Looking to become an app developer

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Yumunum, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Yumunum macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2011
    I'm highly interested in learning how to make and sell apps for iPhone/iPad, and I was hoping I could get advice from everyone here.

    Background information: I live in the U.S., I'm sixteen, and technically I'm in high school but this coming school year I'm going to have the chance to take some classes at a community college. I don't know ANYTHING about programming, I'll be starting from scratch. I only have the basic computer knowledge most people have here. I've recently sold my last computer and now I'm trying to decide what I should buy next (based off what you'd recommend)

    So my questions are...

    1. What will I need to learn
    2. How/where should I learn it
    3. About how long would you guess it'll take for me to learn how to make a "decent" app (for example, a simple "task list" app)
    4. What computer do you recommend for me? An '11 13" Air would be nice for portability on campus, but if I need more power...
    5. Would you recommend a large external monitor? Will I need to have multiple windows open at once when learning, and eventually, programming real apps?
    6. Can I sell apps on the app store before I'm 18?
    7. What other avenues could this programming knowledge take me? Would it allow me to understand the OS itself, modify it, ect. Keep in mind I don't know anything yet, so I really don't know what would help me with what.
    8. ANYTHING else I should know?

    Preferably I could be shown what different books/curriculum would take me from point A to point B.

    Thank you (so much) in advance. I'm really interested in this and I want to start as soon as possible.
  2. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Take a programming course at your local community college.

    Learning the basics of programming is the biggest hurdle for many (most?) people. After you learn to program you can more easily pick up the specifics of programming for iOS apps (Objective C and the frameworks) without getting as much brain overload.
  3. jiminaus macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2010
    While you're starting out you will need neither a powerful computer not a large external monitor. Later, both will become more and more advantageous.

    To sell apps you must enter into a legal financial contract with Apple, so you must be of legal age in your jurisdiction.

    That depends on how far you go. Now you can't learn everything about programming and computer science in one lifetime. You have to pick an area (or maybe a few related areas) and specialize in it.

    To be an effective developer requires many skills besides knowing how to program; for example, research skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills. Don't forget to work on these as well.
  4. chown33, Jul 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011

    chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Basic logic.
    Simple algebra.
    Clarity of expression.
    The value of trying things yourself and seeing what happens.

    Reading. And practice, practice, practice.

    You don't learn to program just by reading. You learn to program by reading, then by writing programs. Which don't work. Then you learn debugging. Which won't always work. Then you learn to read things more carefully. Which won't always work. So you learn how to search for things that help you learn more. Which won't always work. Repeat until retirement.

    Longer than you think now.

    Longer than you think you'll think even after you learn a lot more than you know now.

    Every person is different. No one can tell you beforehand how quickly you'll learn things, or how proficient you'll become.

    Even experienced software developers are remarkably bad at estimating how long it takes to do something. Being wrong by a factor of 2 would be considered pretty good. It takes years of experience to hone your skills into being wrong by only a factor of 1.5.

    You won't. Not for programming. Max the RAM, though.

    It depends on your eyesight and your ability to remember things (visual skills).

    If a parent signs the contracts on your behalf. You have no legal standing to sign contracts before 18 (in the USA). That's the primary issue with being a minor on the App Store.

    With sufficient knowledge, anything is possible.

  5. KillerTree macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2008
    I would watch MIT's Intro to Programming course on Youtube and then watch Stanford's iOS development course on iTunes :)

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