We have discussed in earlier posts:
- Android application architecture background
- Architectural patterns implemented by Android application architecture
- Main parts an Android application consists of
- Android application integration layer
Now it’s time to summarize our findings. We’ll discuss commercial future of Android OS and Android job market in this post.
Disclaimer: the blog represents just a personal opinion of the author. If you disagree with what you are going to read in the post below, this is fine: you may be right and I may be wrong; I have no desire to argue with you.
In my opinion, there is a high probability that Android OS will play for mobile software market the same role as Windows has played for desktop/laptop computer software market. Think of contemporary Android OS as something like Windows 3.0 – not a complete winner yet, but a contender with high chances to become a winner.
Why do I think so? Several reasons:
- Free license which allows any manufacturer to use Android OS
- Brilliant strategic decision to use Java as a language for Android application development. This made it possible to run the same application binaries on any hardware platform which a device manufacturer is going to come up with. This immediately places Android OS ahead of many other contenders like MeeGo etc. We have discussed this earlier.
- Market share accumulated up to the moment and its dynamics (see here)
- Google weight behind Android OS
None of competitors has this combination of advantages. Given this, Android has all chances to dominate the mobile market unless Google folks were to do something very unfortunate.
So should an individual consider a career of Android application developer? My answer is: it depends. Depends on what the individual looks for.
If it is only money and career growth, the answer is “yes”. There already is a big job market for Android developers and it will grow quickly.
Here is an illustration to this point. Once upon a time I lived in Ireland and worked there as a developer. Since those times I use irishjobs.com web site as a sort of indicator for demand for a particular skill. If you go there today and search for Android-related jobs in Dublin, you’ll get back a list of 2846 vacancies advertised by employers and recruiters. If you do the same search for Java-related jobs, it returns 3026 vacancies. Android jobs are overtaking Java jobs! Isn’t it impressive?
Clearly, the job market for Android developers is very hot with all consequences like higher salaries, faster career growth etc.
However if you are looking for an interesting job where you will be getting fun, you may think twice before taking an Android job. We’ll discuss this aspect of Android jobs in the next post.
[Update Aug 21, 2011] Recent events forced me to reconsider some of the opinions expressed in this post. Please look here.