Our DNA is written in Objective-C

Where to find fixed-staff iOS Developers?

I was given the compliment today that when asking a question on Twitter I would usually give an answer for all other people interested in the topic. I didn’t do that consciously until now, but I want to start this tradition with this article. Also if I was not following the respondents until now, this prompted me to do so.

You know, the situation is dim, we have too many developers attending WWDC and yet not enough to go around letting themselves be hired.

In preparation for a brainstorming on this subject I asked this question: “Looking for some good suggestions where a company looking to hire fixed staff iOS devs would find people. What would you recommend they do?”

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These are all the answers I received, if there are more I will add them to this post.


I’m too thinking that social networking might be one of the better ideas. In the USA LinkedIn seems to be the professional network of choice, whereas in Europe people tend to hang professionally in Xing. Some people also swear by Facebook, but I still cannot see the point of using it professionally.

Twitter is an excellent place. just say there’s an opening in “xxx” and post a link to more details about the offer. – @chronic

Xing? – Steffen Kluge

Start Young

If you cannot find fully formed iOS pros, then it might make sense taking a step back and seeing if you cannot find some “raw materials” and form them into diamonds yourself. I’ve myself seen several youngsters learn the ropes at record pace and quickly surpass me in “mad skillz”.

Go to universities 🙂 I think it’s kinda hard to find iOS devs quickly. Some propaganda on universities would probably help. – Jernej Strasner

Have an open mind about telecommuting and in addition to the normal staffing strategies, find blogs and contact devs directly. I think at this point, having an onsite staffed iOS dev team is incredibly difficult. Unless the hiring company is willing to hire people with no experience but a passion to learn and teach them. – Anthony Zatelli

Financial Incentives and Faith

Money might be one of the most fundamental motivators. I’m also thinking that every developer likes to be courted and pampered like an undecided bride.

pay lots of money? – Martin S

Whatever method you choose, I suggest adding “hope and pray” to the list. – Jerry Jones

One gem came in e-mail, specifically about relocation help and incentives.

I wanted to give my two cents in regards to your post about hiring on
staff iOS devs as I just went through this process. Because the talent
pool is so small here in the US compared to the demand the incentives
have got to be huge. I don’t just mean money. But money is part of it.

Two weeks ago I went through a very lengthy interview process with
████████████ apps in Dallas, tx. However, their compensation package
just couldn’t beat the counter offer that my wife’s company came back
with. Their offer was extremely fair, but to make it over the top
companies are going to have to do more when it comes to relocation.
Everything from the amount of money to move, time frame, buying the
existing house the candidate is already in, temporary housing, etc.
Devs like me with a wife, kid, mortgage, schools, insurance, etc. have
to take all of this into consideration when accepting a new position.

I ended up taking a new job last week with VW in Chattanooga, tn.
Their benefits we as good and certainly the talent is like what it is
at ████████████, but the relo was amazing and the cost of living in
Chattanooga is far cheaper.

The guys from ████████████ did tell me that they are having a hard
time as well finding iOS devs on site and I get calls everyday from
recruiters representing companies who are willing to pay top dollar
for devs. Landscape here is great for people like us.  – Cory Wiles

Your Input Please …

What other suggestions would you add?

What would you require from such a company looking to get you interested in working for them? Fame and Fortune? To what lengths do you expect a company to go if they truly want to hire you?

Ah and if you really must know … the company that is near to my heart and that is looking to hire is Scribd.com in San Francisco, quite close to the Moscone Center and with several amazing iOS developers already on staff. Take the virtual go-cart tour of their office. Come on, mail them your CV, you know you deserve it. 🙂

Categories: Education


  1. I think the email from Cory illustrates a very, very great point. I’m in Richmond, VA and there are no iOS jobs in a small market like this. However there are iOS jobs elsewhere. I, like Cory, have a wife, kids, mortgage, etc… and because of that I don’t bother to try for any iOS job outside my local market because I feel like the days of relocation assistance are over. I would happily consider relocating for the right job if the employer offered a high degree of help with it, mainly help with the house I already have. I’m afraid those companies are few and far between however. This I think is where companies need to be more open to telecommuting.

  2. Great post 🙂 Here in New Zealand there aren’t too many development jobs for iOS devs which is strange since we are usually an innovative lot.

    My company gets approached ocasionally for work and we end up doing most things for overseas companies – mainly U.S. based – which definitely bears out what you’re saying, that it’s difficult there to find enough good iOS devs.

  3. I most certainly support hiring young and cultivating talent. I like to think that I have talent to cultivate 🙂

  4. Some ideas for you:

    Experienced Mac OS X Cocoa devs can learn iOS quite rapidly – very similar patterns – so expanding your search to include such people is certainly worth considering.

    Being more open to telecommuting is pretty big for people with kids in schools that they don’t want to leave (we are in this situation in our family).

    Clearly, with contract rates quite high, salaries have got to be pretty high to compete.

    Additionally, with the very active startup scene currently where it’s relatively easy to get funding, I think equity is a big piece for some people. It used to be that joining a startup to become an “owner” meant living on no money for 6-12 months, but that’s less the case currently and so people might think, why not join a startup where I get a salary AND get some ownership?

    Everyone is offering a salary and benefits, to compete with the startup opportunities I think companies need to offer people a chance to be an owner at some significant level.

    Finally, there is a group of people who’d love to have a 4 day a week (32hrs/wk) job, or even 20hrs/wk. Being open to, and advertising this, would allow for candidates that don’t currently respond but who might be great candidates who just have something else taking up some of their time (a startup/family/hobby they don’t want to sacrifice for a 40hr/wk job).

    good luck.

  5. Does that mean you’d be open to the possibility of having scribd help you cultivate your talent?

  6. It does. I am a Boston based student at the moment, but that is a small detail.

  7. Don’t worry about platform experience. It takes a lot more work to develop solid engineering skills than it does to learn a language or a platform. Since people with iOS experience are in such high demand, if you already have one in-house person who can be the platform expert, focus instead on hiring a great software engineer who fits into your culture, and then train them up on the platform if necessary.

  8. Yes! I don’t consider myself on the market at the moment (I’m working on my own stuff) but I’d seriously consider a three or four day/wk job.

  9. I’m going to have 1-2 summer interns from my former university. That still depends on some obstacles, but should be very good experience and positive contribution.

    Sorry for late answer.

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