Thursday and Friday of last week served up another excellent MoDevEast conference. Pete Erickson and his people deserve continued kudos for putting together consistently informative, interactive events — and Pete was definitely a good sport, joining the App47 team in sporting Movember mustaches. For the record, mine was shamelessly front-and-center during my session on the state of enterprise mobile app management (the gist of which you can get here.)
Now we’re all again clean-shaven, and I can offer some sans-stache observations on the event itself.
Top of mind for this past MoDev was confirmation of my earlier hunches that mobility-focused events are getting somewhat HTML5 fixated. Over the past year, I’ve noticed that any time I attend an event dedicated to mobile, especially if apps are any part of the picture, we tend to perseverate on HTML5 (one of the reasons we made sure our solution supported HTML5). We raise the now-threadbare question as to whether one should go native, hybrid or HTML5 with their enterprise mobile app dev, and the debate consumes a lot of conversational bandwidth.
Stepping back, I wonder why we’re still having the conversation in the first place. We know the answer is as diverse as mobile apps themselves. If you’re building a consumer app, it needs to be immersive and intuitive, so go native. Enterprise apps, which don’t need to win beauty contests but do need to be well managed and cross-platform cooperative? Hybrid or HTML5 are ideal.
The answer hasn’t changed for more than a year, so I must wonder (at the risk of sounding indignant) why we’re still asking the question. Let’s move on. There’s no need to wait for HTML5 to “catch up”. It reminds me of when we were all talking about Web Services. Remember when that was going to change everything? But it just proved to be a lot of talk and a lot of standards, and very little substance. Let’s not sentence HTML5 to that same fate. Let’s start talking about new technologies — better yet, let’s start building apps!
And to that point, it has been tremendous to note that the number of people talking about enterprise apps has increased a thousand-fold. A year ago, we were consumer-app concerned, hashing out strategies for app store revenue generation, etc. Now, we’re targeting the enterprise. It’s pulled even with our consumer app conversations. Vendors are communicating loud and clear that they are all about enterprise mobility — which is something we’ve been obsessed with for the past two years. Seeing that breakthrough is phenomenal for us.
We’ll be looking forward to the next MoDev event in 2013. Pete, keep up the great work.