Depending on your interest, you can also specialize in a specific application area. For example, you only plan and program banking apps for Fin-Tech companies or games for development studios in the games industry.

Are you an app developer?

You are creative, technically gifted, and have a commercial understanding of this? Then you are the perfect app developer!

If iOS is the operating system of your choice, you won’t miss Objective-C or Swift. As Android developers, Java and the popular IDE Eclipse belong in your toolbox. But the cross-platform programming language Kotlin is now fully integrated into Google’s framework. For Windows fans, C’ and Visual Studio should be old acquaintances.

Read Also Develop App: Native App VS. Hybrid App, Web App & PWA

A basic requirement for your work is analytical and structured thinking. But the commercial perspective is also important for you! Why? Quite simply: Of course, the costs and benefits of the app must always be in proportion and you are the expert when it comes to estimating the effort required for conception and programming in advance.

Your communication skills are required not only in contact with the customers but also when working in a team. And you should also be able to (specialist) English because without the world language in IT nothing can be done today.

As you’ve read above, the requirements as an app developer are constantly changing, so you should definitely feel like constantly training yourself.

What can you earn as an app developer?

An app developer’s entry-level salary varies depending on the industry and the size of the company. On average, your annual salary starts at 43,200 euros gross. In the course of your professional life and with increasing professional experience, the salary increases:

  • Young Professional (up to 2 years of professional experience): 47,050 €
  • Professional (3-5 years of professional experience): 55,020 €
  • Senior App Developer (6-10 years of professional experience): 62,700 €


  • As an app developer, you create and program native applications and then put them up for sale.
  • In addition to technical know-how, your creativity is also required. Which skills you should master here depends heavily on the choice of the operating system.
  • Continuing training is an absolute must in this profession to keep up because the technologies are very fast-paced.


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