Taking Back IT

Jan 5 2012   4:00PM GMT

If you’re serious about mobile app development, 2012 could be your year

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

By James Furbush, News Writer

Code Year, a new initiative to teach people coding, has registered more than 100,000 students in less than a week. That’s double the number of students who enrolled in U.S. computer science undergraduate programs last year, according to Mashable.

Code Year’s success is a clear indication that interest in computer sciences and programming has gone mainstream. It seems like everyone from your kid sister to the college intern your IT department just hired is dabbling in app development. And it’s all thanks to the rise of mobile devices.

Still, the supply of mobile developers isn’t keeping up with the demand from employers, according to the latest monthly IT staffing report from Dice.com, a technology and engineering careers site.

“The biggest reason is, the mobile platforms are so new, there are just not a lot of developers with years and years of experience,” said Alice Hill, managing director with Dice. “At the same time, everyone wants a mobile app. So there’s growing demand and there’s still a small pool.”

Basically, if you’re a mobile developer who can build a quality app and get it through the submission process, that’s the “perfect formula” for landing a good job, Hill said. It sounds easy, but in actuality, few technology professionals have purchasable apps on their CVs. Fewer than one in five have gotten over the submission process hurdle, and only a quarter of tech professionals are even doing mobile development full-time, according to the Dice report.

For most, the newness of mobile app development has relegated it to the hobby or side-project bin. But demand for Android and iPhone developers has risen more than 150% in the past year, according to Dice, and it’s not just hot startups that are looking for mobile app development talent. It’s an “array of industries” and businesses as varied as Major League Baseball, Rhapsody and Capital One, Hill said.

For job-hunting mobile developers, she added, “this is their year.”

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