questionsis it better to learn how to program websites or…

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Learn to do Windows 8 Apps...you would be the only one in the field. :)

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Well considering only one of those things is something you program...

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@stryker4526: To clarify, Web developer knowing php,mysql,html,etc vs. Android and iOS app developer

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I'm seeing a lot of jobs posted in both areas, but most likely there's more availability in web development than there is in mobile applications. You gotta figure any company is going to have a website, especially if they're built around transactions. Apps are secondary, then.

If it comes down to it, just go with your interest. The availability is there.

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@laalo: Scripting, database scripting, markup language, etc.
Not programming.

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@stryker4526: C# and VB are programming languages used in web development. Do you really know what you're talking about?

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@stryker4526: Not to mention ASP, PHP, PERL, PYTHON, RUBY, and .NET. All are web based programming.

To answer the question I would go with web programming, as long as you get into the power languages (PHP etc.) you can do some very nice things, many of which will be view-able on lots of mobile OS browsers regardless of how "smart" or "dumb" the phones are. Where as with simply smartphone apps you are locked in to well smartphones and the features the specific ones provide.

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Program web applications that work equally well on both PCs and mobile devices.

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Getting into anything .NET right now is a good idea for anything web-based, and there are some mobile applications that use .NET or some form of C and the learning curve is not too steep.

My firm is currently hiring a bunch of new developers for a couple of new projects we just signed on to.

However, my concern is you say "websites" and not "web-based software." Yes, websites are good but anyone can build a website, and there are thousands upon thousands of $100 craigslist people looking to build you a website. I'd suggest getting into Visual Studio and learning how to create complete web-based solutions, from websites to integrating CRMs to full back-end and middle-tier applications. That way, when you learn the entire range of skillsets, getting a job via kforce or some other recruiting agency will be a cinch, since you will be able to adapt and fit right into a team of 6 or 7 guys working on a full product for a client.

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Is this a hobby or a career path? Are you learning so you can get a job immediately or are you looking for projects to work on in your spare time while in school?

Mobile apps is a very difficult business. Even the people who make Angry Birds have more than half of their apps make no money at all. So if it is a hobby or something on the side, it is fine and if you get one app that hits big then great. But I would not jump into that area expecting to get a steady well-paying job that lasts for any decent amount of time.

When you talk about the other side, you really want to build web applications, not web sites.

Language-wise, getting your feet wet with some android apps to learn some basic java would be good. Some of the highest dollar web guys use java to interact with Oracle and other major systems. .Net is slightly lower on the totem pole and php is entry level stuff for the most part. PHP will not set you apart on your resume.

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@scmtim: It’s more of a hobby situation and to learn an extra skillset. Thanks for the Info.

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This is a good question. I'm a software developer (C# primarily), and as a career that's where the money is. I have an interest in mobile development, but it would be difficult to make a living from it on your own. The main issue is how to sell the apps. The primary issue here is that everyone expects apps to be free or nearly free. That means you'd have to resort to using ads and scraping users' personally identifiable information and their contacts to sell to third parties in order to make a dime. Do you want to be that guy? I don't.
If you are creative enough you might be able to write an app that people really like and are willing to pay for, but that is going to be tough.
The other option for mobile apps is to work for a company making the apps. The apps themselves don't make money but provide a portal to a service (think banking apps).

I'm personally still working through the options for mobile development. I have the skills but not necessarily the marketing.