How to turn your mobile app development hobby into a career

By Robert Half on 29th January 2016

As the saying goes, if you do what you love for a living, you will never work a day in your life. This perhaps explains why many people prefer to job hop in search for their dream job. The grass might seem greener on the other side and you'll feel a move might help you feel more fulfilled day after day. But what if you could turn your hobby into a career?

This is not as ridiculous or as unachievable as it may sound, particularly if you're tech-savvy and creative. For instance, basic coding skills can enable people to build interesting software and innovative apps from the comfort of their own home. The ability to code is highly sought after by many businesses - and without knowing it, you might be the kind of person they are looking for. So if you have a mobile app development hobby you could potentially turn it ino a career by following these suggestions.

Increase your visibility

The internet offers plenty of opportunities for digital specialists and freelancers to engage with like-minded individuals, many of whom might already be employed in this field. So look for online communities for mobile app developers on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as forums and message boards, and get involved in debates and discussions.

It's a great way to raise your profile and get noticed by companies that are actively seeking people with experience in mobile and are able to build software to run on different platforms. By establishing yourself as an authoritative and respected voice online, you could potentially get headhunted, either for full-time employment or freelance projects.

And don't limit your efforts to get noticed just to the online world. If you've forged a strong reputation in your online community, you might be ideally placed to speak on the subject at mobile app events.

Be innovative

The best mobile app developers are those who aren't trying to reinvent the wheel and instead come up with something innovative. So channel your creativity and look for gaps in the market that might offer commercial opportunities. Remember though that the concepts behind your innovations don't have to be overly complex – sometimes the best ideas are the simplest and so seemingly obvious – you may find yourself wondering why nobody has thought of them before.

Don't be afraid to show off your creations

If you are applying for a job and talking about your mobile app development skills, then be specific and actively point recruiters towards your creations. If possible, instruct them to where they can easily access them through an app store or provide a version for them to see or use.

Refine your apps before showing them off

Of course, encouraging prospective employers to check out your apps will only pay off if the apps themselves are fit for purpose. So take the time to make sure that any apps you have made available to the public offer a good user experience and are free of bugs. The apps you showcase must also demonstrate that you have more than cursory coding and iOS development skills, as well as have received good feedback from those who have downloaded.

Embrace feedback

You might consider yourself an expert on mobile app development, but it's always a good idea to ask for feedback and take on board the views of other people. Everyone from friends, relatives and colleagues can offer valuable feedback on your creations, on both the technical side and user experience.

Spend every day getting better

Many people who have turned their mobile app development hobby into a career are those who have reached professional standards partly through sheer persistence. They spend a set amount of time every single day honing their skills - and this kind of dedication can pay off handsomely.

As with any hobby, the key to taking it further is having the commitment to being the best you can possibly be and the impetus to showcase your talents to other people. But if you harness your coding development skills for all platforms such as Android or iOS effectively and make them known, it could open up countless new career opportunities.

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