I used to question buying apps that cost £1.99, yet not bat an eyelid when buying a drink at Starbucks at over £3/£4. I used to want and demand more and more from apps and their developers, and while I am a lover of great design and what I like to call “beautiful pixels”, I used to act like an illegitimate UX/UI critic on some of the apps I had on my phone, iPad or Mac:
- why is the bar so skeumorphic? Have they never heard of iOS 7?!
- why is it launching Safari just to authenticate with my Twitter account? Can’t it just do it natively?
- the colours are too bright, I’m about to get a headache.
While some of my points were valid, others were just lousy, from the perspective of a spoilt iOS user who loves great design but doesn’t know anything about the code that brought that design to life in the first place.
All of that changed recently - when I started learning how to code.
Now, I’m by no means an expert developer - I used to want to learn how to code “because it was cool”. 2013 was the year when a lot of blogs came up with the “let’s code and rule the world” spirit and that was awesome - yet, I didn’t have the right motivation. “Because it’s cool” might be a good reason for some, but it’s not a good reason for me to want to stick around the coding playground.
Then something happened. WWDC happened. Specifically Swift. There’s just so much that attracts me to this new programming language, but there’s one thing that stands out - with Swift, I don’t feel left behind anymore. While people who do have experience in Objective-C have a big advantage (as Swift has its roots in Objective-C, among other languages), I don’t feel too "small" now to learn coding - I feel like I’m in the same line to race with other beginners like myself, racing with some of the great developers I follow and admire.
Basically, metaphors aside, Swift is giving me that confidence that I can actually do some great stuff, that I can turn my ideas into apps that people everywhere can download (and why not, critique too).
I’ve started learning from day one, both Swift and Objective-C (just to get some proper grounding).
Now I don't mind paying for apps and services especially when I think of all the work and effort that went into such app. The more I learn how to code, the more I get in the mind of a developer and understand the implications of building universal apps vs iPhone- and iPad-specific apps; the more I learn about functions and variables, the more I understand why Mac apps cost disproportionally more than iOS applications.
Now, the reality is - regardless of what coding language you choose, unless you have the right motivation, you’re just not going to go through with it. That's why I recommend learning how to code while building a project, so it’s more practical and hands-on. A perfect example of that is Make It With Code - they give you the theory and a project, and they help you build your own project too instead of just learning a prepackaged syllabus.