How to become a top quality iOS developer

Learn how you can become a top quality iOS developer

The world smartphone arena is ruled by two great ecosystems, Android and iOS. If you want to make a future in programming choosing either of these two will land you a top quality job in one of the several thousand tech firms. Android developers have it a little bit easy partly because it is open source and partly due to the fact that Android uses Java based APIs which almost all programmer know.

What about iOS developers? Developing software like Apps and games for iOS has a greater demand than Android. Why? More so because it is a closed architecture and only specialised developers take to iOS. In this article we crunch the tutorial on how to become a badass iOS developer by Thomas Hanning and Mitchell Porter together to bring you how you can best become an iOS developer.

What do iOS Developers do?

iOS developers are responsible for building intuitive and eye-catching apps that look good on both smaller iPhone and larger iPad screens. In many ways, iOS Developers significantly contribute to a company’s brand; poorly designed apps can leave users with a negative opinion of the company, while well-designed apps give users a positive opinion of the company.

While many developers are employed by an organization, others choose to make their living as independent developers. Either way, iOS Developers work collaboratively and effectively in a diverse team environment of product managers, designers, and other iOS Developers.

Learn the fundamentals of programming first (new programmer)

Porter says that all those wannabe programmers and developers should first familiarize themselves with fundamentals of coding. Porter says that you should avoid random video courses on C and Objective-C that were not structured well and leave lot of important information.  You need to understand what is happening under the hood, why things work the way that they do, etc.

Anyways, there are 2 courses that Porter  recommends:

How to become one with or without formal education

Like many careers in tech, most interviewers care more about what you have built than where you went to school. As a minimum, employers want to see an app you’ve published to the App Store. While you won’t be able to get to that level overnight, there are other ways to set yourself apart from the competition as you learn to develop apps:

  1. Explore Apple’s developer ecosystem, including documentation, developer tools, and existing frameworks.
  2. Join the Apple Developer Forums and Stackoverflow to share your own and learn from other’s experiences.
  3. Follow developer blogs for Swift and iOS Development.
  4. Contribute to open source development projects.

Staying current with trends in the iOS development ecosystem will give you more to talk about in an interview and prove your passion and drive as an iOS Developer.

A very good book is iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. It assumes that you have some programming experience though. If you don’t, you should probably start with Swift Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide.

By the way: It is completely okay to focus on Swift only at the beginning! Later you should also learn Objective-C because a lot of existing apps, libraries and resources are written in Objective-C and you should be able to understand all of that stuff. But the main language for an iOS developer should be Swift.

Objective-C or Swift?

When starting in iOS, many people ask themselves, “Should I learn Objective-C or Swift?” And it’s a great question to ask. While Swift is a relatively new language, many companies are looking to build apps solely in Swift. Though conversely, since Swift is new, there are still many apps that need to be maintained in Objective-C.

That being said, getting starting with Swift is the better choice. For starters, Swift is easier to learn than Objective-C, but more than that, Apple created Swift to be a replacement for Objective-C.

Essential skills


As mentioned above, Swift is Apple’s programming language for iOS Apps. Learning the fundamentals of programming is key before starting to build apps.


Within iOS there are a host of frameworks and tools that a developer must know. This includes adding text and images, building views, and handling user interactions.


iOS devices are communication devices, and most popular apps make connections with network data sources. It is important to be comfortable finding and using new services.


Learning to use a versioning system for code is an essential skill for any developer. Additionally, a public coding profile, hosted on a platform like GitHub is a great asset for any resume.


Frameworks make your life easier as an iOS Developer. They allow you to reuse code written by other developers in your own apps. An overview of key frameworks and other considerations are included in the “Common Frameworks” section below.

  • AFNetworking—Learn how to interact with data not hosted locally on a user’s iPhone.
  • Core Data—Understand how to persist data across app launches.

Common Frameworks

Below are common frameworks commonly used to build many apps. You may not need all of them for your projects, but it’s good to be aware of your options.

The portfolio that gets you an interview

A published app on the App Store is the shining star of any resume. It is a quick and convincing demonstration of your capabilities with advanced iOS frameworks, networked data sources, and expressive user interfaces. The app store hosts screenshots and app descriptions and these are a natural part of your presentation to employers.

A public GitHub profile can also be powerful. While the app store showcases a finished product, a repository can give employers insight into your code. You can post source code for an entire app, or any reusable components that you produce while making an app. GitHub also communicates contributions that you make to open source projects. It may not be easy to engage with open source projects when you first start writing iOS code, but it can be a valuable goal.

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