What is an App Developer?

App DevelopmentTo understand what an app developer is, you have to know a little about computer architecture and operating systems. First of all, an app is just an application or software program, such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop, but a lot of people use this term to mean programs that run on mobile devices or in Web browsers, like Instagram or Spotify. Developing apps for any platform involves the same set of high-level programming and user experience design skills, and once you understand how to design a piece of software with one framework, learning how to use another one is fairly straightforward.

Most Apps Are Built With Frameworks

A framework is a software system that imposes a design pattern on the applications made with it. For example, the Android framework is based on the Java programming language and provides user interface widgets, Android-optimized data structures and algorithms, and many other tools for creating Android apps. The Cocoa Touch framework for iPhone and iPad development is based on the Objective-C programming language and offers a similar set of tools that are designed to work as efficiently as possible on the iOS operating system, according to Apple.

Programming languages, frameworks and libraries are different tools with different purposes, and they work together in particular combinations to make apps for various platforms. For example, most modern websites use a database-driven model-view-controller design pattern that requires a lot of high-level code to implement, and frameworks such as Django, Ruby on Rails and Laravel provide the basic structure for putting together dynamic websites. Django is based on Python, Ruby on Rails is based on Ruby and Laravel is based on PHP. It’s not necessary at all to ever use external libraries with these frameworks, but many independent programmers make their libraries available online for anyone to use. Libraries are just collections of routines and data structures that save programmers the hassle of writing code that already exists.

Frameworks Vs. Libraries

A lot of beginning programmers think that libraries and frameworks are the same, but they’re not, according to Microsoft. Frameworks don’t require libraries, and libraries don’t require frameworks. Android apps have to be built with the Android framework, and it’s highly recommended to use classes from the official Android Java libraries because they’re optimized for the limited amount of memory on mobile devices. On the other hand, Web apps don’t need to be built with any framework or library, and programmers can simply write original code in PHP, HTML and JavaScript. It makes sense to use the boilerplate code and elegant design patterns offered by mature, stable frameworks and libraries because it saves time and allows developers to focus on the user experience.

Some frameworks allow developers to make programs for many platforms at the same time. For example, PhoneGap allows programmers to develop apps for Android, iOS and Windows simultaneously by running the UI in a Web viewport. Similarly, Unity3D allows programmers to make games for Android, iOS and desktop computers at the same time using JavaScript and an innovative graphical programming interface. These frameworks can really kick your production into high gear, and they typically require a hefty license fee.

Related Resource: Django

Computer software is a big business, and it’s growing more rapidly than most other businesses. If you have the technical problem-solving skills needed to write software, you should look into what an app developer is paid to do.