[DZone Research] Factors Separating Web and Mobile Development

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[DZone Research] Factors Separating Web and Mobile Development

Except for greenfield industry leaders, there's a large gulf between web and mobile development that will require culture and management changes to narrow.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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To gather insights on the current and future state of web and mobile development we talked to 19 IT executives and we asked, "Do you see any factors that still separate web from mobile development in organizations?" Here's what they told us:


  • Expertise and experience. There is a movement to bring all application development back in-house.
  • Multiple things. Hybrid are trying to have the same skillsets. Native if you need the newest features. Native requires a different skillset. We continue to keep web and mobile separate.
  • It's getting blurrier. Web dev is for desktop and mobile. There are challenges for developers to support desktop and mobile. Both web and mobile have challenges. Web compensates for mobile. Mobile just worries about small real estate.
  • We see skills and technologies converging with React and JavaScript. There are organizational issues as well. Web development is from marketing and app development is from product management. Does everything converge under IT? Don’t want to learn experience for internal apps. Need to work with design groups. Need a horizontal matrix to deliver the whole product experience. 
  • It depends on the industry and how a particular vertical is set up. There is a skillset and mindset difference. Web developers come from the marketing side then have the app developer and mobile developers from the IT side of the organization. They end up out of synch. They develop with two different objectives in mind. Need strong product management to integrate the two teams. 
  • The look and feel are still fundamentally different in web and mobile development. Web is still mostly tied to HTML and CSS. Additionally, there is a lack of effective cross-training of developer skills which leads to separate delivery teams.

Mobile First

  • It’s just mobile-first design. There's a smaller bridge to build mobile. We still need design patterns that are mobile first and be cognizant of UI for mobile versus web. Multi-experience development platforms are emerging. Don’t code self into a box. 
  • Not really. With regards to web design, mobile-first is the mantra. Will it look good on a mobile device and a large screen?


  • The more traditional software companies like Salesforce and Slack are very advanced. Our customers like financial institutions, healthcare companies, and insurance companies with in-house development move more slowly. Capital One is on par with Slack and Salesforce. However, the more traditional companies with R&D are lagging two years behind. WPA and React Native is only in 5 to 10% of customers. It’s early in the process. Software development companies are the first to adopt. 
  • Not with the advent of Progressive Web Apps; if anything, we see mobile development taking a more dominant approach to web app design and development, something that’s a bit overdue with most bloated web apps.


  • I don’t see much blending of web and mobile development. Bigger players want to unify of all of the platforms. Google is pushing for it. Apple is dipping their toe in it.
  • Overall less and less as time goes on. Web is no longer just desktop web. To us, “web” means desktop web and web on mobile. All of our enterprise customers have responsive web applications that run on both. 
  • Organizations often hire outside contractors or specialized firms to write and maintain their mobile applications, while keeping their web development in-house. This leads to tension and communication challenges between the different teams. Web development teams also tend to operate on longer release cycles than mobile teams.

Here’s who we spoke to:

hybrid app development, mobile application development, mobile first, web dev

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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