Mobile Development Job Trends – August 2012

Today we have the last installment of the job trends posts, mobile development job trends. Everyone is talking about mobile development because it really is the future of interaction. With smart phones and tablets, app development is becoming hugely important even for the enterprise. The terms included in this list were iPhone, Android, WP7 or “Windows Phone“, BlackBerry, SymbianWebOS and PhoneGap. There is some noise in the data, but not enough to significantly affect the trends. I am watching to see if Apache Cordova starts gaining adoption, but it barely registers on the trend graphs right now.

First, let’s look at the basic job trends from Indeed:

Based on this graph, you would think that Android demand has surpassed iPhone demand. Generally, this is not quite true because of the introduction of the iPad and iOS. The iPad does not change the demand too much, but adding iOS to the graph really changes the outlook:


Now you can see that iOS demand is around 75% larger than Android, with iOS growth outpacing Android in 2012. As you can see, Blackberry is slowly declining as should be expected. WebOS and Symbian never really gained much attention, and the little that they did is obviously declining as well. Windows Phone is showing some growth, just not as quick as Android or iOS. You cannot see it very well in this graph, but PhoneGap is showing some solid growth during this year.

Now we look at the short-term trends from SimplyHired:

The SimplyHired trends are very difficult to get a good handle on. I tried adding the iPad and iOS to the query, which made the demand decrease. Obviously that makes no sense, so I reverted to only looking at the iPhone demand. Oddly, iPhone demand had a huge dip around May, but rebounded nicely. All other mobile development looks to be declining. Granted, the general trend for Android still looks positive, but I am not sure what is changing the trend during the summer. Blackberry has a slow decline throughout the year as expected. The others barely register in this graph and do not seem to be showing any real growth. I am not sure why SimplyHired has trends that look so much different than Indeed.

Lastly, we look at the relative scaling from Indeed, which shows trends based on job growth:

This is another graph where things are really strange depending on the terms you add. If I include iPad and iOS, there is very stable growth, but much lower than what is shown above. The growth for iPhone does not seem to match the general trend lines either, but we do know that iOS development is growing rapidly. So, let’s look at a graph that does not include the iPhone line.

That looks a lot more readable. You can see that WebOS had a spike in the beginning of 2011, but that has dropped off significantly and been stable for this year. Windows phone shows a very nice growth line, as does Android. PhoneGap is probably the biggest surprise, and something that needs to be watched. While it does not have the gross demand of the other technologies, this type of growth shows it is gaining some serious attention. With the breadth of devices that people need to support, I expect more device agnostic frameworks to become popular. The other technologies, Blackberry and Symbian, barely register on this graph.

The next year will be interesting in mobile development as we see more devices introduced and we see the future of some of the older technologies. If you are looking at mobile development, your main focus should be on iPhone development and Android development. If you like the idea of cross-platform development, PhoneGap development is gaining adoption and a solid option to review.

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