With technology rapidly changing, even seasoned professionals can struggle to stay on top of the latest methods. If a developer has years of experience with desktop applications, that doesn't mean the same techniques and methods can be applied to mobile implementations. One thing is for sure, though, a greater emphasis is being placed on mobile design and development.
"The way you work with that [mobile] device is completely different from how you work with a PC," said bigtincan's founder and CEO David Keane. "When you build software for mobile you have to think about that contextual difference."
The difference may mean coming at application design and development from a different perspective -- mobile first. "I think that the apps that are going to have the most traction and are going to engage customers long-term are going to be something that is going to be really integrated into your system," said Stephanie Woerner, research scientist at MIT's Center for Information Systems Research. She said with mobile design and development it's important not to implement too many capabilities within a single application.
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Whether a mobile or PC strategy first approach is taken, some industry insiders say it's important to start by focusing on the user's experience. Sravish Sridhar CEO of Kinvey said he thinks the most successful developers are those who get a test application created to the point where users can try it.
"Once they [developers] get a feel for how the app needs to be optimized from a user experience standpoint, then they start widening up to a backend as a service platform," Sridhar said. "Then they enable real data and real interactions with third party services via the back end as a service platform."
Long-term success with mobile design and development may be as easy as going back to basics -- know your customer and device. Vikki Kolbe, principal technology strategist at Hurwitz & Associates, said it's important for developers to know what the competitive landscape looks like.
"Folks from an architecture and development mode really have to understand the end-to-end business solution requirement so that they don't get pigeon holed into either a group of technology or tools that don't scale to performance and security aspects of what they are trying to do," she said.
Maxine Giza is the associate site editor for SearchSOA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.