Job Market for Cocoa Developers?

by Chris Adamson

A funny thing happened today. A recruiter called me, looking not for a Java developer, but for a Cocoa developer.


2006-09-19 07:29:06
Much to my disappointment, definitely not in Australia (unless you were working for someone based overseas).
Romain Guy
2006-09-19 07:36:54
I would like to know because I am interested in learning Cocoa for real and I wonder whether it would be easy to earn money with shuch knowledge.
Chris Adamson
2006-09-19 07:53:43
I would like to know because I am interested in learning Cocoa for real and I wonder whether it would be easy to earn money with such knowledge.

Romain-- Having established yourself as the world-wide authority on making Java apps look good (and that is not an exaggeration), I bet there's probably more value for you in that than in picking up Cocoa as a job skill. On the other hand, using Cocoa (and Interface Builder) a little bit may give you some more good ideas to bring to the Java world.

2006-09-19 08:30:42
Someone was recruiting a Cocoa/Quicktime developer in the UK recently - but that's the first time I'd ever been contacted about a Mac programming job. Unfortunately, my Cocoa skills are limited to having worked through a couple of the tutorial books.
2006-09-19 09:05:01
It's to be seen if it still is a chicken-egg problem, i.e. many projects aren't even considered to be developed in Cocoa because of the perception that too few people would be able to handle them properly...
Maybe there are not enough success stories around?
Chris Adamson
2006-09-19 09:05:19
Someone was recruiting a Cocoa/Quicktime developer in the UK recently - but that's the first time I'd ever been contacted about a Mac programming job. Unfortunately, my Cocoa skills are limited to having worked through a couple of the tutorial books.

Everybody's gotta start somewhere, and working through the examples means you know a lot more about Cocoa than 99% of developers out there. Plus, you'd probably get to work with QTKit, at least for the basic stuff, and that's a very pleasant API to work with.

Chris Patterson
2006-09-19 10:29:46
I had to give up doing Mac programming (I worked for Maxum, developers of NetCloak and Rumpus) about 8 years ago in order to pay the bills. As such, I've pretty much missed the boat on Cocoa completely. I've read the tutorials, etc. but that doesn't count for real-world experience.

I have RSS feeds to both dice and monster for "Mac" jobs here in Indy. I rarely get a hit on either of them, and when I do, it's usually a graphic design or administrator position.

2006-09-19 11:32:06
As a long time NeXT developer I used to make a pretty good living doing Cocoa development, but those days are long past. I would love to do Cocoa development again it's Java which is paying the bills these days.
2006-09-19 11:36:30
There's no doubt that Intel on Mac has made an impact. The market is better for Cocoa, but it remains to be seen if you could make a living out of Cocoa by itself, imo.
2006-09-19 12:53:48
On a clear day you can see forever, but it takes a generation to persuade the corporation. Java has taken 10 years to convince people, while ObjC has been around ten years longer.
No way recruiment people have figured out the efficiency and other benefits of a dynamic environment like Cocoa. It is even difficult for professional OO people (C++, Java) to appreciate the advantages of ObjC over Java and C++: C++--*Java*C
2006-09-19 17:03:42
The Cocoa market is without dispute small - but perhaps it is indeed growing. However, what needs to begin to happen is those with OO skills (Java boys this means you) should try and introduce smaller Cocoa projects to their organizations. For the love of God don't make them mission-critical at first, just small and eminently useful.
I am a midrange guy (i5) and would love to work in a non-green screen environmnet. But the $'s aren't there yet. I too have chewed through a bunch of books (Aaron Hillegass is great by the way) but know that until used "in anger" I would be a poor representation of the language/ environment.
Michael McCulloch
2006-09-21 17:22:17
I developed code for NEXTSTEP in my past that included some very specialized code for a military support application. I presently offer a casual game in Cocoa. The problem then with Cocoa, and the problem now that inhibits adoption IMO, is the lack of source code for the libraries (or even any part of the libraries). Many times we had to resort to tedious trial-and-error to achieve the results we wanted because the source code was unavailable.

For example, say you want to intercept and slightly change the way a cell works in a 2D table with the mouse. You have to guess the way the mousedown code works for the standard library object(s). What if you run into a library bug and can't wait for an Apple fix? The source code would be vital to efficient use of your time.

I don't have the time or patience for this closed mentality when other libraries such as MFC, VCL, and several in Java were able to carve a market in the past without hiding the source code from developers that need it.

I also know of a very large government agency that dumped WebObjects in part over the same issue.

2006-09-22 10:09:52
If there are jobs doing Cocoa development "out there," they are a fairly well kept secret. Just did a search for "cocoa" on DICE and got eleven hits, nearly 25% of which were for opportunities in Cocoa Beach, FL. Being less than 2 miles from Apple HQ I see no way of supporting myself, let along my family, doing Cocoa development. I wish it were otherwise. I believe the Mac platform and Cocoa in particular are outstanding products. Perhaps the rise of Ruby on Rails will add some synergistic impetus to the Cocoa movement.
David Young
2006-09-23 01:36:32
I hear you can make a living as a Cocoa programmer this days. I mean, I do. :) But you're sure as hell not going to find them on DICE -- that's the skeeviest, most mainstream, I-want-someone-to-do-Crystal-Reports-for-$15/hour job site on the interweb.
Ryan Stevens
2006-09-24 09:10:41
I've been doing Cocoa development since the Public Beta. I've seen the job offers and haven't submitted an application to a single one. They want a handful of degrees, 6 yrs. "industry experience" and a commercial app under your belt. The dozen people that fill those requirements are already paid, and are probably laughing at these offers.

I don't have the degrees, "industry experience" or a commercial app under my belt but I could easily help an existing team get familiar with Cocoa/Obj-C/OSX. That's not what they're asking for though.

Trygve Inda
2006-09-29 15:06:12
I make a living doing Cocoa apps, but it is a small community. Any Cocoa developers out there looking for project work and not asking for silly sums, feel free to contact me.
Lee Givens
2007-05-31 21:27:54
We're looking for 2 Cocoa (experienced) developers to work at one of the world's largest online companies. E-mail me at landstuhl1 (at) verizon (dot) net.
Ben Corke
2007-11-08 01:36:44
I am a specialist Mac recruiter and supply companies all over Europe with Mac Engineers, increasingly Cocoa developers.

I totally agree with Paulo above, clients are not confident of being able to staff their projects as there are so few experienced engineers in the market. Apple should definitely be making more effort to market the advantages of the Cocoa framework to attract more developers and companies to the platform.

That said the market is growing and I am seeing more and more Cocoa jobs coming in, maybe this is the time to make the switch!

That said I am always looking for Objective-C and C++ Mac engineers for contract and permanent jobs across Europe!


2007-11-25 13:05:07

We have a plugin that adds certain features to desktop email client Outlook on Windows, and same features for Webmail clients like Yahoo Mail, Gmail etc on IE. The OL plugin is written in VB6. The Webmail plugin is written in C++.

I would like to port this plugin to the Mac platform and have it work for the default mail client on Macintosh, as well as for the Webmails when viewed in the Safari browser.

I am looking for a very experienced developer / organization that has extensive experience in developing addons / plugins for Macintosh Mail client as well as Safari.

Is their a form or site where I can post this and reach the Mac developers.

2008-01-31 12:56:06
I just stumbled across this article and found it amusing. I have an open position for a MAC Developer- permanent/full-time. It's by no means a sole Cocoa role but they would prefer someone with cocoa experience. Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks!


Design and develop new features for products and manage application design, user interface implementation

• at least 3 years of C++ development
• thorough knowledge of MAC architecture
• UI programming experience
• some experience with Objective-C and Cocoa

Beneficial skills
• experience in Mac OS / Windows cross-platform development
• experience in development of multi-threaded applications
• experience in Client/Server or Web related development
• TCP/IP programming
• (Open)SSL programming experience

Mike H
2008-02-01 12:14:36
Our firm is accepting bids for a custom software package. Project: 64-bit, Animated user interface, written in Objective-C 2.0 in Cocoa with detailed documenting throughout program.

We will market and sale project. Currently there is no mac software available servicing our intended market.

That being said, a non-disclosure and no-compete agreement is required before detailed information of project is given.

We are interested in a fixed price bid. Our project is well-defined with detailed specifications. However, communication with several other companies to integrate project with other companies and transfer data both ways via the internet is required.

Project must integrate with iChat, iCal, Mail 3, address book, office 2008 and Quick books to name a few.

If you are interested great, if not and you know of someone that would be please forward.

Thank you for your time.

Please include your contact info (tel# & email) also web page