7 Roles You’ll Do As a Solo iOS Developer
04 Oct 2023
As an indie iOS developer, you have big shoes to fill because working solo without teammates means you do all the work yourself. So, unless you decide to hire professionals for specific roles such as managing the project, designing the UI, analyzing your app’s data, and so on, they are all yours to do.
But that’s okay. As long as you equip yourself with the skills you need in these multiple areas, eventually you will accomplish your goal and publish your app.
Once you’ve decided what type of app to build and what features to add, you need to learn some market research skills to see if there’s a demand or market for your app idea.
When everything is set in stone, you also need to become your own project manager. A project manager keeps the ball rolling. As you are working solo, you are your own boss, and you’ll need to learn how to set your own deadlines and keep yourself accountable. It helps to create a calendar and timeline for your projects to keep everything on track and organized.
You can always hire someone to design your app; however, we recommend giving it a try yourself because Apple discourages highly stylized apps. Of course, some rules can be broken if you’re confident enough. But for your first app, you can always rely on Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) for the best practices to help you design a great user experience for your app.
This means that even if you’re not an expert in design, you can easily work around designing your app if you base it on Apple’s design system.
In another blog, we covered the technical skills one needs to become a professional iOS developer. However, all the skills listed still largely apply, even if you are an indie iOS developer. The only difference is that you only need to learn what’s necessary to build and complete your own app idea. Learning everything might be overwhelming, so you need to pick your battles. Learn smart, not hard.
For example, if your app doesn’t use Core Data, you can shift towards learning the skill that would help you complete the app of your dreams.
The advanced skills won’t be as important either, because if your app is small, the impact of bad-performing code won’t be as noticeable.
If your app needs to communicate with a backend API server or database, you’ll have to learn how to do that. If you need to peek at what technologies to learn to become a fully capable backend developer, you’ll have to take a look at this: The Backend Developer Roadmap.
If you need to focus on building your own app instead of working on the backend side of things, you’re in luck since there are BaaS (backend-as-a-service) tools you can leverage, such as Firebase, which helps out in this regard.
Quality Assurance and Testing
If your project is a small app, you might be able to get away with informally testing it. However, it will still be helpful to learn how to write test cases and do unit testing for mobile apps.
Unit testing benefits you in so many ways. Aside from the early detection of bugs, it improves productivity, allows seamless integration, enhances code quality, and more.
If you want to learn more about unit testing from scratch, our series of YouTube tutorials can help.
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of building an app. How will you market your app? How will your target audience know that you have an app that you built for them? This is where marketing comes in.
An effective app marketing strategy will help you reach your target audience and introduce your app to them. We mentioned earlier the importance of having market research skills to know if there is demand for your app. That is a good starting point for your app’s marketing strategy.
Aside from that, you also need to learn how to do app store optimization for a higher chance that your app gets seen by users in the App Store.
These may seem like a lot, especially if you’re working alone. However, you should keep in mind that the scale of the app that you can build alone is much smaller compared to when you are working for a company. That means that although you need to learn skills in different areas, you only need to scratch the surface.
There are also a lot of YouTube tutorials that teach you these skills, so finding resources will be relatively easy. But if you want a step-by-step guide on how to launch your first app from scratch, our CWC+ program will be your best bet.