Learning to build an App

I am not getting any new freelance work, either on-line or off. Sigh. I continue to query but at the same time I am working on learning new skills which may make me more valuable. Video is exciting and I’ve taught myself enough to make short films. What’s next? I am learning to make an app. It’s more intimidating than video, with screen displays like what you see below. Never-the-less, I think the process is approachable. Even if I fail with the most difficult part, working with the code, perhaps I can storyboard the app, prepare the icons, and arrange for its content. But I won’t dismiss the coding part just yet.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 5.42.45 PM

Screen shot of a code building program. I think this is based on Objective-C.

Decades ago, when I last looked at programming, high level, word-oriented languages like Pascal existed but they were maddeningly difficult to work with. The slightest missing semi-colon or bracket would leave your code dead on arrival when you tried to run it. By comparison, a program like Xcode, the chief way to author apps for Apple’s mobile operating system, has built in correcting methods that follow you line by line. Forget that bracket? Xcode glares at you like a spell checker, noting a problem with that line. It may even highlight the word or phrase that is bothering it, letting you puzzle over a solution before you leave it behind. Can’t remember exactly how to type NSViewController? A prompt runs in front of most phrases as you type them, showing their proper spelling.

cockpit

See, there are things in life more complicated than writing code!

But I am getting ahead of myself. You don’t have to deal with Xcode immediately. I’m learning a different approach at buzztouch.com. You first rough out your app, using the buzztouch control panel, which features a graphic and menu driven style.  Apple and Android code are both generated in the background while you build the basics of your app.  You later download this source code and open it using either the iOS software development kit, the Android SDK, or both. From this point you can run your app in an Apple or Android simulator. Tweaks and corrections are applied directly to the SDK, with no need to go back control panel. Sound confusing? It is, at first, and right now I am still learning the basics. What really helps are BT’s free video tutorials.

After you register you can take these tutorials in order, getting tested on each one along the way. Even if I don’t complete an app I will feel good about learning how they are constructed. And, as I suggested in the first paragraph of this post, I could concentrate on what I could do in an app, leaving the rest to others. You’ll find plenty of them in the buzztouch community, which seems a friendly and welcoming place. Will I become a paid member of BT? I don’t know yet, but I like their site and I definitely will join if I go further with my app idea.

BuzzTouch

A buzztouch University Page.

 

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
This entry was posted in Learning to build an app and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Learning to build an App

  1. Renee Dorr says:

    Hi Tom!

    Minimum wage is now $9 per hour! Just thought I’d throw that in there!
    Interesting articles! Will read more later!

    Renee

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