How To Become An iOS Developer (With Steps And Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

iOS developers are professionals that specialise in developing applications for the iOS platform. You may require technical training and working knowledge of various programming languages to work in this position. Knowing how to become an iOS developer can help you identify if you want to pursue this profession. In this article, we discuss what an iOS developer is, explain how to become an iOS developer and list the skills you may require to work in this position.

What Is An iOS Developer?

An iOS developer is a professional that develops software applications for Apple products that can run on the iOS operating system. They typically have strong knowledge of the Apple ecosystem and can develop applications that can run on various Apple devices and different iOS versions. The main job of an iOS developer is to create user-friendly applications for mobile devices. These professionals use various programming languages to develop, test, debug and maintain applications.

The duties of iOS developers usually vary based on their experience in the industry. Some common duties include writing code and developing application blueprints, developing application updates, collaborating with other team members to design and develop new features and identifying potential problems and resolving issues. iOS developers can work with a team of other software engineers and IT professionals at a software company or provide their services on a freelance basis.

Related: What Does An iOS Developer Do? (With Other FAQ Answered)

How To Become An iOS Developer

Here are some steps that show how to become an iOS developer:

1. Get an undergraduate degree

A bachelor's degree may not be mandatory to work as an iOS developer but getting formal education in software development or a related technical field can be beneficial. It can help you understand the basics of application development. You may also learn various types of development processes and phases that come before and after development. Employers often give preference to candidates with formal education in a technical field. Courses like computer science and web development can help you gain the knowledge and skills to excel in this career. Some courses you may take throughout your undergraduate program include:

  • Mobile development

  • Data structures and algorithms

  • Web development

  • Computer programming languages

  • Introduction to operating systems

  • Embedded systems

  • Microcontroller architecture

  • Assembly language

  • Networking

Related: How Much Does An iOS Developer Make? (Skills And Duties)

2. Take courses in Swift and Objective-C

As an iOS developer, having a strong understanding of Swift, SwiftUI and Objective-C can be critical. Swift is a core programming language that allows you to create variables and write functions to develop professional applications in SwiftUI, which is a popular iOS framework. These programs provide you with all the tools to create user-friendly applications. You can take courses in Objective-C to familiarise yourself with another popular iOS development language.

Although Swift and Objective-C share the same iOS frameworks, the languages differ greatly. Many iOS developers choose to learn Swift first because it is easier to understand and a more popular language, but taking the time to explore Objective-C can make you a more qualified candidate. You may consider looking for online courses in Swift and Objective-C to start or seek courses in these languages while earning your bachelor's degree.

Related: 10 Mobile App Development Tools (With Salient Features)

3. Develop applications

A good way to learn iOS development and improve your skills is to develop applications. This can help you practise coding in different languages. Presenting examples of applications you have created can also impress hiring managers and demonstrate your skill level. Consider installing Objective-C and iOS integrated development environment (IDE) along with other programming languages. You can use IDE to write code, create user interfaces and publish your applications so users can download them.

Related: What Is An SDK? (With Definition, Types And Benefits)

4. Gain work experience

After getting your degree, you can start applying to entry-level developer positions or internships. These can help you apply your skills at your job and improve them. This may also help you gain industry experience and develop professional connections. You may also seek mentorship at the workplace and ask to monitor them at work. This can help you get a better understanding of the job duties and responsibilities most iOS developers perform.

5. Create a portfolio

It is important to create a professional portfolio that demonstrates your skills as an iOS developer. Consider uploading applications you worked on in school, through internships or as personal projects to various platforms. Many online repositories provide users with a place to store, manage and update their applications online. Creating a portfolio can help you highlight your creativity and knowledge of different programming languages. It also can help hiring managers verify that you have the necessary experience to excel as an iOS developer.

6. Apply for jobs

When applying for jobs, create a professional resume that highlights your skills and experience. You can include any degrees and relevant certifications you have earned. You can also provide a link to your online portfolio to impress potential employers. Consider looking for remote positions if you want to work from home.

You may also consider researching software companies where you would like to work. Review the careers page on their website to see whether they are hiring for iOS developer positions. Even if they are not hiring, consider emailing them your resume and asking them to keep it on file. This can improve the chances of employers contacting you when a job opens.

Related: Top 10 Mobile Apps Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Skills For An iOS Developer

Here are some skills you can consider developing to excel in your career as an iOS developer:

Attention to detail

Developing iOS applications requires strong attention to detail. It is also important for the application to meet all the required functionality and design elements the employer or client lists. Having strong attention to detail can help eliminate mistakes and quicken the development process. To improve attention to detail, you can practise analysing your work for errors before submission and taking detailed notes throughout the development process.

Related: 15 Software Developer Skills And How To Develop Them

Programming

Employers often prefer candidates who know programming languages beyond the ones iOS developers use. Some employers may want you to work on projects outside of iOS development, so having this knowledge can improve your versatility. For example, the iOS project may connect to a database that requires the SQL programming language or integrate with an existing website, which requires knowledge of HTML and PHP. Knowing some basics about other programming languages, particularly those that create online programs, can help iOS developers find employment.

Related: Software Developer Resume Skills (And How To Include Them)

Problem-solving

It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each possible solution and choose the option that has the lowest risk to solve a problem effectively. Employers often look for candidates with problem-solving abilities as these qualities demonstrate how well they can handle difficult situations at work. This can also help developers devise solutions to algorithmic problems while developing code for an application.

Related: What Is A Software Developer? Definition And Skills

Communication

Communication is an important skill for iOS developers. These professionals often work within a team with other developers and testers. They may also require working with members of other teams like graphic designers and web designers. Good communication skills can help iOS developers communicate details about their applications to other team members accurately.

Creative design

Developers often try to create an application that provides the required functions and is user-friendly. Creative design skills allow iOS developers to create applications that are pleasing to look at and take the user's experience (UX) into consideration. You can improve your creative design skills by studying popular applications, taking courses related to UX and design and asking users for feedback regarding the developer's applications.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article is associated with Indeed.

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