Like many tech companies, Apple is always trying to expand into new areas. Current rumors suggest the company is actively working on a virtual-reality headset and self-driving cars. It’s also trying to evolve into more of a cloud-services provider, with new offerings such as Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ that compete directly with Netflix, Amazon, and other deep-pocketed rivals.
Apple is normally ultra-secretive about its upcoming projects, which makes it a little difficult to determine which tech skills it’s looking for. If we want to get some sense of what Apple wants in its latest technologist hires, though, we can turn to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes job postings from across the United States. According to the company’s public job postings, it’s been looking for the following kinds of talent over the past 90 days:
Of course, jobs like “software developer” don’t provide a ton of insight into exactly what Apple is working on. Last summer, a report by Protocol suggested that Apple was hiring lots of cloud-computing experts to bulk up its cloud-based apps and services. “Apple is finally getting serious about building tech infrastructure on par with companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google,” it wrote at the time.
Delving into Apple’s most-desired skills gives us a bit more clarity on the company’s current areas of focus. Here are the skills that have popped up most frequently in Apple’s public job postings over the past 90 days:
Apple’s interest in artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning, and Python (an increasingly popular language for working with A.I. and machine learning) hint at the company’s continuing drive to create “smart” products. Apple employees have been tasked with smartening up Siri, the company’s voice-activated digital assistant; if we believe the rumors about Apple’s self-driving car project, it also seems likely that at least some of the folks hired for their A.I. and machine-learning skills are figuring out how to perfect autonomous driving.
Knowledge of Swift and Objective-C, the core languages of iOS and macOS development, are likewise key. If you’re new to the Apple development ecosystem, pay particular attention to Swift, which is still evolving more than six years after its launch (check out our short tutorials on Swift functions, loops, sets, arrays, structs and classes, and strings). With Swift 5, the language received some key milestone updates, including ABI stability; if you apply for any kind of developer or engineer job at Apple, chances are good that the hiring manager will evaluate your competency with the language.
Apple is a cutting-edge company, and it’s clear that specializing in the cloud and machine learning are two ways to land a job there. A solid grasp of popular programming languages such as Python, Swift, and C++ can also help.