Apple is one of the biggest manufacturers of smartphones in the world. At the start of 2021, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company had over 1.65 billion active devices in circulation, including over a billion smartphones. Over the years, Apple has proven that its infrastructure will improve, and there will always be a demand for its iconic products.
You can rest assured that learning how to become an iOS developer is a beneficial career move. In this guide, you're going to learn what iOS development entails, the opportunities present within the field, and the different routes available for you to explore in your journey.
An iOS developer is a software developer explicitly trained to build and maintain applications for iOS, the iPhone operating system. Just as Android development deals with Android, the core developers who work at Apple design software for iOS. There are also iOS application developers who build and publish third-party apps on the iOS App Store.
These developers don't just know how iPhones work. They also know how to create applications for iPad, Apple TV, and even Apple Watch. They can work independently or get employed by a company to build and maintain consumer-friendly applications.
An iOS developer designs, develops, maintains, and upgrades core or third-party applications for all devices on iOS. They use concepts, frameworks, and programming languages unique to iOS devices. Depending on the level and responsibilities of the developer, they might supervise the entire development process from idea conceptualization to final launch.
As apps run on iOS devices, iOS developers collect feedback from users, monitor performance, debug, and do whatever it takes to ensure that these apps are up to specification. Then, at intervals, they update the code to add new features without compromising quality.
The demand for iOS developers is on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies iOS developers under software and web developers, programmers, and testers, and the demand for these jobs is expected to grow by 19 percent between 2020 and 2030.
BLS notes that the average salary of software developers is about $105,310. However, ZipRecruiter reports that iOS developers specifically earn an average of $114,614 per year, with a bare majority of salaries falling between $90,000 and $133,500. The compensation of iOS developers differs across education levels, and varies by location and professional experience.
Why should you become an iOS developer? Well, many things drive people to learn iOS development. Some of them are listed below.
The job requirements depend on the nature of the job and the company. Some companies demand degrees and years of experience while others don't. Also, self-employed or freelance developers don't need a degree to publish an iOS app. Below are some of the common requirements across the board.
Most of what iOS development is about is making mobile apps. However, this doesn't mean you can't dive into other areas of software development. Below are some great career paths for an iOS developer.
These developers work on creating apps for Apple Mac laptops. If you already know how to use Xcode, nothing is stopping you from exploring macOS development. To be ahead of the curve, you'll want to have a Mac laptop that runs macOS Big Sur. A Mac developer earns about $84,290 per year, according to ZipRecruiter.
With knowledge of iOS development, you can also perform the functions of a mobile app developer within any tech firm. You may need to learn how to develop Android applications since Apple and Android are the top two producers of mobile devices. According to ZipRecruiter, most mobile app developers earn between $81,000 and $119,500 annually.
As an applications support analyst, you will be charged with responding to customer complaints concerning smartphones and computers. With knowledge of iOS, you can assist people with iOS devices. According to ZipRecruiter, the average applications support analyst makes an annual salary of $78,048.
An iOS developer is a programmer or software engineer who develops applications for devices that run on Apple's operating system (iOS). This includes the development and maintenance of applications for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. The duties of an iOS developer depend on the job description. Below are three primary duties of an iOS developer.
Writing secure software for iOS applications is one of the primary functions of an iOS developer. It's no surprise that iOS devices are the safest in the smartphone world. So, the standard for publication is incredibly high. Any apps that fail to meet those standards are removed from the store.
Bugs can ruin the user experience of an application. This is why iOS developers don't just design apps and abandon them. They also look for bugs and clear them to prevent further damage to the software. After the bugs in the code are fixed, a new version of the application is sent to the public.
While you don't need to be an advanced programmer to build a successful app, you do need marketing skills to ensure that customers can find your product. Whether you’re a freelancer or an employee for a company that does iOS development, you should take some digital marketing courses and learn some strategies for getting your own or your company’s applications seen.
There are some skills that are unique to iOS development. The programming languages Swift and Objective-C are definitely worth studying. Beyond learning Swift and Objective-C, you should seek to acquire the following three core skills.
Apple publishes extensive guidance on how to build the most user-friendly apps possible. When you learn these guidelines, you will be able to make apps that pass Apple's high standards and can be published in the App Store.
Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) is a technology developed by Apple that helps you create functional, user-friendly, and multi-purpose apps. It is the GCD that allows developers to build apps that can perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
Xcode is iOS's integrated development environment (IDE). In other words, it's the unique center where developers go to create iOS apps. This software is integrated with Apple's Cocoa Touch and Cocoa frameworks. It is the pillar that holds Apple’s software development together and can be used for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS applications.
It takes about three months to one year to get a solid knowledge of iOS development. However, it could take up to four years if you opt for a bachelor's degree. Another factor that will influence your timetable is the amount of tech knowledge you currently possess. Someone with foundational knowledge may learn iOS development much faster than someone without it.
Coding bootcamps and self-study are the two quickest routes to take if you already have a degree or you don't have the time and resources for a college education.
Yes, you can become an iOS developer by simply attending a coding bootcamp for three to six months. The best coding bootcamps for iOS development teach you only what you need to launch your career as an iOS developer. You don't need to take electives or worry about things like amassing enough credit hours to fulfill graduation requirements.
These bootcamps don't just teach you how to make iOS applications. They also assign career coaches and mentors dedicated to helping you find an entry-level app development position after graduation. Bootcamps are also typically more affordable than traditional institutions of higher learning.
Yes, you can become an iOS developer by teaching yourself from home. All you have to do is make time to learn using online resources. You can find a Core Data or Swift tutorial online in the form of a YouTube video, article, or website and learn iOS development that way.
For more structure, you can enroll in massive open online courses (MOOCs). MOOC platforms like Udemy, edX, Coursera, and Udacity host affordable iOS development courses. Many courses even have a free option. Below are a few examples of high-quality iOS MOOCs.
Take the following steps to learn more about iOS development.
The first step is learning the fundamentals of programming through a college degree program, bootcamp, or self-study. Master all the programming languages, frameworks, and concepts for iOS development and learn how to use iOS development environments.
To build your portfolio, you need to publish your iOS applications. You can start small, but make sure that your app meets the iOS guidelines. The more high-quality applications you have in your app portfolio, the more employable you'll be.
You can either look for a job in a company recruiting iOS developers or look for clients in need of your services. With an impressive app portfolio and resume, it should be easy for you to convince prospective employers to give you a chance.
The options below are the most common routes to learn iOS development and eventually join the community of junior and senior developers in the tech industry.
An iOS development bootcamp offers accelerated training that runs for about three to 12 months. Some bootcamps focus specifically on iOS development, while others teach it as part of a mobile app development program.
Like a bootcamp, a vocational school is an institution that offers career-oriented postsecondary education below the associate degree level. Vocational schools can be more affordable, but the computer technology options are limited, and their curricula are sometimes out of date. Most vocational programs take between one and two years to complete.
One example of a vocational school that teaches iOS development is Anoka Technical College in Minnesota. You can get a technical diploma in either Web Design and Development or Software Development, both of which cover mobile applications. Each program has a credit requirement of 57 units, which you can fulfill in about four semesters of full-time study.
A community college program usually comprises two years of study and is typically more affordable than a traditional university. There, you can get an associate degree in iOS development, software engineering, or mobile app development.
Some excellent community colleges to learn Swift for iOS app development are Glendale Community College and Scottsdale Community College.
Schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, and the University of Southern California will give you countless ways to learn iOS app development. These schools are fantastic options for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. More often than not, you will have to get a degree in computer science with a specialization in application development.
Getting a professional certification will help you earn respect from your peers and prospective employers. It also aids you in getting a high-paying developer role. Some great options are listed below.
Certiport offers one of the most popular certifications for iOS developers. With this certification, you’ll prove to future employers that you're proficient in Swift, Xcode, and other app development tools.
This security certification is for all IT professionals who build mobile applications. However, it isn't limited to iOS developers. It costs about $769, and holders are expected to renew after a while. Pearson VUE administers the certification exam.
To secure a job as a professional developer with a tech company, you need to pass the technical interview. Each company has unique requirements and interview structures. However, there are some common questions you should expect during the interview process for an iOS development job.
Yes, you should consider a career in iOS development. There is currently a demand for iOS developers across the globe, not just in the United States. Also, these developers are among the top earners in the tech industry. Finally, learning iOS development doesn't limit you to building only iOS applications. You can build applications for other operating systems as well.