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Mobile Skills Not Enough, Tech Exec Advises Developers

10-04-2011 10:43 PM CET | Associations & Organizations

Press release from: Orange & Bronze

/ PR Agency: Upspring PR
MANILA, Philippines: Despite the growing success of mobile device applications, programming skills in mobile device platforms are not enough to ensure a successful long-term career for software developers. These must be complemented by server-side programming skills, according to the head of Filipino software development firm Orange & Bronze Software Labs (O&B).

During the recent DevCon Mobile Code Camp, O&B co-founder and CEO Calen Legaspi said that software programmers must not jump into the mobile device bandwagon too fast without learning the necessary development capabilities on servers.

In fact, he recommends that developers should enhance their mobile skills with server-side skills and for them to be aware of the trend towards all client-side programming moving to JavaScript and the newer version hypertext markup language 5 (HTML5)—a language for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web.

He noted that many client-side programming projects are now developed in JavaScript and HTML5, either as web-based or mobile applications. “Check out PhoneGap, which is a platform that allows you to create mobile applications in HTML5 and JavaScript, then deployed as native applications on Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, Symbian and Samsung Bada.”

“Android and iOS programming are all the rage now, but to focus one’s skills solely on these platforms can be dangerous in the long-term. Developers need to complement their skills with server-side or cloud skills, and they need to be aware of the trend towards all client-side computing moving to JavaScript and HTML5,” he explained.

Citing recent statistics on software development, Legaspi estimates that 31% of mobile users own a smart phone. By 2015, this number would have soared to 43%. The success of some notable mobile applications in the market, such as the Android version of the widely popular game “Angry Birds,” makes a career in mobile app development appealing and lucrative to developers.

However, Legaspi believes that despite this growing adoption, developers should still be wary of the limited skills development gained from client-side programming. He also noted that historically software development on certain mobile platforms tend to be short-lived.

“Just in the last ten years, there was Palm OS, J2ME, Symbian, Windows CE, Blackberry, even WAP. Each one was extremely popular for a while and then quickly faded into obscurity as newer technologies replaced them. Mobile developers found that much of their skills in one platform weren’t transferable to the next,” says Legaspi.

He adds that for most businesses, the server side systems are more valuable than the client side (mobile and web). The server side holds the critical business logic and data of the business, while the client side is just presentation and receiving of user input.

“Unless the business logic is correct, the data is secure, and the processes are efficient and scalable, the presentation is of little value,” Legaspi said.

“Businesses know this and so prioritize investments on the server side rather than the client side. Businesses are also aware of the rapidly-changing preferences of their users on user interfaces, so they are not willing to invest a lot in something that may change or be replaced soon,” he added.

To programmers looking to have long-term careers in software development, Legaspi said they must focus to complement their mobile development skills with that of server-side skills. “Realize that most successful mobile applications are mainly front-end to a server-side system. For extra edge, I’d recommend for them to learn how to develop on cloud platforms such as Google App Engine, Cloud Foundry or OpenStack.”

In parting, Legaspi advises developers, “Mobile development opens up great opportunities for technopreneurship or independent contracting because of its low barrier to entry. However, if one over-specializes on one platform or the other, a mobile developer is in danger of obsolescence.

Orange & Bronze Software Labs is a Filipino-owned software development company delivering well-engineered, relevant software services and products to customers in the Philippines and overseas. O&B provides software consulting, software outsourcing and offshore product development. A proponent of open source technologies, O&B enjoys the reputation of being the top Filipino development team in enterprise Java development projects. It is also a pioneer in the Spring and Hibernate frameworks and Groovy language for the Java platform. For more information, please visit www.orangeandbronze.com.

orange & bronze
legaspi village makati city
441-6538 / 490-5477
Aris Solis

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