How to Hire the Best iOS Developers
The success of a mobile app development project heavily relies on hiring iOS developers who fit the business requirements and company culture the best. This is only possible when employers and hiring managers have not only a good eye for soft skills and character but also a good understanding of the iOS and the technologies related to it.
To help you find the right iOS developer for you, we’re discussing some of the most essential information employers and hiring managers like you must know to tell a great iOS developer apart from a sea of candidates.
iOS, first introduced as iPhone OS, was unveiled at the Macworld event together with the first iPhone in January 2007. At that time, the device was introduced as an iPod with very limited features. There was no App Store, and users cannot multitask between built-in apps, copy and paste text, nor move the app icons on the homescreen. However, it did stand out because it featured capacitive touch capabilities, unlike other devices which were still using resistive touchscreens.
Fast forward to today, Apple’s iOS has come a long way, powering multiple generations of iPhones, iPads, and iPods and more than a billion devices worldwide. And although Android dominates in terms of the number of users, iOS places second and remains to be among the leading mobile operating systems globally. According to StatsCounter figures from December 2018, iOS has a 22.2% share of the mobile operating systems market, following Android with 74.92%.
iOS developers are in high demand because of the value they add to businesses and startups. Fortunately, there are thousands of mobile app developers out there along with plenty of hiring options you can use to find the mobile developer you need—but, as with all hiring decisions, the challenge lies in finding the right fit for your company.
Why should you hire an iOS developer?
With the global reach and power of smartphones today, companies and organisations which are able to build mobile apps are able to reach more audiences and achieve more business goals. However, it is important to note that not all applications make the cut and generate a profitable ROI.
For this reason, hiring Apple developers has become essential and vital for companies to leverage the competitive advantage of going mobile. Here are other benefits you will enjoy with a skilled iOS developer in your team:
Leverage the tech talent’s expertise
A skilled iOS developer has expertise on the latest trends, innovations, and best practices in iOS development. They have the technical knowledge plus smart tricks and hacks when working with mobile app development technologies, enabling them to make mobile apps that efficiently answer the end-users’ needs while providing an attractive interface.
Experience working on diverse projects
Hiring iOS developers to build your mobile app is entrusting the process to professionals who have done this over a wide range of projects. You can rest assured that your app is being handled by professionals who have a working knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. Moreover, hiring iOS developers who have previously worked on projects similar to yours can be a smart move as they already have a background on the industry you are in as well as the important aspects that the app should have.
High-quality and prompt delivery
iOS developers are able to meet deadlines while still maintaining a great quality of output. They know the importance of following the time frame plus they have the technical ability to accomplish tasks on time. Because of this, startups and companies enjoy cost-effective app development, and, eventually, a quick time-to-market.
iPhone app developers who have been working on app development projects for at least 3 years are sure to value and place importance on scalability. This means that companies are able to witness the development process, check the progress of the app, and work with the developers on revisions and updates along the way.
Input from tech professionals
Having iOS developers in your team is a great advantage because you have a credible professional whom you can approach with regards to technical concerns and issues. Great mobile app developers guide their clients and other non-technical colleagues throughout the development process and offer suggestions to solve problems or make the app more effective.
What are some best practices in iOS development?
Decide on the minimum iOS version early on
It is practical and time-efficient to decide on which iOS version you want to support in your project because this allows you to know which OS versions you should develop and test against. You also get to determine which system APIs you can use; all of these are essential information you need to estimate your workload and determine what’s possible early on.
Take advantage of Apple’s extensive frameworks
Another best practice in iOS development is to not limit yourself with one library, even though it works as of the moment. Always find time to explore iOS and familiarise yourself with other Apple frameworks. This can lead you to discover other frameworks that can solve a problem efficiently.
Avoid ambiguity and abbreviations when naming
Aside from writing clear code, another best practice when creating iOS apps is to follow Apple’s basic conventions while naming classes, methods, functions, constants, and other code elements. While the names should be kept clear and brief, ambiguity and abbreviations should be avoided and proper grammar should still be practiced.
Decide on your app architecture first
Before writing any code, make sure that you have decided on your app architecture first. You can choose to either go with the traditional MVC architecture, or you can go with fancier ones like MVVM or VIPER. Deciding on your app architecture will help ensure that your code is easier to understand as you move forward and that your application is more testable.
What technical skills should you look for when hiring iOS developers?
There are different technologies used in iOS programming; what you require your candidates to have relies heavily on your project’s requirements.
Here are some of the technologies that are mainly used in iOS development:
Objective-C is traditional language for all iOS and Apple-related programming. Thanks to its low-level features and support for objects and its position as the historical iOS programming language, this language has become the language that many Apple iOS developers use frequently. Also, despite the launch of Swift in 2014, many important iOS frameworks and libraries still rely on Objective-C.
With the evolution of the hardware and software of the iOS operating system, Apple introduced Swift in 2014 to address some disadvantages of Objective-C, which has been around for more than 30 years. This streamlined language makes app programming simpler and faster, and allows developers to be more productive.
XCode is an integrated development environment (IDE) which handles coding, compiling, and building iOS apps from source code. This also integrates additional features like code testing, user interface design, and device emulators, which makes it indispensable for iOS app development.
This is a mobile UI framework for iOS that is important to create visually-stunning apps. Cocoa Touch is used to create interfaces for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.
Formerly known as the iPhone SDK, the iOS SDK is a collection of tools that helps mobile app developers build native applications for iOS devices and platforms.
REST and Back-end Integration
As mobile apps need servers frequently, it also makes sense for you to look for skills and experience in REST and Back-end integration in your potential developers. iOS developers who have experience working with remote servers, have integrated JSON-encoded data with external APIs, or those who have skills in SOAP-based web services can be a great addition to your development team.
Other technical skills to take note of
Aside from those mentioned above, there are other technical skills that your potential iOS developer must have experience with:
- Understanding of MVC (Model-View-Controller)
- Debugging in XCode
- Distributing an app
- Git, Subversion, or other version control
- Some experience in Unit Testing, XCTest
- Understanding of SOLID and clean coding principles
- Delegation, Notifications, and Key Value Observation
What soft skills should you look for in an iOS developer?
There are a lot of iOS developers with the required technical skills for mobile engineering positions. When this happens, soft skills are what really sets great iOS app developers from the rest. Here are some of the soft skills you should look for in your potential mobile developers:
- Ability to focus on a task
- Desire to stay updated with the latest trends and trends in mobile development and apply them to current projects
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Ability to work well independently and in a team
- Desire to experiment and discover new solutions
- Ability to strategise quick and effective solutions
These are some of the basic soft skills that employers commonly look for to find the right iOS developer, however, different employers will always have different requirements. But above this all, the top soft skill that makes an iOS developer notable is his/her dedication to create excellent apps with the aim of providing exceptional user experiences.
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