What Is an Android App Developer? Your 2024 Career Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

With a career as an Android app developer, you can create mobile apps that are used on Android smartphones, tablets, and more. Discover the possibilities in this guide.

[Featured image] An Android app developer in a blue shirt works with a laptop and a smartphone.

Whether for fun, work, or productivity, we depend upon our phones to help us with our daily activities. We use smartphone applications for everything from ordering dinner, creating documents, and watching movies—and more apps are developed daily.

As an Android app developer, you can create apps used on Android devices. Apps have turned mobile devices into handheld computers and transformed how people interact. As an Android app developer, you could be part of this mobile revolution by creating apps smartphone users everywhere rely upon. 

An Android app developer is entry-level, but you need specific skills to obtain this job. For starters, you’ll need an understanding of programming languages to create the code behind an app. We’ll explore these and other skills required to pursue this career. 

Android programming languages

One of the most notable skills of an Android app developer is their knowledge of different programming languages used to develop apps. Here’s a look at some of the programming languages mobile app developers use:


Java was the official programming language of Android apps for a long time. While the preferred language has changed to Kotlin, Java is still popular for many developers. However, the language is complex and has a high learning curve for beginners. 

Due to the popularity of this language, there’s a good support community to help developers troubleshoot problems, and Google’s Play Store widely supports it.  


Google declared Kotlin the preferred language of Android apps in 2019. Kotlin is a more straightforward language to learn than Java, as it doesn’t have as much complexity or nuances, making it easier for developers to pick up. 


Dart is an up-and-coming language created by Google. The purpose of Dart is to create apps in less time with more built-in features and easy-to-design graphics. This language also focuses on the user experience (UX). With the end-user considered during the development, apps are more user-friendly. 


C++ is still used, but not as an app’s primary programming language. Some developers like to use it to build certain pieces of an app, but combining it with other languages can create bugs. While budding developers should know this language, other languages will likely take priority. 

A day in the life of an Android app developer 

As an Android developer, you’ll spend time collaborating with colleagues, writing code, troubleshooting tech problems, and working to improve applications. More specifically, daily duties might include: 

- Working with different departments to understand an app’s purpose

- Strategically designing an app’s navigation with a focus on the end-user

- Managing outside data sources and APIs to facilitate app development

- Writing code to make the app function simply but with purpose

- Testing the app and fixing bugs as they arise

- Reviewing an app with various team members

- Staying on top of trends in the industry


What skills are needed to become an Android app developer?

If becoming an Android app developer sounds like a promising career fit for you, here’s a look at the skills you should work to acquire:

Programming languages

It’s advantageous to be proficient in two programming languages, like Java and Kotlin, as you’ll use these languages to write code that makes an app function. You’ll likely need to take courses to obtain this technical skill. 

Additional software knowledge

Being familiar with the Android Development Kit, Google’s app developer toolkit is a good idea. Knowing SDL, a programme designed to manage and store data, is also helpful. Developers should also review the Material Design Guidelines set by Google. Google requires an app to meet these guidelines in order to appear in the Google Play Store. 

Strong communication skills

Developing an app is a team effort. Depending upon where you work, you might work with other colleagues or clients to build an app. The ability to listen and respond to a person’s needs might seem simple, but it’s a vital part of creating an app efficiently. 

Attention to detail

As a developer, you’ll write hundreds of lines of code requiring attention to detail. If a character or letter is off, the code won’t work. Attention to detail will ensure your code is well-written and ready to test. 

Ability to adapt

The world of mobile apps is constantly changing. New programming languages can emerge, standards might change, and software will evolve. An app developer must adapt to these changes.

If you’re considering a job in this field, you might be curious about the apps created by today’s developers. A staggering 2.68 million Android apps exist in the Google Play Store [1].

As you research this career field, consider downloading a few apps to explore their navigation, aesthetics, and UX. Here’s a snapshot of some of the most popular Android apps:

1. LastPass

This Android app is a password manager that offers cross-platform support so people can use it with their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. 

2. Podcast Addict

This handy app provides a searchable database for podcasts. Aside from searching for shows, users can create playlists, download episodes, and receive reminders when a new show drops.

3. 1Weather

1Weather is a weather app with a simple, clean design that provides everything from the forecast to fun weather facts. 

4. Microsoft SwiftKey

This app creates a more user-friendly keyboard on a smartphone or tablet and allows users to customise it. Users can add a number row or a space for emojis, for example. 

5. Google Drive

File sharing and collaboration have become necessary, probably why the Google Drive app is so popular. It makes reading documents easy on a small screen. 

What is a typical salary for an Android app developer?

The average salary for an Android app developer will vary based on the company, location, and job duties. According to Glassdoor, Android developers in India earn an average annual base salary of ₹8,10,423 [2].

What is the job outlook for Android app developers? 

With a growing reliance on mobile devices, it’s not surprising to see a promising job outlook for app developers. Application development market size ballooned from $325.21 billion in 2023 to $415.26 billion in 2024 at an annual growth rate of 27.7 percent globally [3].


How to start learning Android app development

If you’re ready to dive into Android app development, you need to build the skills necessary to apply for a job. As with most jobs, there isn’t one specific path to take.

You might consider getting a bachelor’s degree in software development, mobile application development, mobile computing, or a similar program. 

While a degree will make you competitive, you may also consider taking self-paced courses in Android app development. Coursera partners with many schools and universities to offer online classes and Specialisations to help build skills for this career choice. 

Get started in Android app development

To pursue an Android App developer career, consider learning app development basics, Kotlin programming fundamentals, and UI/UX design principles with Meta's Android Developer Professional Certificate

You can hone these skills in various ways, but online courses like those offered on Coursera can help you get started.

Article sources


Statista. “Number of available applications in the Google Play Store from December 2009 to March 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/266210/number-of-available-applications-in-the-google-play-store/.” Accessed March 28, 2024.

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