25 Nov

Mobile App Developers: An IT Job to Watch

Posted by John Brandwagt

Gartner, the leading IT research and advisory company, made a press release only a year ago that made a striking prediction about the mobile app industry. According to Gartner, demand for mobile app development services “grow five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them.” 

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Aside from the fact that mobile engineering is one of several in-demand technical skills that professionals should master, this article will give you some facts on why there is going to be a big payoff for those with that skillset. Mobile app developers stand poised to become one of the most attractive IT jobs.

 

Why Mobile App Development?

When people think of mobile apps, they tend to think first of the more frivolous ones such as SnapChat, Instagram, or a whole host of iOSgames like Angry Birds, but we access apps for way more practical means than these. Mobile apps like Apple/Android Payturn your phone into a virtual wallet, and many job and career networks like LinkedIn have a mobile app version of their website. When you think about it even more abstractly, your smart phone or tablet is practically comprised entirely of apps, both native and web-based.

Mobile apps offer essential marketing tools that, unlike mobile-friendly websites, are designed not just to be easy to navigate, but also to interface with a consumer’s phone in a natural way that keeps them up-to-date on sales offers and new products and services. Mobile apps can send consumers push notifications, have a loyalty card or coupon function, utilize GPS features to direct customers to the nearest storefront, and make contact by phone or email as simple as one click. The major boost to a company’s marketing strategies is just one of the many reasons that businesses are in need of good mobile app developers.

What Particular Mobile App Development Skills Are Currently Valuable?

So now you have a good idea of how important mobile app development is to successful businesses. More IT jobs will be created and companies will be actively seeking out the most skilled developers, not to mention willing to pay well for such vital work. But what exact skills will they be looking for in prospective employees? 

Knowledge of the latest in JavaScript programming, namely Facebook’s ReactNative, is highly recommended. JavaScript frameworks like ReactNative allow developers to build robust native mobile apps for iOS and Android. It is important that aspiring developers know how to write code that creates apps for multiple popular operating systems, increasing the chances of prospective customers finding the mobile app. Since businesses are also benefiting from using mobile and wireless technologies within their workspaces, you also want to make sure that any enterprise mobile apps are interoperable. Another new JavaScript program worth checking out is NativeScript, an open source platform that houses all available native platform APIs. 

Despite the ongoing native versus web app debate, the rise of what is called the “Progressive Web” in 2015 is worth keeping tabs on as well. The term and the apps that are developed for it refer to the way that IT development can harness the best of our current web capabilities, such as offline functionality, the push notifications mentioned above, and appearing on a platform’s home screen. It’s fair to say that although it will always be ideal to be a mobile app developer with native and web expertise, leaning towards progressive web app development is not a bad idea.

The Future of Mobile App Development

There are initiatives to address the ongoing skills shortage, like “citizen developers,” which focus on giving businesses drag-and-drop mobile app templates to work with. But these are merely a stopgap measure for the lack of mobile app developers. If you’ve been wondering what IT jobs are particularly worthwhile to pursue, mobile app development is one of the most promising opportunities in the market.

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Topics: IT Jobs

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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