Starting Your First App
In our last blog post, we went over the fundamentals of creating a plan for your next app. In this post, I am going to cover some basics for when you start building your app. I will share some tips on what programming languages you should understand and the process of building an app!
To get the basics down, we need to decide what platform we want our app to be on. I think the best idea is to go with mobile first and focus on iOS or android. Aside from a native mobile app, you can create a web app or a cross platform mobile app! For this post, we will focus on a native mobile app.
For starters, when building a native mobile app, we need to decide which operating system we will build for (iOS or android). For all of my current apps, I have used iOS and the programming language Swift! If you plan to make an app for iOS users, I suggest learning the programming language Swift. Otherwise, if you plan to build for android users, I suggest learning either Java or Kotlin! No matter which path you take, you will follow a similar pattern to all other mobile developers.
When you have a structured plan for your app, you will find yourself in the position of beginning the process of building it. First things first, you should have some sort of design down for how your app will look (remember: this does not have to be the best design out there, it is ok if it looks ugly). When I began Habite, the initial design was incredibly ugly, but overtime it has developed into a much cleaner design!
Now that you have some sort of design for your app, you need to begin learning (if you have not already) the programming language for your specific operating system! I find Swift to be easier to understand compared to Kotlin or Java, but not everyone can work on macs or wants to build for iOS. Some great resources to get started can be found all over Youtube, Udemy, Udacity, and more (especially the free courses / videos, it is how I learned). I cannot teach all of the basics on mobile development in just one blog post considering there are so many, but I can share some tips! When building your mobile apps, do your best to structure the files and folders so that they will be readable to you in 6–12 months. Along with this, you do not need to know everything there is to know about a programming language, just make sure you understand the basics and overall functionality because you will learn more and more as you go down the path!
Apps are no easy task especially if this is your first time ever building them. There will be frustrations and periods of time where things do not work. Though, that is the time where you grow and learn who you are as a developer. When you are working on your app, it may take some time from researching bugs to learning how to program a certain function. The process for building the app might take some time, and that is something you should prepare yourself if you plan to have a specific launch date!
To close off this short post, I believe when you have a structured plan, some sort of design, and dedication, you will go a long way in building almost anything! I plan to start sharing a few blog posts over the next few weeks on covering the process of actually building an iOS app (with code). This will connect with a youtube series I am working on, so stay tuned for that!