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How to become an iOS developer

  • By Victoria Li
  • Published on May 3

The world runs on apps, and the minds behind them are iOS developers. These professionals bring ideas to life, crafting the applications we use for everything from staying connected to managing our finances. But how does one become an iOS master? Let’s dive into the details.

iOS developer toolkit

At the heart of iOS app development lies the Swift programming language. Swift’s elegance and power make it the primary tool for crafting robust and efficient iOS applications. Alongside Swift, familiarity with iOS development tools is essential. Xcode, Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE), becomes your digital workshop, where you’ll write code, design interfaces, and test your apps. Xcode seamlessly integrates with the iOS software development kit (SDK), a collection of tools and frameworks Apple provides to build native iOS apps.

While technical proficiency is paramount, understanding user needs is equally important. A strong grasp of app design principles and user experience (UX) design allows you to create intuitive and visually appealing interfaces. Frameworks like UIKit provide the building blocks for crafting user interfaces, while tools like Interface Builder streamline the design process. Mastering auto layout ensures your app adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices.

iOS apps rarely exist in isolation. Leveraging networking and application programming interfaces (APIs) allows your app to communicate with external data sources, which is a crucial skill for Web3 developers. Understanding architectural patterns like model-view-controller (MVC) helps structure your code for efficient data flow.

Core Data offers a robust framework for persistent data storage within your app. Conversely, Web3 often necessitates interaction with decentralized data sources, requiring additional skills and knowledge specific to the chosen Web3 technology.

Test-driven development (TDD) is a valuable methodology emphasizing writing unit tests alongside your code, ensuring its functionality from the ground up. The App Store guidelines act as the roadmap for submitting your app to the App Store, and understanding them is vital for a smooth launch process.

Version control using tools like Git allows you to track changes, collaborate with others, and revert to previous versions if needed. Finally, mastering the app deployment process ensures your app lands seamlessly on the App Store.

iOS developer and Web3

Standard iOS development often revolves around centralized data storage and APIs. When it comes to Web3, however, developers need to adapt their approach. Familiarity with decentralized storage solutions like the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) becomes essential for handling data in a decentralized manner. Understanding how to interact with smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts on blockchains, allows you to integrate Web3 functionalities seamlessly into your iOS apps.

Web3 is built on the concepts of blockchain technology and cryptography. While a deep dive into cryptography might not be necessary, understanding the basics of blockchain architecture, consensus mechanisms and smart contracts is essential. This knowledge empowers you to grasp how data is stored and secured in Web3, allowing you to build iOS apps that interact seamlessly with these decentralized networks.

The Web3 landscape also offers unique tools and frameworks specifically designed for iOS development. Familiarize yourself with libraries such as Web3.swift or to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. Explore frameworks such as AlphaWallet or Rainbow Wallet that provide a foundation for building secure and user-friendly crypto wallets within your iOS apps.

Security is a top priority in Web3, where user assets can be at stake. Deepen your understanding of secure coding practices to minimize vulnerabilities in your apps. Explore libraries and frameworks specifically designed for secure Web3 development on iOS. Familiarize yourself with common security threats in Web3, such as phishing attacks and wallet scams, to build apps that prioritize user safety.

Landing your first iOS development job

Here, we explore strategies to help you land that coveted first job or internship, turning your iOS development skills into a rewarding career.

Building a compelling portfolio

Your portfolio is your digital calling card, showcasing your technical prowess and design sense to potential employers. While impressive projects are key, focus on projects with real-world applications. Consider tackling challenges relevant to your interests, even if they don’t directly involve iOS development. This demonstrates your problem-solving skills and ability to apply your knowledge to new situations.

The power of storytelling through code

Don’t just present a static collection of apps in your portfolio. Tell a compelling story through your code. Highlight your challenges during development, the solutions you implemented and the final outcome. This showcases your critical thinking and communication skills, both valuable assets for any developer.

Embrace open-source contributions

Contributing to open-source projects specifically focused on iOS development is a fantastic way to gain real-world experience and build your reputation within the community. You’ll collaborate with experienced developers, learn new coding practices, and showcase your commitment to the field. Look for projects that align with your interests and skill set, allowing you to make meaningful contributions while bolstering your portfolio.

Sharpen your interview skills

Technical skills are crucial, but don’t underestimate the importance of soft skills. Practice your interview skills beforehand, ensuring you can articulate your thought process clearly and demonstrate your passion for iOS development. Research the company and the specific role, tailoring your responses to highlight relevant skills and experiences.

Network like a pro

The developer community thrives on collaboration. Attend industry meetups and conferences specifically focused on iOS development. Strike conversations with experienced developers, ask questions, and learn from their experiences. Don’t be afraid to contact professionals on platforms like LinkedIn, expressing your interest and eagerness to learn. Building a strong network can open doors to potential opportunities you might not have otherwise discovered.

Take internships

Consider applying for internships at companies focused on mobile app development, even if they aren’t specifically in the Web3 space. Internships provide invaluable hands-on experience working on real-world projects under the guidance of experienced developers. You’ll gain valuable insight into the industry’s practices, build your resume, and potentially make connections that could lead to full-time opportunities.