5 Things I Wish I’d Been Told When I Decided To Be An iOS Developer
1. Learning Swift Is Like Exploring
We should approach learning iOS the way we learned to play games. When we buy a new game, we don’t read the manual from front to back. We don’t wait to push buttons until we’re told. We jump right in, we explore, we figure out what we can and can’t do. Even knowing that though, when I first became an iOS developer, I bought a class on Udemy. I followed along with the lessons, not straying a bit like I was going to lose points or something for experimenting.
I don’t advocate just jumping in never having opened Xcode before or written a line of code. Theres a certain amount of basics you have to know to even be aware of what even can and can’t be done, but at some point youre going to have to leave tutorial mode and start playing the real game
2. Create A System To Keep Yourself From Repeating Video Content
Creating a system so that you don’t end up rewatching hours and hours of content you’ve already seen is so important. There aren’t many ways to speed up the process of learning, but there are countless more ways to slow down the process. This is one of the biggest.
What I did was start taking notes. Very bad notes at first, but I didn’t know just how bad until I tried to use them for the first time and build something using only what I had written. I’ve found though that the only way to take good notes is to use the notes you’ve taken, and figure out where you weren’t being thorough enough to accomplish what you wanted. That’s why I’ve begun posting them here as a way to make sure I don’t slack on my understanding.
3. Theory Isn’t Enough For An iOS Developer
Some things have to be learned through experience. You could read a book about how to ride a bike, you could even read a book about how to make a bike, but nothing is going to prepare you for actually riding a bike except getting on it, and riding. You could follow all the tutorials in the world step by step, but until you start getting your hands dirty by writing some bad code, you’re never going to get that experience under your belt. You’re never going to know what your boundaries are.
4. Give Yourself A Personalized Plan
You have to make a map. You have to have some kind of direction for what you need to know as a developer to be considered competent enough to get a job. Just following whats laid out in a class isn’t enough. That’s the map they’ve given you, and believe me when I say its not enough.
Online coding boot camps that work you for 9 hours, 6 days a week will tell you that without extra work on top of that, even their curriculum isn’t enough to get you the job by its self. So, If thats the case for a 15,000 dollar boot camp, what do you think that says for the 10 dollar class you just purchased on Udemy? Take your learning into your own hands and make your own map. Give yourself a small project with things you want to familiarize yourself with, maybe one that focuses on UICollectionViews or UIAlertControllers, just make sure it’s a conscious decision.
5. Don’t Turn The Marathon Into A Sprint
Don’t forget that you chose to become a developer because it’s fun. We learn by doing, but the most important thing you need to remember is to have fun while you’re doing it. Let’s be realistic, if we only cared about making money, it’d be a lot easier to get hired at a fast food restaurant, or a retail chain, and move up to management positions and higher. There are much easier ways to make a decent living, maybe not an outstanding living, but a decent enough living to have most of the things we want within reason.
We don’t choose those because we don’t enjoy them. We grow up knowing that the last thing we want is to work a job we hate for the rest of our lives. We chose iOS Development because it was fun. Of course nothing stays fun forever, but just remember you could have picked any career, and you picked this.
Have fun, don’t turn it into life or death sprint to the finish and give yourself deadlines no one else is placing on you. You don’t have to learn the entire lanugage in one month. Nothing is impossible technically, but that’s impossible. Give yourself realistic goals to beat, and have fun beating it, because I promise you, setting impossible goals and then failing at those impossible goals will knock the wind out of your sails faster than anything.