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The New “Gotta Have” Technology

Like many industries, information technology moves from one “hot” technology to another.  Back in the mid-90s, the hot technology to have on your resume was the Java programming language and more importantly,  server-side Java with the requisite knowledge of application servers such as IBM WebSphere or BEA WebLogic and EJBs/servlets.  In the early 2000s, the space to be in was HTML and “Internet/Web development” with companies looking for developers to put up web sites. Anyone remember the web development boutique firms Scient or Razorfish?.
So can you guess what the new “Gotta Have” technology is that you need on your resume?
TIOBE has been tracking the rise and fall of the popularity of programming languages for a number of years and new statistics from them show that the largest growth in a mainstream programming language is Objective-C.  This is no surprise as the market is desperately looking for people with iPhone and iPad skills.  JavaScript comes in fourth in terms of growth but I believe that is because “mobile native app development” right now is more important than “mobile app development” (i.e. jQuery Mobile or Sencha Touch).  Right now, the mentality of many firms is: “we gotta have a mobile app!” even though the market they serve may not lend itself to such software.
It will be interesting to see how the Apple and the developer community will respond to the emergence of the iOS platform and more importantly Xcode.  Xcode has made strides in the past year (Xcode 4) but after working in Eclipse (or IntelliJ IDEA or Microsoft Visual Studio for that matter) for years, you can become a bit frustrated with Xcode.  One firm that has responded to the rise in mobile development is IntelliJ by releasing two tools to meet the demand for better tools in the iOS and JavaScript areas. The first is AppCode, an Objective-C IDE for iOS (however, it still requires integration with Interface Builder and the iOS SDK). The second is WebStorm, a JavaScript IDE.   While AppCode may not measure up to Xcode currently, competition is always good to push the frontrunner and not allow them to get complacent.

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Perry Hoekstra

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