My Journey to Become an iOS App Developer

In high school I enrolled in a Visual Basic course. I hated it. Mostly because the apps didn’t interest me. But, it’s where I got my foundation for understanding various programming terms and techniques, like For, For While, Loops, etc. It was also at this time that I realized, “Goodness. I hate this.” But it certainly made me respect developers for what they do.

The reasons why I hated programming then were simple:

  1. I didn’t care about the applications we were building.
  2. I didn’t understand the syntax that well. I was effectively learning a new language.
  3. I was just copying down text from a book and hoping it all worked. Even with that, it seldom did and I just became frustrated.

That’s where I realized I was more or less inclined to be a designer. But, as time has rolled on, I’ve picked up a lot of knowledge about the web and I’m a little older and wiser. Now I wonder if I can pick up where I left off.

That’s why I’m on a path to learn iOS development and I’m going to do it the same way I  learned most everything else about technology — by stumbling around aimlessly, making a bunch of mistakes and spending countless hours Googling for help.

I picked up a Kindle book called iPhone Programming by the guys at Big Nerd Ranch. Their book has rave reviews on Amazon and they seem like genuine experts who love what they do.

My goal here is to write about my experiences. Keep in mind the following:

  1. I have no prior knowledge of C or Objective-C. In fact, I don’t even know what the C stands for. I also have no knowledge of Object-Oriented Programming, Cocoa or Cocoa Touch. I just know what they are and where and how they’re generally used.
  2. I’m an avid user of both my iPhone and iPad. As such, I’m aware of the standards Apple and customers place on iOS Apps.

My goal here is to create the most awesome app for myself: a grocery list. I know it sounds dull, but I use my phone each week at the grocery store and I’ve used a medley of apps, all of which I hate for one reason or another.

My love for Apple’s products are part of the reason I want to learn iOS development and not Python or Java, for example. I have this assumption in my head that Apple’s developed XCode to make things as dead simple as possible and that their help documentation is the best in the industry. I hope I’m proven right.

I’m not doing this to create an app and make a bunch of money, although that’s a nice enough goal, I suppose. I’m doing this for myself, to prove I can learn a thing or two about development and that I’m not “just a pixel pusher”.

I’ll do my best to document what pitfalls I have, what I don’t understand and how I’m coming along. Any support or ideas from any of you are welcome. I’m documenting everything I can for my own educational use, so programmers can get a good laugh at my expense and for designers to know if it’s possible for us to cross to the other side. Maybe I can inspire a few people along the way. Or scare them off.

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Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

3 thoughts on “My Journey to Become an iOS App Developer”

  1. Actually, in my opinion, Xcode is more complicated than the .Net Framework w/ Microsoft c# or It’s just as difficult or easy to learn as Java.

    With that said, the important thing would be to learn programming concepts like classes, variable types, enumerations, and collections to start.

    The good thing is, once you’ve learned programming principles of Object Oriented Programing, they are pretty much applicable to other languages.

    It’s syntax and libraries that really make different languages ‘different’ from each other.

  2. I would agree with all of that, although I have no experience at all with Microsoft’s .NET framework. But, I figure I can’t learn programming concepts until I just dive in and try my hand at it.

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