Mobile application development is the process by which application software is developed for low-power handheld devices, such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones. These applications can be pre-installed on phones during manufacturing, downloaded by customers from various mobile software distribution platforms, or delivered as web applications using server-side or client-side processing (e.g. JavaScript) to provide an “application-like” experience within a Web browser. Application software developers also have to consider a lengthy array of screen sizes, hardware specifications and configurations because of intense competition in mobile software and changes within each of the platforms.

Each of the platforms for mobile applications also has an integrated development environment, which provides tools to allow a developer to write, test and deploy applications into the target platform environment.

English is a great asset for working in this field. That being said, many company meetings and communications are in Hebrew- knowledge of Hebrew can be very significant.

Interview
A special thank you to Michael Hantler, lead Android developer at Tikal Knowledge, for participating in this interview.

Please provide us with a brief description of your field
The field of mobile development transverses the range of computer development disciplines from hybrid mobile web application development to platform specific proprietary development environments and languages. Similar to other forms of computer development, mobile development normally focuses on the goal of creating applications for consumer consumption.

What is your current position?
Lead Android Developer at Tikal Knowledge

How did you find your job?
I found my job through Facebook.

What type of backgrounds are relevant for someone looking to break into the software industry?
Good efficient coding experience and the ability to switch rapidly between programming environments and languages.

What education and experience should an Oleh looking to go into mobile applications and programming come with?
Computer science, computer engineering, or mathematics (with at least some emphasis on programming).

Is there any kind of license or certification you need, to work in mobile applications and programming in Israel?
No. Having a degree is a major advantage, but not necessary.

How important is Hebrew in your field?
Mildly important, since lots of companies will conduct the day to day meetings and communications in Hebrew, but English is a much greater asset. That being said, not knowing Hebrew can preclude an Oleh from certain positions.

What are the benefits of your job?
Mobile development is a rapidly growing field, which is in extremely high demand at this point in time. It is also a dynamically fluid field with projects varying in programming environment, language, and aspect (from user interface to backend algorithms). This can be very advantageous but also difficult to navigate at times.

Is mobile applications and programming more in demand in certain areas of Israel?
As with most technology jobs, mobile programming is in highest demand in the merkaz area (Tel Aviv and surrounding cities).

What are the important programming languages that are required for mobile applications and programming jobs, and jobs that Olim would do well by learning, prior to Aliyah?
Different mobile specializations can demand proficiency in different programming languages. In most cases Android development requires efficiency in Java (and also Android specific APIs and the Android UI-XML structures), iOS development (iPhone and iPad) requires efficiency in Objective C (and to some extent the UI builder or Interface Builder for Xcode), and windows phone development requires efficiency in .Net.

Although the previous requirements will apply to most companies’ development environments some companies develop using multi-platform solutions like PhoneGap or Xamarin which utilize languages like JavaScript, HTML5, .Net, ruby, etc. These multi-platform development solutions will usually require some aspect of development in the platform specific languages previously mentioned, in addition to the solution’s development language(s).

What is the salary range?
The salary can range greatly depending on skill, job responsibilities, and time commitments. I would say a rough range would be from 18,000 NIS to 30,000 NIS, excluding start-ups that will sometimes pay much less, but provide options or other company assets in place of a normal salary.

Do you have any other advice or tips for Olim?
Experience is always helpful in finding a job, but employers are also looking more and more at candidate’s contributions to sites like GitHub (https://github.com/) or Stack Overflow (http://stackoverflow.com/ ).

It is also essential when applying for mobile programming positions to have example applications that the candidate has previously worked on to demo at the interview. These must be applications that the candidate made a major contribution to and can explain that work clearly to the interviewer.

How do you feel about working and living in Israel?
The opportunities in Israel for mobile development offer many possibilities, like starting to work for a promising start-up that may eventually be the next Waze or Fring. Israel also has more established institutions like AT&T and Cisco with large development centers dealing with mobile development. In essence, a veritable cornucopia of positions for mobile developers in one of the top contributors to mobile programming in the world. I can’t imagine a better or more thrilling environment for a mobile developer to cultivate his or her career.

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