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5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Career as an Independent App Developer

independent app developerTrends change extremely fast on the global digital market. In 2009, there were around 173 million smartphones worldwide. In 2016, that number skyrocketed to 1.4 billion devices sold. Thus, it’s obvious that the app economy is growing, and you’re quite savvy to seek a career in such a burgeoning field (kudos to you).

Living the sweet life of an app developer doesn’t happen overnight, however. In fact, the hardest part about becoming a full-time, independent app developer is having the courage to leave the company that your work for behind, and take your dev talents on the road as a solo act. Here are a few quick tips on how you can make that possible:

Wait for the Right Moment
Being an independent app developer is no “bed of roses,” especially at the beginning. This is why you shouldn’t leave your steady job right away. You’ll be aware that you can work on your own once your personal product becomes widely appraised and used. For instance, try to make a simple app in your free time and place it on one of the app markets. If people show admiration for your work and start downloading your app, it’s high time you set off for an independent career.

Build an Awe-Inspiring Portfolio
Some developers start out as skillful coders who make their own apps from scratch. Others don’t possess coding knowledge, but use ready-made app builders. Either way, your initial goal should be creating a professional portfolio. Therefore, don’t spend too much time on one app, be efficient. That way, you’ll manage to build your portfolio quicker and move closer to going independent.

Team Up with Another Pro
Teaming up with another developer will improve your mobile app development experience, since now you can divide your tasks and arrange your work schedule in a more efficient way. Additionally, the number of business options will rise, as well. For instance, you and your partner can start working as app outsourcers and accept a larger number of projects. As a result, your revenues will grow, and so will your experience. However, make sure you create a detailed agreement at the beginning of your collaboration. That way, you’ll avoid any professional and personal misunderstandings regarding the finances.

Work with App Giants

independent app developerIn order to get on the radar of some of the industry giants, you might want to think about getting certified as an app developer. If you become a member of the App Store developer crew, you can count on cutting-edge tools and support from their experienced developers. As for the income, developers get 70% of the sales their apps reach. Read more about it here.

On the other hand, Google Play offers similar conditions, with some differences between freemium apps, premium apps and subscriptions. Still, bear in mind that the Android market is much bigger than the iOS market, which means a larger audience for your creative work.

Stay with What You Know
The essential dilemma of every app developer is whether or not to try your luck in a new environment in order to earn more. In line with that, if a math teacher is also an app-developing hobbyist, it might be wiser for him or her to create apps that will enhance learning math, rather than making apps for other niches. The main problem here is that stepping into unknown territory might take too much time and yield no benefits. For an aspiring, full-time independent app developer like yourself, that could be too costly.

Though you will face challenges getting started, including stiff competition from an overcrowded marketplace, the dream of becoming a full-time independent app developer is definitely worth pursuing (who doesn’t love getting paid to create meaningful apps?!). Therefore, use the guidelines listed above to take those first crucial steps to going independent. Good luck!

Dan Radak

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with ten years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a co-author on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.

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