A few weekend’s ago at the MoDevEast Hackathon, more than a few developers took some time to open up about the apps they had in the works. We were impressed, and at times entertained, by the ideas. From a game-show inspired use of census data to exercise motivation to improved virtual project collaboration, there was plenty to appreciate.

To get a good handle on where mobile app developers are focused, we asked participants to self-evaluate in five critical areas: security, platform, back-end, monitoring and ROI/monetization. The comments returned via our humble one-page form were intriguing.

One thing we noticed is that almost everyone has a good handle on the first three concerns. While security could use a bit more scrutiny (some folks seem content with a fancy password), developers eagerly spoke to why they were iOS, Android, Linux or Webos – or some combination of all. The same could be said of the platform and back end, with the thought process essentially boiling down to an explanation of why everyone likes what they like.

Where things got understandably vague was with respect to monitoring and ROI/monetization. With only six hours to cobble an app together, it made sense that those aspects were pushed down the priority list. Still, everyone acknowledged there importance, though few even spared a moment to think it through. Our feedback form, however, did elicit interesting responses in terms of people acknowledging the significance of monitoring and ROI. In some cases, the response was almost apologetic that participants hadn’t had time to contemplate those critical areas.

As that constitutes a lot of what we do at App47, we’re already having some deeper conversations with those participants. Illuminating the entire mobile app lifecycle – especially in an enterprise context – is essential. And we definitely appreciate people recognizing, as we do, that the more we think about monitoring, the better we can track ROI, and tweak features and performance accordingly to optimize their returns.

Authoring a cool app is certainly rewarding. And making sure it is immune to hacks and is built with robust performance in mind is a must. The follow-through that we champion (and that folks at the Hackathon definitely appreciated) is that monitoring performance and making money are becoming much more than an afterthought!