Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

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22 Replies - 2441 Views - Last Post: 07 May 2016 - 11:02 AM

#16 Kris E.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 05:04 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 11 April 2016 - 03:33 PM, said:

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.


Yes, constructive criticism. Telling me my bootcamp was a scam and trying to convince me that it's impossible to be successful after completing one when I have seen the opposite for myself is not that. So no, I'm not saying I know better than you I'm just pointing out that that was wrong and untrue. That's why I'm being defensive.

I would absolutely love for someone with experience help improve my code.

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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?


I'm creative, know two programming languages, can work with git, API's etc. and would work well with other team members, I know that sounds very cheesy and generic but I actually think that's my biggest advantage. I've actually met iOS developers making 6 figures that don't know both Objective-C and Swift or other languages and may have never worked with Parse, Firebase or OAuth or done much with API's. Obviously it's specific to the job but still. What would you say for yourself? Just curious.

From the research I've done, not just what the bootcamp told us, there is an ongoing shortage of good mobile developers, or just developers in general, so I suppose that's why they should hire me. I can build an app competently or work with other people to do so.

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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.


A well known bootcamp here in SF wanted to hire me as an instructor but my connection there quit so it fell through. I've also had some job offers from recruiters but am still waiting to hear back from said companies when they get back in hiring season. It might not be much but I don't think it's that hopeless. If it is maybe it's the competition in the bay area and not the position I'm in.
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#17 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 11 April 2016 - 05:33 PM

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Telling me my bootcamp was a scam and trying to convince me that it's impossible to be successful after completing one when I have seen the opposite for myself is not that.

Nobody said that it's impossible to be successful after completing a bootcamp. What has been stated in this thread is that a bootcamp is not sufficient preparation to be successful in the workplace. This is coming from two senior developers that have participated in hiring decisions.

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I know that sounds very cheesy and generic but I actually think that's my biggest advantage.

It kind-of is. Employers hear this all the time. You need to be a lot more precise in promoting yourself.

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I've actually met iOS developers making 6 figures that don't know both Objective-C and Swift or other languages and may have never worked with Parse, Firebase or OAuth or done much with API's. Obviously it's specific to the job but still.

Now we are getting somewhere. Specialized knowledge is great to have! Outline your substantial specialized knowledge and really pitch it.

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From the research I've done, not just what the bootcamp told us, there is an ongoing shortage of good mobile developers, or just developers in general, so I suppose that's why they should hire me. I can build an app competently or work with other people to do so.

Discuss the process of building your app, including the scope, problems you had, how you overcame them, how you managed the code base, your design and architecture, how you dealt with issues of efficiency, etc.

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A well known bootcamp here in SF wanted to hire me as an instructor

I would be skeptical of an organization that wanted to hire a programming instructor with only 1.5 years experience. No offense intended.

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If it is maybe it's the competition in the bay area and not the position I'm in.

Regardless, I would advocate not resting on your laurels. Keep working to improve your skill set and marketability. At the end of the day, companies hire folks they think can fulfill their needs. The stronger case you can make for this, the better.


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What would you say for yourself? Just curious.

I will put my short ego trip in a spoiler. :) The tl;dr version is that I have specialized in three different and relevant disciplines, and have a track record of successfully applying my knowledge from each.
Spoiler

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#18 Kris E.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 14 April 2016 - 03:22 PM

[quote name='macosxnerd101' date='11 April 2016 - 05:33 PM' timestamp='1460421222' post='2247424']

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Now we are getting somewhere. Specialized knowledge is great to have! Outline your substantial specialized knowledge and really pitch it.

I would be skeptical of an organization that wanted to hire a programming instructor with only 1.5 years experience. No offense intended.

Regardless, I would advocate not resting on your laurels. Keep working to improve your skill set and marketability. At the end of the day, companies hire folks they think can fulfill their needs. The stronger case you can make for this, the better.


Indeed, I'll try to pitch my experience with API's, Cocoapods, both major iOS languages etc. although obviously of other candidates also possess said skills.

I don't take offense to that, but respectfully disagree to a certain extent. If someone codes day in day out for over a year they should know enough to teach a total beginner or at least be a mentor. Like I said, I personally know people with no or little prior CS experience making 70-100K after either a bootcamp or a bootcamp plus an internship or job within a years time.

I'm certainly not resting on my laurels, I know there is so much more to know even for people advanced in the field and I've grown a deep love and appreciation for computer science in general. I just wonder what's best for someone in my position to keep advancing. I want to get really good at iOS before branching out to other platforms, if I ever do, having one solid strength is better than having many less solid ones. I hear a lot of mixed things in that regard, and know iOS developers who don't do much with other platforms or languages.

Anyway, I can't help but feel the mobile developer field is becoming more and more oversaturated, perhaps not as bad as say, law ,for now at least but I still can't help but feel a little concerned. I feel like by the time that I'm a senior developer everyone will know how to code and I'll never find a job because I'm late to the game. I could be over exaggerating of course but just what I feel at the moment at least.

Thanks for the input!
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#19 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 14 April 2016 - 03:42 PM

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I don't take offense to that, but respectfully disagree to a certain extent. If someone codes day in day out for over a year they should know enough to teach a total beginner or at least be a mentor.

I've spent a lot of time the last couple teaching folks in computer science and math departments. Folks who are industry ready after a year were likely industry ready (or close to it) before the first year. They might be internship ready after a year, but not junior developer ready. I would agree- someone with some skill after a year can likely mentor a newbie or be a good instructional/teaching assistant. But mentoring and formal teaching are very different beasts. Designing lesson plans and lectures, constructing useful assignments and exercises, assessing student work and providing feedback, etc., takes a lot of time. Plus you really have to know the material inside and out. It's a lot more involved than explaining a single concept or helping someone debug a little code.

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Like I said, I personally know people with no or little prior CS experience making 70-100K after either a bootcamp or a bootcamp plus an internship or job within a years time.

Scale that for your area as well. In California, it's not uncommon for graduate students to make $40k in assistanceships. Scaled for the cost of living, this isn't very favorable. At the graduate schools I've looked at on the east coast, $18-20k is on the high side. Graduate students tend to be at the lower end of the spectrum with regards to their earnings.

Cite: http://www.phdstipends.com/results (Note that the $330k stipend is ridiculous and doesn't happen).


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I want to get really good at iOS before branching out to other platforms, if I ever do, having one solid strength is better than having many less solid ones.

I would be very surprised if you never touch a platform outside of iOS. From a learning perspective, it's important to know your stuff. From a practicality perspective, you need to be at a point where you can reference the documentation and be productive in the language. And being very realistic, if you want a job, saying to an employer that you are reluctant or uncomfortable to learn new languages as necessary is a red flag.


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I feel like by the time that I'm a senior developer everyone will know how to code and I'll never find a job because I'm late to the game. I could be over exaggerating of course but just what I feel at the moment at least.

As someone who teaches these classes, I assure you that will never happen. ;)


I'm glad you've found something you enjoy and that you want to get a job! I hope my comments aren't overly discouraging, but provide a pragmatic perspective to things. Best of luck in your endeavors!
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#20 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 14 April 2016 - 03:56 PM

If you have been developing in any language, consistently and able to "write whatever you want" for an application, you are ready to branch into other languages, and it is favorable from a hiring perspective to do so.

A coworker of mine has a major in CS and a minor in mobile development. He does little mobile development in the position, but is a hell of a developer.

I understand wanting to get thoroughly knowledgeable in a language, but no at the sake of forgoing others... I have a handle on 12 languages. It did not come easy and I have to look at syntax constantly because of thinking the function call is one way when it is actually another. From a marketability stand point, you should be saying, "I know these two and am looking to learn more. I have gained an intermediate knowledge of these two languages, and am looking to expand my language to better assist you and further develop my programming knowledge."
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#21 Kris E.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 14 April 2016 - 04:11 PM

[quote name='macosxnerd101' date='14 April 2016 - 03:42 PM' timestamp='1460673743' post='2248300']

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I would be very surprised if you never touch a platform outside of iOS. From a learning perspective, it's important to know your stuff. From a practicality perspective, you need to be at a point where you can reference the documentation and be productive in the language. And being very realistic, if you want a job, saying to an employer that you are reluctant or uncomfortable to learn new languages as necessary is a red flag.


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I feel like by the time that I'm a senior developer everyone will know how to code and I'll never find a job because I'm late to the game. I could be over exaggerating of course but just what I feel at the moment at least.

As someone who teaches these classes, I assure you that will never happen. ;)/>


I'm glad you've found something you enjoy and that you want to get a job! I hope my comments aren't overly discouraging, but provide a pragmatic perspective to things. Best of luck in your endeavors!


I would love to eventually learn about other platforms (I'm learning a little about javascript and unity at the moment as well as teaching myself about algorithms and data structures) but for the time being I'm just paranoid of losing or not advancing in my iOS skills. I'm not opposed to picking up another language if an employer needs it and if I was I could see how that would be a red flag.

I'm glad, and no your comments were very helpful, don't worry
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#22 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 14 April 2016 - 08:34 PM

I've been a Java programmer for the last 9 years, and there are many aspects of the language with which I have no familiarity. The goal is to be able to problem solve, and to pick up enough of the language to be productive and useful. This becomes easier the more experience you have.

Also, please avoid quoting the post right above yours. There is a big Reply button at the bottom of each page. :)
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#23 EliNax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for a Junior iOS Developer

Posted 07 May 2016 - 11:02 AM

Before you start reading, I want to tell you something about myself: I don't consider myself a developer, yet. I am a Computer Science student and I have a long way to go in my learning journey. There are a few things I understood about this world, and I want to share them with you. Don't think I am judging you or underestimating you. I am simply giving you my opinion about the pathway you're following.

I would really like to become an iOS developer, but let me tell you one thing: I think you're starting from the wrong place.

You should start from learning the basics of programming: logic, algorithms, data structures. Those skills are independent from the programming language and platform you choose, and you can apply this knowledge when developing apps, websites or whatever you want to do.

AFTER you learn this kind of things, you should start picking up a platform and developing your own software.

Do you know what happens when you don't follow this path? Your code might work, your app might be published and it might even work fine.
BUT. Your code is not well designed, it's not clear, you cannot reuse it because you coded only thinking about what can and cannot work. And, most importantly, if you were to work with other people, they could not read and understand your code.

I hope you understand that I'm not telling you this to bring you down, bootcamps are really useful for picking up new technologies, but they cannot make you a developer and recruiters know this.
You don't have to have a formal education (even if that is the easiest way to go), a lot of great developers are self-taught.
I suggest you read this article, my teacher made us read the first day at CS, since I am not sure my point of view was clear:
https://www.cs.cmu.e...3/Wing06-ct.pdf

This is constructive criticism, if you were expecting something like "the world is evil and you're right", well, I am sorry but I am not good at that.
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