By Stuart Werner, Senior FDM Academy Trainer
Stuart has 25 years of industry experience and works closely with the FDM Academy Manager in New York. As a senior member of the Academy, Stuart delivers training in Java, C#/.net, Unix and SQL, and is writing course material for the upcoming FDM Mobile Apps training stream.
Where is the mobile app market going?
Evidence available today indicates that this market is growing at an accelerating rate. Recent figures show that that the sales of smart phones for the 4th quarter of 2011 topped 157 million, a 54% increase on the same period in 2010. No doubt the release of Apple’s iPhone 4S played a significant part in this, however other major players are now making a serious impact in this market, notably Samsung with its Galaxy Nexus and HTC with its Desire HD.
Is this still a good time to build a career within mobile application development?
Not so long ago, SMS text messaging was the limit of mobile applications. However, over the past decade the range of uses has exploded into games, media, finances, and a variety of common needs. Netflix has recently released an app to their subscribers that streams video directly to iPhones and iPads. Tools are available to constantly stream live and ever-changing data from stockbrokers, banks, and transit authorities, to name but a few sources.
There are even applications in place that give control over the home environment, from switching the lights on to changing the channel on the television. Finally, there are the ever-present variety of games and social media that seem to only be limited by the collective imaginations of the designer, programmer and user. The variety and popularity of apps available today indicates that this is an exciting time to develop a career with mobile application development.
What skills does a successful mobile app developer need?
He or she should have a strong understanding of Object-Orientated Programming with a firm grasp of Design Pattern methodologies. Android apps are developed in Java - easily developed via the Eclipse IDE. iPhone and iPad development utilizes the iOS 5 platform and Objective-C which is an Object-Orientated version of C with some Smalltalk mixed in. XCode, an IDE that allows for rapid development on the Mac OS, is used to develop iPhone and iPad applications.
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