iOS or web development?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by codehound, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. codehound macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2013
    I thought I would post a career decision question here to solicit input.

    The story is: I'm a pretty new coder. I took a 1 year crash course in web development at a community college. However, afterward I got hired through a friend to work on a quite complex iOS app for the past year. Obviously I've spend that year pretty deeply immersed in iOS and objective c. I definitely like it. Anyhow, the contract has ended and I need to find something else. Not a huge deal. But I'm wondering whether I should go back to web development or stick with iOS. I appreciate any input. PS please don't say something like "you should follow your heart" or something similar. I'm looking for personal experience, or thoughts about industry trends, relative prospects, etc.
  2. MeUnix macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2013
    San Francisco
    Personally, seeing that you already have some experience developing iOS apps I would find work dealing with that. However, at the same time if a web development opportunity comes up, don't let that opportunity slip away.

    My opinion is based on industry trends as of recent, and the fact that you already have hands-on experience in working on an iOS app.

    Hope this helps in some way!
  3. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    There's probably more money in iOS development off the bat, my only concern would be with Android really pressing on in terms of global adoption, do you want to focus on more deeply learning a language (Objective C) which is almost entirely limited to use with Apple products? Especially if potentially the pool of users on iOS devices is likely to drop or stagnate.

    This is just an opinion, I personally prefer iOS by a country mile, and there is evidence of higher profitability producing apps for Apple devices, but there's also the risk it may end up a relatively profitable, but niche, product in the same vain as the Mac. Unless the 5C sells a bucketload in China.

    On the other hand, with regards to web, you have the challenge of trying to make everything work on almost every device, but so many companies are moving products to the cloud and prioritising mobile these days that in my opinion, the desire for good back and front-end developers is only likely to grow for the foreseeable future.

    You've also got the benefit of relative platform-agnosticity meaning as long as you're building for modern browsers, the limits of what you can create are almost exclusively limited by your imagination.

    Sorry for the novel. :eek:
  4. codehound thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2013
    Thanx so much for your reply. I think it's true that because objective c is tied to Apple's fortunes in mobile, limiting yourself to objective c is potentially dangerous. The rise of Android is definitely worrying. My intention was to focus on iOS and start picking up Android on the side, and if Apple starts to tank, I could jump ship at some point down the road. So that's how I've been thinking.

    I agree with you that web development can be nasty with cross browser issues. No doubt about it, iOS is way more fun to develop for. My view is that the rise of mobile apps is really due to the fact that the web is still quite broken, although it's getting better. This is really mostly a front end issue. But I agree that the demand is going to grow. My view is that mobile apps are mostly a response to a broken web. If it stays broken then apps will stay popular. If it gets fixed then there will be less of a demand for apps. Now that Google is also in the app game with Apple, it looks like they will all be working hard to keep the web broken for the foreseeable future.

    Anyhow, excellent discussion. I'm not sure where that leaves me. :(


    It's true I have more experience with iOS and that's an excellent reason to stick with it. I feel like at that cross road where I could still turn back to web development however. That's why I'm asking. It's true industry trends are toward mobile.

  5. PhoneyDeveloper macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2008
    Are you trying to figure out where to apply for jobs or trying to figure out where the tech universe will be in five years?

    For the first, apply for everything that appeals to you. You can decide which job offers to accept later. What jobs are available may depend on your location.

    For the second, Apple is the largest company in the world by market cap. It's not going to "tank." Obj-C is one of the top five most popular programming languages.
    Learning it isn't a waste of time. There are many concepts in Objective-C that are modern and are also used in other programming languages.

    Oh, good luck.
  6. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Always take jobs where you're going to:
    1 - Get paid the most and
    2 - Learn the most

    Never presume a technology is dead or dying and decide against learning it on that basis - there's almost surely many things you can learn from it, even if it's just all about why the technology is dying (it'll help you forecast in the future which technologies will prosper next.)

    At the same time, you need to make money. You know which technologies are prosperous to learn? The ones that you'll learn at the highest paying jobs. Seems intuitive but a lot of people seem to get that backwards or something and think that they'll be paid the most by learning language XYZ in particular.

    Never fail to apply to a job on the basis that you don't know most of the technologies mentioned. Think of the requirements listed in a job description as secretly listing what you'll learn, not what you already know. Once an interview date is set, learn everything you can about those technologies so that you're ready for your interview. Chances are they won't delve deep enough to realize you only have been studying for a week or two. (This is often called faking it until you make it.)

    So, in short, don't focus on iOS or web development in particular. Apply to every high paying technology opening that you see, and learn whatever is required for them.

    UNLESS, your question isn't about careers. If your question is about picking up languages just for edification and fun, then I think Python, Java, or C++ are quite different and you might enjoy learning them.

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