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It's no secret that developers appreciate when recruiters are familiar with the current state of the software ecosystem. While they don't expect you to be a developer yourself, they do want you to at least know enough to have an intelligent conversation about an open role. 

To help recruiters understand developer candidates and move you closer to filling their open roles, the Stack Overflow Data team released the Trends tool. This app provides a quick glimpse of which programming languages and technologies are growing and shrinking. 

Let's take a dive into the type of information that recruiters can easily see by using the tool. Today we'll look into trends related to Mobile Developers. 

Mobile Platforms

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Developers quickly started working with the Android and iOS platforms shortly after they were introduced. As of today, there are about twice as many Android developers as iOS developers in the world, but both platforms make up an important part of the developer ecosystem.

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In comparison, Windows Phone has always struggled as an application platform, and today it makes up less than 1 in 10,000 questions on Stack Overflow. If you're still looking for a developer to build a Windows Phone application, it will be difficult to hire a mobile developer: most have moved on to other platforms.

"As of today, there are about twice as many Android developers as iOS developers in the world"  -  CLICK TO TWEET

Frameworks and Libraries

We saw that popularity of platforms like iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone have been steady for years, but that only tells part of the story about what developers use to build applications.

For example, it's become increasingly common to write "cross-platform" applications: applications that can be written with one set of tools, then run identically on both iPhone and Android devices. You can see the rise of three such tools on Trends:

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Cordova was an early framework for writing cross-platform mobile applications, and it's been widely used by developers for years. You can see a sudden bump for the similar product Xamarin right when it was bought by Microsoft in 2016. A more recent and particularly fast-growing framework is React Native, and today all three are common choices for developers.

Just as some mobile technologies have shown rapid growth, some have shrunk.

mobile development libraries.png

JQuery Mobile is a framework for making responsive web applications (websites that show up equally well on desktop browsers or on mobile phones). The tool gained substantial popularity around 2012-2014. While responsive web design is still popular, the tool hasn't sustained as much interest, and many developers have moved on to other approaches.

Parse was a backend-as-a-service company that made it easy to support mobile applications without building a backend themselves. Its popularity soared after Facebook purchased the company in 2013, but Facebook announced it was shutting down the platform in January 2016, which you can see led to a sudden drop in Stack Overflow questions.

You may have worked with these technologies when hiring mobile developers before: be careful not to ask developers about them or you may appear out of touch.

Use Trends to Stay Informed

Whether you're hiring Mobile Developers, Web Developers, or Data Scientists like me, it's important to understand what technologies are popular in that ecosystem. The Stack Overflow Trends tool lets you stay up to date on the technologies developers use, which can help improve your developer hiring strategy. 

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