December 15, 2021  |  Purdue University Global

Mobile computing continues to grow and dominate technology. According to a Perficient analysis of Google data, 68.1% of all global website visits in 2020 came from mobile devices. As the use of mobile computing continues to grow, so does the employment outlook. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says computer and information technology employment is projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all jobs.*

All this is driven by the emerging trends in mobile computing, which include:

  • Technology (software)
  • Devices (e.g., smart phones, tablets, sensors, wearables)
  • Backend (cloud computing)

>> Read 5 Great Reasons to Work in Cloud Computing

Robert Kayl, faculty member in the Purdue University Global School of Business and Information Technology, helps answer what is mobile computing and walks us through some new trends in mobile computing.

4 Trends in Mobile Computing

The average American spends 5.4 hours a day on their smartphone, according to a study cited by ZDNet. The average smartphone user checks their phone 63 times a day, while clicking, tapping, or swiping their phone 2,617 times a day, SlickText says.

Mobile computing is growing to meet the needs of these users. Here is what the future of mobile computing looks like and some key trends:

1. The Growth of Cross-Platform Development

Kayl says the trend is moving away from native mobile application development in specific platforms and toward cross-platform development that can be used in multiple platforms.

“I've created many mobile apps,” Kayl says. “At first, they were individualized through the app stores, such as Google and Apple. Now, the apps are on the cloud, and the data is shared across all the different mobile apps. It’s an easier way to develop and more useful.”

2. The Effects of Mobile Computing on Real Life

Mobile devices are integrated into our lives, Kayl says. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. For example, 26% of car accidents involve cell phone use, according to SlickText. The site also says 66% of people suffer from nomophobia—the fear of not having your phone.

“We need to look at the effects of mobility or mobile computing on people’s lives,” Kayl says. “As a developer, it’s good to know more about what you're creating and to explore the possible ethical dilemmas. It’s good to look at the other side of that coin.”

3. The Main Interface Becoming Mobile

86% of Americans go online daily with their mobile devices, according to Oberlo, an e-commerce company. It’s clear mobile has overtaken the computing world, becoming the main interface for everything from searching to buying.

“Mobile and web are merging into one,” Kayl says. “The cloud is a big part of the backend.”

He says the flexibility of mobile is leading to its growth as the main computing interface.

 “Mobile computing includes maps, apps, text messaging, and social media. It’s the interface to the world for everybody.”

4. The Move to Agile Methodology

“The old way of gathering information and creating useful documentation in computing is changing,” Kayl says.

“The industry doesn’t like the big teams and the excessive amounts of documentation,” he says. “The old waterfall of documentation doesn’t work anymore, unless you're landing someone on the moon or Mars.”

More developers are moving to agile methodology, which is more about constant development and improvement of a project through a continuous cycle of planning, executing, and evaluating data. This method helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches.

“These teams focus on the product owner and the developer,” Kayl says. “That means more communication, with the product owner being the functional owner of the project.”

What Should You Know for a Successful Computing Career?

Web and Developer Skill Sets Are Merging

Front-end and back-end developers are starting to do the same jobs. This has developed because of native development increasingly moving to the cloud.

“Developers now can build a mobile app or a website on the cloud,” Kayl says. “But from your mobile phone, it looks like you're interacting with a mobile app from the app store.”

Because of this, more developers are using Javascript above all other languages, according to several surveys, including one from Stack Overflow. However, SQL, HTML, and CSS are still needed from developers, among other coding languages.

Soft Skills Are Still Important

Although coding and technical skills are always needed, so-called soft skills are still important for those in the field.

“Communication, teamwork, and leadership are still vital,” Kayl says. “The new methods of development feature agile methodology, which depends on a small team that self-governs.”

He says these teams need to be able to work together, which is the goal of soft skills.

Some soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Flexibility/adaptability
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Work ethic

>> Learn 7 Myths About Working in Tech

Which Degrees Can Help You With Your Computing Career?

Purdue Global offers IT degrees that can help you achieve your computing career goals. Here are some of our online bachelor’s and master’s IT programs, and the careers you can pursue with your degree:

Bachelor of Science in Cloud Computing and Solutions

  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Computer network architects
  • Computer systems analysts
  • Database administrators
  • Network and computer systems administrators

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

  • Computer network architects
  • Computer network support specialists
  • Database administrators
  • Information security analysts
  • Network and computer systems administrators

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Computer network architects
  • Computer systems analysts
  • Information security analysts
  • Software developers, applications
  • Software developers, systems software

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management

  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Computer network architects
  • Database administrators
  • Information security analysts
  • Network and computer systems administrators

Master of Science in Information Technology

  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Computer network architects
  • Computer occupations, all other
  • Computer systems analysts
  • Database administrators
  • Network and computer systems administrators

Find Out More About Computing Careers

Purdue Global can help you develop the skills to grow your computing career. Contact us today for more information.


About the Author

Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized, world-class education online that's tailored for adults. We offer 175 programs, including associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees as well as certificates, in areas such as business, IT, education, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, and more.


NOTES AND CONDITIONS

* National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, and opportunities for employment. Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment placement, salary level, or career advancement. Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields.