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After 10 years as "just a designer", I've finally built my first app!

Hey Indie Hackers! I gotta say, I am incredibly excited to be posting this on here, and being counted amongst so many inspiring folks in these parts.

Just a quick intro, I'm a designer based out of Toronto. I've been a designer my whole career, working for agencies, big media companies, and most recently a large enterprise software company. I used to do some front-end web dev code, but haven't touched it in years, and have tried and failed MANY many times to learn iOS development. I've had countless ideas over the span of my career for apps. I'd open photoshop or Sketch and do an awesome design, make a clickable prototype, show friends who would be supportive, but then the crushing reality would hit that I was just a designer, I could not build it. After 10+ years of this cycle, I finally had an idea that I was insanely passionate about, and did a design I'm so incredibly proud of and decided "screw it, i'm learning how to build this". (Spoiler alert: the app i launched is NOT this app).

As COVID hit in early 2020, I hit the ground running, watching dozens of youtube videos, following tutorials, reading documentation and writing code. I had always gotten so lost and confused in XCode. Storyboards didn't make sense to me, the code was complicated (for me) and I had this feeling of almost walking on eggshells, like one misstep and I would have to start over from scratch. I decided to try out SwiftUI and everything clicked. It just made so much sense to me. Within a month of only working on it a few hours a week, I had a good portion of the app developed. As I got deeper into it, things started to get more complicated, forcing me to learn different api's, databases, etc. I got overwhelmed and decided to take a small break.

During that break I had another idea, a much simpler idea. Sure, it still required a database and some of the complicated things I was facing with the previous app, but it was on a much smaller scale, so I decided to get working on that idea. I didn't want to lose steam on my learning, so I started developing my new idea, and about 2 months later I had a working app, albeit missing a lot of functionality I wanted. I opted to submit it to the App Store just to try out the process, and see if it had a chance of getting approved and to my surprise, it got Approved! As there were some key things left out of this version, I quickly pulled it off the app store and got to building out some of the other critical functionality. A few weeks later, and here we are, I'm finally ready to talk about my very first app designed and developed by me. This feeling of launching an app may not be special to some of you who are used to launching many apps, but for me, this is 10 years in the making, and even though its a relatively simple app, I'm so excited to finally be able to say I have an app in the app store.

I've learned so much throughout this whole process, and I'm stoked to write more about the experience.

Thanks for reading, and I'd love to hear your feedback!

My app:
http://reelcalmapp.com/

  1. 1

    Very clever idea and beautiful design.

  2. 1

    Hey congrats! As a non-dev I sometimes aspire to this stuff.

    It looks legit and professional too!

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