Chris Luu is the chief technology officer at Fuzz, a design and development shop with offices in Brooklyn and Northampton, Mass. The company’s created mobile apps for the likes of AT&T, Hearst and GNC. We asked him for his insights into jobs in mobile development.
Who’s most interested in mobile skills?
Pretty much every industry is thinking about how they can leverage mobile. However, it does seem that many of these companies will simply outsource the development of their mobile products to other shops or agencies rather than hiring developers for their own internal teams. That being said, I don’t think it would be hard to find a company in most industries with an interest in mobile skills.
Are mobile skills demanding any kind of premium?
If there’s a premium at all for developers who don’t have a lot of experience, it’s because the pool of available talent hasn’t kept up with the demand in the market. You should know that the mobile skill set isn’t any more or less difficult to learn than other similar skills. So it’s really the combination of skills and demonstrated experience with large mobile projects that currently demands a premium above average salaries for developers at large.
What are the key skills you’re looking for?
Almost more important than mobile-specific development skills is knowledge of general computer science and software engineering concepts. Because mobile is so hot right now, we’ve found many developers who have moved from a non-mobile position into mobile have a considerable gap that must be bridged before they’re able to deliver solid code. As far as technologies, Objective-C, Java, PHP, SQL and now Swift are specific skills we tend to look for.
Any particular trends that you’re seeing or other observations you’d like to make?
It’s interesting to watch the trends of iOS versus Android developers we’ve been seeing. Many were jumping to the iOS platform due to its market penetration and popularity. However, with the growth of Android, as well as the fact that many developers learn Java in school, we’ve seen a recent wave of Android candidates.
Also, I think it will be very interesting to see how Swift shakes up the industry. It looks more flexible and less time-consuming than just using Objective-C. That may make an app less expensive and faster to develop, and that’s good for developers.
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