Mobile is undoubtedly the hottest consumer market right now. It’s rich with innovation, and attracts the kind of customer who’s quite happy to throw money at anything that moves. So why is it stagnating? Forbes suggests there’s a lack of available talent, and their evidence suggests they’re not wrong. What’s more, Forbes suggests that the demand for talent isn’t going to go away: mobile platforms will always need new applications, as they evolve. It seems there’ll mobile developers will continue to be needed in the foreseeable future – what better time to get started?
The Current Job Market
The US Economic Policy Institute argues that the shortage of tech talent is fictional. They point to the surplus of American STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates, and wage stagnation across industries, claiming a shortage of applicants for tech jobs like programming. But other think tanks, and much of the tech industry itself, has railed vehemently against these statistics. Many of America’s top tech companies are lobbying Congress to relax immigration laws for highly-skilled immigrant workers. It seems that if you have the skills, you should be able to land a job, fast.
The road to becoming a successful innovator has multiplied many times over in the past three years. Funding sources are everywhere: crowdsourcing, crowd-funding, online venture capitalism, micro-investing. Opportunities to acquire the skills you need have effectively have multiplied, too. You can learn to program through any one of thousands of online courses, some of which involve lecture-time and marked homework. And, once you’ve created your masterpiece, there are so any selling avenues for you to pursue. Some digital distribution portals, such as BlackBerry 10‘s BlackBerry World, will even reward you for successfully submitting a popular app to the service.
More Traditional Routes
If the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial dream isn’t quite to your taste, App Development is a hot skill among more traditional work environments, too. Ayo Omojola, founder and CEO of Hipmob.com, says that he often hears the following from large service brands: “Well of course we’re also resource-constrained in terms of finding good developers. This affects how quickly we can achieve our roadmap.” In other words, companies across a broad range of industries are crying out for people with the skills and the knowledge to extend their brand reach on mobile devices. Apps are a perfect vessel for this, and there are disastrous consequences for getting it wrong. Good, trustworthy developers are in demand, no matter the sector.
Apple’s iOS 7, Windows 8.1 and BlackBerry 10 point out where the mobile experience is headed. The ability to produce animation, complex transforms, and smooth graphics integration is increasingly important. With these come big, technical hurdles, particularly when you consider the relatively low-powered mobile devices we’re stuck with for the time being. Eking the very best out of a piece of hardware is only going to get harder as the ceiling rises. Already, developers are concerned about the complexity of new APIs for the latest operating systems that are designed to give users all the visual niceties, as well as real-life multitasking. The industry needs developers who are confident with these new technologies.
Why should you choose a career in App Development? Aside from the limitless opportunities to innovate and create, the incredible working culture, the passionate colleagues, and top-tier wages, there’s also the stability. App development is an industry with low (and lessening) barriers to entry, but incredibly deep specialization opportunities. It’s an industry that’s facing new challenges daily, ones that require a stream of new, enquiring minds to take them on.