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edit: I'm asking for samples an intern would want to show, please don't answer soft-skills that get this marked as a dupe, it is NOT.

To be more specific, what sample apps and background, is minimum expectations for an intern? Yes, I pass the FAQ tests with this and it is related, let me narrow it down a bit though.

So, when I went professional from hobbyist, I had to know C++ like english (a language), have the iOS manuals read, and at least be smart enough to learn libraries even if I haven't used them before. Besides algebra, the bar wasn't much higher than that.

As an intern, I was not expected to architect, only to fix apps.

Right now, I am tutoring someone. I am his only rubric, so I need help from others on this so he knows when he's "hirable", in the programming field.

I realize a definite this/that is impossible, but a rough estimate on what your company expects of interns or learning people is all I need.

For example, I would expect sample apps that 1) Consume a web service. 2) Transition between view controllers. 3) Show a simple game, cards or board, that show off basic state transitions and iOS workflows.

We do not need to debate the philosophy of learning attitudes and other soft skills, just what sample apps we look for. Soft skills questions get closed, this is programming-specific. We can infer the rest based on the samples one would look for. Specifically iOS apps. If you have a design pattern addition to an app, feel free.

Thank you for answering. This question is hard to word, I saw so many relevant ones get closed, but as far as I can tell I match the topics

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marked as duplicate by gnat, MichaelT, GlenH7, Dynamic, Ryathal May 24 '13 at 19:56

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I have never had any expectations for an intern other than a willingness to work and learn. A person going to a school that only teaches python will likely not have given anyone experience to work with your stack. A person who has neither an iphone nor a mac is unlikely to have ever touched objective C - expecting an intern to have such isn't always viable. Interns are there to learn and for you to learn about them in a low risk way. –  MichaelT May 18 '13 at 5:36
I am asking, in short, "What sample programs are good for a self-taught programmer" and while many of these principles do apply, this question is very much NOT duplicated. Although, those links do help :D. Also, the person I asked this for can't form questions. Instead of breaking them into pieces of his task, he writes "x y for a program that does z and I'm..." since he was punished for not being specific as a kid. Any resources for helping to simplify programming questions? He is nowhere near a school nor age for a school, unsure why everyone says "college" when I said self-taught. –  Stephen J May 29 '13 at 0:56
Alright, so next time I don't upvote good answers if they're off-topic... –  Stephen J Jun 4 '13 at 3:23

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I recently completed an iOS internship having no former experience with iOS. Learning Objective-C was hard work but wasn't impossible. It helped that I was further into my Computer Science degree program because all the important concepts I already knew were applicable. Here are lists of my skills and weaknesses before the internship that I felt were relevant to my experience.

Skills That Helped:

  • Strong interest in learning new technologies and programming languages
  • Object-Oriented Programming knowledge (super important)
  • Experience with MVC
  • Understanding the importance of simplicity (UI/User Experience)
  • Web Development Experience
  • Love for Apple products and software

Weaknesses That Hindered:

  • Lack of graphic design talent
  • Little to no design/architecture experience
  • No real world experience building flexible programs that get changed constantly
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I have interviewed and hired interns for Mac and iOS projects at a couple of companies. That said, treat this as general guidance, not "you said I could work for you if I did [X]".

Internships are often short: sometimes not as long as the probationary period full time employees start on. That means there's a risk of hiring someone who can't learn the skills needed in the short time available, and both employer and intern have wasted the project. Therefore willingness to learn, along with evidence of learning, are the most important things.

Having a portfolio of apps is a bonus, but not necessary (it would be for a full-time employee). Having Objective-C is nice but not necessary: experience with some OO language is necessary (there just isn't time to teach that in a short internship).

I often ask what a candidate's favourite apps are, and why. If you can't demonstrate some interest in and excitement about iOS apps, maybe making them isn't for you. This also helps me find out how you think about apps, how the UI should work, what sort of things you find important in them.

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Awesome, thanks for the insight! I never thought of the "Sample" inspirational ones. I personally worked on Mystery Case Files games animations and UI, and apple features a slide show every week instead of something innovating. Path clones are always a hit... so I never really require interest in those things. –  Stephen J May 18 '13 at 7:02

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