Requirements for a future career as a Mac Programmer??(and how to get a job with Mac)

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by MacAppleOfMyEye, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. MacAppleOfMyEye macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Ever since I was Grade 1 I have always been fondly fooling around with Macintosh settings, programs, and other such. I have never had any experiance in Computer Programming, and have not really got that great of grades. But now I'm getting interested in C++ Programming and am trying to teach my self through one of my dad's old progamming textbooks; C How To Program - Third Edition - by Deitel & Deitel. An I want to try and get my grades up to the riquirement (or higher) of what the Collage courses I need specify.

    Now that I am Grade 10, I have to start planning my future (Yikes...). My goal is; due to my interest and passion, to go through collage and take up the precise education (degrees/diplomas/certificates) to get a job working for Apple as a Mac OS X Developer/Programmer. And clearly I have no idea which corses I will need. lol. Any help is extremely appreciated!!

    Also, if anyone knows how I can contact Apple Mac when I finish my schooling (in several years), please feel free to add.

    Samuel Adams

    Ps. Thanks for all the help and sugestions I can get, I really appreciate it!! :D
    Pps. Sorry if the spelling and grammer is slightly of. :p
  2. ZunePod macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    You will need to check the job requirements on the Apple website.

    You could, and this could be more profitable and rewarding, go freelance, and just make apps for Mac, and sell them.

    You could also venture on to the AppStore.
  3. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
    One thing to know is that most schools do not teach any mac programming. You will pretty much start with windows programming.
    Courses you should take are math courses, computer science courses etc... Then maybe Computer Science in University.
    Again you probably not learn any thing apple specific... But a lot of the principles can be transferred to coding on a mac.

    C++ is a great language to learn, but apple seems to be going away from it as far as developing software for OSX. Objective C (2.0) seems to be the "new" thing for mac development.

    So really a Computer Science degree is awesome to have and will help greatly in getting a job at apple, but teaching your self a lot of the skills and languages may also be required.

    Edit: Also it is not "apple Mac".. Apple mac is a computer. The company is apple.... :p
  4. britboyj macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2009
    I also strongly recommend taking a look at working at Apple Retail during college. Retail employees can get internships at Cupertino if their skills match up with what's needed.

    Also, use spellcheck, it will save your neck.
  5. nadyne macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2004
    Mountain View, CA USA
    You need to get into a good Computer Science course at a good university. So start looking at what those courses are.

    University really isn't about learning the specific skills or programming language that you'll use in the real world. It's about learning the theories, learning what's behind the specific skills and programming languages. That way, when the current programming language becomes obsolete (and it will!), you can learn whatever the new hotness is because you understand the fundamentals of programming languages (recursion, queues, binary trees, ... ) and can apply those fundamentals to the new task at hand.

    When you start taking your computer science courses, you'll learn more about what you're interested in. If you find the Operating Systems class fascinating but can't stand the User Interface Development class, then you've got a good indicator of where you should focus your time and effort. An important part of your classes is about learning where your passion lies. Computer Science is a huge field, and there's lots of different types of jobs within it. Even if you're just talking straight development, developing FileMaker is a totally different beast than developing iTunes.

    When my team looks for a developer to join us, while knowing C++ and Objective-C is helpful, we'll take someone who's an awesome Java developer if they can show that they're a rockstar at the process of programming and the process of problem solving. The specifics of the programming language aren't nearly as important as the ability to create an elegant solution to the problem. We can teach someone the programming language we need, it's much harder to teach them how to think like a great developer.
  6. liptonlover macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2008
    If you want to program on the mac whether for Apple or independently, you need to learn Objective-C/Cocoa which is what Apple uses. This is also what you need if you decide to go with iPhone programming. Since ObjC is a 'superset' of C, I would start there.

    First, go to and follow their C tutorials. There's also C++ tutorials and a bunch of extracurricular documents and links if you so desire, but I would start with C and bookmark the site for now.

    After that, go to and download their pdf becomeanxcoder tutorial. It's slightly outdated but the small differences are easy enough to figure out. After going through it, you'll likely be eager for more because it's pretty short but very useful. It's high on my recommendation list.

    Finally (sort of) you need to understand how Apple's documents work. They've written up every single part of every aspect of xcode, interface builder, cocoa, and objective c. They have documents for every class, which are especially important to understand. Once you understand how to use any class you want by using apple's docs, you can do so much more.

    You'll also need to take math classes, perhaps logic and abstract thinking, you can go into more specifics such as design in general (useful when creating an interface layout/color matching/graphics) and maybe an artificial intelligence class (Smarter programs make users happy). Those topics are important. As a programmer, whether in a large project or a one-man team you're going to need to understand every aspect of everything that goes into your program because it'll all go through you.

    Another note of advice, you should have a safari folder filled with useful bookmarks. I have 30 bookmarks for programming myself. And this forum should be on top. Post in one of the programming forums whenever you have a question google or resourcefulness can't answer.

    Finally, feel free to email me at I'm 15 myself, I've been programming since I was 9, I started in BASIC and switched to Mac then iPhone a little over a year ago so the beginning is still fresh in my mind. Especially when it comes to Apple's class docs, I'll gladly explain in more detail how to understand them when you get that point if you need help.

    Good luck!
  7. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    It might help to call the by the right name.

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