(Reprinted from the Metro Spirit 8-30-12)
Augusta Tek – August 30, 2012 – In recent months, Augusta has started to fancy itself as a member of the high tech community. Mayor Deke continues to promote the idea of a technology incubator. The Technology Association of Georgia Augusta chapter brings new and exciting opportunities to the area such as the CapVenture class for aspiring entrepreneurs. Augusta State University’s Tony Robinson will talk to anyone and everyone that will listen about the benefits of joining the 21st century. Heck, even the Metro Spirit has a technology column. (Who’da thought?)
While the change in mindset is refreshing, one vital ingredient is needed before our city becomes a player into the technology economy. Augusta is not creating and retaining enough developer talent to establish critical mass. As a matter of fact, a list of the top-tier developers in the Augusta area may not extend beyond a dozen individuals. While this is an obstacle to our technology sector growth, our lack of homegrown talent provides an enormous opportunity to high school and college age individuals. (Hint, hint)
Unfortunately, developing HTML and PHP skills are no longer sufficient to get our town where it needs to be. During the Internet boom of last decade, developers only needed to contend with the differences between three operating systems and a handful of browsers. Today, the growth in mobile requires programming teams to become proficient in developing for multiple operating systems and the variation of each optimized for hardware. The real players in technology must be masters of mobile.
Fortunately for us, innovation and the free market still prevail in the technology sector. Innovators recognize the need to help manage the mobile development complexity, and solutions are beginning to pop-up. Once such example is Appcelerator’s Titanium Studio. Titanium Studio is a cross-platform development environment that hides the differences between mobile platforms. Programmers focus on developing mobile applications, and Titanium Studio translates those applications to the specific native implementation for each device. The environment supports all the major languages, so there is no need to learn a new language.
This is just the kind of tool an aspiring entrepreneur could use to start a business building mobile applications. But, hey, what do I know? My claim to fame is writing the technology column for the Metro Spirit. 🙂
Until next time, I’m off the grid. @gregory_a_baker