Profession: iOS Developer

May 24, 2024 Amy Williams
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The profession of an iOS developer is one of the most in-demand and highly paid in the field of information technology. This job involves not only programming but also a deep immersion in user needs and technological innovations. Let’s take a closer look at the aspects of this profession.

Application Development Process: How It Happens

The process of creating applications begins with identifying a specific task that the application should solve. Developers communicate with clients and potential users to gather input data and requirements that affect the functionality and design of the product. Based on the collected data, a technical specification is formed, which includes a detailed description of the application’s functions and interface.

Design and Prototyping – the next step where UX/UI designers create the visual look of the application, which later becomes the basis for development. The prototype allows evaluating the interface’s convenience and making adjustments to the final product.

Development involves writing code where programmers implement all the planned features. Choosing the application’s architecture is an important part, as it affects the product’s stability and speed.

Testing is a critical stage where QA engineers look for bugs in the program. They use various methods, from automated tests to manual checking, to ensure high product quality.

Implementation includes deploying the application in the App Store, where it undergoes thorough scrutiny by Apple before becoming available to users. After launch, it is important to collect user feedback and analyze product behavior to plan further updates and improvements.

Meet the iOS Developer

An iOS developer is a professional who works closely with designers, analysts, and other engineers to create applications that impress with their functionality and design.

Besides programming, an iOS developer is involved in optimizing applications to work efficiently on all Apple devices, ensuring high performance and minimal resource consumption. They are also responsible for integrating with external services and platforms through APIs, requiring a deep understanding of network requests and data processing. Developers must keep up with updates in the Apple ecosystem, as each iOS update can bring changes affecting existing applications.

Programming Languages Used by iOS Developers

The main programming languages used in developing applications for the iOS operating system are Swift and Objective-C. Each of these languages has its unique features and areas of application.

  • Swift – a relatively new programming language introduced by Apple in 2014. It was created to be a safer, faster, and more efficient alternative to Objective-C. Swift, easy to learn due to its readable syntax structure, includes modern features like built-in memory management support, optional types, and lambda functions. It provides high performance by compiling into machine code, optimally using modern processors’ capabilities.
  • Objective-C was the main language for development on the Apple platform for many years before Swift’s appearance and remains relevant for supporting older projects. This language is based on C, with added object-oriented capabilities and dynamic runtime dispatch. Objective-C is used for development requiring direct interaction with many low-level operating system functions and projects demanding a high degree of component customization.

Both languages can interact within a single project, allowing developers to use old Objective-C libraries and code in new Swift projects. This creates flexibility in choosing implementation approaches, depending on the project’s specifics and requirements. The integration of these languages in the Apple ecosystem, along with powerful development tools like Xcode, contributes to creating high-quality and reliable applications.

Skills Required for an iOS Developer

Pursuing a career as an iOS developer requires specialists to possess not only technical competence but also several personal qualities that help effectively interact in a professional environment. The skills needed for this job can be divided into hard skills – technical knowledge and abilities, and soft skills – personal and interpersonal qualities.

Necessary Hard Skills

The foundation of hard skills for an iOS developer is knowledge of the Swift and Objective-C programming languages. Swift requires an understanding of modern programming paradigms and code security through the optional value system and memory management. Objective-C is needed to work with legacy projects and understand lower-level iOS abstractions.

Knowledge of Xcode, Apple’s official IDE, is mandatory. Xcode includes a range of tools for interface design, debugging, project management, and working with code. Developers must efficiently use these tools to optimize their workflow.

Working with Cocoa Touch – knowing the framework that provides interface components for iOS applications. Understanding Cocoa Touch principles is critical for creating an intuitive and user-friendly interface.

Developers must also have experience working with APIs for integrating external services and managing data, and experience with various databases allows efficient data storage and retrieval in applications.

Soft Skills for the Profession

Analytical thinking enables iOS developers to effectively distinguish problems and find optimal solutions. This is especially important when debugging and optimizing code.

Teamwork is important because application development is often a collaborative process. Developers must communicate effectively with team members, including designers, project managers, and other developers.

Time management and the ability to accept criticism are key to meeting project deadlines and adapting the product based on customer or end-user feedback.

Communication skills and customer orientation help developers understand user needs and adapt the product accordingly to ensure a better user experience.

Possessing these skills makes an iOS developer not just a technical specialist but a key participant in creating products that meet modern market and user requirements.

Tools for iOS Development

Xcode is an indispensable tool for every iOS developer. This integrated development environment (IDE) from Apple provides a complete set of tools necessary for creating applications for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Xcode includes a code editor supporting various programming languages, including Swift and Objective-C, and offers a wide range of features to enhance the coding process, such as autocompletion, high-level search and replace, and structured code representation.

One of Xcode’s key components is Interface Builder, a visual interface design tool that allows developers to create graphical interfaces using “drag-and-drop” without writing code manually. This tool automatically generates all the necessary code linking the graphical elements with the source code.

Xcode’s debugging tools include LLDB, a powerful debugger that allows developers to halt program execution, inspect application state, view the call stack, variables, and fix errors. Xcode also includes application profiling tools, such as Instruments, which help optimize application performance and resource usage.

For version control, iOS developers typically use Git, a version control system that allows managing code changes, collaborating with other developers, creating branches and versions of projects, and restoring previous file states. Git is directly integrated into Xcode, simplifying its use during development.

Another important tool for iOS developers is CocoaPods, a dependency manager that allows integrating third-party libraries and frameworks into projects. It simplifies dependency management by automating the download, configuration, and linking of libraries.

Advantages and Challenges of the iOS Developer Profession


  1. High Salary: One of the most attractive advantages of the iOS developer profession is the high salary, often significantly higher than the average in the IT industry. This is due to the high demand for qualified specialists and the complexity of the tasks solved.
  2. Constant Market Demand: Thanks to the continuous development of Apple technologies and the popularity of their products, iOS development specialists are always in demand. This ensures stability and numerous opportunities for career growth.
  3. Work on Innovative Projects: iOS developers have a unique opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects, including the latest mobile applications using the latest technological advancements. This can include developing applications with augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.


  1. Continuous Learning: One of the challenges in the profession is the need for continuous learning and knowledge updating. Apple regularly updates its systems and development tools, so developers must quickly adapt to new requirements and technologies to remain competitive.
  2. High Stress Level: Deadlines and quality requirements can create significant pressure on developers. The responsibility for the stability and security of applications used by millions of people can lead to high stress levels.
  3. Tight Deadlines: The software development industry often requires quick responses to changes in requirements and market conditions. Developers may face very tight work schedules, requiring the ability to work quickly and manage time effectively.

The profession of an iOS developer offers significant advantages, such as a high salary and the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects. However, it is important to consider the challenges that this job brings, including the need for continuous learning and high-stress levels, which can impact the career path of every specialist in this field.

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