In a time when the market is both full of opportunity and challenges, the question continues to be where will tech turn next? As a developer you should always be striving to not only expand upon what you know but also picking up new tools to add to your skill set. Now the question is what should I do next?
Definitely not a dead technology, not seeing any signs of declining or is it? There’s plenty of talk about the future of Flash as it relates to AJAX, HTML 5 and CSS 3 but how fast will these technologies knock down the current king of rich content on the web. I’m not going to go to far with this because there are far better sources of discussion on the topic.
As it relates to me, I’ve been on a path of full focused Flash / ActionScript development over the past several years. While I definitely advanced my skills considerable, my concerns are at this point is being a straight up Flash Developer really a path to longevity in this field. Obviously this is my primary focus since currently my day job is 100% Flash and ActionScript. It will continue to be as well, but I’m more concerned with adding to my skill set so I’ll bring this discussion back to that.
iPhone development doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Even if rumors aren’t true, the field will only grow, especially if when the language expands to future devices, such as the rumored tablet / slate device. This is an area I’ve dabbled with. I have my app idea, its just a matter of focusing on it.
The question here is how does one decide that this is an area I want to explore? It’s great hearing that people are making big bucks on apps that just happen to break through on the store. Is that a reality? With the number of apps on the store, I’m pretty sure that unless happen to have a moment of genius, there will be less stories of weekend warriors making 6 figures off a game they programmed in their spare time.
Still this is definitely an area to be focusing on and one that I’ll be attempting to dive back into. I’d be silly not to.
Like iPhone, Android is just waiting for it’s moment, it’s off to a slow start compared to iPhone I think but it’s going to have a strong following and many opportunities. iPhone generates a buzz and has companies scrambling to get their app together for that. Clients hear iPhone and want to know how to get into that market, whether they should be there or not. It may happen that Android could do this also.
The Pre is a cool phone. Honestly if want to get into a growing market maybe this would be a great place to focus. Will it get to the point of the iPhone app store? Not likely. Something to look into? Sure, why not, you may just happen to find yourself in a position that you have a skill that may have a limited demand.
I keep coming back to the idea that I should be focusing on learning some sort of server side language, PHP, JSP, .NET, but I never seem to put much focus into it. I keep hoping one will click and I’ll learn enough that I’ll feel comfortable selling my services in one of these areas. Currently I’m exploring PHP with the Zend Framework and will probably dabble with it more in the near future. Is there a market for professional PHP development?
My roots are HTML & CSS and these are skills that I’ll continue to expand on. There is quite a bit going on in the HTML realm and plenty to keep learning. HTML 5 may change the rules and cause a bit of a shake up. Throw in CSS 3, AJAX and jQuery, that’s a full year of things to learn. I see plenty of my free time coming back to basics and brushing up on how people are using the new HTML 5 tags. This is an area that’s not going anywhere.
Did you read all of that? Really? Thanks. Basically this post is more for me than for anyone else. Isn’t that what blogs are for anyway? To babble as if your the center of the universe?
The list above shakes out this way, Flash (it’s my job, it pays my bills and it’s still quite fun), HTML (basic foundation of all web developers skills), iPhone (why not try to tap into this market, plus I work for an ad agency, thinking our clients won’t want iPhone apps is not setting myself up for job security), Android, Server-Side.
WebOS is something I’ll look into just to see what’s involved. Also, if you’re an app creator why limit yourself to just one market. If you have an iPhone app, port it to Android and webOS if it’s not overly involved.