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Career move interest into Mobile development.

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Joined: 2003-10-25

I've been contemplating a move to focus my energies towards learning and adding mobile development to my skill list.

I've been a web developer and enterprise developer (Java 1.4 & Java EE) for a while now, but I have strong urge to do something new and move my career into mobile development.

While, I'm only at the beginning stages of this process, my question - is there a large demand for Java related mobile development?

Will this lead me to more career opportunities or will I have to be in the right location demographically? I live in Omaha, Nebraska.

I guess I'm trying to figure out, besides looking at job posting on Monster and Yahoo!, if the demand is truly there.

Don't get me wrong, web and enterprise development has done well for me - it pays the bills and provides more than enough for my wife and two kids.

But, I really have a strong interest in Mobile development and instead of making it a hobby, I'd like to see if this could lead me to a new and better career.



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Joined: 2003-06-15

Hi Todd,

Not to be a wet blanket on your idea, but opposed to popular belief JavaME is at best torture. If you are not someone who enjoyed Assembler in schooler, or always disliked eclipse or netbeans getting in your way with popups of API calls you already where half way through writing, then JavaME may not be for you.

If you like springs, and how XML parsers work, and how JCE or JAAS makes your site so safe, then the pains of trying to get the basics of a standard HTTP connection will throw you over the edge, not to mention if you want to try and login to your https site from your mobile application. Without access to the device a emulator typically will lead you down the wrong path, and any assumptions of similarities on how Mobile works compared to a desktop will typically be incorrect. A co-worker and the lead server developer here tried to write some code for ME, he described it as writing code with one hand and blindfolded. It was like learning Java all over again.

MSA may be some 2 years off for mainline users and MobileFX, well the market will have completely renovated itself before that's ready for primetime. While Android is looking good, that is one platform out of hundreds, but it is clearly making inroads and strides that will draw developers to it and allow easier ramp-up into mobile technology.

The biggest issue with JavaME is the operators shutting developers out of the market. While it is less difficult in Europe or Pacific Rim area, for the US it is impossible for someone to become serious about development of JavaME on their own. You would need to get on with a major mobile label producer to have a career in Mobile.

As for location you would have better luck looking at California (Oakland / SanFran area) to find a mobile development job. I've been in Mobile java development since 1999, and found it almost impossible to land a local mobile development position, and found pushback from firms in California. They are a tight group to try and bust into without knowing the right people.

But hey don't believe me, download the WTK or the mobile plug-in for eclipse or Netbeans, write some code and then try to get it to run on more than 1 phone model. I'm sure you have a JavaME phone, and have a friend or two that have other javaME compatible mobile phones. Heck just try and take any of the WTK examples and deploy them to 2 phones on different carriers. FYI.... Advil, a dark room with candles, and ocean sounds will help with the headaches. ;)

Best wishes

PS. I love JavaME, and enjoy doing it. But I have a high tolerance to pain. :)

Message was edited by: sfitzjava

Joined: 2004-03-04

Hey Todd,

This is a common line of thought lately ... a lot of people in desktop/enterprise Java are getting somewhat bored there and mobile is where the excitement is right now.

I am convinced that the mobile space is the new desktop and beyond ... with information access and processing becoming a major necessity in life its a natural progression to make the technology increasingly accessible and pervasive. So the interest and money will be there for years to come as the technology is still in its infancy in many ways.

What's the best way to enter this field? The integration of services and providing consumer-oriented "lifestyle" functionality to me is the most interesting aspect. Slick and effortless presentation and integration will be key to attracting billions of non-technical users. MSA APIs, SVG, and Java FX Mobile will be a big part of that as well as intelligent combination of back-end services. Lots to do there ...

-- Terrence