iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8? A coder's guide

Posted in: Mobile & Wireless at 16/09/2011 21:03

Why the iPad is too cheap, Objective-C is no good, Android is nearly good enough, and Windows 8 could answer your development needs: a professional coder's guide

It's patently obvious to anyone in the world of IT that app development can be used to create serious wealth. Microsoft's re-entry into the battle for dominance over the mobile computing space signalled by its Build conference in Anaheim, California, this week makes it far easier for talented developers to advance their careers and, perhaps, even make life-changing sums of money.

The Wheel of Change

Up in the clouds, where the Gods of Computing live, there's a wheel. This wheel turns slowly, but once every 12 years or so it completes a revolution and everything changes. The changes from mainframe to mini, from mini to PC, the PC to internet, and now the internet to mobile has each taken around 12 years. Whenever there is a major shift we see a "tsunami of money" enter the market and it washes away giants, creates new land for new opportunities and generally upsets everything in its wake.

This process of market consolidation is where value gets created and it's where smart, talented developers can seriously improve their lot - even if they don't make the sort of money needed to buy a helicopter specifically for blowing leaves off of the lawn. I think it's a bubble, but a good one. Let me explain why.

Historically, whenever we see one of these shifts a very large number of small ventures sprout up and start producing small software applications. In the UK, a good term for this is "cottage industry": just the odd person or small team, writing some small, useful and essentially cheap pieces of software. Sometimes (although very rarely) some of these small pieces become big business - Google at one point was a university project running on two borrowed servers slung under a desk. Most of the time nothing comes of these ventures.

And then there's the rest, and that's what of interest here.

To read this report in The Guardian in full, see:
www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2011/sep/16/ios-android-windows8-programming-choose

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