How deep should an iOS developer review data structure & algorithm when preparing for iOS job interview position? I know most people would just say there's no harm in reviewing it, but would like to get some insights based on your experience interview what are the percentage of the questions are related to data structure/algorithm and what percentage are iOS related?

  • You better study up! – Macneil Jul 19 '11 at 4:04
  • I will study up...but when studying there are things to prioritize more.. and which one is it, iOS or data structure/algo's.. I know people will then answer do both..not really an answer I am looking for – EquinoX Jul 19 '11 at 16:34
  • Whatever you are weakest in. Review all of the typical interview questions, from reversing a linked list all the way to dynamic programming. – Macneil Jul 19 '11 at 23:50

I would suggest you don't need to know that stuff: iOS includes a Foundation library where people have already solved those problems. I've only worked on one app where I needed to augment the data structures provided by Foundation, and in that case I was specifically working as a performance engineer.

The general case for an iOS developer interview is that you need to know Objective-C including memory management, you need to know the UIKit and Foundation APIs, and you need to know how to communicate efficiently with a server-side component.

  • is this based on your experience interviewed or interviewing? – EquinoX Aug 18 '11 at 13:59
  • Both, really. I've interviewed Mac developers and been interviewed numerous times. Only in two interviews did algorithms or data structures play a significant role (one was for a performance engineering position). – user4051 Aug 18 '11 at 14:25
  • Thanks Grahaman, I'll take this input and focus more on the iOS stuff rather than the data structure, but I am pretty sure if you wanted to be an iOS dev at amazon, or google you do need those algo's stuff – EquinoX Aug 23 '11 at 5:31

You probably shouldn't take my answer to heart because it might make you overconfident, but my experience is that demand for iOS developers so far exceeds supply that if you can claim any competence at all (e.g. pull out your phone and show an app that you built), you're hired.

  • is it that really that easy? are you talking about in the US? – EquinoX Jul 19 '11 at 15:17
  • @EquinoX: You still have to show that you can perform. Nothing "easy" about that. – Robert Harvey Jul 19 '11 at 18:58

If it's a larger company, at least one person on the interview team may be assigned to make sure you can program your way out of a paper bag. It's a big red flag if you can't talk your way though simple programming problems (which may involve some knowledge of common algorithms and data structures), no matter what's on your resume and/or portfolio.

If it's a very small company, they likely just want you to show them your finished working iPhone apps, and show that you know enough to write more like them.

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