Web development vs mobile app development

davidboydavidboy Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
I am trying to find one area to specialize in and want to know the pros/cons of each.

Please help me answer these questions:
Which one is more physically/mentally demanding?
Which area pays more?
Which area will be higher demand in the near future?
Which area is more marketable?

If you can offer any other information that would be great. I have always been interested in web development after learning HTML and CSS at a young age. It seems however that mobile app development has more potential.


  • dmoore44dmoore44 Member Posts: 646
    Which one is more physically/mentally demanding?
    Physically - neither. Mentally - probably mobile development... assuming you're going to be writing in native code (i.e. Obj-C for iOS, Java for Android, etc...)

    Which area pays more?
    I honestly don't know. I'm not a developer by trade. But I do know that I've seen some ridiculous salaries for both.

    Which area will be higher demand in the near future?
    Depends on which way the market moves. Right now, mobile development. But if the mobile web, or web based mobile apps take off...

    Which area is more marketable?
    Again, I can't predict the future... So right now, mobile development. But mobile web might take off sometime in the not so distant future (i.e. when HTML 5 comes fully online...)
    Graduated Carnegie Mellon University MSIT: Information Security & Assurance Currently Reading Books on TensorFlow
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I wouldn't aim to go mobile development as an employee. Mobile development seems more attractive to entrepreneurs.

    I don't have any real statistics to back that up, so don't take my word for it. It's just that making a successful app can have quick, easy returns with relatively little work compared to trying to create a successful web site. If I had the time, the skill, and a good idea, I can tell you I would definitely be writing my own iOS or Android app. Something stupidly simple can become a cash cow very quickly. Think Angry Birds.

    On the employment side, I just feel that web skills are going to have higher value; a lot of what you see on mobile is still delivered as HTML over HTTP, and web is a very stable, high-demand platform. Mobile could still be very profitable, even for an employee, but I think a lot of the opportunities in the mobile arena are going to be a lot less stable that those focused on web.

    Again, all this is totally my view on things and I don't have any kind of evidence to back it up. My advice would be to go after whichever you think you would enjoy more, or both if you can't decide. The skills are not exactly mutually exclusive, even if you "specialize" in one area.
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  • seth479seth479 Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I've done both and for me I enjoy web more than mobile. Any programming type project is going to challenge you mentally and allow you to see things in different ways so you get a good mental workout. As for physical, they are both about the same as you will most likely be sitting at a desk for the majority of your work day.

    As far as pay, it really varies on your skillset and knowledge. iOS devs may make more than Android devs or vice versa and web devs could make more or less than both depending on the type of company, demand for the type of project you're working on, etc.

    As for marketability and demand, again it really depends as you have to remember web and mobile probably aren't going anywhere soon and web has been around the longest but mobile is still relatively new so still lots of things to do and new things to develop for it.

    I would recommend if you have been wanting to get into web development then go for it first. Learn HTML, CSS, PHP/SQL and even Java. Java is used to develop for the Android platform so you can get a feel for mobile development as you learn that and begin to use it. Also, a lot of companies go with web based apps that you can access on mobile, kind of like a mobile website. There are also several frameworks out there that allow you to use web languages to develop apps for mobile devices. Although these apps aren't native and I don't think Apple with accept them into their store it's still possible to develop and distribute independently. If you're interested then look into things like PhonGap and Appcelerator.
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  • davidboydavidboy Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think I'll focus on the web development side. Thanks guys.
  • rihansrihans Member Posts: 1 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Really great information share with us
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