March 3, 2017

5 Essential Skills for Becoming a Mobile Application Developer on Linux

As more and more people rely on their cellphones for conducting all kinds of business, mobile app development will only continue to increase in importance. Although they share quite a few similarities with desktop applications, mobile apps present their own set of challenges and particularities. Therefore, a programmer that wishes to find gainful employment in the current market will need to harness and develop the skills that are in-demand at the present time. When it comes to mobile app development on Linux-based platforms, these skills include:

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1. Java

Far and away the most commonly used programming language when it comes to mobile applications, Java is mainly used to build native Android programs. There are numerous different frameworks, but learning how to work with them invariably starts with having a good understanding of Java in general. What's more, Java is known for its stability and security, two features that make it an especially attractive proposition in the enterprise sector.

2. Android SDK

As the most popular Linux-based platform, Android rivals iOS when it comes to the sheer breadth and diversity of its apps. In order to get in on the game, you'll need to learn your way around Android SDK. Among other things, this software development kit includes sample projects, development tools and the required libraries to get you started on building Android applications from scratch.

3. Titanium SDK

If you already have a good understanding of Java and HTML, Titanium will be a great tool for furthering your mobile development goals. It can help you build native cross-platform apps using Javascript that are easy to code and can run on a vast array of devices. What's more, Appcelerator licenses Titanium for free under the Apache 2 license for both personal and commercial use in order to encourage developers to create things without worrying about the cost.

4. Apache Cordova

Formerly known as PhoneGap, Apache Cordova is a mobile application development framework that enables developers to build apps using CSS3, HTML5 and Javascript instead of relying on platform-specific APIs. This results in hybrid applications, which are neither truly native nor web-based. Installing Cordova on Linux is a fairly straightforward process, with additional tools like Apache Ant only serving to increase the functionality of the framework.

5. Node.js

Node.js is an open-source Javascript runtime environment that is widely popular for developing web applications. However, it has proven its use in the mobile world through its employment of Google's V8 JavaScript engine, which is Android-compatible. If properly utilized, Node allows programmers to use the same platform for developing both server and mobile apps, thereby greatly speeding up development times in the process.

That concludes our quick rundown of the top skills that any aspiring mobile app developer for Linux should be familiar with. Keep in mind that the aforementioned technologies are just a starter pack, and that there are plenty of other skills that will need to be honed as you progress in your career. After all, in programming as in life, education never really stops, and you should always seek to better yourself at every step of the way.

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