The corporate world is currently in a tailspin as there is a shortage and a demand for Mobile Applications which are required for their businesses. There is a need for developers who are willing to adapt their technical skill sets to constructing apps for smartphone and tablet PC devices.
The market demand is surging positively ahead for apps which are able to run on Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android OS, as well as any other mobile based operating system which powers these mobile handheld devices.
The entire industry is now facing a critical shortage of talent for mobile development. So for any IT professional who has adequate programming skills can and should be able to transfer their skills to fill this increasing need.
The demand for app development is very real. Apple alone generated close to 2 billion dollars in app sales in 2010, while worldwide app sales for all of the mobile devices is expected to exceed $4 billion this year.
Who’s Building These Apps?
So currently, who is developing all of these apps? In a recent study, actual job sites who post want ads revealed that the need for Apple iOS as well as Android OS app developer positions had risen by over 300% percent, while job ads for all of the other mobile OS related app development positions were high in demand as well.
A site dedicated for freelancers, Elance, has reported steady demand in app development with close to 5000 mobile developer jobs that are posted at any given time on their site, which is an increase of over 150% percent for the same time a year earlier.
Mobile development, particularly app construction as a career choice is growing at a rate of two times the rate faster overall than the entire computer industry as a whole, this according to Elance.com.
It’s no longer just the tech related companies who are looking for mobile development talent. Now every industry of all types and the business within them are now scrambling to come up with their own app for their products or services.
This void is similar to what happened not that long ago where this type of demand was focused on companies attempting on establishing a strong presence on the social media networking sites.
An app for a business has now become a necessity of functionality and no longer an accessory as it once may have been. What this translates to is an increasing demand for experienced app developers. This is one of those economic situations which develops when there is a lot more demand than supply. There just isn’t enough mobile developers which are available to fill all of the job openings.
Developers Need To Be More Versatile
There is however ample amounts of traditional Web as well as Java programmers and development talent which are available, and the online world wishes that they were a lot more versatile or are willing to adapt.
Professional level developers who has expertise in the building of native apps for Apple, Google’s Android and the other mobile OS’s are in short supply. This may be because this particular industry segment is still relatively new.
Mobile developers as well as mobile designers who fully understand what the constraints are, along with the opportunities which are afforded by the smaller real estate of these mobile screens and the touch interfaces of the platforms are needed.
The market is open to those who has the ability to be able to grasp the mobile devices unique usage rules, and not just simply have the ability to be able to learn or upgrade to a new programming language. This is the separation which those who has an affinity for developing mobile apps from those who can’t grasp it.
Adapting To Building Mobile Apps
When you build a Web application, your development canvas is the entire screen of the desktop monitor. So because of so much real estate to work with, they’re able to get away with certain issues from a design standpoint which does not translate well to a smaller mobile screen.
It has nothing to do with just shrinking or making things a little smaller or even splitting things up into separate screens. Traditional web developers has been accustomed to thinking that the more features there are, that should equate for a better application, but for mobile devices, this simply does not translate.
So When What Where And Who Is Hiring
Since there is an upward trend which strongly indicates that there’s a growing demand for mobile applications, that demand however doesn’t exactly translating into offers of potential full-time employment from large corporate IT firms.
This is most likely because the budgets for IT departments for a lot of companies are continuously shrinking. They are more likely to commit on hiring on contract or outsourcing specific specialized mobile development talent to save costs.
Some organizations who has decided to outsource their mobile app projects to say consulting firms or specialized developers can pinpoint their precise pronounced need.
That’s exactly what most companies are doing who are in need of a few mobile apps to be developed. Since the mobile industry is a rapidly moving target and environment, hiring outside development talent also helps these companies to keep pace and then be able to shift to these changes.
There are the majority of companies who agree outsourcing the talent is a much better and a more cost effective route than to hire dedicated in-house development staff.
Getting In On Building Apps
So whether you happen to be a recent university grad or you have somewhat carved out an IT career as a professional, you may want to reinvent yourself and learn what it takes to become a good mobile app developer.
You already possess the certain specific qualities which are required, as well as the knowledge of the mobile market, so why not give it a try.
The need for programmers who has HTML and strong Java skills along with basic technical skills goes without saying. Also, those developers who also has experience in modern object-oriented programming as well as understanding user interface principles and design patterns will have an advantage as well.
Learning the specific APIs along with the user interface tool-kits of the major mobile platforms such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android is also helpful. Although you need to learn all of these different traits, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a chance of becoming a mobile app developer.
Adapting To Developing Mobile Apps
If you’re a skilled programmer or willing to learn, there shouldn’t be a problem to learning a new programming language. After all, learning mobile development just basically involves learning a new syntax.
The more difficult transition which may occur is adapting to the new design paradigms which the mobile platforms represent. Along with you recognizing that you will need to design apps for much smaller platforms, such as the smartphone screens, you’ll also have to grasp how these users interact with their mobile devices and the need to deliver them targeted functionality.
So how users interact with a desktop PC or a laptop is completely different than how they will use their smartphones or a tablet device.
For one, those who use a mobile device don’t really think of themselves as ‘Computer PC’ users. So you as a developer cannot use the same conventions which you would use when developing desktop applications. Drop-down menus or fancy help screens do not work well on the smartphone mobile devices.
All this said, it still doesn’t take that big of a learning curve or transition to successfully make the jump. All you need is the commitment and the attitude mindset that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to learn a new technology, and then master all of its new conventions.
Going back to college is one option, as there are full-time programs as well as countless part-time studies, continuing education and certificate programs teaching subjects such as object-oriented programming, HTML5, Android and iOS programming.
But learning on the fly may be the best approach, and the one which is likely favored by the majority of the existing IT professionals. All of the would be mobile based app developers need to immediately immerse themselves into the platform, even it that means getting off your PC or your Mac desktop for a while and just learning.
A full commitment must be made to learn as much as possible by experiencing the mobile environment, thus gaining firsthand experience as well as the constraints and the new opportunities.
Since these smaller mobile devices doesn’t have as much memory and has weaker operating processors, you need to be much more aware of how you do your programming. These are issues which cannot come from theory, but from actual experience.
As there seems to be no end in sight for the outstanding opportunities which are presented in mobile development, the “gold rush” is on for those “willing” mobile developers and Web designers. And since we now live in a global economy which is primarily dependent on outsourcing, you don’t want to be caught with skills which become quickly obsolete.