So do you want to become an iOS developer but don’t know where to start? Apple certainly is a dream for many programmers thanks to their stable platform and fewer devices that makes developing apps for them much easier than for Android.
But if you aren’t even a programmer yet, you can only imagine the long road you will have to walk through to get there. Plus, Apple is famous for their high-quality standards, and amateur apps have no chance to be published on their App Store.
However, looking for tips, as you are doing now, is your first smart decision, one that will ensure that you will achieve your goal. So let’s go down to business and tell you five ways to start an iOS developer career, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each one of them.
#1 – Go for a degree
Your first option here is the long-term solution. You can become an iOS developer by going to university and attending a Bachelor degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or anything similar. They will give you all the tools that you need so to learn how to create and implement applications for Apple devices.
The disadvantages of it are that this is an expensive alternative, and that will take you at least four years to complete it – but nothing will stop you from developing your apps while you still are attending classes. And a degree will also offer you the chance to learn much more than just iOS development, in case you want to do something different in the future.
# 2 – Enrol in a short-course
There are plenty of short courses out there if you would like to try something very specific (only about iOS development), and that will give you the tools you need over few weeks. You can either look for them locally, in your nearby university or other educational institutions or check online for distance learning classes – Udacity has an excellent nano degree in iOS development that worth having a look, for instance.
These courses are the best for people who already have some knowledge in programming, as they go straight to the essential information for you to get your iOS app started. And don’t worry: online courses are well-respected by IT companies, and they aren’t among the things you should never include in your resume. But if you are a completely newbie in the area, maybe you should start with a basic programming course instead, so you will feel more confident when you start an iOS development course.
# 3 – Try some self-learning
Ok, maybe you aren’t the kind of person that like to be in a classroom or that need a teacher on your case while studying. You also don’t want to go through any exams or don’t have the time to attend classes and meet deadlines. Or you just know that you learn much faster by yourself. So go ahead and try some self-learning then.
Online services such as Lynda.com and Udemy offers several classes that you can use to learn at your own pace but with the same level of quality that you would get in a classroom – if you choose Udemy, aim for the courses with better reviews and, unfortunately, for the paid ones, as good resources don’t come for free. The downside of this option is that it requires lots of discipline and that you don’t get to interact much with teachers and classmates.
# 4 – Contract an instructor
A classic way to learn iOS development, or anything really, is by contracting a private instructor. You can either contact something that you know or leave an ad in the local university saying that you are looking for someone to teach you. There will be plenty of students and even teachers that will like the opportunity to make some extra money and share some fresh ideas with you.
They can be quite expensive, though, but one-to-one classes usually bring results much faster than classroom-based, as you can adjust the topics to your particular needs along the way. You can also stop the classes whenever you feel that you can fly by yourself. Just make sure that you don’t waste your money with someone that know how to create an app for an Apple device but has no idea of how to teach it.
# 5 – Support someone else’s project
And another way to learning about iOS development is by supporting someone else’s project. If you know someone that is creating an app and need some help that you can offer, you can suggest them to join the team in exchange for sticking around and watching how they do their job.
Of course, it means that you will need to have time enough to do your tasks as well, but it will compensate in the end as you will see the work you dreaming about happening in real life, not in a simulation or through exercises. It will also give you plenty of insights about how to market your app, UX experience, product research, etc.
The Bottom Line
There are many ways to become an iOS developer. You can get a degree, try a short course, learn it by yourself, contract a private instructor, or join a project. All these options will give you the tools that you need so to start developing your own apps for Apple devices.
So choose the option that matches your personality, expectations, and resources better. Then make a commitment to achieve your goal no matter what. And if you work hard enough, you will see your app on App Store sooner than you think.