California is the capital of app development – not only in the United States but for the entire world. It has more than double the app developers – 106,660 professionals in total – of the next-closest state and also offers the highest average salary for app developers in the nation, last year $119,970 annually. More than 15 percent of all app developers in the nation work in California.
The Labor Market Division of the California Employment Development Department projects that each year in the decade leading up to 2022, app developers will increase their numbers in the state by 4,020. That comes out to a decade growth rate of 29 percent.
In some respects California’s place as the world leader in app development can be thought of as Silicon Valley’s third or fourth generation of tech advancements. It can also be viewed in the context of the overall nation and worldwide boom in apps that has been spurred by the increasing spread of mobile devices and quickening wireless network speeds.
In a 2015 report the FCC estimates there are more than 29.6 million Californians with broadband internet access. In an earlier report it made the calculation that there are more than 22.9 million smartphones and other mobile wireless devices in circulation throughout the state. A 2013 study released by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in conjunction with the National Economic Council showed that around 90 percent of Californians had access to internet speeds of at least 50 Mbps, with that number increasing to around 98 percent for access to speeds greater than 10 Mbps.
Giants among California’s App Developers
There are literally thousands of companies in California that work with app development. Some examples of globally recognized companies in the state include:
- Google – headquartered in Mountain View
- Facebook – headquartered in Menlo Park
- WhatsApp – headquartered in Mountain View
- Twitter – headquartered in San Francisco
- Adobe Systems Inc. – headquartered in San Jose
- Pandora – founded in San Francisco and headquartered in Oakland
- Hewlett-Packard – headquartered in Palo Alto
- eBay – headquartered in San Jose
- Instagram – originally developed in San Francisco before its acquisition
- Picassa – originally developed in Pasadena before its acquisition
Although today these companies are household names, they were all once unknowns. Today’s startup app development companies could potentially be on this list in just a few years.