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Java in Mobile Development. Technologies, Job Requirements and Average Salaries for Java Mobile Developers

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Although Java the programming language is widely used across multiple technology fields and for a variety of purposes, mobile development is the one where its position has always been strong and its importance for the market undisputable. Java was the default language for the Android platform since its launch in 2008, the platform itself has been written in Java, and this language is still considered the core and preferred for Android developers. Even though Google introduced Kotlin for Android development in 2017, Java remains the most popular language in this field, where the demand for Java developers is always high. Java in Mobile Development. Technologies, Job Requirements and Average Salaries for Java Mobile Developers - 1So today we are going to look at mobile development as a professional field for Java developers, what you need to know about this market, what qualifications you should have to get a job, and what kinds of salary you can expect to get as a Java Mobile Developer.

Requirements for Java Mobile Developers

What skills and experience you should have to get a job as a Java Mobile Developer? We analyzed a number of job descriptions for currently open positions with this exact title and some similar ones (such as Java Android Developer) to come up with a list of the most common requirements. Firstly, virtually all job descriptions include previous experience with Java and in mobile development in general, normally two to four years or more. Here is a number of the most typical formulations:
  • Java application development knowledge.
  • 2 or more years of experience in mobile application development.
  • 4+ years of work experience in enterprise mobile applications development using Java.
  • 2+ Years of iOS and/or Android development experience.
  • Must have 3+ years of professional experience developing software with proven development as a mobile developer.
When it comes to additional technical requirements, mostly the mobile development tools, as well as commonly used Java frameworks and libraries, prevail in job descriptions. Here are a few quotes with the most frequently mentioned names:
  • Android SDKs, XCode or Android Studio, Unit Testing, REST APIs.
  • Hands-on experience with Kotlin.
  • Experience working with IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse and other IDEs.
  • Experience working on REST APIs development and integration.
  • Hands-on experience in Java Core, J2EE, Spring, MVC, Web Service, Hibernate, HTML, CSS.
  • Hands-on experience integrating with 3rd party libraries (monitoring, analytics, notifications, etc.).
  • Hands-on experience consuming REST/SOAP services.

Java mobile development tools and technologies

Now let’s talk in more detail about the tools and technologies you likely would need to know to work as a Java Mobile Developer.

1. Android tools.

Android Studio is the official integrated development environment (IDE) for Android operating system based on IntelliJ IDEA IDE and designed by Google to match the requirements of Android developers. Structured code modules in Android Studio allow you to divide your project into units of functionality that you can independently build, test, and debug. Google launched Android Studio in 2013 to replace Eclipse Android Development Tools (ADT) as the primary IDE for Android applications development.

An Android Virtual Device (AVD) is a configuration that defines the characteristics of an Android phone, tablet, Wear OS, Android TV, or Automotive OS device that you want to simulate in the Android Emulator. The AVD Manager is an interface you can launch from Android Studio that helps you create and manage AVDs.

Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is a versatile command-line tool that lets you communicate with a device. The ADB command facilitates a variety of device actions, such as installing and debugging apps, and it provides access to a Unix shell that you can use to run a variety of commands on a device.

2. IntelliJ IDEA.

IntelliJ IDEA is an IDE written in Java and considered to be the most popular IDE among Java developers today. Having experience with IntelliJ IDEA is quite a common requirement for Java mobile developers. CodeGym students, by the way, have the chance to start getting used to this IDE right away when still going through our course thanks to CodeGym’s IDEA plugin, so by the time you are done you already have sufficient experience with this tool.

3. Visual Studio.

Visual Studio is the official and free IDE from Microsoft. It supports Java and a number of other programming languages and allows you to create native applications for Windows, Android, and iOS. Visual Studio is a pretty common tool for developers looking to create cross-platform mobile apps and/or games.

4. OutSystems.

OutSystems is a low-code full-stack application development platform that offers developers a range of tools to build and deploy all kinds of applications, including both consumer apps and enterprise products.

5. Xamarin.

Xamarin is a Microsoft-owned free and open source mobile app platform for building native apps for Android, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and Windows apps with .NET and C#. This platform is often used in application development when you need to add some important C# features that are not available in Java.

6. Vysor.

Vysor is a rather simple emulating solution that lets you view and control an Android device on your computer.

7. Stetho.

Stetho is an open source debug bridge for Android applications developed by Facebook.. When enabled, developers have access to the Chrome Developer Tools feature natively part of the Chrome desktop browser. Developers can also choose to enable the optional dumpapp tool which offers a powerful command-line interface to application internals.

8. Gradle.

Gradle is an open-source automation tool that is designed to be flexible enough to build almost any type of software. In 2013 Google endorsed it as a system for the development of Android apps. Gradle runs on the JVM and is based on Apache Maven and Apache Ant, which makes it a very common tool for the development of Java apps, especially large-scale enterprise ones.

9. AWS Mobile SDK.

AWS Mobile SDK helps you build mobile apps based on AWS cloud computing platform. It provides access to AWS Mobile services, mobile-optimized connectors to popular AWS data and storage services, and easy access to a broad array of other AWS services. The AWS Mobile SDK includes libraries, code samples, and documentation for iOS, Android/Fire OS, Xamarin, and Unity.

Java vs. Kotlin

The conversation about Java and mobile development would be incomplete if we didn’t mention the Java versus Kotlin topic. Kotlin is an open source, cross-platform, statically typed programming language that was developed by JetBrains. Its first appearance dates back to 2011, while the official release of this language was in 2016. In 2019 Google announced that Kotlin is now its preferred language for Android app developers, which caused many developers to regard Kotlin as the future of mobile development and feel the need to switch to Kotlin from Java. That is why you might be wondering if it is necessary to learn Kotlin as an addition to Java to be in mobile development. There are mixed opinions from developers about that. Kotlin is a statically typed programming language based on JVM and fully compatible with existing Java stacks. Kotlin code can be easily compiled to Java, as well as JavaScript, Android and Native. Converting Java code to Kotlin and vice versa is quite easy thanks to a number of simple converter plugins to the most popular IDEs such as IntelliJ IDEA. But Java and Kotlin do have some differences. Here is a short list of the main differences between these two programming languages:
  • Kotlin supports type inference (no need to specify data type of variable).
  • Kotlin doesn’t support checked exceptions (Java uses checked exceptions to perform error handling).
  • Java compilation time is currently 15-20% faster than Kotlin’s.
  • In Kotlin, all types of variables are non-nullable.
  • In Kotlin, you can extend existing classes with new functions.
  • Kotlin has the support of smart cast.
  • Kotlin has the extensive support of functional programming methods such as lambda, operator overloading, higher-order functions, lazy evaluation, etc.

How much a Java Mobile Developer can make?

On a final note, let’s talk about salaries. According to Glassdoor, an average Java Mobile Developer in the United States makes $96,016 annually. The average salary level varies from $64k per year as the minimum to $140k a year at the peak. According to ZipRecruiter’s data, the salary of an average Java Android Developer in the U.S. is $105,453 a year or $51 an hour. But the salary figures can be quite different depending on the world region of course. In India, for example, according to PayScale’s data, the average salary of a mobile applications developer with Java skills is around 400,000 rupees per year, which is roughly $5500. In the United Kingdom, an average Java Mobile Developer makes around $41k per year.