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How Long Does It Take to Learn iOS?

Trent Fowler - May 23, 2020

Maybe you have a friend who’s gotten into mobile development, and you’d like a piece of that action. Maybe you’ve always been curious about building cool things for a mobile platform. Or maybe you were just staring at your iPhone one day thinking, ‘Who makes all these things?’

Whatever it was, somehow you’ve become interested in iOS development and you’re wondering what you’re in for. Career Karma has quite a library of posts on mobile development, and in this article we’re going to focus on the time element: how long does it take to learn iOS?

It Depends On Your Background

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This person’s background is a giant yellow wall. Probably won’t be much help in learning iOS.

Anyone can learn to develop for iOS, but you’ll have an easier time if you’ve done similar work in the past. The most relevant experience is specifically in mobile development. Developing mobile applications requires using platform-specific tools and languages to overcome problems unique to the mobile environment.

One such challenge is dealing with the fact that users have a variety of mobile devices, many of which are running different versions of iOS. Applications don’t always have to be cross- or back-compatible, of course, but they’ll be more successful if they are.

Another challenge is the smaller screen and limited battery life of mobile devices compared to computers.

If you’ve dealt with any of this before, you’ll know what to expect.

You’ll also have an advantage if you’ve done any non-mobile development. While building for the iOS is unique, many skills acquired while learning one coding language/environment are transferable to other domains.

Having experience in coding will cut down on how long it takes to learn iOS. Don’t worry, though, there’s no reason at all a complete beginner can’t start from scratch a be a successful iOS developer.

It Depends On Your Time Commitment

 Hourglass on the rocks.
The more time you can spend on iOS development, the more quickly you’ll learn.

The second biggest factor impacting how long it takes to learn iOS is the amount of time you’re willing to spend learning.

Development is a complex activity that requires you to not only learn new tools and skills, but also a new way of thinking. People often struggle for early on, as they learn to imagine tasks as a series of small, repeatable steps. But this is precisely what coding is!

So, naturally, you’ll learn more quickly if you can spend more time per day studying iOS development.

In my opinion, this isn’t just because you’ll rack up hours more quickly; it’s because coding is best learned with longer spans of study time. From personal experience, I often have to tinker with code for half an hour or so before I get my brain into the right focused state for productive work. Even when it’s code that I’ve written, it often takes some time to remember what all the variable names are, what the major functions are trying to do, how the program state changes throughout the program, and more.

Venus, a software engineer at Rockbot

"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"

Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot

This is even more apt when you’re learning to code. So, maybe the biggest thing you can do to quickly acquire iOS development skills is to study for longer periods. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch a quick Codecademy lecture over lunch, but you should try to get deeper study sessions whenever you can!

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Trent Fowler

About the author: Trent Fowler is a data scientist and writer with an interest in machine learning, blockchain technologies, and futurism.

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