Survey: Mobile now top priority for corporate app builders

Most developers say they spend weekends and free time taking care of software problems as well

Mobile applications are becoming the principal focus of corporate software development efforts, according to a survey by PHP tools vendor Zend Technologies.

Zend's Developer Pulse survey this quarter found that 91 percent of developers plan to deliver content and services to a mobile audience. This compares to 66 percent in a survey the company took in 2012. "Mobile applications are rapidly becoming the primary focus of corporate application development teams," Zend's report on the survey states. "Apps are the driving force for companies adopting a mobile-first strategy."

Nearly 5,000 developers participated in the survey; results were released Thursday. Participants were subscribers to Zend's newsletter and were likely to be corporate-based PHP developers.

The survey also found that developers are spending lots of time troubleshooting applications, which ends up consuming developers' personal time. "Our survey found that on average 90 percent of developers have worked weekends, vacations, and holidays because of production emergencies," Zend said. "Developers in larger companies aren't immune -- 87 percent of programmers in companies with more than 5,000 employees have also worked nights and weekends, with nearly one-fifth of large company developers saying this is a frequent occurrence."

Zend also found that open standards are preferred by developers, with nearly 79 percent using HTML5 and so-called open Web standards, and 87 percent of developers have experienced delays in moving apps from development to production. The most frequently cited reasons were inconsistent environments across development, test, and production; lack of automation in application deployment; and lack of collaboration between development and operations.

Developers participating in the survey also plan to deploy to public cloud environments, although the growth rate from a previous survey was not particularly high. "Our first survey, which took place in late 2011, found that 61 percent of developers intended to use public cloud services. In 2013, that number has shown only moderate growth to 68 percent." Cloud environments popular with the developers include Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, and Rackspace.

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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