Whether your goal is to launch a career as an iOS developer or you are already working in the field, having the right skills is critical. Today, app developers are in demand. However, those with strong skills in certain areas will often stand out from the crowd, allowing them to start or further their careers with greater ease.
If you are a current or aspiring iOS developer, here’s a look at the skills you need if you want to thrive in these roles.
Some apps on the iPhone free up our time; other apps, like great games, eat up our spare time. Either way, there are great apps that make our lives better. Here's what you need to be a great iOS application developer.
1. Learn the right programming language
When it comes to developing apps for the iPhone, you have two choices: Objective-C and Swift. The newer language is Swift, and you may think that learning Swift positions you better for the future. But if you learn Objective-C, you can leverage the past better. There's more example code, more online help, more legacy code you can leverage if you start with Objective-C.
2. Learn the specifics of the iOS platform
Knowing the right programming language is only a start. You need to know the ins and outs of developing for the specific platform. To develop efficiently, you need to become comfortable with the IDE and the Simulator for testing your code.
3. Think about how your app will endure
Too many would-be app developers think having a great idea for an app is enough. Don't forget that smartphones are, in reality, portable, powerful computers. The software engineering methods that make code maintainable and supportable on bigger computers are still needed if your app is going to be anything more than a throwaway. Don't just learn how to write code that compiles; learn how to write a well-designed program that will be able to easily grow and adapt, as iOS and the Internet change.
4. Build a throwaway app
Programmers traditionally write a "Hello, world" application whenever they learn a new programming language. You may not want to start quite that small, but you probably shouldn't try to write your million-dollar idea as your first application, either. You'll learn a lot by writing several small, experimental projects first, and it'll be much less frustrating to solve technical challenges when you don't have the pressure of getting your big idea to work.
5. Learn from other developers
Despite the image of great developers cranking out code alone in the wee, dark hours, there's actually a great, supportive community of developers out there. You'll find questions answered in forums like those on Stackoverflow, and you can use and build on code from sources like Github. Don't overlook the possibility of learning from other developers at work, either. Lots of companies in all industries do mobile app development. Work for one of them, and you can get training on the job and learn from more experienced colleagues.