As Boom Lures App Creators, Tough Part Is Making a Living

… The couple’s chosen field is so new it did not even exist a few years ago: writing software applications for mobile devices like the iPhone or iPad. Even as unemployment remained stubbornly high and the economy struggled to emerge from the recession’s shadow, the ranks of computer software engineers, including app writers, increased nearly 8 percent in 2010 to more than a million, according to the latest available government data for that category. These software engineers now outnumber farmers and have almost caught up with lawyers.Much as the Web set off the dot-com boom 15 years ago, apps have inspired a new class of entrepreneurs. These innovators have turned cellphones and tablets into tools for discovering, organizing and controlling the world, spawning a multibillion-dollar industry virtually overnight. The iPhone and iPad have about 700,000 apps, from Instagram to Angry Birds.Yet with the American economy yielding few good opportunities in recent years, there is debate about how real, and lasting, the rise in app employment might be.Despite the rumors of hordes of hip programmers starting million-dollar businesses from their kitchen tables, only a small minority of developers actually make a living by creating their own apps, according to surveys and experts. The Grimeses began their venture with high hopes, but their apps, most of them for toddlers, did not come quickly enough or sell fast enough.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/business/as-boom-lures-app-creators-tough-part-is-making-a-living.html

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