to collaborate or not to collaborate

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Robot-Scott, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. Robot-Scott macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2009
    *Please note that this is NOT solicitation for employment, as outlined by forum rules.

    I'm wondering whether to seek out someone with iphone coding experience with an application I'm trying to develop. I only have some basic programming knowledge and work a full-time job so I think even a basic iPhone app is going to take me several years to develop (call me a pessimist or a realist). I'm going to list some of my experience and then will let you, the knowledgable community, provide advice on whether I should get help. Also, any knowledge you would like to share about how you built your first iphone app would be great.

    My experience:
    -Logo in grade school (20 years ago)
    -Basic on my TI-85 in high school (13 years ago)
    -Scripting here and there with Bash and Windows Command Shell
    -Python in my psych lab (~1 year ago)

  2. wizard macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    That depends on the application and your willingness to put effort into learning the craft.
    Unfortunately I understand the issue with the full time job as that impacts me negatively too. It all depends on your personal ability to allocate time.
    The above to me means nothing really as Objective C and iPhone SDK is going to be a big bundle of stuff to grasp. In any event running out of time at the library. ;)

  3. wizard macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    New hot spot, so a follow up.

    I had to run out on the last reply so thought I'd follow up.

    The first thing you have to determine is what is the business opportunity here if any. Obviously there are two options when it comes to your program. If it is a business or money making app then I think you have to at least consider hiring somebody. On the other hand I can't see this as viable for a free app unless someone wants to donate their time.

    Once you figure out which of the above is true you then need to look at what sort of programmer you will need and affordability. Here you need to project the possibility of actually making a profit on the program. This isn't easy to do with app store related apps as some have the attitude that everything should cost $0.99. So is the volume and pricing structure you are likely to have access to on App store enough to pay the bills?

    That is the business side of things, programming is a different story and it depends on your experience, the complexity of the app and your willingness to educate yourself. Depending on what you want to deliver you will may find that your app can map onto one of Apples example apps. If that is the case your learning curve is going to be less than building from scratch. The problem with the example apps is that you can potentially cobble together an app and not understand how it works. Given that I've been working on an app on and off now that does map well to one of Apples examples, it is actually a rather quick way to get on board.

    The biggest problem I see with your programming background is the total lack of formal training, especially with compiled languages like C/C++/Objective-C or similar languages like ADA or Pascal. It is not a complete horror story as the environment of Objective C and the SDK does provide for a very a very nice place to build programs. Still from time to time you will descend into the uglier parts of C. So what you will have to do is to learn C/Objective C fairly extensively. That will require its own time. So how much time do you have to go through one of the more recent Objective C books?

    Part of your problem with collaboration is that specifying a program completely is important and not something for the inexperienced. Depending on whom you are working with the experience can be either good or bad. In this case you got to look inward a bit and determine if you can work well with people who might be on an entirely different wave length. If you don't build the actual program yourself, your ability to communicate clearly your desires becomes very important.

    I know I'm jumping back and forth a bit here because it is not a simple question to answer. You likely can get to the point where you are writing your own code, you leave me with that impression. That will take time, but it will also take time to collaborate as you say with somebody else, especially if you end up constantly going in opposite directions. do to this I'd suggest putting in tow months of effort just learning Objecitve C and the SDK. If you can't see how your program would come together after that effort then you may need to find a programmer to help.

    On a side note trying to develop an iPhone app while more than fully employed else where is a bear. This is where dedicating two months to learning objective C can also help. If you can reach a specific goal in that itme due to other obligations/conflicts you are not likely to do well on your app which is an entirely more involved task than learning iPhones SDk.

  4. Robot-Scott thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2009
    I concur

    First off, thank you very much for taking the time to write an extensive reply. Here are some of my return thoughts...
    I think I will price it out at $0.99. I'm not really making this app for profit but I would like to reimburse myself for the time spent designing and coding.

    Yes, I think my app can map onto an example app. My application is going to simply keep track of four behavioral values on a daily basis. I was planning on using the builtin buttons and labels.

    I agree with you on this point. The only thing is that I think I will be much more motivated if I took an online course, do you know any good ones? Barring that, do you recommend a book?

    Yes, I think I will do this solo.

    While this may sound trite, I've wanted to design my own application since I was 13 or so. It's just taken this long for a platform to come along that I think would work with the application I have in mind.

    Thanks again for the advice.:D
  5. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley

    What is your goal?

    If it's a business plan with big enough potential returns for serious investment, then hire, or partner with, some experienced people, who will get the job done better and faster (and cheaper, if your time or the apps time-to-market is a cost) than any typical newbie.

    If it's for fun or education, then go for it, hit the library, and start studying. It may take months or years, and your app ideas may have been obsoleted by other developers in the mean time, but you'll have had a learning experience in the mean time.


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