5 Challenges of a beginner iOS developer (and how to solve them)

7 min read
August 1, 2023

On my way to becoming an iOS developer, I discovered that the road was full of challenges. 

The world of iOS development can intimidate beginners.

It doesn’t matter if it’s grasping new programming languages or understanding Apple’s guidelines. 

If you’re looking for someone who understands your struggles and wants to offer guidance, you’re in the right place. 

So here are the challenges I had to face as a beginner iOS developer and how I overcame them.

Gaining confidence

When I started my journey as a beginner iOS developer, I carried a sense of self-doubt.

I even felt inferior to my colleagues.

I worried about understanding complex programming concepts and producing clean code. 

It seemed like everyone else had more knowledge and expertise. 

Throughout my career, I had many failures, just like those engineers I considered more experienced.

So here are a few tips to help boost your confidence as a beginner iOS developer.

No one knows everything.  It’s a realization I came to over time.

Everyone faces challenges.  Both junior and senior developers face difficulties and moments of frustration. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen seniors pulling their hair in desperation. 

Learn as much as you can. When you witness experienced professionals grapple with problems, you’re reminded that learning has to be continuous.

Never give up. Comparing myself to my past self, I can say that I’ve made remarkable progress, learned a lot, and am eager for more. 

Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to your past self. The most important thing is that you believe in yourself and that you can do it. 

Letting people help you

As a beginner iOS developer, one of the challenges I faced was trying to be too independent. 

I shied away from asking for help or accepting it from others.

I believed that I needed to figure everything out on my own to prove my skills and independence. 

I soon realized that this mindset was limiting my growth and limiting my progress.

 In the world of iOS development, there’s a huge community of experienced developers who are willing to lend a helping hand.

So here are a few tips to become more open to receiving help:

  • Seek guidance. Whether it’s asking for help on a specific problem, asking for code reviews, or joining developer forums, reaching out for support can help your learning journey.
  • Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t be afraid you’ll come across as unintelligent, to ask questions, seek advice, or engage in discussions with fellow developers.

    No one becomes an expert overnight, and seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of a proactive learner. 
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out. Remember, by letting people help you, you speed up your learning curve and even gain some friends. 

Now let’s talk about how should make the transition from Windows to Mac OS.

Transitioning from Windows to Mac OS

Switching from Windows to Mac can be a bit challenging, but don’t worry, I’ve been through it too! 

Transitioning from Windows to Mac.

Source: Medium

At first, the macOS operating system might feel unfamiliar, but with a little exploration and online tutorials, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. 

Here are a few tips on how to do that:

  • Embrace online resources and sample projects: Xcode might seem different, but trust me, online resources and sample projects will be your best friends.
  • Find macOS-compatible alternatives: Look for macOS-compatible alternatives for Windows software to make your life easier.
  • Get comfortable with the Terminal: Getting comfortable with the Terminal will also make your life easier as an iOS developer.
  • Embrace Mac features: Don’t forget to embrace cool Mac features like touchpad gestures and keyboard shortcuts!
  • Learn your shortcuts.  When I first started using macOS, I made it a point to keep track of the commands I frequently used, whether inside Xcode or in macOS in general.

Here’s a list of shortcuts I made for myself when I first started.

Frame 2609243
Frame 2609244

And here are Mac touchpad controls you should learn. Trust me, it’ll help you before you get a hang of it.

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It helped me a lot before I managed to memorize all of them. Hope it helps you too.

Adapting to project management tools

A developer’s job isn’t just writing code. You also need to know how to use several project management tools.

The first time I encountered project management tools was when I started my job as a developer. 

On my very first day, I had to comb my way through Jira, Trello, Confluence, Google Calendar, and others. 

It was a bit overwhelming at first, with so much information coming at me all at once. But let me tell you, these tools have been a game-changer for me, and I use them almost every day.

  • Google Calendar. I rely on it for managing my meetings. It’s fantastic because it sends me notifications, ensuring I never accidentally miss an important appointment. 
  • Trello. It’s a great tool for tracking tasks using a visual Kanban board. 
  • Jira. It’s a tool that helps you track and manage tasks, issues, and project progress. Out of all of them, this was the tool that I had the most problems with.

At first, it was a handful to learn how to create a task, estimate it and evaluate whether I should put it in a sprint (current assignments) or in the backlog (future assignments).

With practice and the help of my colleagues, I got the hang of it. And you will too! Don’t hesitate to ask for guidance and have someone explain how things work.

Trust me, once you embrace these tools and get comfortable using them, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

So, keep exploring, learning, and making the most of these project management tools to boost your productivity and success.

Learning different architectures

Now we’re getting into more technical stuff.

Here’s an example iOS app development architecture.

iOS app architecture.


There’s a wide range of architectural patterns used in iOS app development, such as:

  • MVC
  • MVVM
  • clean architecture
  • Redux

And a few emerging ones.

When I first encountered these architectures, they seemed complex and intimidating.

However, through practice and perseverance, I discovered that anyone can get the hang of them. 

My recommendation is to begin with a simple approach. 

Start by familiarizing yourself with the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, which divides the app into three components:

  • The Model, responsible for data management and business logic.
  • The View, representing the user interface.
  • The Controller, handling interactions and facilitating communication between the Model and View. 

With this foundation, you can start building small apps that fetch data from an API, passing it from the Model to the View through the Controller to update the UI.

Once you have a solid understanding of MVC, it becomes easier to delve into the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern, which adds an additional layer to the MVC structure.

MVVM enhances the separation of concerns and promotes better testability and maintainability. 

Building upon your MVC knowledge, you can incorporate the ViewModel component to manage the presentation logic, allowing for more flexibility and reusability of code. 

After mastering MVVM, exploring Redux and clean architecture will come naturally. 

Your mind will be used to the underlying principles and patterns of these architectures, making them easier to comprehend and implement. 

These advanced architectures enable better state management, modularization, and decoupling of components, empowering you to create robust and scalable applications. 

Remember, the key to mastering any architectural pattern lies in continuous learning, practice, and hands-on experience. 


the journey of a beginner iOS developer is filled with challenges, but it is also a path of growth, learning, and accomplishment. 

I’ve covered 5 key challenges faced by junior developers, including:

  • lack of confidence
  • the importance of seeking help,
  • transitioning to new platforms
  • adapting to project management tools
  • learning different architectural patterns.

It’s important to remember that these challenges are not insurmountable obstacles, but rather opportunities for personal and professional development.

By embracing these challenges, seeking support, and continuously learning, you can overcome them and pave your way to success in iOS development.

If you’d like to learn more about iOS app development, feel free to check out our blogs!

Written by

Dunja Acimovic


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