Create an app (beta) without any coding knowledge

During this second lockdown, I decided to challenge myself along my final year of school. I’ve always been interested in the developer’s world that’s why I’ve created this side-project. To illustrate that, I think of doing a Bootcamp such as Le Wagon at one point in the nearest future to learn what’s actually coding, how it works, and how a developer’s brain works in the background. As I’m issued from a business background with an entrepreneurial mindset added to a marketing focus during the last two years, it appeared essential to figure out how things work especially in the tech world. Indeed, this world is the one that attracts me the most. This is one reason why I’ve chosen to dig deeper into that passioning subject.

First, we’re submerged by a ton of apps around us and in our smartphones. These apps tend to become inevitable for our lives (ie. Fintech apps, ride-sharing apps, chatting apps, dating apps,…). I’ve decided one day at midnight to watch a 35 minutes video on Youtube describing how an unknown individual was able to develop an app. It has been the stimulus to start from to launch this perpetual process of learning and doing what’s completely new for me : programming language.

Second, I know that the Swift language isn’t the easiest to start with. Swift is the new language created by Apple in June 2014 (open source since the end of the year 2015) which came after Objective-C language to develop apps in the most convenient way regarding the design and the process of building it. I’m passionate about apps, I got a bunch of apps that I’ve never used on my smartphone without ever asking myself “How those apps have been built to be downloaded by millions of people worldwide?” This app that I’ll show you later is the answer.

The day after, I’ve downloaded Xcode from the App Store. Here we’re.

1. Design

First, I had to design the User Interface. I didn’t want to take too much time on that as my goal wasn’t how to discover how to design an effective interface. Plus, my project idea was so simple that I didn’t have to spend hours and hours to nail it as all well-known apps that we all know (Snapchat, Airbnb, Uber, Zenly, Revolut,…). I ended up with a simple design that you are going to see after scrolling a bit down. Nevertheless, I tried to respect Apple and its graphic charter… I know, I won’t be a designer tomorrow even though it’s also an incredible subject that interests me a lot (x100). Should I dig deeper?

Secondly, I’ve run tests I’d say hundred times to see if this particular button worked properly or not. Unfortunately, most of the time it didn’t. I kept my faith on and managed it.

Thirdly, I looked for information pretty much all the time, especially when I had to understand what’s the meaning behind each actions/lines. For instance, under the ‘func’ (function) section, I had to recognize, understand and look for information in order to get the meaning of a Float, Double, Int, String, Let,… Luckily, I coded a very simple app with a very simple math formula. It’s been funny enough to turn back in time while I was in high school doing simple stuffs. Great reminder.

Same process for all the bugs that occurred. I had to search and asked Google why this happened and how will I be able to solve it in the meaning time.

2. Coding

Here’s below what I’ve coded to obtain two very simple interfaces. The purpose of the app is to get the final price after computing a discount promotion.

{Where this project come from? Well… one of my close teased me by asking me how much does it cost me 10% of a given price. I must add that this person’s studying in an engineering school 🤔 (are you sure?)}

//

// ViewController.swift

// betaapp_calculator

//

// Created by Antoine Benichou on 25/11/2020.

//

3. Results

betaapp_calculator / Antoine Benichou

4. Application / Conclusion

Finally, I got a two interfaces app that will be profitable to someone that doesn’t know how to calculate promotion. Indeed, we’re the day before the Black Friday and we are all going to spend money on our favorite webstores.

{As I’m french based in Paris, France, don’t forget to spend your money on your local shop that needs you more than ever in this unprecedent time. Made in France is one of the best quality ever even though it’s more pricy that we’re used to. Let’s back to our main focus.}

It was difficult to get points of reference in this brand new world ; there has been an adaptation phasis at the beginning then I improved to make all steps required to deliver this basic app. It was all about adapting to the situation that I was facing to and try to solve it by looking for the right information at the right place.

I won’t forget multiples back and forth between Chrome’s tab Stackoverflow and Xcode to fix simple errors that was obviously under my eyes.

Unfortunately only my lazy friends and my relatives will be granted access as I don’t get a developer account to display it on app stores.

Overall, it has been an intense personal workshop that spiced my lockdown number 2 during one and half day. I took pleasure in achieving this challenge despite the moments of failure (“Built Failed”) and anger (why the software makes me wrong). All these events were necessary in order to stimulate me even more to achieve this.

Follow me on Twitter @abenichou1 to keep in touch!

Entrepreneur. SaaS. Growth.