How to become iOS developer in 2023 for free?
An iOS Developer requires a strong command of several hard skills, such as prototyping, basic design, and coding. It is good to have skills in unit testing, Apple design principles, and finally submitting your app to the App Store
Along with programming knowledge, it is equally important to have a deep understanding of the iOS ecosystem, including Apple devices such as the iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Let us start with the hardware requirements
To start learning iOS development you must require a Mac OS-based machine such as Macbook, iMac or Mac mini. iOS development is not possible in Windows mac.
It is recommended to have a Mac with Apple M1, 16GB RAM and 512 GB hard drive for smooth learning and developing experience.
#1 Programming language
The two primary languages required to begin with iOS development are Objective-C and Swift programming. iOS development was started with Objective-C and later switched to Swift in 2014. Swift is a powerful programming language for developing apps that will run on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Swift is interactive, fun and has concise syntax. Swift includes modern features, Type safety and produces software that runs lightning-fast.
Tools required: Xcode
Learning Resources: The best place to learn Swift is the Swift official documentation itself. The documentation is written very clearly so that even a beginner can understand.
Link to documentation: https://developer.apple.com/documentation/swift
#2 Selecting a framework
This is the most important step. Apple provides two frameworks for developing iOS applications. They are the UIKit framework and SwiftUI, Let’s see what they are
Apple says “UIKit provides a variety of features for building apps, including components you can use to construct the core infrastructure of your iOS, iPadOS, or tvOS apps”
UIKit is in existence for a very long time and has very powerful tools and features you can use to develop a very good user interface for your app.
Few drawbacks of UIKit
- Here you either design the user interface in a separate file and write the functionality in another file and connect both which increases the size of the app. Many developers prefer to code their UI using UIKit and just render the code into UI in runtime.
- UIKit focuses only on iOS apps that run on iPhones, but if you want to develop apps for Mac or iPads then you need to learn Cocoa and tinker UIKit for iPad which is additional work
SwiftUI is a very new framework and is already being used by many iOS developers worldwide.
Apple says “UIKit is in existence for a very long time and has very powerful tools and features you can use to develop a very good user interface for your app”
SwiftUI overcomes the drawbacks of UIKit such as coding your user interface along with its functionality in the same file which reduces the size of the app. It is Apple’s cross-platform framework, which means if you design an iOS app using SwiftUI it will automatically render itself for iPad and other screen sizes.
Few drawbacks of SwiftUI
- Since it is very new there is a lot of third-party support growing which UIKit already has
- Its a lot of coding and need to remember all the attributes and methods
So, which one should you choose?
If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you start with UIKit as it is a basic requirement even for SwiftUI developers also. But if you want to jump into SwiftUI that’s completely fine but remember that you just can’t skip UIKit and jump into SwiftUI, some way or around you will have to come into UIKit.
Now how to learn UIKit and SwiftUI?
Until 2020 there was barely good content for learning app development in UIKit and SwiftUI but now Apple provides some very basic tutorials to get started. The link below contains three books that will teach you starting from the very basic to intermediate level of App Development
A step-by-step tutorial by Apple on UIKit
A step-by-step tutorial by Apple on SwiftUI.
In UIKit, learn key topics such as
Interface Builder, UI components such as Label,Buttons and pickers, Table View, Collection View, Push Notifications, Auto layouts, Concurrency, Navigation, Core Data, Design Patterns like MVVM,Delegate and MVC, UI Testing,REST API, Combine and Instruments
In SwiftUI, learn key topics such as
Canvas, Stacks, Previews, UI components such as Label,Buttons and pickers, Table View, Collection View, Push Notifications, Concurrency, Navigation, Core Data, Design Patterns like MVVM,Delegate and MVC, UI Testing,REST API, Combine and Instruments
#3 Get Certified
This is OPTIONAL and INCLUDES COST
You can also get certified as an iOS developer which will be an additional add-on to your resume. The certification is not directly provided by Apple but it is given by Credly.com associated with Apple. There are two certifications you can take ‘App Development with Swift Certified User’and ‘App Development with Swift Associate’
These certifications will open some doors for you while looking for jobs that look for certifications and proof of learning.
These certifications cover the key topics in Swift and UIKit but they don’t cover SwiftUI yet. Download the exam guide for the exams and learn the topics. According to the sales team it costs about 4000 INR per exam with practice tests included. (Prices are subject to change when you read this article).
Exam guides: https://certiport.pearsonvue.com/Certifications/Apple/App-Dev-With-Swift/Certify
Hope you found this article helpful and happy coding :)