You're never too old to become an app developer -- just ask Donald Rumsfeld

Daniel Kobialka, FierceDeveloperThink you're too old to become an app developer? Think again!

The average app developer is approximately 29 years old, according to a recent survey from programming site Stack Overflow. However, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has proven that anyone can become an app developer, regardless of age.

Rumsfeld, 83, has worked with a team of coders to launch Churchill Solitaire, a.k.a. "the most diabolical version of solitaire ever devised."  

The title is fitting, as Rumsfeld and former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill appear to embrace the same mantra: "Never give up!"

And at 83 years old, Rumsfeld has proven he's not ready to give up on learning any time soon.

"Among the things one learns as time passes is that everyone has to age, but not everyone has to get old. One of the best ways to stay young is to keep learning," he wrote in a blog post. "That's one of the reasons I've spent the better part of the past two years trying my hand at developing a mobile app. ... I'm pleased that it is now going to have a new life thanks to modern technology."

Want to become the next Rumsfeld and build your own app? It may be easier than you think -- just consider the following tips from several app development experts:

  1. Keep it simple. Mary Dobransky, Dean for the College of Information Technology at Bellevue University, recommends striving for simplicity during the app development process. A simple approach will enable you to design a memorable app and user experience, according to Dobransky.

  2. Collaborate with peers. No app developer is an island, and a recent study from mobile app development consultancy stable|kernel showed 47 percent of respondents said they work on teams of up to five people. Be ready to collaborate, and together your team can brainstorm ideas, examine multiple viewpoints and develop successful apps. 

  3. Continue to learn. Remember, "One of the best ways to stay young is to continue to learn," Rumsfeld says. Embrace new technologies, don't be afraid to ask questions and do whatever it takes to continue to learn and build your app development skill set. 

Ultimately, app developers should embrace Rumsfeld and Churchill's "Never give up!" mantra. By doing so, these developers can move closer to achieving their career goals quickly and efficiently. -- Dan