If you’re anything like us, this year you’ve been working at home, eating at home, reading at home, sleeping at home, and, well, doing everything at home. So in your free time maybe it’s time to crack a book. So for you, our mobile app developer friend, we’ve prepared a list of the app developer books that’ll give your brain something to do while you’re sitting on the couch.
Let’s talk about what it takes to become a mobile app artisan. Becoming a master of your craft is more than writing code and making cool stuff come out. Practice makes perfect, but the path to software mastery starts before you even hit the keyboard. It’s in the mind, it’s how you think. So let’s look at some of the app developer books that will help you flex your mobile app development muscles.
App Developer Books
The Design of Everyday Things
Donald A. Norman
The app development book space is a bit lean, but there are splendid volumes in the field of design that make for excellent mobile UX guidebooks. Adapt and apply, it’s one of the rules of the field! And this is one of those books.
If you want to build apps people love, you’re going to have to think —seriously think— about design and the way people use things. This book has been described as something of a usability bible by all sorts of professionals from varied disciplines. It’s a classic for a reason. The Design of Everyday Things just might change the way you look at everyday things… and your job. What’s it got to do with programming? Well, quite a lot, if you’re an adaptable thinker.
Don Norman is a champion of user-centered design and has been a VP at Apple, faculty at Harvard, and the director of the Nielsen Norman Group. He knows the tech world intimately and this book can be linked quite easily to software. It’s not just a book for designers; it’s a book that should be read by anyone who creates things that other people use (and that includes you).
How to Build a Billion Dollar App
If you’re an indie developer or entrepreneur, you’ll get a lot out of this book, despite the clickbait title. It’s a book about the business side of building apps. The author goes into great detail about real-world examples, and there are numerous interviews with the unexpected billionaires of the app market. The writing is engaging and conversational. How to Build a Billion Dollar App is a quick read, but it isn’t shallow. It’s dense with resources, charts, and highlight-worthy quotes from successful entrepreneurs. If there’s anything we know about the app industry, it’s that things move fast, and while some of the references in the book are dated, the lessons in it are current as ever.
Hands-On Mobile App Testing: A Guide for Mobile Testers and Anyone Involved in the Mobile App Business
How do you get a top-quality app that works the way it’s supposed to and charms users while at it? Testing, testing, testing. It’s an indispensable part of the mobile app life cycle, but it’s not exactly the coolest part of the job. Daniel Knott does away with the dreary and captures your attention with this end-to-end manual on testing packed with references, examples, and gold star-worthy tips throughout.
This is a very practical manual based on real-life examples and experiences. You’ll cover various philosophies of testing, mobile-centric hardware and software issues, testing devices, strategies, and more. Once you’ve studied up on testing with this book and are ready to start carrying out your own beta tests, be sure to download Instabug’s Mobile Beta Testing Handbook for a step-by-step practical guide to testing.
Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
This isn’t a book about programming, but the motivations and thoughts of experienced programmers. It’s not specific to mobile apps, but you’ll find the lessons within to be broadly applicable to your experiences. Because it has 15 subjects, it’s an easy book to break up into manageable chunks and casually drop into between naps.
There’s Not an App for That: Mobile User Experience Design for Life
Simon Robinson, Gary Marsden, Matt Jones
This tome on mobile user experience design will draw you in with its examples, questions, and thought-provoking commentary on real-world products. The authors’ approach is fueled by psychology and thoroughly sensible design philosophy. Along with resources to critique your own work, there are also actionable lists and instructions you’ll want to use on a regular basis.
This is not a practical manual on building your next app. Instead, it’s a guide to thinking and designing in ways that’ll encourage users to keep coming back to your apps. It’s an engaging, interesting, and even fun book that’ll stretch the way you think about that little glass brick in your hand.
If all else fails, or the above simply bores you, crack open The Art of War, study, strategize, and conquer; if not coding, then something else. Follow your dreams.