As Americans continue to spend over 30 hours per month on their smartphones, according to Nielsen, it’s no surprise that mobile app development is the hottest and most in-demand industry right now. Mobile is permeating all forms of tech.
"Every company has to make sure their website or apps are adapted for mobile usage," says Nitu Gulati-Pauly, CyberCoders VP of Recruiting, "which creates a massive demand for mobile jobs."
Nitu Gulati-Pauly, who specializes in southern California's tech market, finds that mobile jobs are filled faster than any other jobs. Overall, "the biggest demands are for programmers, DevOps and mobile anything (e.g. UI designers, UX designers, mobile product managers and, of course, iOS and Android)."
In the race between the two biggest names in mobile, Android and iOS, more employers are hiring to fill Android jobs than iOS by far. Our Data Scientist Ray Bao analyzed the year-over-year growth in thousands of job postings and job applications for Android and iOS on CyberCoders.com.
Jobs posted for Android positions grew by 110 percent from 2012 to 2014 compared to 54 percent for iOS jobs. Similarly, job applications received for Android positions grew by an astounding 165 percent, compared to, again, 54 percent for iOS jobs.
Plus, when we looked at the average time from job posted to job placement here at CyberCoders, our recruiters typically fill an Android-centric position at a rate of about half the average job.
This significant increase in demand for developing mobile apps, particularly for Android devices, makes sense. Android has been aggressively seizing Apple’s market share.
In fact, Android’s share of the market grew by 24 percent year-on-year, compared to iOS’s 17 percent, Tech Crunch recently reported. Another report by comScore found that Android is not only the leading smartphone OS globally but also in the US.
This is your chance to show off your robust mobile skillset. Here’s an overview of the top skills the best mobile developers demonstrate, courtesy of Bao:
For Android app developers:
Google released the Android SDK, which is available across all development platforms (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux). Typically, Android app development is Java-based. For engineers who experience writing native OS level code, Google has also released the Android NDK (native development kit), which is written in C and C++.
For iOS app developers:
iOS engineers must demonstrate strong expertise in Objective-C (a derivative of classic C). Recently, Apple announced that Swift will likely replace Objective-C as their go-to programming, though developers can use both on the same OS. Together, both of these languages interface with Apple’s Cocoa/Cocoa Touch API’s to handle application-level events (e.g. swiping gestures, animation, button controls, etc.). All development is typically done in Xcode, which is native to the Mac OS.
Since social media plays a prominent role in mobile apps, both competitive iOS and Android developers should have experience working with the various API’s and SDK’s made available by the larger social media platforms (eg. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.).
Node.js is also an up-and-coming language that competitive developers need to delve into. Since Node.js is an asynchronous framework and makes a great back-end framework for development, it’s crucial for mobile app developers.
“Don't primarily develop mobile apps as a means to secure venture capital and ‘get a big payoff’ from an IPO. Respect your craft, and share (expand) the knowledge,” says Shefik Macauley, Senior Web Developer, Syfy at NBCUniversal. “Most importantly, the developer must have a willingness to embrace tech and strive to help drive it forward.”
Hiring managers want mobile developers who’s truly passionate about achieving and honing a vision…rather than looking forward to a payday.
“While it is important to demonstrate proficiency in the current state of the industry, companies rely on maintaining strategic competitiveness in the marketplace,” Macauley says. “Therefore, when you apply theory and research to your practice, you can help set a favorable tone for future, enterprise-level growth.”