Reasons for Sunsetting Our Mobile Zone
With a 3+ year-long tenure, 3244 articles published to its name, and over 6.5 million views, it's only fitting that our Mobile Zone get a proper send-off!
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Hello DZone readers,
After much internal debate between multiple parties here at DZone, we've officially made up our minds to sunset our beloved Mobile Zone (link possibly broken by the time you read this).
So, I imagine you all might have a few questions, like...
What does this mean for the future of Mobile dev coverage on DZone?
What happens to all the existing Mobile articles out there floating in the DZone interwebs?
And, how about all the Mobile Zone-focused MVBs—is there still a place for Mobile devs to blog on DZone?
Rest assured, we've got a plan! Mobile dev coverage and tutorials are here to stay. We're simply evolving our overall site structure to better reflect the current dev landscape and we see Mobile dev coverage as ubiquitous, able to fall into nearly every Zone we cover.
We'll go into more depth about the plan later, but for now, I'd like to take the time to celebrate the Mobile Zone's wins, highlighting a handful of the many awesome contributors we've had to the zone throughout the years and pointing out specific posts & resources that we found to be particularly noteworthy and helpful.
Mobile by the Numbers
With a 3+ year-long tenure, 3244 articles published to its name, and over 6.5 million views collected on these articles, our Mobile Zone has had a very successful run here at DZone. It's only fitting that such a popular, long-lived Zone get a proper send-off!
A look at our Mobile Zone way back in 2015
Since the Mobile Zone's humble beginnings back in July 2015, I (James) have regularly run a weekly column covering the most interesting links and projects on iOS and Android that I came across. Here's the first one I ever wrote and here's the last one I did before throwing in the towel. And, if I had to pick something to highlight about Mobile, I'd say the most noteworthy change that I noticed in the Mobile development world during my time as a ZL came with the introduction of Kotlin.
Anyway, I'll talk more about my time Zone Leadering later, but for now, I'd like to focus on all the awesome Mobile content we've put out over the years.
Thank You to Our Mobile Community
Speaking of the content, it's our community who made this all possible. With a total of 811 contributors having written since the dawn of our Mobile Zone, words can't express our appreciation for you all. But, we've gotta try...
Contributors, We Couldn't Do It Without You!
Long-time contributors like Greg Brown, Alex Curylo, Raymond Camden, Amy Groden-Morrison, Simon Gladman, and Shane O'Neill have written so many fantastic posts over the years—whether you know it or not, you guys helped to shape the stage for Mobile content on DZone! In many ways, DZone editors have looked to you all as the gold standard for "good" Mobile content—providing tutorials that are immediately useful (and generally vendor-neutral, haha!) or more reflective editorials that offer up insights based on your personal experience and sharing your knowledge—thanks for teaching us what to look for when curating content for our Mobile readers.
And beyond our favorite classic contributors, there's still loads of great Mobile-focused submissions coming in. Recently, we've seen some great Xamarin tutorials by Ngoc Minh Tran, had a super popular post entitled What Is the EventBus Library and How Does It Work? by Abishek Tripathi just come out, and had a slew of great posts come out in late spring/early summer by Shashikant Jagtap, though he's fallen somewhat silent most recently, likely due to this iOS DevOps book he'll soon be releasing... don't worry, there's always a place for your writing when you return, Shashikant!
And this is something I want everybody to be clear on. Just because we're closing the Mobile Zone, that doesn't mean that we're stopping Mobile coverage on DZone. If your writing is about Mobile development and relevant to our dev-heavy audience, please don't hesitate to share it! We definitely plan on continuing to cover Mobile news and offer Mobile-focused tutorials—and we need your help to make that happen.
Content Worth Another Look
Over the years, we've been lucky to put out some really awesome Mobile coverage. We've regularly covered changes in Kotlin, having discussed Google's support for the language when it was first announced while also providing a first-hand comparison of what it's like to work with Kotlin vs. Java on a commercial Android project. Not to mention, some of you might remember, we held a live debate between 2 of our ZLs (myself included) in our first ever Zone Leader Smackdown that was focused on Java vs. Kotlin.
Cheesy Kotlin vs. Java graphic we cooked up for the Smackdown... no designers involved on this one, haha. I wouldn't put that on anybody.
Besides keeping up with Kotlin, we also attended and covered some super cool Mobile-focused shows: Modern World Congress 2018, Google IO, and WWDC 2018, to name a few. And we've interviewed some really cool Mobile devs—looking at you, Simon Gladman—while also providing suggested answers to Mobile dev-focused interview questions linked to via one of my newsletters.
And of course, I'd be doing you all a great injustice not to share this awesome list of Mobile Refcardz we've released over the years:
Plus, our annual guides:
And don't worry, we're continuing to release Mobile specific publications in the future. Coming up just later this year we'll be releasing our Web and Mobile Guide—if you think you'd like to contribute to it, then please email us with your proposed topic and pitch as to why you think it's particularly worthy of coverage to firstname.lastname@example.org! Assuming your pitch fits, we'll move forward with next steps; and if it's not a good fit, we'll try our best to be in touch quickly with some constructive feedback.
My Time as a Mobile Zone Leader
Personally, I've tended to the Mobile Zone for quite a few years now, regularly releasing my This Week in Mobile column, which looks outward at the larger Mobile community just as often as it looks inward at the articles we're posting here on DZone. Being a full-stack developer at heart, I've always kept an eye on what's happening in both the Android and iOS ecosystems. It can be a lot of work, but writing this weekly article kept me current, leading me down many interesting rabbit holes filled with articles ideas and libraries. Making the list helped me to organize my thoughts and stay disciplined both with writing and learning, and thinking that other devs out there might be getting similar help from it kept me going. Not to mention, it just feels good to give shoutouts to the folks that I'm reading!
At times it can be stressful and feel a bit forced to pick through the web looking for things to flesh out my list of weekly resources. The truth is, researching doesn't come easy. And, if you think committing to weekly writing is any different, you're wrong—it's tough work. But, making it a regular practice, I've undoubtedly seen the payoff. I've learned some of the best architecture practices and patterns for building mobile applications, regularly seeing the pro- and anti- sides of each camp. I've covered the early days of Flutter and Kotlin, and sat through many keynotes and OS launches to find the most interesting parts, and even done a few interviews & book reviews along the way. I've seen my skills grow and my career progress because of the work I've done to keep on learning. And, I can look back with pride and see the fruits of my labors: weeks upon weeks of coverage, a diary of the many things I've read and learned over the years with shoutouts to those who also put in the time to write about what they're learning and doing in the field. It feels good to be part of that—to contribute writing that helps other people learn and grow as Mobile devs.
So, What's the Future Like for Mobile Content on DZone?
Like we said up above, Mobile coverage isn't going anywhere. Rather, it's fading into nearly every Zone that we have.
Mobile is ubiquitous now. So long as mobile development is relevant, we'll continue to cover it in articles, Refcardz, and guides.
But, if you want to know more specifics about what we plan to do with past articles, for the next couple of weeks most this content will be repositioned into our other Zones: Java, Web Dev, Big Data, and IoT. Android tutorials will most likely make their way into Java. Our data gathering articles are going to likely get sucked into either Big Data (if the focus is on the data) and IoT (if the focus is on the gathering device). Web Dev is likely to pick up many of the tutorials as we realize that there's quite a bit of crossover between coverage already. In fact, I think nearly every zone will be gaining posts from Mobile, apart from our Microservices Zone.
And, because of the sheer volume of content, we're going to move the majority of this stuff around using tags and automation. Because this tag-based automated migration of content is imperfect and likely to place a few things in some wonky spots, we ask that you guys comment on posts and let us know if you find that they are misplaced. Keep in mind that the "zoning" of articles is often somewhat imperfect (many articles can often fit in multiple zones while others don't really fit neatly into any) so if you don't think that an article was placed correctly, let us know why and where you think this article should go. As always, we encourage you all to share your constructive feedback.
Besides migrating all this content, we'll also be putting an end to our Mobile mailing list. So, if you're interested in keeping up to date on future Mobile-focused posts that appear on DZone, I'd suggest checking in on your email preferences and updating your subscriptions to include our Bi-Weekly Web Dev Topic Spotlight, at least. You can do so by clicking on your DZone profile picture in the top righthand corner of the screen, and then selecting Manage Email Subscriptions in the drop-down menu.
Mobile Zone: Gone, But Not Lost
If there's one major takeaway for our readers and contributors to understand from this decision, it's that even though we're closing our Mobile Zone, we definitely don't have plans to stop Mobile dev coverage on DZone.
We're still going to seek out the most helpful Mobile dev tutorials for you no matter which side of the aisle you sit on—iOS or Android. We'll still be keeping up to date on Mobile news, providing coverage on the major conferences out there, and interviewing devs about their work in the Mobile industry. And we'll most definitely still need your help making all this happen!
As long as we have an interested audience and contributors dedicated to writing helpful Mobile-focused pieces, you can be sure that we'll continue to provide Mobile coverage across all of our Zones, wherever it fits best.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.