Apple’s iOS technology is at the forefront of our daily lives. Among its many features, iOS has location and motion tracking capabilities, games, swipes and gestures, Apple Pay, and push notifications.
“When you combine all these things, it’s a pretty powerful toolkit to make applications that enable people to interact with their daily lives in a way greater than more traditional computing applications,” says iOS developer and Lighthouse Labs instructor and mentor, Kareem Sabri. “With the rise of more sophisticated mobile computing, you have a greater connectivity and a greater ability to access all of your files and information at any time. So it has a big effect on both the working world and daily life. You can have all your documents and files at the touch of your fingertips.”
This means that iOS skills are highly sought after and creates many career options. If you want to work for an organization as a developer, or launch your own app, learning iOS can help you on the path to a successful career.
Why is iOS a great career?
- iOS skills are in demand. “There’s a wide variety of roles you can take on in the marketplace, in-house or freelance. The marketplace right now it’s very much in demand, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down,” says Kareem.
- You can problem-solve. iOS allows you to problem-solve and come up with solutions to problems on a daily basis.
- Transferable skills. Having iOS skills doesn’t limit you just to iOS development—you’ll develop skills transferable to other areas of software development.
“An iOS career is a lot of fun, it’s fast moving, it’s well-paid and it’s in demand,” says Kareem.
Meet Anthony and Gus
Just ask Anthony Coelho and Gustavo Couto, founders of SiteVue, an iOS app that enables construction management to get updates on their construction sites in real time from their mobile devices. “We provide a platform that allows people to take photos in the field,” explains Anthony. “As they’re taking photos in the field, their photos are mapped to their location on a floor plan. So as the project progresses, it’s creating a timeline of each room as it’s being built.”
SiteVue also includes an activity/photo feed, which enables management who are unable to be onsite to see what’s happening there in real time.
An app like SiteVue can be beneficial for legal disputes and other matters where finding photos quickly is imperative.
“These photos are used heavily in legal disputes, so it’s a huge worry for companies to manage it well because finding the right photos can save the companies millions. On top of which, the amount of time it takes to find these photos is pretty crucial, as well. You don’t want to be spending weeks looking through the photos and paying an employee to do this when you can easily do it in a few minutes,” says Anthony.
Learning iOS through Sheridan partner Lighthouse Labs
Anthony began his career working in the construction industry for one of Canada’s largest construction companies, while Gus worked as a software developer. Both had experience with iOS development, but wanted to further enhance their iOS skills and potentially start their own businesses. They decided to enrol in the iOS program at Lighthouse Labs, now offered at Sheridan.
For their final project pitch competition, they teamed up to create SiteVue. After winning the competition, their mentors and instructors at Lighthouse Labs encouraged them to launch SiteVue in the marketplace.
Since September 2016, Anthony and Gus have been part of University of Waterloo’s Velocity Integrated Program, a program that provides tools for new business owners to start a new business, such as office space, mentorships, accountants and lawyers.
Anthony and Gus both had previous iOS experience, but they say that regardless of your experience, the Lighthouse Labs program will allow you to learn iOS fairly quickly and put an app on the app store. “At the end of the course, you can put an app on the app store, and to have money coming in while you’re in school or work,” says Anthony.
They credit the Lighthouse Labs mentors with providing challenging exercises that customized the experience to their abilities. “The mentors are very, very knowledgeable,” says Anthony. Adds Gus: “We had a lot of experience coming in, and while many of the exercises were challenging, once in a while, if you finish an exercise too quickly, maybe that’s when you want to ask the mentor for something more challenging.”
Big goals for SiteVue
Anthony and Gus have big goals for SiteVue. In addition to growing the business, they hope to see it used widely in the U.S. In fact, PCL Construction will be using SiteVue for two U.S. projects beginning in March 2017. They also hope that SiteVue can be used to save lives on construction sites. “Construction management and guys in the office or even safety managers that can’t be on site 24/7, if they’re getting visual updates of what’s happening on the construction site, they can start to pinpoint areas of unsafe work,” says Anthony. “If management gets a visual of these things happening on site, then they have the opportunity to contact someone onsite and get that unsafe work fixed.”
Sheridan’s Faculty of Continuing and Professional Studies offers the Introduction to iOS Development certificate, which will prepare you for a career in this exciting field. Visit https://caps.sheridancollege.ca/products/ios-development.aspx for more information on this growing industry.