Currently, mobile app development is probably the hottest sector in the IT field. Every company in the world wants an application, demand for good programmers is high as well as their salaries. No wonder a lot of people want to grab a piece of this tasty pie (especially when it comes to Apple pie) and become an iOS app developer.
The first thing you should know is that mastering this profession is not an easy path. If you are not crazy about it, not ready to constantly learn, absorb new information, write thousands lines of code (actually, this is what developers do on a daily basis), then this is not your way. However, if you are ready, here are a few tips for you.
1. Get main tools
If you don’t have a Mac yet, buy one. This will be your main tool for mastering iOS app development. Since these computers are relatively expensive, not every beginner can afford himself the newest and most advanced model. You may consider purchasing something like Mac Mini to start, possibly even a second hand one. Then install Xcode, the core software for any iOS developer which is provided by Apple for free. This is an environment, which will allow you to do almost all the operations necessary to create an application: from writing code to testing. By the way, if you have an iPhone or an iPad, great. But they are not necessary: Xcode comes with simulators for these devices.
2. Learn to write
This is the first thing you need to learn: the language in which codes are written. Currently iOS programmers use Swift which replaced Objective-C in 2014 and (good news for you!) is much easier to master. However, you’ll also need Obj-C further since many libraries and modules are based on it. Besides, in long-standing projects most likely you’ll have to deal with this language. But you should definitely start with Swift using Apple’s guide which is great for beginners.
After learning the basics of Swift, try your hand at creating simple applications using step-by-step tutorials such as presented here. Build several apps until you fill completely comfortable with Swift and Xcode. Once you do, go on to the most exciting stage of learning: create your own custom app, which will be your main argument during the interview with the future employer. To get started, decide what kind of application will reveal your best skills in the best way. Then explore similar products and think how you can improve them. For inspiration, check out open source projects. And go ahead!
4. Publish your app on the App Store
This step is optional. You’ll need to pay $99 yearly for your account. But if you have your product on the App Store it will definitely make a good impression on your future employer. You can also upload your app to GitHub or Bitbucket which is free of charge. These are social networks for developers. Your presence there will also be a plus in the eyes of the recruiter.
5. Find a job
Actually It’s better to start your job search while you are still studying This will allow you to get a clear vision of what vacancies are open in the market, what requirements are put forward by employers, and finally, what salary you can count on as a junior. Moreover, you can start going for interviews before you decide to start working. So you get even more information about the employers, their expectations and focus on them during studying.
And be prepared for the fact that no matter how hard you study and try to hone your skills in practice, the real practice will begin only with real work. Godspeed!