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Maegan Wilson
Maegan Wilson

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Which to learn, Native App Development or Web Development?

This topic came from an instagram message I received. “How do I choose between web development and native app development”
And I want to answer that right away and then we will dive into it a bit more. So let’s go.

How to Choose Between Learning Native App Development and Web Development?

The main questions to ask your self when deciding which one to start are:

  • Where do you want your apps?
    • Do you want them to be accessible by everyone anywhere without barrier to entry? Then go web development.
  • Do you want your app to only exist on specific platforms or take advantage of platform specific features? Maybe go for native app development

And that’s really the best way to figure out which one to dive into.

There is also one other thing you want to ask yourself when learning something.

What are your goals?

Your goals will always influence what you want to learn and what you want to do.

Here are some goals that people usually have when making the jump into development.

  • Accepting a position full time position at a company
  • Freelancing
  • Just wanting to learn something new

For the first two goals, research what you need to make them happen. What technology stack are companies and potential clients hiring for? Once you research that, then you know which way to go!

If you just want to learn something new, then pick the one you find the most interesting! You don’t want to choose the one that you are going to get burned out on cause you thought it was right.

Also, you don’t have to choose only one. You can choose to learn both! You never know when both will come in handy.

But I’m just starting out and don’t know which one to pick

If you’re just starting out, and you don’t know which one to pick, then I really suggest starting with something that gives you a quick return on investment like front end development.
It’s easy and doesn’t require more than a plain text editor. You can even do it in the web at sites like or jsfiddle, which means if you only have a Chromebook or iPad to start with, you can start learning and start getting your feet wet.

It’s what I did when I was starting. My progress went front-end web development to iOS App Development. I used to start learning because I could instantly see what was happening.

Once I felt confident in the basics of programming in JavaScript, that’s when I started to shift to iOS development.
I answered the “what are my goals?” before deciding to move to iOS though. My goals were to:

  1. Do something I enjoyed - this didn’t help much because I love learning new things and both web and native app development does this
  2. Put an app on the Apple App Store
  3. As a stretch goal, develop something that created some kind of passive income

Well my goal number 2 meant that I had to lean iOS or macOS development of some kind, which is how I chose to focus in iOS app development.

Does this mean I only work on iOS projects? No, I still have to do some kind of web development for my blog and for app websites. I also need to start learning server side development so I can work on goal #3 and introduce subscriptions in the app. I’ll probably lean towards some kind of JavaScript or Python programming.

Make sure to follow for more posts like this and some tips and tricks! If you prefer video, then subscribe to my youtube. You can also follow my instagram, @parttimedeveloper_, for more iOS and web development photos and advice.

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