In tech, six years ago is ancient history.
But in enterprise, six years is nothing.
The BYOD phenomenon caught on in 2009, and employees have been thrilled to use the phones, PCs and tablets they’re most comfortable with to do their work. Some say it even makes them more productive.
But since enterprises are usually pretty slow to adjust, there’s still companies that haven’t made the switch to BYOD yet and need expert developers and IT security professionals to help them through the process.
As an app or website developer, your understanding of the changes BYOD has brought about in development and security management is something companies making the transition to BYOD desperately need—helping you stand out as a leader and advance your career.
The Nuts & Bolts of BYOD
On the surface, BYOD seems like a nice, win-win situation for everyone: employees get to use the technology they’re most comfortable with, and companies don’t have to shell out the cash to buy new devices for everyone.
But for developers and IT security professionals, it’s a whole different ball game.
In fact, developing for BYOD differs in developing for company-sponsored devices in 6 key ways: screen size responsiveness, UI & UX, non-native development, public internet security, security patches, and no centralized app management.
1. Screen Responsiveness
Rather than only having one type of computer, tablet or phone to develop an enterprise-specific app for, you’ve got to create an app that works on any screen size, no matter what kind of wonky device an employee might bring in.
Responsive screens are really catching on both online and on mobile, though, so this isn’t the biggest of your worries as an enterprise app developer creating something for BYOD. Since website responsiveness is becoming standard, it’s nothing too different from regular website or Android-based development.
2. Instantly Intuitive UI & UX
Even though mobile and PC operating systems are vastly different from each other, companies won’t want to spend their resources on app training.
Like the majority of non-workplace apps, they’ll expect the UI & UX to be intuitive enough to be used with zero to minimal training, and with the differences in operating systems, a non-intuitive UI would mean a different training for each new device.
Each enterprise app needs to be designed and functional for immediate, out-of-the-box use.
3. Non-Native Development
Before BYOD, when everyone in the company was using a company-sponsored BlackBerry and Windows laptop, native apps were the best, safest choice.
But with BYOD, developing natively means you’d have to have the resources to develop for BlackBerry, Android, Windows, iOS, and Symbian, among others… and for companies that don’t specialize in app development, footing the bill for all of those resources for the development and subsequent updates could be a problem.
Instead, most BYOD-friendly enterprise apps are developed in HTML5, so they instantly work on any device.
4. Public Internet Security
Unless the app or internal company website you’re developing is 100% useless off the premises of the company, you’ll need to assume that employees are going to use it over public internet connections, and make in-built security capabilities to protect whatever sensitive company data may pass through their phones.
For example, you’ll need to set up the app so almost all of the traffic is directed to an HTTPS page, rather than an HTTP page.
And even though you might be developing an app instead of a website, because you’d build it on HTML5, you’d have to put securities in place to protect it against cross-site-scripting, SQL injections, and other attacks.
5. Constant Security Patch Updates
An app that operates on a closed network doesn’t necessarily need many security updates.
But creating an HTML5-based app means it’ll have to be open to functioning with new security patches added by you as the app developer, or by the device manufacturers themselves.
6. Working Without Centralized Management
For the same reason you want to develop non-natively on HTML5, you’ll also want to set up the app’s security to work without centralized management.
The end user, not someone in office headquarters, needs to be the one to configure their own preferences because the way to do this is different from one operating system to another.
Becoming an Enterprise BYOD Development Guru
Want to help your company transition to BYOD?
A fresh new IT certificate in development or cyber security could be exactly what you need to get rolling.
Check out our different IT training programs, sorted by area of expertise and experience level to find one that fits your schedule – most of the time, you’ll be finished in less than a month!
“A few years ago they needed to know Flash,” said James Bessen in the Harvard Business Review about web developers. “Now they need to know HTML5 instead.”
According to Melinda Barlow of Recruiter.com, technology as an industry “suffers from a huge gap in basic education.”
It’s no secret that technology is advancing at warp speed, and every time it changes, it seems to require at least one skill set that isn’t taught in traditional schools and therefore isn’t readily available amongst job seekers.
And web developers are at the forefront of the changes.
But if you’re a go-getter and want do advance your career as a web developer, this education gap is hardly bad news—in fact, it’s incredibly easy to use it to your advantage.
It’s the perfect storm of opportunity to become quickly qualified to work on projects a lot of your peers can’t touch, boosting your value, opportunities, and salary.
All you’ve got to do is find an IT training course that focuses on one particular segment that’s lacking (like HTML5), take the course, add it to your resume, and start finding work.
4 Ways IT Web Development Training Puts You In Control of Your Career Destiny
1. Fill a skills gap companies are desperate for
Each company wants different skills for their “perfect” web developer, but as a rule of thumb, you can bet you’ll be able to find companies desperate to hire web developers who are familiar with:
- Web design
- You don’t need enough know-how to be a full-fledged designer, but knowing how design elements work together on a page can give you valuable problem-solving know-how when you run into problems on your projects.
- Native mobile platform development
- Lots of IT startups are preferring to go mobile-first, meaning they don’t actually bother with web development in the traditional sense… they need you to develop for a mobile screen first, maybe a computer screen later.
- UX (User Experience)
- Similar to understanding web design, companies love having developers who understand that just because something works doesn’t mean it works for a quality user experience. Studying intuitive user behavior and knowing how to cater to that while you’re making a website come to life is something companies appreciate the value of.
2. Boost your worth
Once you’ve finished a particular IT training, you can start asking for more responsibilities related to your current job role that integrate what you’ve learned.
As soon as you see yourself providing a tangible, worthwhile value to the company via your new IT-based skill set, you can ask for a raise or start looking for new jobs that pay more.
3. Stay ahead of the technology curve
What schools teach in IT degree programs goes out of date. (Sometimes even before a student graduates from a four-year program.)
By getting regular IT trainings in web development skills as they hit the market, you stay ahead of the technology curve and become the irreplaceable, go-to colleague for handling the newest, coolest (and better-paying) projects.
4. Create ongoing job security
No matter how bad the economy gets, businesses are always going to want the best websites to out-compete their competitors.
If you take IT training courses to make sure your knowledge in cutting-edge web development never goes out of date, then your job security won’t either.
What to do Next: Grab Your Career by the Horns & Start Earning More
If you’re currently working as a web developer, look at your company’s job listings for more senior positions and take note of the skills and know-how they have listed that you don’t have yet.
If you’re not working (or want to switch companies), check out the job listings of companies you’d die to work for send a kind message to your would-be manager on LinkedIn.
Want to know what skills your favorite companies want but can’t find their job openings online? Here’s a simple message you can send on LinkedIn to find out:
I’m a web developer that feels like it’s time to start expanding my career.
I’m a huge fan of your company, but I’m not asking you for a job… I just want to put some feelers out there to know which new certifications I should start looking at to get things moving in the right direction.
If you don’t mind me asking, what are some up-and-coming skill sets in web development that you think will be important to your company in the next few years?
Thanks so much!
Once you find out which certifications you need, find an IT training or web development certification program that encompasses those skills and gives you hands-on practice.
When the program is finished, show your new certification to your boss and HR manager and ask if you’d be able to start working on projects with those skill sets. Ideally, they’d be able to ease you into those responsibilities by letting you shadow someone for a while.
If you don’t have a job in web development right now, use your new certifications to your advantage to help you land freelance projects that other freelancers can’t handle to build up an awesome portfolio before you start sending applications in to your dream-come-true companies.