Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Next Five Years | Part 2

Part 1 of a two-part "Skills of the Future" series identifies the skills that information technology (IT) managers project they will need over the next five years.

Part 2 reveals the largest single potential growth opportunity for Web technology professionals over the next five years.

Skills of the Future | Part 2

A research study released last week projects that the Web browser market for portable devices will explode by nearly an order of magnitude (10-fold increase) over the next five years. Here are the projections for Web enabled phones:

  • 2007 | 76 million devices
  • 2013 | 700 million devices

Mobile browsing is set for a major growth trend, and smartphones, like the iPhone, are leading the way. According to the Silicon Alley Insider (quoting m metrics), nearly 85 percent of iPhone owners browse the Web on their phones vs. just 13 percent for the overall U.S. mobile market.

Mobile Developers Needed

Wikipedia offers an informative overview of the mobile development landscape. A few of the more popular foundational skills needed to thrive in the mobile development space include the following:

  • Java
  • C++
  • C#

Web professionals who want to focus on mobile development, but who don't wish to delve into these programming languages, can expand their opportunities by developing skill proficiency with "the two biggest variables that will spur mobile browsing", according to the research study:

  • Ajax (JavaScript + XML)
  • RSS

A press release of The Mobile Browser Market is available at the ABI Research website.

The Next Step

Web professionals should check out the W3C Mobile Web Initiative to learn more about mobile development. "The Mobile Web Initiative's goal is to make browsing the Web from mobile devices a reality", according to Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the Cambridge-based W3C and inventor of the World Wide Web.

Then, go to, "the world's most exciting mobile development community." Once there you can perform a Mobility Check by entering a Web address, previewing that website in various mobile device emulators and receiving a free analysis of how that site's web content is likely to function on a mobile device.

Lastly, mark your calendar for July 15 and attend the next meeting of the Web Innovators Group which has been organized to promote Boston’s Web and mobile innovation community. Details about the next meeting will be provided in an upcoming Beantown Web posting.

Go to >>> The Next Five Years | Part 1