Nothing to Fear : App Creation

App development is no longer a process to fear for first time developers.


If you listen to stories of people building apps, most of the time you will hear the bad parts of what they went through. This has intimidated a lot of developers from even getting into app development.

I want to clear a few things up about what goes into app development.

Know Code

Obviously, you first need an interest in programming, a desire to learn how things are built, or have a passion to create. Without one of those app development is just going to be a painful experience. The language can be taught through online tutorials like Team Treehouse or through in class courses like Mobile Engineering. There is a huge time difference between learning from a person (my class above is 12 weeks) and learning from online tutorials (which can take 1 - 2 years).


Once you know how to write basic code (c or objective-c), the build gets exponentially easier. Apple has done a great job improving Xcode (current version 5.0.2) over time. Using interface builder you can drag and drop elements like buttons, images and more to quickly layout your app. After that you might add a couple connections with code to make the interface functional. And BOOM, you are done. Yes, some apps will take more than a day (especially game apps). I just built 1337 Calc in one day last week and it does about 98% of what the portrait version of Apple’s calculator app can do.


Testing was a pain until companies like TestFlight came along and made the process very fluid. Now you send people to TestFlight, they signup & register their device, you add their device to the Apple portal, build your app through Xcode, and upload the build to Tesflight. They get an email that has a link to download the app to their device. You can now let your Grandma test the app out from 5 states away. :)


It used to be a huge hassle to submit your app, and the 2+ week* wait for you app to get reviewed was killer. Now all you have to do is, setup details about your app in iTunesConnect, then submit the app through Xcode. Then you just wait for email updates about your submission progress. I submitted the 1337 Calc app on January 17th and it was reviewed and approved on the 21st - four day submission process (this is a very simple app, so the review time could vary based on size). The queue to get your app reviewed is the longest part of the process.

*this was not always the case

Photo credit: angermann via photopin cc