How Do You Become a Mobile Engineer?
The three Mobile Engineers we spoke to each came to this role in a slightly different way. Seda and Ryan moved into Mobile Engineering after being introduced to Zühlke, Seda at the Silicon Roundabout job fair and Ryan through an internship. Hardik on the other hand went straight into the field after his degree. As Seda points out, a Computer Science background isn’t a requirement for this career. “Having a technical qualification is definitely an advantage, but you can come into this area with a passion and some focused learning too,” she says.
The Zühlke team had plenty of suggestions when asked where an aspiring Mobile Engineer could get started. Seda suggested focusing on one platform to begin with so you don’t try and do too much at once. “They’re very different, and there are pros and cons to each, so if you don’t go into that clearly you can become easily overwhelmed,” she explains. She also suggests checking out online courses like Google’s Basics in Kotlin.
Hardik’s advice is to look at an open source project on Github to get an idea of what’s underneath an app. He believes you can get plenty of good insight from looking at someone else’s code, familiarising yourself with best practice to inform your own work. He encourages aspiring Mobile Engineers to join online communities: “I always check the developers’ portal for Android and iOS (where you can also watch official events like Apple’s WWDC and Google IO), and I stay in touch with what is going on in this space through blogs and social channels by engineers at Google and Apple,” he explains.
From Ryan’s perspective, it is important to understand the architecture of your Operating System, as well as how to code for it. “You need to know how an application is built up,” he explains. From an iOS angle, he also says experience with Apple-made applications is a helpful way to see best practice design in action. Looking at a career path more broadly, he suggest finding a company that is willing to train you into the specialisation, allowing you to build on the knowledge you gain from typically more general computer science degrees.