Making up roughly 12.5% of the smartphone operating system market as of November 2016, iOS development is still very much an in-demand role, with many companies building their mobile development departments to keep up with the demands of the market. If you’re interested in becoming an iOS developer, here are a few tips on how you can get started.
Objective-C is the standard programming language for iOS and OSX products, respectively. There are lots of resources where you can learn more about it, like this Code School resource that turns learning Objective-C basics into a neat game. This is the first place you should start if you’re interested in becoming an iOS developer.
Swift is the Future
With the release of Swift in 2014, you may think that learning Objective-C may not be worth your time. Not so fast, though, Roadfire Software recommends that you familiarize yourself with both, especially since Swift hasn’t completely replaced Objective-C just yet:
“ ... you need to know Swift or Objective-C (knowing both would be best). For a junior level position, you should at least know the syntax and a good deal of the Foundation framework (objects, collections, data types, networking, JSON). In addition to this, you need to know basic object-oriented concepts, like what an object is, what a class is, and how to write methods.”
Treehouse has a Swift course that you could preview if you’re interested in learning more.
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with Objective-C or Swift (or maybe both), you should practice as much as possible. Build your own apps, post them to the App Store, tweak as much as possible. This is the best way to familiarize yourself with everything an iOS developer needs to know about app design and maintenance. It also keeps your coding skills sharp, which is always a good bonus.
Be Part of the Community
GitHub is one of the largest coding communities online. It offers version history and a large community that can help you along the way with testing your apps and programs. Anyone who’s interested in a coding career uses GitHub, and that should be reason enough for you to use it. But it also can be a huge help if you’re stuck on a problem that you aren’t sure how to fix.
Volunteer Your Services
A great way to get portfolio pieces and real-world experience are to volunteer your services to non-profits and local business. Sure, you won’t make any money, but you’ll build that list of contacts and references that are so important to getting any job, especially one in iOS development.
As Andrew G. Rosen writes:
“Your strategy is get as many notable references as to your iOS developer skills, as well as showcase public relations abilities. Showing employers that you’re able to promote yourself and interact with clients is key."
There are numerous other things you can do to get started as an iOS developer, but these tips are indeed vital if you intend to start a career in the field. Learn as much as you can about everything there is to know about iOS development, and you’ll most certainly be on the way to becoming a developer in no time.