Monday, 17 March 2014

The Future of 'Mobile Development' Discussed at the DeveloperWeek 2014 Conference

Mobile devices are here to stay since they help us connect and engage with our family, friends, and business associates while on the move as well as help us educate and gather information on products and companies online.
In the DeveloperWeek 2014 Conference + Event Series, the hot topic of discussion was related to the importance of mobile development. The mobile app development market is not only driven by money although according to the various industry experts, by 2015, there will be around $400 billion additional spending on the mobile market.
Most of the mobile development companies invest a lump sum amount of money to develop something unique and innovative and create new relationships between things, tasks, and locations.
Although to any normal person it may seem the different technologies for mobile including the database, business logic, HTML 5 or JavaScript, app tools, ad networks, and so on would be the same for both web and mobile world. In reality, the mobile developer world is taking enormous advantages of such high-end features including multi-device compatibility, phone-specific actions and events, geo-focused advertising, new mobile development technologies, etc.
Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mbaas) companies participated at this year's DeveloperWeek with speakers from such well-known companies like Built.io, Kii, Telerik, Sencha, and Parse which is acquired by Facebook.
You can assume mbaas to be the "Heroku for mobile apps". Many of the above mentioned mobile development companies who attended the event let mobile app developers instantly use mobile functionalities such as texting or push notifications or "code once for multiple devices". In other words, mbaas allow mobile developers to do less coding.
The mobile app analytics and app testing industry is found to be growing by leaps and bounds with lots of new companies adding to the list. Mention can be made of companies such as Appurify, Sauce Labs, and Optimizely which provides A/B testing for web as well as mobile app development.
There are also a large number of mobile-only advertisement networks and monetization tools represented at DeveloperWeek 2014 such as the Millennial Media, AppFlood, and Zample to name just a few.
Let's now have a look at the main points discussed in the 2014 DeveloperWeek Conference.
API User Experience is Advantageous
According to the ProgrammableWeb Executive Editor, Mr. David Berlind, mobile developers are expert problem-solvers; thus for them maybe the API user experience is not that important. The mobile application developers are smart enough to scrap data out of an AOI if they need to do so. However, you cannot altogether ignore the fact that if a person gives the developers instant access to a similar data source via an API, all developers will jump to get the same. Industry pioneer such as PayPal's Jason Harmon states we need to focus both on external and internal user experience developer engagement to access and share information in an effective fashion.
Lack of iOS Developers
At the DeveloperWeek Conference, the lack of iOS developers became evident. According to some attendees, not having enough iOS developers is keeping the Native app vs. HTML5 argument still alive.
Lack of Catering Service and Coffee
The 2014 DeveloperWeek did not have proper catering service, and to get coffee, an attendee has to walk at least two blocks from the main event venue. Developer crusader Tony Blank of Context.IO quickly set up a coffee stall at the venue arranging two large containers of prepared Starbucks coffee. He soon found a long queue of developers outside his stall waiting only to learn about his company's API over coffee!
Some other notable mobile app development points discussed at the DeveloperWeek are as follows:
  • When releasing an API, you have just one chance to get it right.
  • Internet of Things is equal to Internet of APIs.
  • No separate sessions were held to debate about security issues covering mobile development and developers.
  • Want to encourage developers to know more about your API? Tell them a story.
By Carrie Miller

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