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How to Hire An iOS Developer

Charanpreet Singh

Dec 2, 2020

Introduction

While building a mobile application for your business, the fight between iOS and Android is very real. Everything depends on the user base. Here, the question of the user base arises because an iOS developer must understand the behavioral and engagement traits of the iOS users to make an application that works.

Not one but many studies have been conducted to compartmentalize the attributes of iOS and Android users. This has helped the organizations build applications that align with user behavior, ultimately increasing the chances of mass adoption.

To give you a glimpse of these attributes:

iOS users are more affluent than Android users.

There are many other differences between Android and iOS users. As an employer, it is beneficial for you to understand these differences too. It will help in evaluating the shortlisted candidates in interview rounds.

Here we will discuss the process to hire an iOS developer in four stages.

1). Pre-hiring process.

2). Identifying the requirements.

3). Conducting interviews and selection.

4). An All-in-one approach by Skuad.

Hiring an iOS developer is not something that you can do every day. Always remember that you are not hiring a developer; instead, you are looking at a person who will become a part of your growth and witness your success. Therefore, you need a person who not only matches your vision but also helps you validate and mold it into reality.

Pre-Hiring Phase

This is an important step, even if you are hiring a person in the mid-development phase.

First, you must be fully aware of your project requirements. This begins with understanding your idea. Why are you building an iOS application?

Answer this question because you have to share the same with the potential candidate during the screening process.

Added to this,

  • Set the budget.
  • Set deadlines.
  • Write down the roles and responsibilities of the developer.
  • Create a framework for your idea.

The crux of all these discussions is that the role of an iOS developer is not limited to just the development part. It goes beyond that to the planning, execution, and deployment stages too.

An iOS developer will also have insights into the application design and frameworks. This is because the developer is supposed to understand the users down to every last detail. Getting an idea for an iOS application and assessing the market positioning is not as big a challenge as Android applications.

There are 1.96 million applications on the App Store. So the extent of getting a unique requirement or idea for an iOS application seems more plausible than an Android application. This is important because we want you to understand the criteria for selecting an Android developer are different from iOS developers.

The pre-hiring phase involves creating the user persona and then matching it with the developer’s knowledge base. The rest comes later.

Along with the user persona, identify the goals and objectives of developing the application. Write down your goals, objectives, and relevant KPIs. These aspects will help you filter the candidates. After the new employee's orientation, these aspects will make sure that the developer and the application are traversing in the right direction.

Roles, Responsibilities, and Technical Expertise of an iOS Developer

There are several aspects of iOS development. This includes defining the product, formulating the architecture, type, and approach to development, developing, coding, review, testing, and deployment.

You should not expect a single iOS developer to perform all these functions.

IOS development is indeed easier than android development, but the easy part is limited to the coding. Because iOS application code is written in Swift, in which the extent of writing is less than Android.

When it comes to the rest of the functions, navigating through iOS development is not so easy. This is because iOS application requirements are not as flexible as Android. Apple has set several specific guidelines for development and design.

This reduces the sphere of A/B testing and does not allow the developers to play with the product development too much.

So depending on the expertise and work requirements, the choice of the developer is finalized.

Developer Type

What can they Do?

Junior iOS Developer

Developers with 0 to 2 years of experience fall under this category. You can assign them to coding and writing tasks. But they have to be under a senior colleague and will need a regular direction.

Mid-Level Developer

iOS developers with 2 to 5 years of experience and the ability to work on multiple projects come under this category. Plus, they can easily handle coding and testing tasks. Added to this, mid-level developers will also have the ability to coordinate with the DevOps teams and can handle the project execution smoothly.

Senior iOS Developer

Senior iOS developers are backed with 5 years of working experience. You cannot expect them to write codes. You would want them in your team if you are looking to manage a team of iOS developers. Senior developers are experts in making decisions pertaining to the architecture, review code, help with designing, and quality control.

Remember how we talked about understanding the iOS user before developing an application for the same?

The understanding of these aspects also depends on the developer's experience and knowledge base. So, the interview for an iOS developer will also depend on the individual’s experience. Let's discuss further to understand how to conduct the interview of an iOS developer.

The Interview Phase

We will divide this section into 5 major headings.

  1. Basic Skill Set
  2. Architecture
  3. Application Security and Networking
  4. API Development and Designing
  5. Code Review

Basic Skill Set

Over the top, an iOS developer should know about Apple's preferred programming language, SWIFT. Other than this, they should also know about Objective-C. Added to this, prepare some questions about Xcode IDE. They should know about APIs, including UIKit or Cocoa Touch.

Concerning Swift, the iOS developer should know about;

  • Syntax
  • Interoperability between Swift and Objective-C.
  • Handling the coding errors.
  • If and Switch Statements under the Control Flow.
  • Classes, Inheritance, and Initialisation.

Besides RESTful APIs, an iOS developer should have the basic knowledge about UI and UX designing, Apple's Human Interface Guidelines, and must be aware of Metal or OpenGL.

Lastly, you can also expect the developer to have some understanding of the Core Data Framework.

Remember that this is the basic skill of an iOS developer. You need to frame your questions according to the level of developer you are hiring. For instance, for a junior iOS developer, ask questions related to coding and programming languages. To test the waters, you can add some aspects of the Human Interface guidelines or even about APIs.

Similarly, add on more technologies and concepts plus the future developments as the level of the developer goes up.

While at it, you might also come across native and hybrid iOS developers. Yes, there is a difference between them. While native iOS developers write on Swift or Objective C, the hybrid developers work with cross-platform technologies like React Native or Xamarin. But that is a discussion best kept for another day. For now, let’s focus on hiring native iOS developers.

Architecture Design and Frameworks

In simple terms, architecture means how all parts of the application will come together and make them right. The benefit of understanding the architecture is manifold.

  • It brings the project stakeholders on a common platform.
  • Helps realize the project development as per the plan.
  • Saves time, money, and effort.

Pro Tip: Create application development architecture before taking interviews. It helps you find out whether the developer concurs with your preferred architectural framework.

Application Security and Networking

Risk mitigation in iOS application development is controlled by implementing the best coding guidelines and practices. Concepts like XML entities, insecure deserialization, and injection are relevant here.

Your ideal iOS application developer should have knowledge about computing infrastructure, encryption, and digital signatures. Threats are genuine and prevalent, so the developer should understand how to circumvent them and create counteracting strategies.

For networking, the iOS developer needs to understand JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). JSON is the technology that helps us send and receive data from the device to the web and vice versa.

API Development and Designing

APIs bridge the gap between front-end and back-end services, making it easier for the user to gain access to the application’s core functions. An iOS developer should have experience in API development, more specifically, they must understand how to deploy RESTful APIs in the development process.

For this purpose, a developer needs to know about the following.

API Development

Postman

API Documentation

Swagger

Database

PostgreSQL and MongoDB

Furthermore, it is essential to create apt encryption and security using the proper techniques and methods.

Under designing, the iOS developer should understand spatial reasoning and the core of Apple's design guidelines. It is important to identify the spatial relations between different objects of a product. The ultimate objective of this aspect is to know how the user will interact with the application.

However, spatial reasoning comes with experience and practice. Designing an iOS application is another key aspect that will also become a deciding factor while selecting the right candidate.

iOS development is design-specific as Apple has provided certain strict guidelines that must be followed. Moreover, you can ask about Model-View-Controller (MVC), which creates a shared understanding of data storage, presentation, and update.

Code Review

Under code review, an iOS developer should know about verification and validation of the developed application. You should, however, not expect the junior iOS developers to know much about this aspect.

However, while hiring Senior iOS developers must understand the ins and outs of code verification. From testing designing requirements to testing the plans, and codes, and everything else. A senior iOS developer should know about aspects like;

  • Verify the code.
  • Filter out the vulnerabilities.
  • Analyze the applicability of the development guidelines.
  • Whether the written code will conform to the functionalities.

Additional Factors to Help Identify the Right Candidate

Besides the technical expertise and knowledge base required by an iOS developer, there are two more factors that you need to consider.

Portfolio

A junior iOS developer won't have a great portfolio to show and tell. You can only assess them based on knowledge and practical experience. But, with mid-level and senior iOS developers, you must ask for a portfolio of the previous work.

Having a portfolio means that the candidate has either been a part of or has developed applications for several clients. Furthermore, ask whether or not the candidate has a GitHub account.

GitHub is like a development-specific public profile of the developer where they share the projects and insights. For you, as an employer, asking for the developer's GitHub account can be beneficial if you want to assess the skills right.

Communication

Not only developers but any employee should have a set of values that makes them valuable team players. In this, communication is the key to developing better and trustworthy working relationships in an organization.

Assessing the candidate's ability to play well with everyone in the team is primarily dependent on communication. While conducting interviews, note qualities like listening, confidence, empathy, friendliness, and respect.

Screening Tests and Interviews

Now that you have everything set for hiring the candidates, it is time to take the interviews. To hire an iOS developer, you can divide the interview process into two parts, personal interaction and a coding test.

The personal interaction should be divided between three core aspects:

  • Platform experience
  • Skills, Knowledge, and Opinions
  • Behavioral Aspects

The second aspect is taking an online test. Prepare a small test for the potential candidates. Also, do not give every candidate a chance to provide the test. Filter the deserving candidates from personal interaction and give the second opportunity to the selected ones.

Consider these guidelines for the test.

  • Prepare the test according to the kind of work the employee will be doing in the organization.
  • Ensure that the candidates have a natural setting for the test imitating the real working experience. This means that you can give them access to the IDE, libraries, tech stack, etc.
  • Combine business logic with coding skills to get a wholesome picture.

Do not test the candidate only based on the coding part, but get an overview of their business logic, understanding their environment, and how well they understand the requirements.

Now that you understand how to hire an iOS developer, you must realize that it can be overwhelming. You have to take note of multiple aspects to select the right candidate. Hiring the right candidate for your organization is imperative.

As it is famously said, the employees are the backbone of the company. If you select the wrong person, you risk a lot and laying bumps on the road to success.

But what if we told you that you can bypass everything and move right to the hiring process?

How does Hiring an iOS Developer with Skuad Sound?

Skuad brings you a comprehensive and intelligent platform to help you hire the right person for the job in record time. We want to help you reduce selection errors and biases. Skuad has a pre-evaluated base of experienced iOS developers working full-time, part-time, or as contractors.

We make it easier for you to find the right person for the job. We do this because we understand the value proposition of a good employee and the issues that you may have to face with the wrong one.

Plus, it is not always about the developer, but it is the individual you want to hire. A great developer with a suitable skill set can also cause problems if he/she is not a good team player. This will actually hurt your organizational values and culture.

However, with Skuad, you will get pre-vetted iOS developers who are great at what they do and can become an asset to your organization. On our platform, the developers are rated on three main parameters.

  1. Successful Projects
  2. Technical Expertise
  3. Experience

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