The Official Ionic Blog

Build amazing native and progressive web apps with HTML5

I’m a strong believer that companies truly hit their stride once they know exactly who their target user is, and how that user fits into the higher purpose of the company.

Recently, we’ve found and embraced ours: Ionic empowers web developers to build compelling mobile apps without having to change careers. That’s it. That’s why we exist.

But when we started Ionic, I wasn’t really sure who we were going after. Initially, I hoped we’d draw native developers away from Obj-c and Java to the web stack. I really wanted to shake up the industry!

Imagine my shock when I was almost punched in the face the first time I talked about Ionic with a native developer! Clearly, I had to adjust my strategy.

Of course, we do see some native developers switching over to Ionic, but we quickly realized that the bigger opportunity was to give the legions of web developers the ability to use their web development skills for a totally new platform. To let them do more with the skills they’ve already honed.

So, we’ve gone all-in focusing 100% on web developers and enabling them to sit at the table with the best app developers in the world.

A Changing Industry

The reality is that it’s really hard for most companies to staff and build native mobile apps. This explains why most large companies outsource mobile development. It also explains why so many companies complain about the cost and time required to build apps, despite their generally smaller scope.

This, despite the fact that many large companies have tons of web developers on staff! After we launched Ionic and started to get feedback, I realized our true calling was to empower those developers to build for the mobile platform today, without needing retraining, without having to make costly and risky career changes.

I think this is really resonating with the Ionic community. It explains why so many Ionic developers tell us they never built a mobile app before Ionic. That we’ve enabled them to add another major area of expertise to their resume. That they now feel like the can participate in the “App Economy” and jump right into the future.

That’s huge, and runs contrary to the idea that the mobile developer base isn’t growing. Ionic is literally creating new mobile developers. I am so proud to be able to say that.

A Great Choice

To that extent, I think being a web developer is an incredibly smart career choice. As companies continue to fail to hire native developers and validate the cost, and exhaust themselves supporting multiple large codebases in different languages, they will continue to look to the web platform for a way out.

With the rapid expansion of Javascript into nearly every area of application, web developers can find interesting work as web designers, backend engineers, desktop software developers, hardware hackers, drone pilots, submarine captains, and mobile developers.

Javascript and HTML5/CSS are only going to continue to dominate in every industry, enabling companies and teams to focus on building great software, rather than suffering through hiring unique language and platform developers.

If software is eating the world, Javascript and the web stack are absorbing all the nutrients (…I had to).

Into the Future

We strongly believe the web stack is going to remain the most broadly applicable technology for decades. And, because of this, Web Developers will end up being the most versatile developers in the market, enjoying long-term job stability, growth, and diversity of work.

That means we think one of the smartest decisions aspiring developers can make is to learn HTML5, Javascript, and CSS, and an MV* framework like Angular, Ember, or React. These technologies run practically anywhere, and are enabling the creation of amazing apps on nearly every platform. Ionic wants to be the best option for those web developers to build mobile apps, but our true calling is making sure the web development stack can compete with proprietary ones.

So, Web Developer, the future is yours! You aren’t falling behind or becoming obsolete. You are quickly becoming the most relevant developer in the age of device proliferation. You can build for anything and everything.

So go out and build, and be confident that as a web developer, you’ve made the best career choice a developer can make.

  • Shimju David

    you made our future looks bright again.

  • Inspired

    It’s awesome how Ionic enables web devs to be competent mobile devs so easily.

    This really is a pretty big deal.

  • Siddhartha R

    Make Ionic2 render native components. That is a win win everywhere.

    • Marcus

      There’s a framework called Supersonic which is a fork of Ionic which does just that. It might still have some way to go, but worth keeping an eye on.

  • hitmantb

    How do you make this argument against devoted Java developers? They still have more jobs on indeed.com and higher pay. Gap decreased dramatically since the mean stack came to power of course.

    • http://imoz.in Saifur Rahman Mohsin

      Clearly, the author has not made any benchmarks on native vs hybrid apps and is merely providing his opinions. Besides native development is on a much lower stack than hybrid which runs inside a WebView object and anybody with some programming sense would know that it’s not efficient by design but merely fast due to Moore’s law. You may very well ignore the post and go on with your own work ?

      • sameera207

        I think you are missing the point here, Hybrid apps are more focus on developing a mobile app with the tools that you already know, like html/css and js. That makes a huge advantage for small companies so that they can use their existing developers and still get a good mobile app out.

        Another main point is, one codebase can be shared among both IOS and Android platforms, hence make the development cost lesser than hiring two sets of developers for IOS and Android.

        Yes, hybrid apps are slower than the native apps, but with rapidly increasing processing power of both the platforms , the gap becoming smaller and smaller.

        So, again , you are totally missing the point here are (its about web developers will have more control across all the development stacks) , I believe you are a native developer that stick in to native and trying to fight with the only weapon you have (Native is more speed than hybrid). But if u have a look around, you’ll see mobile app development space is moving faster than you think.

        Again, its better to read the article again and understand authors point, without sarcastically trying to bring your point, coz at the end of the day , If you app runs in an acceptable speed, users doesn’t give a sh&* on whether its made with Hybrid or Native.

        • http://imoz.in Saifur Rahman Mohsin

          I have worked on both native and hybrid. In fact, the last app I designed ran Famo.us over Cordova. I had done some benchmarks then and that’s exactly why I have a say in this. I agree with your points: On having to use the same code base for multiple platforms. In fact, the cordova app could work on android, iOS, web, tizen, wp8, and even a blackberry (although nobody would use one anymore).

          Like I already said, the reason it’s becoming better is due to Moore’s law and it’s not efficient by design. Android itself is bad design as it runs over a VM than natively like iOS does and you are adding this as a more higher stack so the design is terrible–the foundation itself is not solid.

    • Matthew Pitts

      Here’s the thing; it took about 1 week (with no prior experience in either Angular 1.x or Ionic) for me to start proficiently building apps with Ionic. I know what Ionic can do, BUT I constantly compare the Ionic app experience to native apps, and the native apps feel more polished and scale to larger devices better. With Android 5x the gap seems to be widening. Ionic does not have a solid Material Theme for Android yet, which is badly needed. Furthermore, the Android 5x Material Theme is much more sophisticated than a cascading style sheet.

      I was recently browsing through various apps on one of my Android devices and noticed the very slick and polished interfaces of some. The animations were fluid and I even got some nice sound effects as I was tapping around the various apps. I went to one of my Ionic apps, and it looked dated, and had no native tap sound effects.

      I encourage everyone to look at some of the custom native UI components for Android, and tell me if there’s currently anything at that level implemented in html/javascript. Look, there is definitely a tangible difference between native and hybrid apps, especially for the modern Android platform. Modern apps have very interesting UI components that are simply not available in hybrid apps.

      My advice is to learn both. Luckily, Ionic is a minimal time investment if you are an advanced javascript developer already. If you are not very comfortable with MVVM, learning to do anything interesting with Ionic and Angular 1x will be a challenge.

      I have skimmed through dozens of Java code examples and can immediately discern what the code is doing. I also know c# and VB.net, so that helps greatly in quickly picking up Java. Android is the dominant mobile operating system and its completely open source. Its not going away and its becoming more advanced every year. Java runs on billions of devices from mobile phones to smart home appliances. if you want to stay relevant you should learn it. This is just my opinion.

  • Asim Hussain

    We need to come up with a new name to describe us full stack web developers who can now write mobile apps as well…. “full platform all stack web & mobile developers” or how about just “boss”.

    • http://lmk123.duapp.com Milk Lee

      Oh that’s really a good name XD

    • asdf

      El Jefe

    • jimenezjrs

      I’ve been pondering this myself, I love the All Stacks Developer.

    • http://jcerv.com/ Jose Cervantes

      Stackers?

    • Nick Francis

      Super Stack Devolopers

      • Asim Hussain

        Love it!

        • mbyrne

          superstack.org

      • juni

        Super Saiyan Developers

  • santosh pawar

    Nice article proud to web developer

  • Bhaskar Basetty

    very nice this web development

  • James Huilo

    Will web developers rule? Probably. Will JS rule? Don’t think so. WebAssembly, I’m looking at you.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/nosajholt/ Jason T Holt

    Thanks Max, I appreciate your vision and am excited for what’s to come!

  • http://joshbuchea.com/ Josh Buchea

    I couldn’t agree more. Great post Max!

  • http://jcerv.com/ Jose Cervantes

    sweeeeet.

  • Vinicius

    was necessary I ear this words!

  • youknow

    hello! I need to decide to study between Web Development or Mobile app Development, which one do you recommend? thanks for your feedback! 🙂