During a recent discussion with a friend (hi Brian) i had an epiphany. Well, actually it was just a series of realizations that should have been obvious long ago. The series was this:
- most mobile applications have a server component
- web services are the most obvious way of exposing server components to mobile applications
- therefore, mobile applications are just another flavor of semi-autonomous web service clients
- mobile applications are a growth space
- mobile application development skills are very different than good server-side development skills
- i know a lot about designing, and implementing, REST/HTTP web services to support semi-autonomous clients
That last bullet really does come with a question mark instead of an exclamation. I really like designing web service APIs, and i am really good at it. I am just not sure there is enough of demand to make it worth focusing my career on that space. On the other hand, it feels like it might be a highly underserved niche.
I think that if i am to make a go of this it would have to be as an independent. It seems unlikely that a shop focused on mobile application development would be willing to add the fixed cost of a back-end developer in this economy. That would be a hard sell even to a shop that fully believed that an expertly designed API would pay of in reduced maintenance and lower costs of change over the long run.
So my questions to my readers (all three of you) are: a) Is this an idea worth pursuing? b) Do you know of anyone developing a mobile app that could use a skilled mobile app back-end developer? c) Do i want to go out on my own right now?