Digitree Digital

So you want to be a developer?

Readers who have gone through my previous posts would be familiar that I used to work for Vodafone. And that I had my tryst with apps when I got involved in the launch of the the first Vodafone India app store. Yes, tryst. Apps, particularly mobile apps, really captured my imagination back then. It was almost magical. You could make a smartphone sing and dance, be at your beck and call. You could breathe life into it and it made you feel like god.

Me not being from a technology background, really struggled to understand how all of this happened. My friends and colleagues told me you had to know a little bit of coding. I read a few articles which made it seem so simple. All you had to do was to use the SDK given by apple & your app would be done in a jiffy. But it was not. The process of making an app was complex. And SDK only applied to apple. The store I was looking after mainly catered to Nokia, Blackberry & Java phones, which added to the complexity. So despite going through tons of documents, I couldn’t really come to terms with the development process. So I focused on my KRA at that time, which was to drive downloads.

I moved on from this particular role of mine, but thankfully didn’t lose interest in apps. I still had a smartphone & downloaded cool apps on a regular basis. I wanted to be able to make these cool things myself. I knew it had to start with coding. But I didn’t know where to begin. I had done some BASIC and visual BASIC as a student, but I didn’t really know anything beyond it. Thankfully at that time, I had Hemanth Gunda sit next to me in my office cubicle. He told me that to make iOS apps, you needed to know objective c & android ran on java. He recommended a book by Wei Meng Lee. It was supposed to be a beginners guide to the development process. I now knew where to make a start!

Of course, I didn’t get into it myself as I was headed to this sad place called Tata communications. Instead, I explored the outsourcing option. Khushbu was already running Digitree Digital by then. And a few of the clients wanted to have their very own mobile apps. So we asked a few developers how much it would cost to get apps made for the most popular platforms. And the prices they quoted were sky high. High prices for very basic apps with basic functionalities. The clients in question wouldn’t be able to justify the return on investment. So we advised them not to go ahead with it.

But that was not the solution. Developers would always quote astronomical prices. And clients would always have to be turned down. What was the alternative? Maybe I could learn to do it myself. I’ve always wanted to be a programmer after all. Typing away millions of lines of code. And i’ve had a fascination for apps. Combine the two and I could become something of a developer myself. Make basic apps for my clients at reasonable rates. And that’s why I decided to join classes for learning programming.

I joined NIIT and have done C so far. Yes, C, the building block of most programming languages today. And i’ve just about got started with C++. I also bought that book my friend recommended and am struggling through objective C. I’ve made a couple of basic apps for now, hello world & calculator. Hope to do much more in the future. It promises to be an interesting journey! How do you plan to go about your developer journey?

Let me know through your comments or get in touch with me