Who is an iOS app developer?
How do you become an iOS app developer in 2021?
Well, in this article we are going to look at how to become an iOS app developer step by step in 2021.
But before we get started, let’s answer the question: who is an iOS app developer?
According to TopTal, an iOS developer develops applications for mobile devices powered by Apple’s iOS operating system.
Ideally, a good iOS developer is proficient with one of the two iOS programming languages for this platform: Objective-C or Swift.
… and this has been a great motivation for most people to join the iOS app development field.
However, there are many other more reasons why you should consider learning iOS and become an iOS app developer in 2021.
So let’s dive deep into some of the 3 reasons why I think you should learn iOS app development in 2021…
1. You will earn or make more money with iOS
When it comes to market share of the two most popular mobile platforms, Android has way more market penetration than iOS.
But that does NOT directly translate to the amout of money there is to be made in it.
First, according to Stackoverflow.com, iOS developers tend to demand more in the job market than Android app developers…
…so if you learn iOS app development and get a developer job you will definitely get paid more at your job compared to an Android developer with the same experience.
2. iOS developer tools are more sophisticated
Do you want to have to test 100 tools to find which one works best for you?
Or would you rather have just one tool that really get’s the job done?
This is where learning iOS development just makes your work easier.
As you would expect, iOS developer tools are much like Apple products – sleek and easy to use – making your day job a lot nicer.
Xcode, the main tool available to iOS developers, has been around for longer than its Android equivalent, so the level of maturation is much higher.
3. iOS is considered easier for beginners
iOS is just way much easier to learn than Android.
Getting your app approved in the App Store is waaay much harder than getting your Android app into the Google PlayStore.
iOS apps have to be reviewed and if you didn’t do a great job… you will get your app handed back to you.
But the good this is that once you learn the rules… that’s it!
They are the very same coding standards and practices that everyone else follows… and this just makes your work easier as an iOS learner.
Okay, there you have it.
Those are some of the 3 reasons why I think you should learn iOS development and become an iOS app developer.
So now, how do you actually become an iOS app developer in 2021?
Well, here is a 7 step strategy that will help you move from a complete beginner to a professional iOS developer.
1. Get a Mac and iPhone
You cannot develop iOS apps on a PC.
This is also a main con of iOS development compared to Android… with Android development you can do it on ANY platform.
Some people might talk of workarounds like like hackintosh or Mac In Cloud, but really? … just get a Mac.
It will make your journey to becoming a professional iOS app developer easier, more fun and less frustrating.
Your Mac and iPhone will be your main, if not your only, working tool.
2. Install Xcode.
Now with a Mac on your desk, powered on, the party is just getting started!
The first step is to install the most important software to an iOS app developer: Xcode.
Xcode is the IDE for making iOS apps. It’s free and you can download & install it from the Mac App Store.
It is Xcode that you will use for writing, editing and debugging your code…
… as well as unit testing and uploading your app to the App Store among other tasks that are involved in iOS development.
3. Learn Swift programming.
The most logical step in becoming an iOS developer after installing Xcode is to learn to code.
Initially, iOS apps were coded in Objective-C and for decades it has been the defacto language to learn for iOS.
But recently, Apple introduced the Swift programming language. It was more positively received and has been touted as much easier to learn and much cleaner.
Check out my review of the best Swift tutorials on Udemy in order to get a strong foundation in the Swift programming.
Of course you don’t have to understand Swift inside out to become an iOS developer, because that comes with experience.
All you need to do is to fully immerse yourself into all this variables, pointers, classes, data types and loops… and you are good to go.
4. Create an iOS app
So after getting yourself a Mac, installing Xcode and learning some Swift programming, it’s time to start making something useful.
For example create a calculator app, a weather app, a currency converter app… something like that.
These easy wins, creating something that actually works, will be a great source of motivation to keep you going.
As you get comfortable in Xcode and the Swift language move on to more advanced stuff…
Keep in mind that the objective of creating these apps is not just to learn to code mobile apps, but you are preparing yourself a portfolio of iOS projects…
These are the projects that you will later show to your employer during job interviews to demonstrate your experience.
Just focus on a working app and clean code… that’s what employers care about.
5. Publish your app to the App Store.
After you have finished developing your app, it’s ready for publishing.
To do this you need an iOS developer account on the App Store which will set you back $99, renewable yearly.
But it’s completely worth it because after publishing it on the App Store you’ll be able to install and test your app on your iPhone.
Having an app in the App Store not only means that you know how the publishing process works…
… but also what the Apple’s restrictions about apps are, the app description, keywords, screenshots, promo video etc.
6. Upload your code to GitHub.
Apple, and the iOS developer community as a whole, are very keen on iOS developers sticking to standards.
This is what makes learning iOS app development easier for others to learn – when everyone sticks to the same standards.
So everyone, especially your prospective employers will need to evaluate your code quality… and this is where GitHub comes in.
GitHub is a free platform used for code sharing and version controlling your applications.
Create a free account on GitHub and then upload your app’s code to GitHub and make it public so that others can be able to see the code.
But like I mentioned earlier, the main reason for putting your code on GitHub is so that you can show it to your future employer.
7. Get an iOS developer job!
Do you feel ready to get out, join other app developers and change the world?
Well, if you followed everything in this guide: got a Mac, installed Xcode, learnt Swift, build and published 2 or 3 custom apps and uploaded your code to GitHub…
…then now you have the skills to get your first job as an iOS developer!
SO prepare your resume and contact the companies that you would like to work for. I have another article on how to find your first developer job if you are a complete beginner with no experience.
After working for a couple years you’ll slowly, but surely, move from a junior iOS developer, to intermediate and finally to senior iOS dev.
All you need to do is just keep at it, accept and deal with the challenges and grow.
Growth is inevitable as a programmer.
I hope this guide has helped you get a clear roadmap on how to become an iOS app developer in 2021.
Are you an aspiring or experienced iOS app developer? Have you tried to learn Swift programming before?
What was your experience?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.