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Group to Launch Mobile Developer Alliance

iStock 000014946021XSmallAs we start the new year, mobile developers probably are feeling more than a bit squeezed. There are so many directions to go, so many platforms to support and so many new things to learn all the time. That's why one man decided to form a professional association for mobile developers.

According an article on InfoWorld, the group will be launching at the Consumer Electronics Show this month with the goal of providing a place where mobile developers can band together and collaborate in an online network. Since there are plenty of developer collaboration venues including dZone, this isn't that great in itself.

Where it gets more interesting is a product testing facility, which will offer members access to multiple platforms and tools. What this means exactly in practice isn't quite clear yet, but if it provides tools for testing on multiple devices, that could be useful to developers who want to see what their apps look like across different devices, screen sizes and so forth.

Members will also have access to training resources, which could also prove useful in helping to expand your skill set. Finally, the group plans to offer discounts on cloud services and storage on Rackspace, perhaps giving the ability to sand box projects for less than what you might be paying for it now.

In terms of industry backing, Google and RIM might be on board, but Apple and Microsoft definitely won't be, according to the Infoworld article. That would be two key players who aren't involved, and which wouldn't be giving you any goodies in terms of tutorials and learning resources.
There's also the element of having an industry association to go to bat for you in the legislature, and it's fairly obvious right now that most legislators are clueless when it comes to technology issues. What's more, developers probably aren't going to be typically highly political, so having an organization that goes to bat for the issues you find important does have some appeal.

On it's face, an industry association sounds like a good idea. What's not to like about banding together and using the power of big numbers to your advantage, but a lot depends on the cost of joining. It also depends on the quality of the services of course and if the discount you get on the Rackspace services is better say than the deal you might be getting from your own organization, depending on the size of course.

For individual developers who are not necessarily affiliated with an organization, this could be useful. For enterprise developers with access to more and better resources, it's hard to say without knowing more.

The proof ultimately is going to be once the organization gets off the ground. Right now, a search for the term Application Developer's Alliance didn't even bring up a web site. For now, I suggest you stay tuned and see what becomes of this. Could be interesting for you as a mobile developer if it all comes together in the coming months.
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