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Mobile Development Job Trends – 2013-02

Today is the final winter job trends post, mobile development job trends. Initially, this was a look at how mobile phone development was moving, but now tablets have become a major force as well. Obviously, these trends are not . The terms included in this list were iPhone (including iOS and iPad), Android, WP7 or “Windows Phone“, BlackBerry, WebOS, Apache Cordova and PhoneGap. Symbian was removed as it barely registers on the basic demand charts and is showing essentially no growth.

First, let’s look at the basic job trends from Indeed:

Indeed Mobile Job Trends - February 2013

Oddly, there has been a fairly significant decline in mobile development demand over the past year for all of these technologies. This is consistent with the programming language trends, but I expected mobile to be different. It seems that development demand had slowed during 2012. All things Apple seems to have a significant lead, but it is the one area where there is some noise in the data. Android currently trails, but has a large lead on the others. Blackberry continues a steady downward trend that started two years ago. Windows phone is showing some signs of life, but it can’t seem to break away from the trailing pack. WebOS is in a bit of a decline but recent news of its continued life mean it could still be a player in some circles. PhoneGap and Cordova are not showing much increase in demand, but being cross platform development tools means that they will likely never reach the same heights as Android or iOS.

Now we can look at the short-term trends from SimplyHired:

SimplyHired Mobile Job Trends - February 2013

I changed the SimplyHired trend query to look at each term individually because ORing terms together had a weird effect on the trends. As you can see, iPhone is still leading a bit with iOS slowly moving towards matching it. iPad demand trails the others, but it is unlikely that iPad appears where iOS or iPhone don’t. Android is increasing steadily, but it does not look like it will hold off iOS. Obviously, given the noise with iPhone and iPad jobs, the real trend is with iOS but not the overall demand. Blackberry does not show the same steep decline as the Indeed trend, but it is still in decline just slower. All of the others, Windows Phone, WP7, WebOS, Cordova and PhoneGap, trail far beneath the others. You can see a glimmer of hope from the PhoneGap trend as it is increasing in the past 6 months, but demand is still small.

Lastly, we have the relative growth trends from Indeed:

Indeed Mobile Job Growth - February 2013

Um … Android is growing very rapidly. This renders the chart useless, so let’s look at the trends without Android:

Indeed Mobile Job Growth Without Android

We can see the trends more clearly now. WebOS had a great spike in 2011, but growth has declined significantly. Interesting, PhoneGap had a great peak in the middle of 2012, but it does not look like it is maintaining its pace. This will be a trend to watch this year, as well as how Cordova affects it. Windows phone shows a very nice growth trend, though the growth slowed a bit at the end of 2012. As huge as demand for iOS development is, the growth is still very strong. Typically, when demand is very high, the growth tapers off, but iOS is bucking that trend. Blackberry growth really started to decline in 2012, but that was before the most recent releases which could affect demand. Cordova does not seem to be having an affect yet, but it is something to watch long term.

As mobile development continues to grow, the options are becoming more numerous as well. iPhone development and Android development will continue to be strong, but cross platform development is gaining adoption with things like PhoneGap development. Apache Cordova is something to watch, given that it is an Apache project and cross platform. Another trend to watch is how the new Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch affect the other technologies.

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Reference: Mobile Development Job Trends – 2013-02 from our JCG partner Rob Diana at the Regular Geek blog.

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