Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

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#1 Kris E.  Icon User is offline

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Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 09 April 2016 - 01:31 PM


Hi guys!

Early last year I attended an iOS programming bootcamp where I learned to code in Objective-C. I've managed to put a few apps in the app store and have taken a few Udemy courses, taught myself Swift (which I probably now know as well as Objective-C) and compiled a short but simple resume as well as a pretty extensive gitHub.

I live in the bay area currently, was working for equity at a start up for a while, now I'm freelancing and studying but looking for a full time programming gig.
It seems impossible to find work out here without many connections despite the lack of good developers I keep hearing about. Most people from my class found jobs pretty easily, even those who weren't necessarily more skilled than myself.

Aside from tech meetups, does anyone know of any good online sites for looking for iOS jobs? I've tried Angel List, Linkedin, Dice etc. and have heard from a few recruiters but usually the jobs don't seem that legit. Of course I know a good gig is going to be competitive but as a junior I can't help but feel frustrated by the process of getting myself out there.

I understand that in order to get more students the bootcamp has to convince people that there is demand for iOS developers and that if you have the right skills finding a job shouldn't be a problem but I just haven't found this to be true so far. I feel like the market is becoming oversaturated due to bootcamps and that there are too many developers so I'm a little worried about the future of mobile development.

Just my two cents, if anyone has any advice or has gone through a similar experience it would be much appreciated. I do really like programming and am trying not to lose hope but it's hard to not want to give up sometimes, although of course I will never do that. :bigsmile:


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#2 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 09 April 2016 - 06:28 PM

This will be harsh, but oh well.


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I feel like the market is becoming oversaturated due to bootcamps and that there are too many developers so...

Bootcamps do not create developers. Bootcamps take money from people that believe they can get a 6 figure income from a 8 week course. Developers have extensive knowledge in the field and are marketable.

What you are classified now is, a self-taught coder with no real world experience. You need to study more and contribute to projects, do small freelance work, refine your portfolio.

Glad you know the languages you do, but it is what it is... You aren't a Jr Level developer.
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#3 Kris E.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 09 April 2016 - 07:16 PM

View Postastonecipher, on 09 April 2016 - 06:28 PM, said:

This will be harsh, but oh well.


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I feel like the market is becoming oversaturated due to bootcamps and that there are too many developers so...

Bootcamps do not create developers. Bootcamps take money from people that believe they can get a 6 figure income from a 8 week course. Developers have extensive knowledge in the field and are marketable.

What you are classified now is, a self-taught coder with no real world experience. You need to study more and contribute to projects, do small freelance work, refine your portfolio.

Glad you know the languages you do, but it is what it is... You aren't a Jr Level developer.


Harsh yes, but also overly negative considering...

1. Nearly everyone in my bootcamp (which was 12 weeks) did get jobs paying 60-90k a year with no prior experience in iOS development.

2. I'm not really "self taught" considering a bootcamp gives you just as many total hours as someone with a programming degree (about 600 hours over the course of 12 weeks day in day out). I've witnessed first hand that bootcamps can give people enough of a foundation in development to get hired at entry level positions.

3. I am studying and picking up freelance work which people pay me for. And working at a start up for equity is still experience.

4. I don't understand how I'm not a "Jr. Developer" considering I have several published apps in the app store and could build pretty much anything you wanted me to in both Objective-C and Swift.
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 09 April 2016 - 09:19 PM

View PostKris E., on 09 April 2016 - 09:16 PM, said:

Harsh yes, but also overly negative considering...
1. Nearly everyone in my bootcamp (which was 12 weeks) did get jobs paying 60-90k a year with no prior experience in iOS development.


I find that hard to believe, but if that actually is the case, I'd have to ask what sort of companies are hiring them and what positions they're hiring them for.
In my experience, someone who's been through a really well-run bootcamp-style program is ready - if they're lucky - to start really learning how to do this stuff. They have typically learned how to string together some useful libraries to make cookie-cutter websites or stock apps. In general, they have not learned anything at all about the fundamentals of computer science, or about software engineering, or about how to work as part of an effective team to make software that works, and stays working as it gathers new requirements and functionalities, and as it takes on higher degrees of load. The really sad part is that they haven't even learned that these are things they need to know, so they think they know everything that matters because their backgammon app works right.
They are wrong, and the reason they hold incorrect beliefs about the world is because the people who run these bootcamps are intentionally deceiving them.

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2. I'm not really "self taught" considering a bootcamp gives you just as many total hours as someone with a programming degree (about 600 hours over the course of 12 weeks day in day out). I've witnessed first hand that bootcamps can give people enough of a foundation in development to get hired at entry level positions.


It's not the classroom hours that matter. Someone who's got a BA in computer science has done what you've done, eight times. And if they've done an internship or two, it's possible that they might be ready to join a team as a junior programmer. You're not there yet. I'm sorry you were lied to, but you were lied to.

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4. I don't understand how I'm not a "Jr. Developer" considering I have several published apps in the app store and could build pretty much anything you wanted me to in both Objective-C and Swift.


Getting an app published is not a big trick, and doesn't really say much about the quality of your work or your ability to work with a team.

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And working at a start up for equity is still experience.


So you're telling me that you're the sort of person who will pay good money to a con artist and then work for free for someone else for a while. I think we should get together and talk about this bridge I have in Brooklyn that you might be interested in buying.


Okay, so all that aside, let's look at the question at the heart of your post:


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I understand that in order to get more students the bootcamp has to convince people that there is demand for iOS developers and that if you have the right skills finding a job shouldn't be a problem but I just haven't found this to be true so far. I feel like the market is becoming oversaturated due to bootcamps and that there are too many developers so I'm a little worried about the future of mobile development.


This is partly true. The market for semi-trained iOS developers who have started scratching the surface but think they're ready to make real-world money is more or less done. It's a marvel that there ever was such a market, but assume that it's not there any more.
So now you need to build on what you have. Here's a couple of ways you might go:
1) Do a serious reassessment of your skills, comparing your knowledge to the curriculum of a good four-year BA in computer science. If you do this right, you will find that you have a lot of gaps. Start filling in those gaps. A four year degree is not a lot, in the real world, but it's considered sort of baseline. If you can get up to that baseline, that'll be a good start.
2) Reconsider your choice of location. The Bay Area has some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Locating there is expensive - each seat in that office costs more than a comparable seat in Topeka or Toronto. This means that the person in that seat has to be producing that much more bottom line to earn back the cost of that seat. You're probably not the most productive person that the hiring manager is going to interview today, meaning you're probably not going to make the cut.
3) Reconsider your focus on startups. I love startups - I work for a startup accelerator (one of the biggest in the world at least according to our marketing team) and the energy that our companies bring in is a big part of why I love my job. Startups are fantastic. BUT - they might not be the place for someone who specializes in iPhone apps. Since I'm on the dev team at a startup accelerator, I've talked to a hell of a lot of founders about their tech hiring needs. One thing that I've never heard is "I need to hire a full-time iPhone specialist". They might want to hire a contractor to build an iPhone app, but they want that to be a quick in-and-out that'll get them through until next year. If you want to work on iOS, you might consider looking for a position at a company that's a little more established and has a little more play in their budget. (and also, one that has a few more senior engineers on staff to keep an eye on your work and help you grow a little)
4) Reconsider your focus iOS. It's great to specialize, but you're seriously limiting your options if you walk in and say "I do iPhone apps, and that's about it". Web development is something that a lot of people need these days. Learn one of the modern platforms (django and rails are killing it in Boston, node.js is quite popular as well) and develop some medium-complex sites with it. "I'm a decent web developer who also has good iOS chops" is a much better sell, no matter what level of company you're talking about. Cross-functional is a real plus.
5) Consider getting some practice working with other developers, on a project that has external stakeholders. A lone-gun programmer typically has a lot of adjustment to do when coming on to a team. If you can get some experienced supervision, you're going to advance a lot more than you will writing apps on your own, and if you have someone else providing the requirements and holding your feet to the fire, then you'll be well prepared for a real-world situation. Where can you get this? Well, those four-year degree kids get it from internships. I don't know where you're going to get it from. Ask your bootcamp.
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#5 Kris E.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 10 April 2016 - 02:25 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 09 April 2016 - 09:19 PM, said:

EXCESSIVE QUOTATION SNIPPED



1. Find it hard to believe all you want but I went there and witnessed it myself. I also know people who have gone through similar dev programs (of 8 weeks) and seen similar results. The point isn't to turn you into a senior dev. in 8 weeks but to give you the foundation to build things and keep teaching yourself.

2. I've known of many developers who say they have "x years" experience but the number of years means nothing, someone studying hard for one year and has a great portfolio could be much more capable than someone to studies on and off for several and has a less impressive portfolio.

3. Getting an app publishecdis a big deal and the senior devs I've talked to seem to agree. You're delusional if you think publishing a set-complex iOS app is something your average person, or person with minimal coding experience could do. Most jobs I've seen list at least one app in the app store as a requirement.

4. You contradict yourself here. You talk about the importance of an "internship" yet working at a start up for equity is basically the same thing, I normally wouldn't have put myself in that situation but I know the people who run it (they're good family friends) and the dev team is legit. So yes, in my current situation I'll work a bit for free (not full time) for someone I know if I can gain valuable experience and have a shot at being part of a promising startup at the beginning.

5. Con artist? Are you referring to bootcamps? I obviously didn't found the bootcamp I went to but still can't help but feel a bit offended by that, the teachers and the program were great and it's fairly well known and does very well.

6. I didn't start this topic because I doubt my programming skills, I don't. I started it to voice my frustration at the process of getting yourself out there (maybe I should start a better job networking site than linkedin or angel list since they kind of suck), and to ask for some constructive and positive advice, not trashing the idea of bootcamps, undermining my accomplishments and telling me I'm not a real developer. You don't know me nor have you seen my work so how could you even say that?

I made a few typos, can you not edit your posts on these forums?

That's weird, it just added my second post to the previous comment

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 10 April 2016 - 02:30 PM
Reason for edit:: no need to quote the previous post in its entirety

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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 10 April 2016 - 02:51 PM

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1. Find it hard to believe all you want but I went there and witnessed it myself. I also know people who have gone through similar dev programs (of 8 weeks) and seen similar results. The point isn't to turn you into a senior dev. in 8 weeks but to give you the foundation to build things and keep teaching yourself.


I think I might be in a position to have a more reasonable estimation of what "foundations" a junior programmer requires than you. The sort of thing I'd regard as foundational takes a lot more than eight weeks to acquire. If you believe that you've got a sufficient foundation to work in this field in two months, I think it's more likely that you've been misled by the people you gave a substantial sum of money to.

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2. I've known of many developers who say they have "x years" experience but the number of years means nothing, someone studying hard for one year and has a great portfolio could be much more capable than someone to studies on and off for several and has a less impressive portfolio.


It's certainly true and unfortunate that some developers do not learn anything from their experience in the field. We call this "one year of experience, ten times". However, this does not imply that in general a person with two months of schooling and a year self-guided freelance work is likely to be a solid bet for a full-time developer position. I think your original post bears this out: if you're asking why you're having trouble landing a more permanent position, you need only read the story you're telling us.

You tell us that "It seems impossible to find work out here without many connections despite the lack of good developers I keep hearing about."

This is exactly the experience I'd expect you'd be having given this back story: "Early last year I attended an iOS programming bootcamp where I learned to code in Objective-C. I've managed to put a few apps in the app store and have taken a few Udemy courses, taught myself Swift (which I probably now know as well as Objective-C) and compiled a short but simple resume as well as a pretty extensive gitHub."

What I'm saying is, this story doesn't sell itself. I've made a few suggestions for revisions you could make to that story. If you don't like those suggestions, there's no point in arguing with me about it. Go on doing what you're doing, if you think that's a better plan.

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4. You contradict yourself here. You talk about the importance of an "internship" yet working at a start up for equity is basically the same thing,


If you say so.

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5. Con artist? Are you referring to bootcamps? I obviously didn't found the bootcamp I went to but still can't help but feel a bit offended by that, the teachers and the program were great and it's fairly well known and does very well.


I'm sure they do very well for themselves. However, they've deluded you in exchange for money, which is more or less the definition of a con artist.

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6. I didn't start this topic because I doubt my programming skills, I don't. I started it to voice my frustration at the process of getting yourself out there (maybe I should start a better job networking site than linkedin or angel list since they kind of suck), and to ask for some constructive and positive advice, not trashing the idea of bootcamps, undermining my accomplishments and telling me I'm not a real developer. You don't know me nor have you seen my work so how could you even say that?


I've given you five concrete, constructive, positive steps you could take to address the problem you're asking about. I'm sorry if you don't like hearing that a person with a year of mostly self-guided experience is not considered a viable candidate for long-term employment on most dev teams, but I'm not here to lie to you. You'd have to pay me a lot of money to get me to do that.
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#7 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 10 April 2016 - 03:26 PM

You asked why you can't find a job. I stated my thoughts. Many people that hire, share those same thoughts.

Now for the people that were hired... You live in the Bay area, where developers make $130k -$150k, correct? $60-90,000 doesn't sound as attractive anymore, to me.

You thought, if you took a bootcamp, you could circumvent the ways developers are crafted. You are now upset with those pointing out the flaws, on why we are wrong and you are suited for the work. But, you haven't put the time in that others have either on paper or selling yourself to prospective employers.


And yes, it is easy to publish an app. You just need to follow their guidelines and poof your published. How many worthless apps would you like me to point out to prove that statement?
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#8 Kris E.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 12:19 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 10 April 2016 - 02:51 PM, said:

I think I might be in a position to have a more reasonable estimation of what "foundations" a junior programmer requires than you. The sort of thing I'd regard as foundational takes a lot more than eight weeks to acquire. If you believe that you've got a sufficient foundation to work in this field in two months, I think it's more likely that you've been misled by the people you gave a substantial sum of money to.

What I'm saying is, this story doesn't sell itself. I've made a few suggestions for revisions you could make to that story. If you don't like those suggestions, there's no point in arguing with me about it. Go on doing what you're doing, if you think that's a better plan.

I'm sure they do very well for themselves. However, they've deluded you in exchange for money, which is more or less the definition of a con artist.

I've given you five concrete, constructive, positive steps you could take to address the problem you're asking about. I'm sorry if you don't like hearing that a person with a year of mostly self-guided experience is not considered a viable candidate for long-term employment on most dev teams, but I'm not here to lie to you. You'd have to pay me a lot of money to get me to do that.



Okay, then you tell me what your requirements for being a Junior dev are. If someone can build an app and have it submitted to the app store then they are capable of anything that's needed for a junior position. Working on a team is more of a personality fit then anything.

You're probably right, I do need to improve how I sell myself, although I know people with the same abilities or less than myself who have been successful in selling themselves and have full time junior dev jobs.

A bootcamp doesn't claim to turn you into a Senior Developer making 150k a year, they claim that if you work hard over three months you have enough foundation to keep teaching yourself and get a Junior gig due to the supposed shortage of mobile developers. Like I said before, I've personally witnessed people be successful.

I don't think there's anything wrong with self-guided experience, but half of mine hasn't been self guided. I think it looks really good that someone can teach themselves, make money freelancing and build their own apps.

I don't want to keep arguing anyway, I merely just wanted some advice on better ways of looking since I know I am qualified for a junior position but thanks for the input.

View Postastonecipher, on 10 April 2016 - 03:26 PM, said:

You asked why you can't find a job. I stated my thoughts. Many people that hire, share those same thoughts.

Now for the people that were hired... You live in the Bay area, where developers make $130k -$150k, correct? $60-90,000 doesn't sound as attractive anymore, to me.

You thought, if you took a bootcamp, you could circumvent the ways developers are crafted. You are now upset with those pointing out the flaws, on why we are wrong and you are suited for the work. But, you haven't put the time in that others have either on paper or selling yourself to prospective employers.


And yes, it is easy to publish an app. You just need to follow their guidelines and poof your published. How many worthless apps would you like me to point out to prove that statement?


Senior developers make that much or more, junior developers make 70-90 around these parts which is more than enough for me. I'm young and single and already live in the city so I know how to get by.

If it's easy to publish an app then you're saying development is easy. That's what development is, publishing apps. I'm not upset with you pointing out the "flaws" because I've seen people like me become successful which is why I know I'm qualified for a *junior* position. You're right I probably need to sell myself better and maybe look in different places and that's essentially why I started this topic. While I thank you for the advice I find it overly negative/critical and was looking for something more constructive.
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#9 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:04 PM

There is a lot more to software development than cranking out code and publishing an app. A software engineer doesn't just make a product for the end users. These individuals also have an engineering responsibility to design the codebase in such a way that it is clean, well-documented, maintainable, and extensible. The reason for this is because new features will likely be demanded, and it's nice when your codebase isn't so brittle that minor changes break it.

So team development isn't about personality fits. It is about working with others to ensure your component(s) play nicely with theirs, and that everyone is contributing to the project. Have you heard of unit testing? This is where you test your components in isolation. There is also a practice known as integration testing, which is where a battery of tests are run to ensure components interact desirably together.

Additionally, there are issues of efficiency and complexity. Choosing appropriate data structures and algorithms for problems is very important as well. Additionally, on the mobile platform, issues of space and time complexity are very important because mobile devices have a small amount of space and limited battery life. So you don't want your app to eat through the battery life quickly. I would be shocked if a bootcamp covered this, let alone well. Data structures and algorithms constitutes 2-3 semesters in a CS degree- a sophomore level course, a junior level implementation heavy course, and a senior theory course. Even outside of mobile, data structures and algorithms are the bread and butter of a software engineer.

Folks who gauge success as "I submitted an app" often times haven't focused on the important behind the scenes issues. On top of that, the Bay area is getting flooded with top notch talent. I can tell you that some of my very talented and brilliant classmates from undergrad are out there at big name companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google doing fantastic things! You are competing with folks like that for entry level positions, and frankly you don't have the work experience to compete with them. No, a bootcamp, a couple Udemy courses, and publishing an app is not comparable experience.

On top of this, you only focus on one language. If you've only been programming for a few months, then I'm not terribly confident in your ability to pick up a new language on the fly to the point where you can be professionally productive in it.

It sounds like you're asking what you can do to get hired in the next month in the Bay area. I would say nothing. If you are willing to think more long term, I would suggest going (back) to school and studying CS or a closely related disciplined (Math, Physics, Operations Research, Electrical or Computer Engineering, etc.) for at least a minor's worth of classes. Once you're through the intro courses and maybe a junior level data structures course, you might be in a good position to apply for internships.
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#10 Kris E.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 03:04 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 11 April 2016 - 02:04 PM, said:

<Snip>


While in theory what you are saying would make sense, I know of developers who never had a CS degree and still managed to get their foot in the door. A junior iOS developer should know how to code Swift, Objective-C and know how to use gitHub and iTunes connect, work with API's etc. The rest should come with experience. It sounds like you expect someone looking for a junior position to know everything. I've been programming for about a year and a half, not a "few months" and Swift and Objective-C are two different languages.

I get the bay area is probably a lot more competitive than elsewhere so maybe I should get an entry level gig in another city for a while. But I don't think it should be impossible for me to find work in my situation unless the market has already become that oversaturated.
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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 03:18 PM

View PostKris E., on 10 April 2016 - 04:25 PM, said:

The point isn't to turn you into a senior dev. in 8 weeks but to give you the foundation to build things and keep teaching yourself.

Exactly, you have a foundation to build on, cause you actually don't know much.

Quote

3. Getting an app publishecdis a big deal and the senior devs I've talked to seem to agree. You're delusional if you think publishing a set-complex iOS app is something your average person, or person with minimal coding experience could do.


Obviously not true, cause you did it with no prior experience.

Quote

5. Con artist? Are you referring to bootcamps? I obviously didn't found the bootcamp I went to but still can't help but feel a bit offended by that, the teachers and the program were great and it's fairly well known and does very well.

Which is worse, you paying an ungodly amount of money to type for 3 months or someone to spend all their freetime for a long while, or go to college for a few years just to get into a good paying career? I think I am the one offended by that. Everest College, University of Phoenix, WyoTech these are some names of FOR-PROFIT universities that are fairly well known and do very well. Doesn't mean the education is worth their cost.


Quote

6. I didn't start this topic because I doubt my programming skills, I don't. I started it to voice my frustration at the process of getting yourself out there (maybe I should start a better job networking site than linkedin or angel list since they kind of suck), and to ask for some constructive and positive advice, not trashing the idea of bootcamps, undermining my accomplishments and telling me I'm not a real developer. You don't know me nor have you seen my work so how could you even say that?


Glad you think so highly of yourself. When I seriously got into programming, I realized there was a whole lot I didn't know. You seem to think you have your area handled. Constructive critisism: Self learn more programming areas. Look at the MIT CompSci courses, coursera, ect. They give a more solid understanding of what is ahead. Pickup more languages, not solely focusing on mobile or branch into Android as well and be a Mobile Specialist.

You think three months and a published app makes you a developer. I think it makes you foolish for spending that kind of money and a hobby programmer.

Check other cities!!! There are a ton of development jobs out there. Being in one of the highest tech cities, is not where you want to compete!
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#12 Kris E.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 03:31 PM

View Postastonecipher, on 11 April 2016 - 03:18 PM, said:

Glad you think so highly of yourself. When I seriously got into programming, I realized there was a whole lot I didn't know. You seem to think you have your area handled. Constructive critisism: Self learn more programming areas. Look at the MIT CompSci courses, coursera, ect. They give a more solid understanding of what is ahead. Pickup more languages, not solely focusing on mobile or branch into Android as well and be a Mobile Specialist.

You think three months and a published app makes you a developer. I think it makes you foolish for spending that kind of money and a hobby programmer.

Check other cities!!! There are a ton of development jobs out there. Being in one of the highest tech cities, is not where you want to compete!


Being confident in ones abilities and thinking "highly of myself" are two different things. I have actually been coding everyday for the past year and a half (the bootcamp was the beginning of 2015) and yes I'm in that "I realize there is so much I don't know phase", there are also Senior developers who don't know a lot of things, it's all about being able to learn them.

I want to focus my energy on iOS, if I branch out to much at an early stage I won't learn any language or platform very well so I'll save that for the future.

I make a living building apps for other people right now, so yes, I can call myself a developer.

I'm foolish? Okay, so are everyone else who's been through a bootcamp then, I know some very smart and successful people who have been through them, I guess they're just f'ing idiots too then huh? I can't take a comment like that seriously.

Yes, I might consider checking out other cities. It might be the fact I'm in the bay area that's hurting me although I would have thought there'd still be a demand for junior developers here.
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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 03:32 PM

I would expect a senior developer to have more experience, better design skills, be able to better anticipate future needs and directions, and have an intimate knowledge of associated technologies to compare/contrast them. I would not expect this from a junior developer.

The skills I mentioned are all skills folks learn in the classroom and during internships.

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I know of developers who never had a CS degree and still managed to get their foot in the door.

There are exceptions to every rule. jon.kiparsky has a linguistics degree and came to CS when he went back to school for additional training. baavgai has an English degree if memory serves, but a CS minor. I myself have degrees in Mathematics and Economics with a CS minor. Craig328 has a history degree, and I think the opportunity to retrain came from his employer as he was performing a different job. Our resident Klingon is a senior developer with no degree and has noted it is much harder to get one's foot in the door without a degree.

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A junior iOS developer should know how to code Swift, Objective-C and know how to use gitHub and iTunes connect, work with API's etc.

A junior developer should be able to successfully contribute to a project without a lot of hand-holding. This means familiarizing oneself with the codebase, picking up the target languages to be reasonably productive, and understanding the designs and goals of the project. This is different than knowing language X, language Y, and API Z. I've worked in a new language at each job I've had, including internships and research experience. GitHub is a very important skill- I will give you that one.

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I've been programming for about a year and a half, not a "few months" and Swift and Objective-C are two different languages.

So the comparison to draw then is to CS students halfway through their sophomore year. I think a lot of the topics and points I outlined in my previous post apply to most CS sophomores.

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But I don't think it should be impossible for me to find work in my situation unless the market has already become that oversaturated.

In most cases, I would suggest an intro to programming class, a discrete math class, and a data structures class for folks looking to learn. In the Bay area, I would suggest a CS minor (or equivalent coursework) with targeted coursework so you can specialize in an area of interest. Then apply for internships. It's a very different market in the Bay area.


I also want to point out that a lot of the members here have been on the hiring side of things. jon.kiparsky and astonecipher certainly have, and they're telling you what you're missing. I've been through the process and seen enough folks go through it to have an idea of what employers want. It might be worthwhile to take a step back and look at what we're saying, and compare it with what headhunters, employers and career services are saying. I certainly wish you the best of luck and hope you are successful in your career!

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I want to focus my energy on iOS, if I branch out to much at an early stage I won't learn any language or platform very well so I'll save that for the future.

This is a very good indicator you are not ready. Folks who are career ready can pick up languages as necessary, and need to do so. It's a rare thing to work exclusively on one platform for a project, especially a mobile project.

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Yes, I might consider checking out other cities. It might be the fact I'm in the bay area that's hurting me although I would have thought there'd still be a demand for junior developers here.

There is. You're competing with folks who have three internships under their belts, graduate coursework in machine learning and combinatorics, several personal projects, and 2-3 degrees in relevant fields and one or more minors. I have many friends on that side of the country. One is at Google with degrees in Math and CS, and 3/4 of an Aerospace Engineering degree completed. Another was a Computer Engineering major with a CS minor who was the face of operating systems, cyber security, computer architecture and puns. He also worked on independent studies in integer programming. Another friend is doing his PhD CS at the University of Southern California with internships at places like Facebook, previous publications, and four undergraduate degrees in five years. A fourth friend is working on his Master's in CS and has a few years of internships, including one at a big name research lab and a second summer upcoming at said lab. Those are the folks with whom you are competing.
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#14 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 03:33 PM

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Okay, then you tell me what your requirements for being a Junior dev are. If someone can build an app and have it submitted to the app store then they are capable of anything that's needed for a junior position. Working on a team is more of a personality fit then anything.


Personality issues are actually a large part of what you're looking for when you try to hire someone. This is why we do interviews, and not written exams. For example, one really important skill that many people look for in a candidate is the ability to take constructive criticism on board and revise your view of the world based on new knowledge. Look back at your responses in this topic, where you have three programmers with industry experience telling you one thing, and you telling all of us "no, no, I know better than you". Is this how you're going to act in code review? Thanks, but I'll pass. Next candidate, please.
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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 04:26 PM

Let me also flip this conversation a bit. What do you bring to the table better than anyone else? What's your comparative advantage? Why should someone hire you?
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