I was living a rather nice and peaceful life until one day I made up my mind to write an iOS app in my leisure time (how that disaster happened — read here). While it hurts, entertains, causes suffering, brings joy, satisfies, makes you a loser, makes you a hero, and a bunch of other contradicting emotions, I thought many people would not know about this secret world. So here I am to share my optimistic, pessimistic, and in general sarcastic feelings on what it means to develop an app on your own.
Your boss is you
Oh, and your project manager, software architect, developer, QA, marketing specialist, salesperson, technical support, sysadmin, devops is also you. It’s like being the multiple personalities in The Minds of Billy Milligan. Feels tough though! Sometimes I go to solo trips as a team building activity. The nerd developer usually doesn’t show up.
Your salary is called satisfaction
And it’s not even taxed! How cool is that?! Ok, while you can’t buy a cake for “19.99 Satisfaction”, it doesn’t mean your salary is useless. In fact, your real salary (the one you get as money) is mostly spent on buying more and more satisfactions for yourself. So in this case there’s no need for currency exchange, your salary is directly paid as a satisfaction.
Your cubicle is the entire world
If you’re an average working person you most likely work in a cubicle. Well, if your company offers an open-space office, it’s still a bigger cubicle inside the entire world. In fact, the world itself is a big cubicle inside the galaxy. And the galaxy is a cubicle inside the universe.
Anyway, for your app it doesn’t matter if you write it at the top of a mountain in Armenia, or at a beach in Thailand, under sunshine in Tuscany, at a forest in Germany, or during your sleep at home (seriously, that happened to me! Woke up in the middle of the night and hell knows how realized that my REST API must be inaccurate. Then decided to refactor it in the morning and fell asleep afterwards. Clearly going nuts!).
Your weekends are gone
You soon realize the popular questions asked on Mondays (what did you do for the weekend?) and Fridays (what are your plans for the weekend?) become the most awkward ones for you to answer as no matter how enthusiastic you sound about writing an app, you can’t prevent people thinking “Jesus Christ God my Lord why on earth would one use the precious weekends to write an app? An app? Oh Jesus, why?”
Your knowledge is your power
But things change by the time. Soon you see you’re making a progress, you become more efficient and more confident in what you’re doing. Yep, Gandalf becomes a cool guy!
Still hesitate to develop one?
My advice is — go for it! Start something new, learn stuff, experiment, be curious, explore, fail and start over, struggle, improve! There will be days you’ll feel like “why am I even doing this? Nobody is gonna use my app anyway”, there will be days you’ll feel like this is the most exciting thing ever. Life is about having fun, if you feel you’re not enjoying the process of writing your app then drop it and find something else that brings you happiness. If you feel it’s fun, then go ahead and rock! The world is yours!