Exploring Career as Apple Developer. Advice?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Wayfarer, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Wayfarer macrumors 65816

    Wayfarer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #1
    Like many aspiring young Apple enthusiasts I am interested in diving into the exciting world of :apple: Mac/iOS app development.

    Here's my skill set:

    • Highly competent with Apple computers and iOS devices
    • Math is my weakest subject (I can fix this)
    • Intermediate experience in Photoshop and graphic design
    • Dabbled in Web design and HTML
    • No previous programming experience
    • Very organized, neat and attentive to detail

    Remember, I am still fairly young (age 21) and have my entire life to gain skills. It's in my best interest not to waste any time. Unfortunately I wasted two years in college [unsuccessfully] majoring in Biology and I've come to realize that my true passions are art, technology and perhaps gaming. Considering a degree in either graphic design, computer science or anything else pertaining to my interests. Working at Apple is my dream job. :)

    Which specific skills are required to get started and to be successful in the long run? (I suppose Cocoa FAQ is a good start.) Any current apple developers want to share their experience? I am hoping someone will be able to lead me in the right direction. Thanks.
     
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #2
    Start learning C then Objective-C and see how you go. If you can't hack that then you know programming isn't for you. If you can then keep it up. Once you are pretty proficient then you can start worrying about what it takes to become a professional programmer.

    Here is a free (legal) C book to get you going:

    http://publications.gbdirect.co.uk/c_book/

    Here is the free (legal) Objective-C book to read once you have finished that:

    http://developer.apple.com/library/.../ObjectiveC/Introduction/introObjectiveC.html
     
  3. Wayfarer, Jan 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011

    Wayfarer thread starter macrumors 65816

    Wayfarer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the heads up, Cromulent!

    C -> Objective-C -> Cocoa seems like the logical path. No doubt this will require a steep learning curve, especially due to my weak background in math- but I will check out all the links! Finding resources shouldn't be a problem. I hope to be able to get to the point where I can single-handedly translate my ideas into fully-functional apps and use my background in graphic design to add polish and value. The app market will be hot for years to come, right?

    I'm still debating what to get my undergrad college degree in...

    I'm also looking for other like-minded beginners or professionals willing to share their own experience or growth as an apple developer.
     
  4. mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #4
    If you're serious about being a developer, don't think of being an "Apple developer". Think of being a developer. Platforms come and go. And they will continue to come and go throughout your career.

    Turns out my development job has me currently working on Android devices. I don't own an Android device, yet that's the project I'm doing at my job. In another year, I could be doing something different. You have to be able to adapt and apply your skills in a variety of environments to be effective.

    Developers need a strong background in analytical, logical thinking and must be able to break down large problems into more manageable pieces. That's where the mathematical background comes in and why it is important.

    I write Mac software for fun and learning new knowledge. Come up with a problem you'd like to solve and try to solve it using the development environment on the Mac.
     
  5. Wayfarer thread starter macrumors 65816

    Wayfarer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #5
    Thanks for the reply. Quite the reality check. This is kind of discouraging, seeing as how I'm more of the creative and idealist type, rather than analytical and logical. I'll admit, I'm what most people would call a fanboy. Nah, I prefer the term "die-hard mac enthusiast". :rolleyes: I have no interest whatsoever developing in other environments outside of OS X and iOS. More power to you!

    I may ultimately decide to get a B.A. in graphic design and develop Mac apps on the side. Math and logic frustrate me. Major turn-offs, but perhaps I will conquer progamming in time. A lot of uncertainty and indecision still plagues me.
     
  6. subsonix macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #6
    I think the core message wasn't that you should not learn mac specific api's and languages, but to learn principles that applies to programming and development in general as well. In my opinion math is not really a requirement to learn a programming language or api per se. Some specific areas are more math intensive, but that has more to do with the problems that they deal with than the language itself. You should give it a go if your interested, explore the frameworks and see what interests you in particular.
     
  7. mfram, Jan 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011

    mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #7
    That's fine. Programming is not for everyone. My reply about being a developer focused on the pure coding aspects of development because that's what I am. But there are lots of parts to any project. Graphic design, art, and writing are a large part of developing games, for example. It's just different from the programming aspect.

    Don't give up your dream of wanting to be part of a team doing game or other computer application development. Just understand the parts you are well suited for and those you aren't. Group up with others who have different strengths. Together you can make a much better product.

    If you want to explore a little programming, then great! It will give you better insight into the problems your peers have to solve. Besides, extra computer skills are almost always a good thing in any modern career choice!
     
  8. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #8
    When I first decided to start programming I was much more interested in the lower level stuff (operating systems, compilers etc etc) but I've really become interested in web development recently.

    I'm sure your interests will come and go. One thing that has stayed constant is my enjoyment of programming though. It is the ultimate in creative industries.

    Anyway, I am a completely self taught programmer. I started in early 2007. I'm not sure if anyone would call me good but I have an OK understanding of C, Python, Java, C#, Objective-C, Javascript and have got the basics of Erlang under my belt. Nowadays I can pick up a C like language in a day or so.

    I also started off only being interested in programming for Macs, but once you realise what you can do then you'll want to start doing stuff on other platforms too if for no other reason than you can make more money doing it.
     
  9. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #9
    The problem with being a Mac developer is that most business' don't own them. They are the ones hiring programmers.

    I would go for a business degree with a CS minor. You really have to love programming to be a developer. This way you have both ends covered.

    When you talk about Graphic design, your really going on pretty opposite sides of the spectrum unless your going to pick up Web development.
     
  10. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    the woods
    #10
    Programming per se doesn't require any math at all.
     

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