Research Firm Cites Five-Fold Explosion in Mobile App Developers

With enterprises still complaining about the mobile development skills shortage holding back mobility initiatives, Evans Data Corp. has published a new study showing an explosion in the number of mobile coders.

The company said some 12 million developers were involved with mobile this year, having increased by more than five times since the company began tracking the metric in 2006. At that time, it counted slightly fewer than 2 million mobile devs.

Now, at 12 million strong, mobile developers make up more than half of the world's entire coding community, numbered at about 21 million, Evans said.

"Mobile development has really become ubiquitous," said CEO Janel Garvin. "Mobile devices are everywhere, but while most modern applications support mobile devices, not all developers are working on the client target side. Some are server or back-end oriented or are concentrating more on the application logic or more and more on newer machine learning implementations, so watching the number of mobile developers move from just under 2 million 10 years ago to 12M today just provides a reflection of the use of mobile devices today."

The company highlighted the news tidbits in hawking its for-pay Global Developer Population and Demographic Study 2016 report.

That study also delves into the iOS-vs.-Android debate. "The number of mobile developers who target Android first is 5.9M vs 2.8M that target iOS as a first platform," the company said. "Most developers target multiple mobile platforms, so secondary platform targets differ and often include competing platforms. When we look at initial target by region, 2.2M developers target Android first in the APAC region vs. just over 500K for iOS, but in North America the order is reversed, with iOS targeted first by more than 200K developers over those targeting Android first."

Enterprises have for years decried the mobile dev skills shortage that has resulted in low mobile spending, despite a huge demand for apps.

"Organizations increasingly find it difficult to be proactive against competitive pressures, which is resulting in their mobile apps becoming tactical, rather than strategic," Gartner Inc. analyst Adrian Leow said in June. "We're seeing demand for mobile apps outstrip available development capacity, making quick creation of apps even more challenging. Mobile strategists must use tools and techniques that match the increase in mobile app needs within their organizations."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.