Make Mine Mobile: Interest In Apps Drives IT Opportunities Aplenty

Pizza on a pizza stone

Let me just begin by saying that I don't think gaming gaming is ever going to completely disappear, OK? Now that we've gotten that out of the way, those of us with thumb callouses and faded WASD keys are beginning to notice a disturbing trend. It's vaguely related to the way my wife and I bought pizza last night.

I've already said this a few times, but most people can do whatever they want to on their phone. My brother, for instance, used to join me for PC-game adventures on the robust servers of the world. Now, he sails a fleet of digital boats on his smart phone against other people who can afford a decent mobile device. My writing buddy abandoned his laptop and now taps out his short stories using a tiny USB keyboard plugged into his Samsung Galaxy.

My wife and I couldn't be bothered to boot our laptops last night, so she ordered a pizza from her Nexus 6.

The Mobile App boom may not be as striking as the Dot Com boom of old, but it's still valid. That the creator of Flappy Bird was making an estimated $50,000 a day is well known (pretty good for a throw-away project), and video game developer Konami (that's right, as in "up, up, down, down ... " Konami) upset some hardcore fans by announcing its intention to focus more resources on developing mobile games.

I'm not saying you should go out and develop a mobile game. I'm just saying you could get filthy rich if you did. Really: if you're interested in a stable, marketable IT career, you're going to need to at least a basic understanding of mobile development.

Hipster guy checks smartphone in coffee shop

Let's cover the basics. To begin, there are three types of mobile applications; native, web, and hybrid. A web app is one that a mobile app accesses via the web, and which treats all mobile devices the same. A native app is one which is downloaded prior to use and (if necessary) gathers all its information from the web on its own, and a hybrid combines what it can of both.

Deciding which of these to use can be a tricky, as Facebook figured out a few years ago, and the cost for a mistake can be devastating. Knowing what to do is just as important as knowing how to do it.

Typically, it's much more efficient to build a web app for lighter usage, such as when the content is simple or the user interaction is limited and/or straightforward, or when full web connectivity is required. For apps with greater user interaction, greater complexity, or where cached data could be used effectively, a native app is usually your best option.

Right now, though, the biggest threat facing mobile app development is security. Just a year ago, a researcher at IOActive Labs found that the mobile applications of the top 60 banking institutions in the world had woefully inadequate security that left them open to Man-in-the-Middle attacks and JavaScript injections.

The demand for app security is pretty high but arguably not as high as it should be, and as more and more people figure out how to exploit the security flaws that are all too common in the mobile world it's only going to get higher. So, if your background is in security or networking, there's plenty of room for you, too.

Once you've decided whether to go development or security, the last thing is to choose an operating system and off you go! You're ready to examine certifications at this point, so click this link to get started. Then, get out there and create your Flappy Bird!*


*Flappy Bird is intellectual property. Please don't create Flappy Bird.


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author
David Telford

David Telford is a short-attention-span renaissance man and university student. His current project is the card game MatchTags, which you can find on Facebook and Kickstarter.