Evolving Professionalism

From Traditional Software Development to Modern Mobile App Development

The realm of software development has witnessed a transformative journey from the era of traditional software developers and programmers to the dynamic world of modern mobile app developers. This shift not only reflects technological advancements but also a change in methodologies, tools, and professional standards. This article aims to explore these roles, highlight their differences, and assess the levels of professionalism in the context of IT and Standards professionals.

1. Traditional Software Developers and Programmers

In the early days, software developers and programmers were regarded as craftsmen in the digital landscape, tasked with writing, debugging, and maintaining computer program code. This role demanded a deep understanding of programming languages, algorithms, and application system architecture.


Deep Specialization:                     Mastery of specific programming languages or systems.

System-Level Understanding:      Comprehensive knowledge of code interaction with hardware and software layers.

Methodical Approach:                 Emphasis on structured programming, documentation, and testing.

Professionalism:                           Rooted in rigorous computer science backgrounds, traditional developers epitomized methodical, well-documented, and robust software development practices.

2. Application Developers

Bridging the gap between application development and end-users, application developers focused on creating software for specific user interface functions or solving particular problems.


User-Centric Design:                     Prioritizing business requirements, user experience and usability.

Business Acumen:                        Understanding the business or sector needs.

Versatile Skills:                             Balancing technical proficiency with interface design and functionality.

Professionalism:                           Combining technical skills with practical applications design, they worked closely with clients or stakeholders, blending technical acumen with user needs.

3. Modern Mobile Application (Mobile app) Developers

Today, mobile application developers navigate a landscape marked by rapid development cycles, clients-servers cross-platform demands, and a strong focus on user engagement and scalability.


Agile Methodologies:                   Fast-paced, iterative application development models.

Cross-Platform Expertise:             Skills in developing for various platforms using diverse languages and tools.

User Engagement Focus:              Prioritizing engaging and intuitive user experiences.

Professionalism:                          Characterized by adaptability, continuous learning, and an awareness of market trends and user preferences.

4. The Debate on Professionalism in Mobile App Development

The question of professionalism in mobile app development is contentious. Modern languages, tools and frameworks, such as IDEs, cross-platform libraries, and drag-and-drop builders, have simplified aspects of mobile app and application development. The field attracts individuals from varied backgrounds, some with formal IT education and others self-taught or from non-technical disciplines.

Quality of Output:  Despite the use of high-level tools, the ability to deliver functional, user-friendly, and reliable applications is a professional hallmark.

Problem-Solving and Continual Learning:    Professionalism is reflected in problem-solving capabilities, performance optimization, security, privacy, and staying abreast with trends and practices.

5. Understanding of Underlying IT Principles

While not all application developers possess an in-depth understanding of low-level computing, fundamental IT concepts remain crucial. This includes basic programming concepts, the software development lifecycle, and user experience design principles. The field’s vastness means no single developer can master all areas, leading to specializations in front-end or back-end development or a more generalized skill set.


The transition from traditional application development to modern application development mirrors changes in technology and societal needs. While traditional roles emphasized depth and methodical approaches, modern roles demand agility, a holistic understanding, and continual learning. For IT and Standards professionals, recognizing this evolution is critical in shaping standards and training programs that align with current and future industry demands. This nuanced understanding ensures that the industry maintains the high levels of professionalism that have long been its cornerstone, adapting to the evolving technological landscape.

John Ellis FIAP Cmpn

Luc Poulin FIAP

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