Mobile Web Apps and the Dominance of JavaScript

In the old days of full-stack development for the internet, team leaders were required to have a good understanding of HTML, networks, and scripting. The internet was always accessed on either a laptop or desktop computer running a major browser from Microsoft, Netscape or Apple. Life was easy. But then mobility reared its ugly head. Now, full-stack developers need to be thoroughly versed in JavaScript to accommodate the major differences between simple web pages and today’s new mobile web apps.

The Old Way of Doing Things

Before mobility, we used to construct basic web pages with very little functionality. These pages were intended to present information that could be in a multitude of formats ranging from blog posts to advertisements. Any functionality that was necessary could be implemented through simple scripts utilizing server-side technologies. It was all pretty simple.

Similar implementations are still in play today for the desktop and laptop market. Take your average WordPress site, for example. It is functionally simple by comparison. But things get a bit more complicated when you are trying to make that WordPress site responsive enough to work well on all mobile browsers without harming performance. Indeed, that’s a lot harder to do than it might appear.

Developers faced with the difficulties of creating responsive websites decided it was far better to develop mobile web apps instead. A mobile web app can present the same information without the constraints of mobile web browsers. But there is an added bonus: mobile web apps can add a tremendous amount of functionality that is just not possible with a web browser. Thus, the new way of doing things.

The Rise of the Mobile App

While a mobile website is a very distinct entity in the software development world, a mobile app is not necessarily so. You could make the case that web apps are a subset of mobile web pages. Just look at all the big names that use them in that way, names like Facebook and Twitter.

Mobile web apps are attractive for several reasons. First, they increase user engagement significantly. This is crucial to both productivity and marketing. Second, development of web apps is almost entirely dependent on the particular kinds of user engagement a company is after. This streamlines the development process in most cases. Third, web apps are not constrained by the same sort of thing that make responsive web design so challenging.

From a development standpoint, web apps are ruled by JavaScript. Despite calls to abandon JavaScript over the years, just the opposite has happened. Numerous JavaScript environments have given rise to great ways of implementing full-stack development strategies to create apps that just get better over time.

Your average full-stack JavaScript developer has knowledge of environments like AngularJS, NodeJS, Titanium, and ReactJS. He or she can choose whatever environment works best for the project at hand to create just what the customer wants. And because JavaScript is so functional, the developer does not have to worry about meeting the demands of individual browsers as is the case with desktop applications.

Mobile Web Development Not Easy

It is widely known that sites like Facebook and Google have struggled with developing mobile apps over the years. It’s not that their full-stack developers are incapable; it’s just that mobile apps are hard to create. That’s why software development companies need capable full-stack developers with a solid knowledge of JavaScript.

Despite it not being easy, web app development does pay off. The power and flexibility of JavaScript give end-users the functionality they want with a positive experience. That’s what brings them back time and again.