iOS Development still in demand?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by logicpro7, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. logicpro7 macrumors 6502a

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    London UK
    #1
    Hi,
    I have previously self studied iOS development a few years ago and now want to get back into studying it again with the aim of gaining employment in that area some time in the future.

    I still have my study books, but would like to know if it is worth studying again.


    Are iOS developers still in high demand?

    How easy is it to gain employment in this area these days, or is it over saturated with devs? (Im in the UK)

    Am i wasting my time in a highly competitive and skilled area?


    I have quite a bit of spare time right now to study, so need to decide if it would be worth investing more of my time and money into this area.

    Thanks.
     
  2. loon3y macrumors 65816

    loon3y

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #2
    if your fairly well rounded, you can debug, object oriented coding (using classes instead of having the same line of code in every view), good with cosmetics (making it look nice and clean, and having a nice theme to go with it)

    i think you'll be ok, considering u live in UK, US and western european developers are much more expensive. if you know your stuff and offer services for cheap (considering you'd be an amateur) im pretty sure theres going to be a lot of people looking into you.


    but its very tedious work.
     
  3. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #3
    Great developers are well rounded and know many languages, paradigms, and platforms. Don't focus on finding an iOS job - focus on finding a programming job. Make sure they pay well and that they'll be around for at least a few months (I know I've had interviews at plenty of startups that fell apart just weeks after my interview.)
     
  4. PhoneyDeveloper macrumors 68030

    PhoneyDeveloper

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    Sep 2, 2008
    #4
    According to this site Objective-C is in the top five most popular programming languages:

    http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html

    Apple is the largest company in the world by market cap.

    I'll let you draw your own conclusions about whether iOS is popular and whether iOS developers are in demand.
     
  5. logicpro7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Thanks guys.

    Now apart from self study, would you also suggest a University Course or independent course?


    I would be looking for a Junior iOS Dev job in the future.
     
  6. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #6
    For a language like Obj-C, self study is best. Generally, when a language is popular and a lot of documentation is online, self study is best. I would say the languages best left being taught be someone else are the ones that are more niche, where there's not a lot of suitable material in existence for beginners but there's a great teacher who knows all about the language.
     
  7. PhoneyDeveloper macrumors 68030

    PhoneyDeveloper

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    #7
    There is a Stanford online free course in iOS development that is pretty good. Not sure if that counts as self-study.

    Directed study from an online course or a book or an in-person course is the best way to learn.

    But it depends how you like to learn.
     
  8. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #8
    I count that as self study. Nobody offers incentives* to you to do the assignments or answer questions - you need the willpower to make yourself do it and learn.

    *Such as a good grade, getting scholarships, not getting your parents involved, etc.
     
  9. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
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    California
    #9
    iOS dev was and is in high demand. It'll continue as long as iOS devices still have a reasonable market share. They've sold hundreds of millions of these iOS devices and even the 'older' ones are still very usable devices. So the market share of installed devices is not going down any time soon.

    Compare handheld devices to the start of the web. The web was red hot then cooled slightly, but is still evolving and isn't going away any time soon (if ever). The demand was and is still there, but it has changed (html vs html5).

    iOS has changed over the last few years. ObjC has changed a bit (more C++ support, different debugger, etc) but the main change is in the APIs. Apple has added more functionality thru sensors, better camera, more APIs, new 64 bit OS, etc... these things change the rules for the game. Example BTLE (Blue Tooth Low Energy) it opened new markets for cheap BT devices to be attached to things for long term use (low energy consumption).

    I'd dump the old books and get all new books. Don't study reference counting, use ARC instead. Study the new stuff, forget most of the old stuff.

    Developers come and go in large numbers. Most fall out once they realize there's actual work in programming. It's a complex study and not for everyone.
     
  10. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #10
    Definitely still in demand. One thing I'd suggest (it was mentioned briefly above), is make sure you grow your skillset beyond just iOS/Obj-C/XCode.

    So many apps today (FB, Twitter, Flipboard, games, social apps, photo apps) have server components - so knowing how to build a web service/API in Ruby/Python/Node.js/<insert_lang_framework> is a major asset.

    Data modeling skills, understanding security, again outside of the iOS client itself, is definitely a plus, and even just straight up web based development (many apps offer a mobile web interface for non-iOS clients, or even just a web based UI to compliment the iOS app).

    Some apps (like ours) have a mix of approaches and technology: native iOS (Obj-C), webUI (Rails), RESTful API, background processes (Python), storage (Postgres/S3/Cloudfront). Knowing a bit about all the "connecting tissue" in terms of services, APIs, deployment, management, etc., is all a huge perk.

    To be honest, once you get a set of skills in many of the programming fundamentals, you can easily move between platforms, languages, frameworks - it becomes a matter of picking up a new syntax and learning an SDK.

    :cool:
     
  11. logicpro7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    London UK
    #11
    iOS Development still in demand?

    Thanks for the great advice guys.

    After a bit more research, it does seem like a degree or Uni is not really needed and it is more about what you you can actually do and prove by having Apps on the App Store.

    I think the hardest thing for me will be learning Objective C. It's not going to be a walk in the park for me.

    At the minute though, I'm kind of stuck in the industries that i am trained in... Music & Videography. Theres just too much competition and a lack of jobs in my area for these areas.

    From a search on a job vacancy site i usually use, there are only 8 Videographer vacancies and searching iOS Developer there are over 300 vacancies! And thats just in the last 14 days.

    I have just downloaded Xcode again and it is quite different to the version i used to use, so new books will have to be ordered. I still have my Objective C book.

    How did you guys get into iOS dev? And how long did it take to get into employment as a iOS dev?

    I have plenty of home time atm, as i only freelance part time due to the lack of work, but do you think i could be a competent iOS dev and possibly gain employment within 12-24 months?

    Thanks.
     
  12. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    Location:
    California
    #12
    Each of us learns at our own speed. One word of warning from someone that has decades of background in programming. When a new tech come in, the requirements will be low, they have to be. As it matures (if it does) the requirements change.

    Example, a language that is 2 years old will have jobs asking for 1 year exp. A language that is 10 years old will ask for 8 years exp. If you don't get in early, it can be stacked against you.

    Look at the requirements for a C programmer vs an ObjC programmer.

    About 2 years ago, they were asking for 1 years exp, now they ask for about 2 or 3 years.

    It's not the number of years that actually matter, its that you have a great working understanding of what you are doing. Almost anyone can be a "cut-n-paste" programmer, fewer can actually write from ground zero and overcome bugs / problems.

    Many will understand the debugging just enough to get past a problem. Most will understand a concept just enough to get something to run. Others take the time to let a concept sink in and understand why it's setup the way it is.

    I had a coworker down our servers because he wrote a program that worked but didn't work efficiently. It was opening every single table in a database when it only needed to look up data in one table.

    Near anyone can sail a ship on a clear sunny day, few of them can handle a huge storm... the ones that can handle the huge storm are the ones that can stay for the long haul.
     
  13. logicpro7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  14. firewood macrumors 604

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    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #14
    Experienced mobile developers are in demand in metropolitan areas in California (someone else may know better about the rest of the world). iOS is the top mobile platform, revenue-wise; but Android is catching up and Microsoft is spending its huge marketing budget. So mobile developers who know more than one platform may be in even higher demand.

    Experienced means you have non-trivial non-buggy apps already in the App store. Better yet if your apps are attractive and can accomplish interesting and difficult tasks that very few other apps do, you can explain your framework knowledge and problem solving skills in figuring out how to do those things, and why you didn't try to do the app in a different way that was less maintainable or provided more opportunities for bugs.

    So go do it.
     
  15. logicpro7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Thanks.

    Can you guys suggest some good respected iOS dev forums to sign up to?
     
  16. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #16
    That's actually a great question. I'd probably have to go with the Apple dev forums and search around there.

    This forum (MacRumors) is good but not as active as some.

    IPhoneDevSDK is a fairly good one, but not very active.

    Generally you can get many questions answered by using google and following some links.

    I personally like StackOverflow, some say it's hit and miss, but I've found many good answers there.
     
  17. GroovyMan1976 macrumors newbie

    GroovyMan1976

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    May 22, 2012
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    #17
    I just wanted to add that the best way I learn is to actually do it, make the mistakes and learn from it. Doing a course was good but it's really experience that made me better. I guess that's why people ask for the experience.

    The guy who opened all those DB tables probably won't do that again - if he's good that is.
     
  18. firewood macrumors 604

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    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #18
    Apple tech support engineers sometimes post in Apple's iOS developer forums (login required).

    But stackoverflow is really best for learning... not by searching it, but by learning enough to answer non-trivial dev questions and getting those answers marked as useful and correct.
     
  19. logicpro7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Thanks guys, all info noted.

    I am considering going on the Big Nerd Ranch bootcamp 7 day course which includes an introduction to Obj-C.

    Any thoughts on this? Or has anyone been on this course?

    I would have to travel from the UK to Amsterdam though.
     
  20. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #20
    I've heard nothing but good about BNR. I've read 3 versions of their books and they are good.

    I'd buy the latest version of their book, I think they come out about once a year, then fully read the book. Two things might happen 1) you find you don't need the in person course, or 2) You'll be less lost in the class when you do go.

    I took an in person course before and it was paid for by my employer. For me, I wanted the most I could get from it. It was pretty good, not great. Too much time was wasted on thing people should have already known or taken care of before...

    Don't go there with "can't install Xcode" problems, or "what's an object?" Or you're just wasting your time/money.

    Just my opinion.
     
  21. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #21
    You're wasting your money if you just need the book to answer those questions... Countless online resources one could use for free to learn them.
     
  22. logicpro7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Just found my Sams iPhone Dev book from 2010... Very outdated now.

    I will pick up the new BNR books when they release the latest version then take it from there with some online tutorials.

    I will think about the BNR course early next year.
     
  23. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #23
    You might be able to contact them and find out when the NEXT book is due out.

    iOS7 has been in the hands of devs for at least several months. My guess is that the iOS7 books should be due out pretty soon now. You could watch the WWDC2013 and see more details of what changed and how that will affect your learning.

    With Apples update rate (most going to the new OS pretty quickly) I'd opt for an iOS7 book which might not be out yet or if it is might not be as good as the BNR.

    However, objC is objC... In other words, at least 2 different things to learn: 1) ObjC 2) iOS
     
  24. logicpro7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    iOS Development still in demand?

    The new books are out soon. Going to pre order them.


    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1382562901.942202.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1382562917.209858.jpg
     
  25. tagy macrumors regular

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    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    I agree the best bet is to teach yourself and puts some apps in the store.

    I having been studying for a couple of years, I have 6 apps in the store and am just starting to look for a job in this industry. There are a lot of iOS jobs but not that many junior positions. Most job descriptions ask for 1 - 2 years professional experience.

    But there are junior positions and if you are really committed then I am sure you can make it.

    I had one job interview so far, actually it was for a slightly more senior role than I am expecting I could be able to get and I just missed out apparently due to someone else having more experience.

    But it was good to get experience of an interview and what sort of questions they ask.
     

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