Category: motivational

My playground

Project Countdown is my playground. Besides being a project I cherish a lot, a realization I am very proud of, this app is also a project for me to learn, explore, be creative! This app will also be my portfolio, but this is a side effect. It is very important, but that’s not the main reason I’m doing it.

Being creative. This is not something to toss away quickly. I never felt I had such a creative canvas! I model the product, decide which implementation is best, write the code, draw the UI… This opportunity is golden.

Last week, I’ve received Big Nerd Ranch’s new Android book. After finishing the book, I will port my app to Android and distribute it to Google Play.

Also, this app will be where I will learn more about localization and accessibility feature. This app will be where I will learn how to create a server to be able to sync my own data. And so, so much more… This is so exciting!

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Doubting myself

Continuing without doubting myself is hard these days. I don’t doubt myself on a technical or programming point of view. I doubt myself because of money, or lack thereof.

Lastly, I have been spending quite some time on my app. The efforts are not wasted! I now have a very, very basic functionality in my app. Too basic to talk about, or publish, but enough to distinguish it as an app, and not some kind of primitive form.

Like I mention here, I log my hours. And one of the impact is I see all the hours I am putting into this project that I won’t charge to anyone. I like billing my hours.

At the same time, when I peek into job offers, I often see: “published at least n app(s) to the AppStore”. (Example here or here. Note that these examples require more experience that I have anyway, but I you get the point! I also see this requirement for low experience jobs). These efforts are not wasted. By any measure.

So on one side, I am currently working on a project that won’t pay my next rent, nor the one after that. But on the other side, this will be a key asset when looking for a job.

Another reason to keep me coding this non-profitable project is a conference that will happen here in Montréal (Québec) next April. If my app is ready, it will be presented… More on that conference in upcoming posts…

Counting time

From the -almost- beginning of the project, I decided I would keep a record for hours I work on the project. I thought (and I still do think) that it would give me a better idea of hours it takes to create a simple app.

More precisely, I would be better at estimating the time it takes to create one feature, fix one bug.

So each time I am sitting down to work on my app, I am counting time and log the activity I am doing. I don’t know if there’s anything else relevant to log?

I think there is a lot of benefits from doing that. Plus, I actually have numbers in my face telling me I didn’t spend that much time on the project! So let’s get going!

Am I skilled for that?

Knowing… Scratch that. Thinking that you’re not skilled for something definitly helps me procrastinate.

So far I’ve got a few CoreData entities, and the very start of a storyboard. And this is the moment when “I have other things to do”. I mean, I really do have other things to do, but I also have this goal I fixed for myself…

I know I am capable of doing creating this app, I know I do. I am skilled for that. But I actually never worked with storyboard before, and I am not pro enough to dwelve into it without some “learning mistakes”. And my first reflex is to go learn how to do it before actually doing it. Which takes time. Time that I won’t spend coding my app…

Let’s get this started

Last April, I turned 30. For many (irrelevant) reasons, it freaked me out. One thing I did was to set myself two goals I wanted to achieve before I’d turn 31. The first one was to run a marathon. So I trained and I was actually ready to run the full marathon but I got a laryngitis 4 days prior to the race… I got the the 31st km (19th mile), and left the race frozen, tired and with a big headache.
My second goal was to create an iPhone app and sell it on the App Store.
And this is the story of its creation…