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What steps would I need to take if I want to become an app developer? What would I need to learn in order to create apps and make them successful?

I am a junior in high school. I am not exactly sure what I want to do yet, but I am interested in software development. I also want to become familiar with developing software before I go to college to see if it is really for me, but I don't know where to start, which is why I am asking this question. # computer-software technology app engineer

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6 answers


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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Rachel,

I think it’s great that you have a plan for yourself and that you’re asking this question to this community.

I would say a good way to get started is to pick up a programming language as Morgan suggested. Though if you want to specialize in creating apps, the language to end up getting a black belt is either Swift (iOS) and/or Java (Android). But it can be a bit hard to jump straight into those programming languages. You may want to get started with higher level programming languages, like HTML, Python, or Javascript.

After you feel like you know the basics, I would encourage you to build a website from scratch. This will give you a good feel for building something that is much easier than building a mobile app.

At this stage, I would advise you to volunteer at nonprofits or at your school to practice your skills in real life situations. These experiences will make you a better software engineer as well as giving you great items to put on your resume.

Then, I would aim to get into a good university or college to further your learnings and to make great connections. At this stage, it really helps to be around people who are also trying to be good software developers. After graduating with a computer science degree, with all the experience you’ve built up, you should have no problem in finding the job of your choice. :)

I hope you find your way and I hope software development is fulfilling for you. I wish you the best of luck in your career journey!


Dexter

Thank you so much! This is very helpful. Rachel V.

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Dennis’s Answer

Get a degree in Computer Science.
Choose a major platform.
You need to take classes in marketing and business management.
Begin to practice.
Ease of use.
Test your app.

Thank you so much! Rachel V.

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Angelique’s Answer

Hello Rachel,

First of all, I applaud you for taking this approach in learning what would be of interest to you before going to college. The key is for you to complete some research in areas of interest to you, so you gain enough knowledge to start connecting what feels right to you and for you to make informed decisions (college, internships, etc.).

How to start your research?

1) Download Eventbrite and Meetup apps

2) Search for free virtual events and register for as many classes/webinars etc. that gets your attention or curiosity.
- This will provide opportunities for you to learn, ask questions relating to software development.

3) Join LinkedIn (you must be 16 years old) - optional
- Create a profile and join software development groups. You will get a sense of the why, what, where, how, who, and when of this area.

4) Keep track of these events, and you will start seeing patterns that will help you along with your decision making


Below is the link for a free virtual Eventbrite slated for 4/23/20 – Free online Mobile Apps Development hands-on workshop with live instructors – Celebrating international girls in ICT day with online mobile apps development workshop for girls age 9 to 20 years old

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-online-mobile-apps-development-hands-on-workshop-with-live-instructors-tickets-102757345988?aff=ebdssbeac

On another note, I know many software developers who did not attend college. Those who did had other degrees other than Computer Science (CS) . However, the CS degree would be the way to go if software development is your chosen path.

I think you are on the right track in working through your decisions because you are asking the right questions at the right time.

Good luck Rachel! I hope to hear how all this turns out for you.

Warm regards,
Angie

Angelique recommends the following next steps:

Register for a free virtual eventbrite slated for 4/23/20 – Free online Mobile Apps Development hands on workshop with live instructors – Celebrating international girls in ICT day with online mobile apps development workshop for girls age 9 to 20 years old https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-online-mobile-apps-development-hands-on-workshop-with-live-instructors-tickets-102757345988?aff=ebdssbeac

Thank you so much for this helpful information! Rachel V.

I also wanted to thank you for letting me know about the live workshop. I have been trying to learn how to code, so this is extremely helpful! Rachel V.

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Morgan 🌐’s Answer

Learn a programming language. There are plenty of free resources for practice and to find which one works for you.

I wouldn't say you HAVE to go to college for it, at least not getting Masters and Doctorates. If you chose a Bootcamp, do a lot of research about who to pick.

Thank you so much! Rachel V.

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jill’s Answer

Start writing apps and get them on the App Store!
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Sundaresh’s Answer

First, congratulations on having a plan. That's a big first step.

Having been in software development for over 2+ decades, I would recommend you start with no-code platforms (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-code_development_platform). This is the future of application development. You should try no-code platforms for both web applications as well as mobile applications.

This will help you get a good grasp of logic and will give you quick wins.

To put this in terms of actionable next steps:

Sundaresh recommends the following next steps:

Pick a simple problem you would like to solve with technology (shopping list, recipe list, whatever...)
Research no-code platforms - pick 2-3
Build you app on selected platform
Send it out to friends and family to test and give you feedback
Research programming languages - frontend, full stack, backend etc.
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