iOS Developer: Everything You Need To Know
An increasing number of beginners choose to study iOS development. However, not everyone fully understands how to become an iOS developer. Today, NIX experts want to introduce you to the profession of an iOS developer: what does an iOS developer do and what skills are important for mastering this profession.
WHAT DOES AN IOS DEVELOPER DO?
The main task of an iOS developer is to create functional, user-friendly, and reliable applications. The market for iOS products is continuously expanding and encompassing a broader range of activities. IT products cover various new industries and assist people in their work, life, leisure, and education. You no longer need to wonder if you turned off the iron when you left the house; you can check it on your smartphone using the appropriate app. Keeping an eye on your elderly parents’ health, ensuring your child gets to school safely, communicating with a non-English-speaking taxi driver in Sri Lanka— these are all made possible today with the help of convenient iOS apps. That’s why the global goal of iOS developer’s work extends beyond coding.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND TECH STACK OF AN IOS DEVELOPER
An experienced developer who can independently tackle typical project tasks, such as program implementation, server and local database integration, etc., is likely to encounter various challenges during their work. When it comes to the user interface, an iOS developer needs to be able to read the layouts of designers. This is necessary to understand how to implement the designer’s vision in a way that is convenient to use on smartphones with different screen sizes and that also presents a visually appealing interface. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that the design aligns with Apple’s philosophy. A proficient mobile developer is also a bit of a designer at heart (and a bit of a tester and project manager, but that’s a whole different story).
The technical stack of a mobile developer is vast. There are numerous frameworks and technologies that one can work with, ranging from Augmented Reality and Machine Learning to security and the Internet of Things. It all depends on the domain of the application being developed. Some tasks may require knowledge of C++ or low-level APIs such as Metal, in addition to the primary programming language for iOS developers, Swift.
With the accumulation and development of skills, you can explore cross-platform technologies and backend development, gradually moving towards Full Stack development. Alternatively, you can pursue a path in management, consulting, project evaluation, and supervision.
WHAT SOFT SKILLS DO IOS DEVELOPERS NEED
Creating a mobile app is part of a larger system that involves various specialists. Ideally, each of them integrates effectively into the team, working together towards a common goal of launching an exceptional product. To achieve this, an iOS developer must possess effective communication skills. For instance, they need to negotiate API protocols with server-side developers and explain to clients why certain requests cannot be fulfilled due to App Store rules, or even better, offer alternative ways to achieve the desired outcome. This leads to another essential quality—proactivity. Who better than an iOS developer to understand all the platform’s features and suggest interesting business solutions? Additionally, the desire for continuous learning is vital. Apple introduces new and useful tools for work each year, and it’s crucial to stay updated and explore them.
EDUCATION FOR AN IOS DEVELOPER
A technical education in computer science or mechanical engineering is undoubtedly a great starting point. However, our team has numerous success stories of developers with non-technical university education who switched career paths and achieved excellent results. Such beginners can begin with courses or pursue self-study online. Nowadays, there are countless YouTube videos and open-source materials available for beginners. The main ingredient is motivation.
Further growth primarily occurs through the community: participating in forums, staying updated with news digests, sharing experiences within the team, and attending local and international IT conferences. As for NIX, we also share our best practices not only with each other but also with other teams. Our annual IT conference, NIXMultiConf, provides an opportunity to exchange experiences, stay informed about the latest developments in iOS development and other areas, make valuable connections, and simply enjoy the company of like-minded individuals.
HOW TO BECOME AN IOS DEVELOPER
Understanding object-oriented programming and algorithms forms the foundation for any programmer. Next, you should learn a programming language specifically for iOS development – Swift. But beginners may face difficulties since a comprehensive understanding of this language is best achieved on a Mac (or by assembling “hackintosh”, which is not always a straightforward task). Acquiring proficiency in Swift requires hands-on practice and experience.