Why does it seem like no one is ever a Junior developer? I see literally thousands of Senior Developer positions but it is rare to find a junior position. Here is a bit of my background.
I have been a C#.NET developer for about 4 years. I consider my self in the Mid-Senior level category with C#.NET development and Microsoft Technologies in general. Over the past year I have slowly migrated into the Apple universe by first getting my first iPhone, (it was a 4s), and then soon after an iPod Touch 5th gen.
I was immediately amazed by the ecosystem. I liked the fact that everything, “just worked”. I had struggled with problems with Android devices and switched to an iPhone because I was fed up.
If you have an iPhone you soon realize that in order to realize the full potential of it you need to have a Mac. So after a few months I sold my car, (jk), and bought a used MacBook Pro off of Craigslist. It was about 4 years old but man it was pretty sweet. I ended up keeping it for about 6 months and then selling it back on Craigslist for $100 more than what I paid for it. 😉
So fast forward, (no GIT jokes), a year later and I have, a 2015 MacBook Pro, iPad Mini 4, Apple Watch, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple TV, etc. I think the next logical step after getting completely setup in the Apple universe is that you want to start developing apps for all of your cool devices.
On a whim I got into iOS development and instantly fell in love with iOS, Xcode, and the Swift programming language. It has been four months now and I have a pretty good proficiency with iOS development and I have 7 apps on the app store that are mine and three more that belong to other people that I have worked on.
And now to my dilemma. I have fallen in love with iOS development. It has consumed my entire world. It is the only development I want to do. Developing in any other language/ecosystem is painfully dull and lacks passion. I am always thinking about Swift even at my day job.
You know how it is when a couple fall in love and they start to annoy those around them?
“Karen always says that.”
“Dave has a shirt like that.”
“You remind me of my girlfriend, Stacy”
I find myself always talking about Swift to my coworkers.
“Swift has method signatures like no other language.”
“Swift has a module like that.”
“This reminds me of Swift code.”
I feel like people around me are starting to tire of my constant school boy daydreaming about Swift. I want to get a job developing apps in iOS. I want to just jump in head first and get lost in one of those cool app dev shops you see in articles or hear about online.
So far I have had no luck. I am an experienced developer, I know my way around any codebase. But I have literally 4 months of true iOS experience. I am doing app work for people free of charge just to get my fix.
I have applied to two “Junior” iOS developer positions. The only two that seem to be available in the Denver area. I actually interviewed for one but it turns out that they were looking for a more mid-level developer.
I went back to the recruiter and said that they were looking for a mid-level and they said, “Oh, yeah, well the company listed the job as a mid to senior level position but we listed it as a “junior” position.
But it wasnt all bad. During the interview I could tell that they were not impressed in the slightest by my skills but I at least got to get some really great feedback on what I need to work on to get me to the level where I am hireable.
So, bottom line and the reason for this post is that it is REALLY HARD to break into iOS development unless you already have a TON of experience. My advice would be to build a rock solid portfolio, start contributing to open source projects, go to meet ups, look for mentors in the field that you want to work in.
Eventually all of the “Senior” developers will die or retire so maybe we just need to wait for that to happen. In the mean time I will have to keep writing stupid C# code.