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We asked Liang about how she got involved in iOS development and whether she had any insight for individuals looking to get started in this field. Here’s what she had to say.
BrainStation: What was it that first interested you in iOS development?
Liang: After getting my first iPhone 3GS, I wanted to find an app that alerted me when I got home, but I couldn’t find one in the App Store. So I decided to learn how to make an app myself.
What advice would you give people looking to break into in your field?
Think of an app idea that gets you excited and start making it today. It’s really that simple. You have to just dive in.
If you have no clue where to start, Apple has pretty good documentation. I would recommend reading that before you start searching on StackOverflow or trying to hack something together just to make things work.
What key takeaways have you learned in your career trajectory?
I don’t think people realize it, but you will need to understand both the technical side and the business side of the app that you are working on. What this means is asking and knowing the answers to questions like: What features will people want? Why should they pay for this service? How do they use it?
Basically, you have to know your users, and what they’re looking for. Only then can you be a better developer.
How have you witnessed iOS development evolve as a discipline?
It used to be a pretty isolated area, with Objective-C and a fairly closed ecosystem. However, right now, you have open source Swift, which you can use for scripting; you can also try server-side Swift, and Swift for Tensorflow, which just came out. Basically, with every new innovation, new doors open. The possibilities are unlimited.
Can you recommend any books to read, or events to attend for professional or personal development purposes?
Clean Code and Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software are both good places to start when it comes to books. If you’re looking for conferences, WWDC (Apple’s conference for developers) is a great even to attend. It can be very helpful knowing what other devs are working on, and how you can help each other get the job done easier, faster, and better.
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read or how many conferences badges you’ve collected, it’s how much you understand the architecture, language, tools, and platforms that really makes a difference.