I often cover ideas that involve manufacturing or retailing products, but one of the best ways to get employed, start your own business and climb your way out of poverty is to learn a skill, whether the skill is operational / management, digital or a trade skill. Today we look at one of the most lucrative modern skills to possess: web and app development.

Introduction
Any worthwhile skill will take time and effort to master, that is why “easy” skills pay so little because it’s easier to learn and so many people have done it, but a worthwhile skill in which you need serious study, delayed gratification and need to apply your mind will pay more because scarcity creates value, this is because most people will give up before they are proficient.

Now I want to make it clear when I say “web development” I don’t mean installing WordPress, activating a theme and making a new adjustments that is not web development, its not even web design, more like template formatting and it’s a skill that is worth next to nothing because almost anyone can do it (go and look on Gumtree and see how many people offer this service and the silly prices they charge).

Web and app development is building and/or maintaining a website or mobile phone application from scratch or client specifications. Now frameworks will make your life easier but you have to be proficient in a programming language besides HTML, CSS and basic JavaScript. Essentially you need to learn a backend language or extend your JavaScript to the backend using a platform such as Node.js (and the accompanying ecosystem). For mobile phone apps iOS and Android is the dominant platforms so you looking at learning Swift and/or Java.

Business Model
There are essentially two business models in the web or mobile app game: product or service.

A product business means you build and launch your own product (app or website) and make money by either selling advertising on it or selling products or digital downloads/in app purchases.

In a service business you are essentially a contractor, a client gives you a brief, you quote, once the quote is accepted you execute the brief by developing the application to the clients needs.

Getting started
To learn a programming language is a lot of work and most people will give up before they are competent and that is why it pays so well:

OfferZen – Developer Salaries for Different Programming Languages ©OfferZen

It will take a lot of time and effort before you are capable enough to develop applications for clients. Some people will grasp it easier than others, but it does not matter how old you are or what your education level is you can learn to program, the only thing that will differ is the time it will take you (or the time you have to commit) and the dedication to see it through.

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Courses & Learning Material
There are numerous online courses you can take to learn web and app development, some are free, some have a monthly fee and some (like Udemyicon) have a once off “lifetime” fee for the course. Udemy has some interesting courses available that will guide you from the beginning to the end. But it will require dedication.

Some of their most popular courses are:
The Web Developer Bootcamp (Web applications)
iOS 11 & Swift 4 – The Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp (iPhone applications)
The Complete Android N Developer Course (Android applications)


You have a business idea, where to next?
How to Start a Business from Business Idea