Just like Apple, iOS developers are a shoo-in for building intuitive and snazzy applications that look remarkable on the iPhone and even on larger screens. More often than not, you wouldn’t need a top notch degree to become a top notch developer, but rather, have that innate fire to continually push the boundaries of iOS development and your own work ethic.
Some of the essential habits to pick up would be to first explore the Apple developer ecosystem, which includes documentation, developer tools, and existing frameworks. Next, your curiosity about your peers should bring you on board Apple Developer forums and Stackoverflow in your bid to share your own experience and learn from one another. It would also be prudent to latch on to a plethora of developer blogs which keep tabs on Swift and iOS development. Staying on top of trends of course lands you on the top of a potential hire pile.
Objective-C or Swift?
Swift is new, and for all intents and purposes, a multi-paradigm and compiled programming language created by Apple, which supports the core concepts that allowed Objective-C to be flexible, specifically dynamic dispatch, widespread late binding, extensible programming and other similar features. Even though, the language has only been around for two years, companies all over are looking to build their apps solely in Swift, while the rest still feel a need to maintain their apps in Objective-C. So if you’re on the scene, we’d suggest to get on board with Swift. It’s much easier to grasp, and if it helps to make up your mind, Apple had intended Swift to be a replacement for Objective-C.
This is clearly a given. In order to stamp a career in iOS development, you’ll have to know iOS inside out i.e build views, handle user interaction, display data in a table view, show alerts, handle navigation & transition between views, display images/labels/text views, and integrate with REST APIs and parse JSON. Also, it is almost imperative to get on iOS Boot Camp along with knowledge on view controller lifecycle and the application lifecycle.
Build an app
They say an employer can only be swayed if you have actually built an app, as opposed to someone who can only wax lyrical about knowing a programming language or two, which roughly equates to ‘all talk and no action’. So go on and build an app, make sure this is a passion project, meaning it’s something you’ve had your eye on for a long time, no matter how simplistic in nature. This will go to show that you really want to build, and employers want to know that you have got what it takes for a long and arduous journey. At this point, you should know what source control is, and you’ll more or less have a much better idea of what files to neglect or pay closer attention to on an iOS project.
They say that the only way to become truly great, is to constantly bounce your ideas off your fellows, a process which helps streamline them into much more refined thought processes and which will ultimately culminate in fantastically lucrative projects. It is also true that your development work is an amalgamation of the top 5 developers you spend time with, which is why collaborating on GitHub with other developers is another essential to take note of.
Through your collaborations, you will learn:
- the intricacies of git source control,
- to analyse, dissect, and read other developers’ code,
- how more experienced and intuitive developers build
- that eventually, there is a whole load you’d have picked up via collaborating that would not have been possible on a lone journey
Hey, you might even get poached by a potential employer along the way if you get lucky. Point is, if you scour GitHub for cool projects and start contributing to the cause of others, you’ll find very quickly that your fortunes will be favoured.
Always be coding, and always ask questions. Success in the developer world is a mere by product of excellence.