Growth of Mobile Devices Creates Shortage of Skilled Developers

Mobile application development is emerging as a strong area for IT jobs.

By Sonia R. Lelii
Dice News Staff
| November 2008

not too far away from a world where most of our business-critical and
personal computer tasks will be done on devices that fit in the palm of
our hand. So, mobile computing is considered IT’s next frontier as
smaller devices become holistic systems that enable us to undertake
much of our work. Not surprisingly, the mobile market is emerging as a
strong area for IT jobs, particularly in the area of embedded

Embedded applications are the programs that let users turn to their phones for maps, games, and business applications.

far as job creation, there is a lot of investing in mobile software and
the major companies are hiring teams for mobile development," says
Larry Berkin, vice president of ecosystem and corporate business
development at Access Systems Americas in Sunnyvale, Calif., which
provides advanced software technologies for mobile devices. "Every
major company has a mobile strategy. It’s a natural evolution of
desktop computing moving to a portable environment."

many software developers are used to creating applications for large
systems with seemingly endless hardware resources, many aren’t used to
writing software for devices with constrained resources. "We are
looking for (software developers) who can work with the idea of
optimizing for this type of environment," says Frank Judge, a principal
software developer for Research in Motion in Andover, Mass.

that are making significant investments in mobile computing – which
include Google, Apple, Research in Motion and Access – will be
competing for application developers who specialize in creating
embedded applications for devices that have limited hardware resources
such as memory and speed. At this early stage of the game, the market
is fragmented – meaning it hasn’t standardized on one particular
platform. As a result, the space is open for a wide-range of
third-party application developers expert in Linux, Java, and similar

to Fortune magazine, phone companies are battling each other for the
"loyalty of developers: coders who create bite-sized software
applications for mobile devices." Last May, Research in Motion unveiled
the BlackBerry Partners Fund, which will invest $150 million in venture
capital money in mobile applications for all types of phones.

And at a recent career fair in Massachusetts, Research in Motion’s
Judge distributed a job description for the type of mobile applications
developer the company’s hiring for its research and development center
in Andover.

Judge says the kind
of tech workers Research in Motion is looking for – Java developers who
specialize in embedded applications on mobile devices – are difficult
to find.

Sonia R. Lelii can be reached at sonia.lelii