How to become an app developer: Jack's story

I wanted to make video games but it turned out I was a terrible artist, so I wanted to find another way for me to be involved in making games.



In my job

I work at a software development company called Synectics Solutions, where I have a web development role and work on a mobile augmented reality app that clients use with a magazine. When people download the app and scan a picture in the magazine, it can play a video that goes alongside the article they are reading. I use HTML code, Javascript and my knowledge about code and software design.

At school

I took ICT GCSE which was a lot of spreadsheets! I also studied English, Maths, Science, History, Business, Graphics and German.

At college

I realised I wanted to get into programming. I did a lot of Graphic Design and that now really helps with the app development part of my job. I pull in skills that aren’t necessarily programmer skills. I graduated with a triple distinction in Interactive Media which was surprising to me. I think I became better at education because I was more interested in the subject.

At university

I did a BSc (Bachelor of Science) in Computer Game Design and Programming. As the years went on I became really interested in making mobile games. I was covering it on my course and then using them in my spare time.

What to expect if you want to become an app developer

  • App developer salary: Variable ranging from £21,000 to £55,000
  • App developer working hours: On average 37 - 40 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be an app developer?

  • Entry requirements:

You can get into this job through a university course, an apprenticeship or a graduate training scheme. At university, you could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a relevant subject such as Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computer Applications Development, Mathematics or Financial Technology. You'll usually need one or two A-levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma and two to three A-levels, or equivalent, for a degree.

Alternatively, you could complete a software developer higher apprenticeship. To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.

You may be able to apply for a place on a graduate training scheme with an IT company if you have a degree. These are often open to non-IT graduates as well as those with a computing qualification, where you start as a junior developer and get training on the job.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Discover more on the Prospects website about the role of an app developer.

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