Viswanathan AG Jan 25, 2024
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7 Skills You Need to Be an iOS App Developer

With Apps creating an economy worth $120 billion, Apple devices are ruling the smartphone industry. iOS development is one of the most in-demand skills in the market. A successful career in iOS development leads to decent pay, job satisfaction, career growth, and a holistic learning environment.

As Apple constantly wins the race amongst smartphones around the world, iOS development is becoming a lucrative work profile. With the right skillset and zeal to learn, both professionals and freshers can step into the arena and excel remarkably as iOS developers.

In this article, we’re pointing out Seven skills that you'd need to become an out of the box iOS developer:

Learn Swift Programming Language:

When it comes to building iOS applications, Swift is the primary choice for a majority of developers. Released by Apple, Swift is an open-source programming language that is a must to kickstart your career as an iOS developer. Swift has a lucid syntax that encourages developers to write clean and consistent code. Thus, Swift boosts code readability manifolds and improves the security of the product. Not just that Swift is 2.6x faster than the Objective-C programming language and over 8.2 times faster than Python. 

Do you know Swift has one of the lowest memory footprints amongst all programming languages? A mobile application code often includes third-party code, libraries, and frameworks. Due to this, the memory footprint of the app increases. Today, every macOS, watchOS, and iOS device comes integrated with standard Swift libraries. Thus, app developers need not compile the external libs into a package. They can import them directly from the host device leading to minimalistic memory occupation.

Adaptation of Apple's Xcode Integrated Development Environment:

Almost every iOS developer has Xcode IDE in their tech stack. Xcode comes pre-packed with an array of templates for games, iOS apps with tab-based navigation & other view-based iOS applications. One should note that Xcode is the only official way to develop iOS applications. The IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is used for writing code, building intuitive and engaging user interfaces. Moreover, once you're done creating an application, you can publish it straightaway to the App store from Xcode.

The IDE is lightning fast and makes use of a variety of programming languages such as Swift, Objective-C, Python, Ruby, Java, and more. Xcode makes use of Carbon, Cocoa, and Java programming models. As a developer wanting to ace iOS development, Xcode is a vital skill. The development platform enables a single work window, has an integrated source code checker & features several integrated frameworks. Moreover, it also has a smart Autocomplete feature that makes writing code a piece of cake.

Learn & Understand Design Guidelines:

Apple has published a set of design guidelines for iOS developers that can help developers create extraordinary products, ensure higher functionality, and deliver high value. The guidelines are characterized under four primary headers- Interactivity, Readability, Clarity, and Graphics. The guidelines aim to encourage developers to inculcate Depth, Deference & Clarity while creating the applications. You can enrol in an iOS App Development Training in Dubai and kickstart your iOS development goals.

Apple's official website has also listed several Design Principles that developers must leverage to maximize the reach and impact of iOS apps. Aesthetic Integrity, Consistency, Feedback, Direct Manipulation, User Control, and Metaphors are the six design principles that developers must go through in-depth. The goal is to build an engaging user experience backed by solid interface design. Before jumping to Xcode to create your apps, one must consider the above design concepts for creating clear, efficient & intuitive apps.

Understand the GitHub- Version Control:

If you already are a software developer, it is most likely that you've heard about GitHub. If you're a fresher iOS developer, you must understand what GitHub is and how it functions! GitHub is an internally accepted and highly-popular code hosting platform for version control and collaboration. iOS developers can host their code on GitHub, manage projects, build projects alongside teams, and much more! Over 28 million software developers are leveraging GitHub for day to day coding activities.

GitHub has several essential features including, code repositories, branches, commits, pull requests, etc. GitHub makes it a piece of cake to maintain application code and contribute to other open-source iOS projects. Often developers struggle with maintaining detailed documentation for their code. At GitHub, developers can create, share excellent documentation for the code, and help other developers understand their product seamlessly.

Knowledge of Grand Central Dispatch:

Originally introduced in iOS version 4, Grand Central Dispatch or GCD is an official iOS way to introduce parallelism and concurrency in iOS apps. When apps handle a ton of operations and heavy tasks, the application run tends to take a dip since there is no parallel support. Through Grand Central Dispatch, iOS developers can enable parallelism through multi-threading and ensure a smooth, seamless application experience.

In a nutshell, GCD ensures a high-performant and straightforward application run since it leverages multiple cores to assign and execute tasks. Grand Central Dispatch operates at the system level, has direct access to the available resources & controls a majority of processes. Hence, while creating the application architecture and before you start writing the code, an ideal iOS developer must include GCP implementation throughout the codebase.

Be Familiar with Architecture Patterns:

As an iOS developer, before you start mashing your keyboard and write code, you must assess and choose a code architecture. In terms of mobile application development, there are popular architecture choices such as MVC, MVVM, VIPER, MVP, etc. A developer must know all the popular code architectures by heart. It is then you would be able to write a well-structured and organized code that can prevent a lot many future headaches in terms of maintainability.

MVC or Model View Control is one of the most popular, widely-used architectures in iOS development. The design pattern creates a bridge between the Application's Model and the View. In simpler terms, when you're building an application, the codebase often becomes insanely big. MVC architecture helps in separating different code layers such as Front-end, APIs, and Backend. By following a code architecture, you can unlock intuitive code development since a lot of code is used again.

Know Where to Include Application Programming Interface:

APIs have gained significant importance in recent times. Thanks to the rise of cloud-based applications, every interaction over the network is governed by APIs. In terms of iOS development, APIs play an imperative role. APIs govern payments, chatting, location tracking, analytics & much more. 

As an iOS developer, you'd be constantly developing and playing around with APIs to enable web services in your applications. Through the Application Programming Interface, iOS developers can serve more with less. You can enable exclusive features in the application and save a lot of development time. You can get ready to use code from third-party providers and use it in your application. 

Wrapping It Up:

If you wish to become an active and sought-after iOS developer, the above-listed concepts can open doors of many avenues for you. Right from understanding client specifications, designing user-interfaces (UI) to coding iOS apps, the accountability of an iOS developer goes a long way. Having mastered the right iOS skills can help you register growth like never before.

Professional IT trainer with extensive experience in training and project management. He is an expert in designing training courses with technical content and real-time examples. He is effective in imparting knowledge through superior verbal communication skills and active listening style. He has proven success record in utilizing cutting-edge technology to devise training exercises for all types of learners. By Academic, he is a Mechanical Engineer and also developed his skills in programming. His 25 years of teaching experience have brought in thousands of students across the world.