“Mobile Developers” Really Means “Developers”

In a great presentation at the AT&T Dev Summit’s Design track last week, AT&T’s Doug Sillars said that it’s time to “drop the word ‘mobile’ from ‘Web development.‘” We say “Amen” to that. In fact, we’d take it one step further: it’s time to drop the word “mobile” from the phrase “mobile developers.” (With one exception I’ll mention shortly.)

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Our recent mobile study and analysis suggest that nearly every developer is a mobile developer. The ubiquity of mobile devices and mobile content consumption means that most Web sites need to work well on mobile devices. And increasingly that goes for Web applications as well.

Our study says that 81% of devs are building projects of any kind that will be consumed on a mobile device. And this number continues to grow.

Most people use mobile devices for content consumption, social media, and the like. And in most of those scenarios for most developers, they’re having to build Web sites that are usable on a wide range of devices.

So, we say: all developers are mobile developers. It’s an artificial distinction to talk about “mobile developers.” Developers might be building native applications for mobile devices, which is just another way of saying that they’re building applications that take advantage of a particular operating system and/or device. For example, they may need more capabilities than a browser-based app can provide, so a native iOS, Android or Windows app might make sense. (We go into this in more depth in our recent mobile report.)

So we say, unless you really mean the tiny percentage of developers who are exclusively and specifically targeting only mobile platforms, we say it’s time to treat all developers as mobile developers.

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