What is an iOS Developer?
iOS developers are programmers who write services and programs for iPhones. Because of the nature of Apple devices and their operating system, it is necessary to write special code for them.
iOS Developers use the Swift programming language, which replaces the formerly used language of Objective-C. The main features of Swift are that it is easy to learn and error-resistant, so development speeds up by several factors. Apple developed Swift specifically for its devices in 2014.
iOS developers write all the apps available on Apple Store: games, banking apps, notes, delivery services, etc. To create these apps in Swift, you need a specific development environment: XCode, which works correctly only on Apple devices (MacBook, Mac Pro, iPad, iPhone).
iOS Developer role in an Agile team
In Scrum, iOS programmers participate in product development as members of the product team, along with other developers, QA engineers, Designers, Scrum Masters, and Product Owners.
Together with colleagues, iOS developers create a backlog of tasks that for completion by the end of the sprint. To facilitate and optimize this process, they participate in Daily Meetings, where they communicate their successes and blockages.
At the end of the sprint, they must show the team and the client what they managed to do.
iOS skills and qualifications
iOS developers work a good deal in this sense. Developers spend plenty of time on self-education, constantly monitoring market trends and the mood of potential customers. Passion and an adequate assessment of one’s abilities are important.
To become an iOS engineer, ideally, you must major in programming at university, although an alternative is self-study through books, articles, videos, or specialized courses.
A good exercise is to develop an app, at least for personal use, which can be posted in the AppStore. It is also good to join a professional team where you can learn. For this, beginners should go to interviews. If rejected, they should keep in mind the need to improve their knowledge and skills.
What skills does a junior iOS developer need?
- Knowledge of Swift and Objective-C languages
- Knowledge of C++, SCC, Java
- Knowledge of the XCode development environment
- Understanding the principles of object-oriented programming
- Ability to work with other people’s code
- AppStore skills: Need to know the rules of cooperation, understand what is required for the release of the product, how to download updates, etc.
- Knowledge of common iOS libraries and architecture, scripting languages (Ruby, Python), and design patterns
- Knowledge of technical English is a must-have
As a mid-level iOS programmer, you should have:
- Ability to design and implement a fast and reliable chat module
- Experience with the FRP
- Understanding of Value/Reference types and Equatable/Hashable
- Knowledge of NSPointerArray and understanding of structures
- Know-how for Observer, Facade and Mediator templates
- Skills to write unit tests
A senior iOS Developer:
- Can set standards of team behavior
- Has personal ideas about organizing and automating regular tasks
- Brings solutions from other platforms and paradigms
- Knows the nuances of method dispatch in both Swift and Objective-C
- Has a strategy for reducing failures due to memory shortage
- Takes responsibility for design decisions made by colleagues
iOS Developer soft skills
Technical skills alone are not enough to become an iOS app developer in demand. You also need soft or agile skills – skills that help you work better. An iOS developer should have:
- The ability to communicate with colleagues, to find common ground with the team. For teamwork and career growth, you need to be able to tactfully point out mistakes to others and accept feedback on your own.
- Organizing own work. In development, no one stands over programmers’ shoulders all the working day. Many work remotely, so this requires employees to plan their own workdays, distributing their own tasks, and monitor their implementation.
- Attention to details. Often, the problems are hidden in the smallest details and these can also make the difference in the quality of the product.
- Analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, etc.
iOS Developer certifications
Apple is working with schools and colleges around the world to provide students with an accelerated curriculum through the Everyone Can Code initiative to learn Apple app development.
To enable students and employers to test their skills, Certiport, a certification company, worked with Apple to create the App Development with Swift academic certification program, designed to teach students with no programming experience how to create their apps.
As there is no other official certification from Apple for experienced programmers, we suggest trying the Skill Value Insight (SVI) assessment by Pentalog. The test is based on real-life situations, and it allows engineers to test both their hard and soft skills.
You can find more details about SVI here.
iOS duties and responsibilities
The tasks and responsibilities of iOS coders vary depending on the project. However, there are some comparable criteria:
- Creating software and updates for iOS mobile devices
- Writing technical documentation for created software products
- Debugging and testing applications for Apple devices
- Uploading software products to the App Store
- Resolving controversial issues related to uploading software to the App Store
- Debugging the application based on the results of user feedback, adding new features, making changes, etc.
Challenges of the iOS Developer position
The development of applications for iOS has many nuances that can significantly increase the complexity of the final work.
Since the advent of the iOS operating system and the iPhone, the work of developers has undergone significant changes. With the release of each new version, it is necessary to fix problems that affect the application. To get the attention of users, developers need to spend many hours at work.
When creating an app for Apple products, you should create features compatible with all versions of iOS. Apple launches several products at the same time – an additional factor that needs to be considered. iPhone and iPad models have different criteria, which may have an impact on the correct activity.
App placement is another problem for developers. More than 1.5 million applications are on this service, and to somehow control the flow and weed out unnecessary types of applications, the store checks them. An app can be rejected not just for technical reasons but also because of a trivial violation of company or store rules.
Team collaboration and stakeholders: who iOS Developer work with
Depending on each project, iOS developers may have different stakeholders, both inside and outside the company they work for. These may include end users, beneficiaries, managers, project managers, teammates, partners, clients, etc.
Measuring performance: iOS Developer OKRs
OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, is a goal-setting methodology that allows teams to form measurable goals. In case of an iOS coder, these are used to organize the tasks that must be completed during a project. They are also a good tool for measuring efficiency and motivating coders.
Examples of OKRs that can be applied to an iOS developer:
1 Objective: Keep XCode and Swift versions and frameworks up-to-date.
- KR 1: Update 70% of the code from Objective-C to Swift.
- KR 2: Learn new debugging features of XCode.
- KR 3: Spend one day per month in practicing and learning Swift.
2 Objective: Optimize the application.
- KR 1: Reduce Flow Time by 20% for feature X.
- KR 2: Improve app’s response time by 5 seconds.
- KR 3: Reduce the number of bugs from 10 to 5.
iOS Developer salary range and daily rates
The country where iOS programmers work, the company, the type of project, the developer’s experience, skills, and education are some of the factors that could influence their pay.
For example, according to Glassdoor, the average yearly wage for an iOS Engineer in the USA is 106000 USD. In Germany, yearly gross income varies from €54k to €74k, while in France from €49k to €59k on average. A junior programmer in Mexico could make up to 1700€ per month, a mid-level programmer up to 2500€, and a senior programmer up to 6300€. A senior iOS developer might make up to 4000€ per month in Romania, and 3500 in Vietnam.
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