Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mobile Development: The Journey from Amateur to Developer and Beyond

“Going forward, it’s a mobile first, cloud first world.”
- Satya Nadella

Back in 2014, I made up my mind. I wanted to be a mobile software developer. Mobile devices were everywhere, powering everything, and one even resided in my own pocket. “Mobile first” was the new trendy word in the technology industry. Just a decade after the dot-com boom when everyone needed a website, the same came true for mobile apps. I had to seize the opportunity.

However, like all abstract goals, there was no clear roadmap to follow. I already learned a bit of programming in high school and completed some lessons on Codecademy, but I didn’t yet have the skills to secure employment, or even build my own simple app. The opportunity was there; the problem was finding a way to navigate through the sea of information to reach the destination.

Two years later in 2016, I can say goodbye to the days of amateur hour and can confidently call myself a “developer”. With many code samples and numerous finished projects on GitHub, I’ve built a portfolio worthy of that title. Much of this was due to completing the iOS Developer Nanodegree program at Udacity, but the numerous blogs on mobile development (notably Ray Wenderlich and NSHipster) were also instrumental to reaching my goal. I currently work as a Code Reviewer for Udacity’s iOS program, where I provide feedback to students and push them to reach their potential.

This two year journey was not easy and it is not uncommon for many novice software developers to feel overwhelmed by the possibilities the field has to offer. It can be a long and winding path, but I can assure you that the rewards are worth the effort.

Even though a lot has changed in the last 2 years, no one’s journey, including mine, is ever over. As developers, we need to constantly challenge ourselves and learn new things. That’s part of the reason I’m continuing my education in Android development, also through Udacity’s Nanodegree program. And of course, I haven’t stopped picking up great information from those development blogs.

While the journey officially started 2 years ago, a new one begins today with the launch of this blog.

You may be just starting your journey into mobile development, or have decided to make the switch, or maybe even landed your first development job. Whatever the case, this blog is made for you. As someone who has been through the same journey, I know the struggles and triumphs that come along the way. But this blog isn’t just about the journey. In addition to my own experience, I’ll also share the best of what iOS and Android development has to offer, with plenty of tutorials and sample apps to help you learn and master mobile development concepts.

As you take your journey into mobile development, I hope you find this blog to be informative and useful. It may inspire you to continue your own journey and you might just learn something while you’re at it.

Next Up: 5 Things Udacity Students Taught Me About iOS Development