Ask DN: front-end/backend split in the iOS world

9 years ago from , Freelance Developer & Designer

Being relatively new to the iOS world (predominantly web - Node.js, JS, front-end, etc...), I'm finding it has it's ups and downs. ie. I have that useful sense of naivety in approaching iOS challenges (drawing on pre-existing experiences in web tech), but then I'm finding that's also quite a drawback in certain situations.

My question relates specifically to whether people have seen a split in iOS devs, ie. like on the web we have front-end/backend. And more recently, because of the rise in JavaScript MV* frameworks, we now have very front-end people and "client-side engineers".

If we take a social network style app, we have the custom UI to implement, the data layer, caching, data refresh/integrity, auth management, etc...the list goes on. However, those could easily be split into "front-end" and "backend" roles. Does anyone have any experiences from working on a team who does iOS apps or collaborates with iOS devs, whether this split exists?

I'm imagining not so much as web, as iOS dev is primarily done with Xcode (and potentially storyboard), I'm just struggling to see that the split would be so obvious as it is in the web world.

This post has turned into a little bit of a mind-dump, so apologies on that! I'm just more curious as to how it works in the iOS world and what relevant experiences people have had?


  • Mulenga AgleyMulenga Agley, almost 9 years ago

    Yes there are people who specialise but they tend to work in larger organisations - In smaller companies iOS devs do everything (Front to Back).

    User interface and interaction animation for iOS is a specialism. That said the same individual will probably still know how to integrate an API....

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  • Rizwan MRizwan M, 9 years ago

    I am not sure whether you are looking for this or not. I guess you have to search for "Design patterns". They are lot of patterns to help you to split the back end and front end.

    Also in my project during initial stage itself we will create a architecture based on design patterns and MVC. So it will be easy to split. Also for heavy UI customization also you can use the same.

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    • Ben Howdle, 9 years ago

      Hmmm, maybe I've completely worded my question wrong.

      I'm not really on about splitting the tech up, I'm more asking about whether different iOS developers tend to work more on a front-end/backend split or do iOS developers tend to just Do Everything™

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      • Rizwan MRizwan M, 9 years ago

        AFAIK iOS developers tend to everything. Staring from UI customisation to heavy backend calls and managing performance related issues. Just now designers started using xCode for their front end. May in near future you can see it.

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