App-y careers

Journalism student Erin Reid sits down with aspiring app developer Christopher Sloey to find out how he hopes his current uni course will boost his career dreams…

Have you ever been worried that you might get lost in the dark or be in urgent need of a metal detector one day? No need to worry – there’s an app for that.

An estimated 25 billion apps were downloaded by smartphone owners in 2012 meaning that the app development industry is growing stronger and stronger. And with demand, there comes more job opportunities.

So how can you get on the mobile app bandwagon? Most web developers come into the job via a computer science course at college or university. 22-year-old Christopher Sloey from Barrhead is one student who has decided that a future in software development is for him.

He said: “There’s a massive demand for software developers right now because the importance of computers in our everyday lives is growing all the time. For app developers specifically, the demand is really high because more and more people are getting smartphones – the iTunes store alone has had over 40 billion app downloads.”

Christopher is currently in his final year at Strathclyde University. During the last five years, he has learned how to programme different devices such as computers and mobile phones, undertaken work placements to gain experience and looked at subjects such as artificial intelligence. Last year he even got to create his own app, giving him the inspiration to pursue a career in app development.

He said: “I recently created an app called Travelbit with two other people on my course. It’s an iPhone app which automatically generates a guide for any location you give it. The guide currently contains a weather forecast for the location, a currency exchange tool and a list of things to pack based on what we know about the location. We track Travelbit downloads and it’s always awesome to see people all over the world using it.”

The group is working on the next version of the app which will add a list of venues to go to when you’re there and a text guide telling you about the location.

He said: “I’m definitely glad I chose computer science. I’ve enjoyed the course and the job placement I did last year. I’m looking forward to working in this field when I graduate.”

A career in app development would be extremely challenging and it would need to be something that you are really interested in – long hours spent battling with computer code isn’t exactly a walk in the park! However, there are also many rewards – the pay is good for starters, and everyone dreams of doing a job that they enjoy and are passionate about.

If only there was an app that could do all the hard work for you and you still reap the benefits in the end. Now there’s an idea…

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