I am a mobile developer. I worked at a startup company in mobile tech for 5 years.

As an also-ran aspiring to produce a cross-mobile-platform SDK, the company started with its own scripting language, using an interpreter written natively for Nokia, Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, iOS and Android, to build mobile apps. In 2009, it was a promising project, we invested much time and manpower to write these interpreters, but it wasn’t destined to be a new great thing.

We did a lot of work but few people use it, and then all our legacy code become too outdated. The demographics of mobile platforms changing too quickly is also an important factor contributing to the quick demise of our platform… With Nokia and then BlackBerry up for sale, its not too surprising that a platform of small company doesn’t make it.

At the moment, there are many players in the cross-platform field, the main players are:

1. Appcelerator Titanium: using Javascript as the programming language, it started as web-app and had since changed to become fully native. One of the front runners in the field.

2. Adobe PhoneGap: HTML & Javascript-based, it’s built on Apache Cordova. While having access to geolocation, camera, database etc… their look and feel is still a weakness.

3. Sencha Touch/ Sencha Cmd: HTML5 and Javascript, it now has Cordova and PhoneGap support, their combination is quite promising.

4. Corona Labs: created by a chief engineer (Luh) who left Adobe, it’s using Lua and C++/Open GL for the graphics. One of the showcases is the game ThroneWars with lots of users. It has a strong community.

5. Xamarin:  With Xamarin, you write your apps entirely in C#, sharing the same code on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. Reuse your favorite .NET libraries, and still easily incorporate platform-specific libraries and frameworks when you want to.

6. Embarcadero RAD Studio:  (FireMonkey , AppMethod)

It was a great experience in life to be a part of a mobile platform company. I have learned a lot. Not only from the successful and failed projects, but also the do’s and donot’s of hiring and managing people, the lesson of being connected to and surrounded by people who have the same passion, to be inspired and to learn from them.

We can’t ever stop learning and growing. A professional in this time and age is not afforded a luxury of resting on your past successes, every hour is important, even every minute is valuable to learn something new, and then, with all your mind power searching, you will break through. More importantly, is your love for programming, and love is a verb. So take action!

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