Does this sound familiar?
“I would love to do iPhone development but I just don’t have the time to wade through the obtuse and elitist tools required to master iOS programming.”
I’ll bet this describes at least some of you out there right? The reason I know this is that late last year I asked my readers what their biggest sticking points were. The overwhelming response to this question could be summarized by two words: Time and Tools.
Who Has A Massive Time Surplus?
The answer to this is: almost no-one. Maybe if you’re still a student or a recent grad and are very excited about mobile development then you can learn app development instead of burning away hours on the XBox (or whatever you kids are doing these days!).
However, most of the people who responded to my survey though already have tons of completing burdens on their time: family, jobs, hobbies, activities, babies and so on. For this group, taking a few months to struggle through learning something brand new is daunting. Almost no-one has the 6 months to a year it would take to learn this stuff on their own.
Some of the responses I got were:
“No time to explore mobile technologies though I’m trying hard to devote time for this.”
“Having time to work on iPhone apps.”
“Not having enough time.”
“Time. As a father of a young family with many constant and various needs. Husband. Working professional. Like many others.”
Trying to learn something brand new like iOS development on your own is going to take a ton of time. Obviously, learning a new skill will take some time – the question is only how much time will it take?
What’s the solution?
If you’re truly motivated you can find some time in your schedule. Here’s some ideas:
– Re-Prioritizing Projects (maybe that new bathroom can wait a few months)
– Getting Help With Chores (hire a cleaning service and/or a handyman and use your time savings for your education)
– Use your educational time wisely (investing in the right class or training program will be much better than wading through on your own)
The only way around the time problem (outside of magic spells) is to get help so that you use your time wisely.
The Comfy Tool Bias
This applies especially to seasoned software developers. We all have our favorite tools and have mastered our workflow to the point where making new software is as familiar to playing a favorite video game. Other professionals have similar feelings with their own workflows and tools.
Xcode, Objective-C, iOS and UIKit are the four main tools you’ll use to make apps. For most newbies, these tools are unlike anything they’ve worked with before. These are not your typical text editors, photoshops, Visual Studios or Microsoft Words. Many (if not all) newcomers find these tools daunting.
In fact, the words I used at the beginning to describe these tools sum it up pretty well: they seem elitist and obtuse. The truth is: they are. For a programmer used to performing magic feeling lost and stunted with Xcode is overwhelming. For a newcomer to software development who hasn’t used a Mac the experience can be terrifying.
What’s Your Opinion? What is the biggest sticking point that you see with new iOS developers? Please comment below…