Mac Programming Market

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by mcgomer, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. mcgomer macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2008
    I am a developer/consultant in non-Mac technologies. Watching from afar I have always wondered what the Mac programming market was like. I love Apple hardware, and the UI's, but make my living developing custom apps for the enemy.<grin> ( .Net, (WPF, WF ) I specialize in desktop applications, and while there is still plenty of work, the desktop is being de-emphasized more and more for browser based apps.

    Apple seems to be maintaining a strong desktop orientation, with connected apps being the direction. I like that. So my questions are of a "Is there work and where is it" type. I understand learning curves are non-trivial ( arent they all. ), but I have been doing this for years, am not afraid of them, if there is money to be made at the end.

    Where are most of the developer jobs located? Are they Contract or Perm?

    Most of my clients are fortune 500 ( they have the money to do custom development ) and I don't see any custom Mac apps being developed in that market. I am not saying they are not there, that is why I am asking.

    What is the major market? Shrink wrap apps? Working for an app vendor? Working at Apple? Custom apps for large companies?

    Are wages for pro's in the same ball park as windows developers? i.e. Contract anywhere from $75 an hour to $150+ or perm in the $100K and above range.

    The US is where I am interested in, but would love to hear from all parts of the world. I would love to hear from working developers about this. And if this is not the forum to do it, what web sites do y'all frequent ?

  2. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    I'm currently a student (graduating later this year) but I've been working as a Mac contractor for the last ~1.5 years, and I'm about to become an employee with a well-known Mac company who has products in the Apple stores. A little over a year ago I started working with another contractor who's been in the business for about 18 years. He mostly does Mac programming, and doesn't have much of a problem finding new jobs (although he's been doing Mac coding since pre-OS X days). It's obviously not as easy to get a job doing Mac programming than Windows but I think the field is expanding more and more with the increased sales of Macs.

    If you want to get started, I'd say you need a solid understanding of the Cocoa framework and the MVC pattern.

    Also don't forget, learning Cocoa will pay off when the iPhone SDK is released :)
  3. mcgomer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2008
    thanks for your answer.

    The work y'all are doing would then be categorized as for a vendor of a Mac product.

    What part of the country are you in? And has your friend always worked for vendors?

    As to the learning curve, I understand what it will take ( Cocoa I dont have, MVC I understand well. ), I just dont want to start down that road without some understanding of the market.

    I have done 100's of thousands of lines C and C++ and Java and c# professionally, just not on a Mac. So I look forward to Objective C, and the frameworks on the Mac. I just know that I only have so much time in a day, and the work, while fun, has to also pay my bills and send my kids to school at the end of the day.

    Thanks for the input.

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