When I started as an iOS developer, it was largely by accident. I was looking for work as an Android developer and ended up in a situation that will be familiar to most mobile developers out there. I was called by a recruiter one day, and the conversation went like this:
Recruiter: Hi, I have a mobile development role, I’ve read on your CV that you’re experienced with mobile development.
Me: Yessir, I have very strong skills in Android development.
Recruiter: Well I’ve sent you over a job spec, this sounds perfect for you.
Me: Ah, yeah, this job spec is for an iOS role, I’m an Android developer.
Recruiter: It’s fine, it’s just a boilerplate job spec, I assure you it’s 100% an Android role.
And so I ended up in my first iOS role…
Some background on me, up until this point I’d held a dislike for Apple so vocally and for so long that it had become ridiculous. It was a standing joke in my social circle, when forced to develop on Macs I’d wear gloves, when answering phone calls from iPhones, I’d cover my mouthpiece with a tissue to prevent contamination. I was the anti-Apple guy.
So I started working with the iOS SDK and, to my horror, it was great. Android at the time was a very messy SDK, everything you tried to do was an uphill struggle, but iOS was showing itself to be very straight-forward and simple. Because of Apple’s tight grip on what can be done with iOS and how, the SDK is a lot more comprehensive. Android’s buggy process of linking interface controls through an XML layer and then to the code was replaced with a single click-and-drag, the process of passing information to a new view through intent flags and intercepting it on the other end was replaced by the much easier process of creating a view with the information it needed and then just presenting it.
As I work more and more with iOS and its technologies I see more of what it is that makes it such a popular platform, elegant simplicity from interface to code. Back in my days of Android-fanaticism, I imagined iOS to be a claustrophobically restrictive platform, informed by horror stories of apples widget prohibition and restrictions on access to information on the device, but these restrictions have affected me probably twice in my career. In my day-to-day development it does everything I need in the simplest of ways.
How about you? Have you had your “come to Apple” moment, or have you always been keen to work with it? Love to hear from you in the comments section below.