1 Apr

So what was I thinking anyway?

Ever start a project just to learn something new?  But to do it, you have to have an app idea to throw around it?  I had one of those.  I’ve been doing a wee bit of iOS development over the past year, and I found I wanted to learn about iAds, in App Purchasing, talking between devices (via BlueTooth), and just get better at coding in general.

I did just that.  I created an IPhone/IPad app called Agile Cards.  You can read up on it if you like.  Agile Cards is your basic card estimation app for the IPhone.  Real original, I know.  I think my competition is about a dozen other apps.  The only thing Agile Cards does that the others do not (that I know of) is use an IPad as a server.  This is optional of course.  So if you have several IPhones and an IPad you can have a digitally dynamic Scrum Estimation.

So what was I thinking?  I was thinking I needed practice.

I knew what I wanted to practice, so I thought up an app to do that with.  Now the great thing about the App Stores (for Apple, Android, and WinPhone 7), is that you can “easily” take these little apps that you are writing and sell them.  I’ve had dozens of apps that I’ve done for exactly the same purpose (to learn), but never had an easy route for selling them.  And setting up an online store is just a big pain as far as I’m concerned.

But I put easily in quotes up there.  There are a few caveats to my statement above.  I had a designer that wanted to do some more IPhone designing.  I’ve helped him with apps as well, so he was happy to help out.  If  you are going to go onto an app store, you will/should spend more time on user experience than you normally would, especially if you were just writing the app for yourself.

There is also the hassle of dealing with the app store requirements.  You need icons, splash screens, verbiage (which I kind of suck at), a web site, screen shots, email addresses, etc.  I even setup a Google Voice account for it.   All this for a free app?  (OK, there are ad, but free none the less).

What was I thinking?  I was thinking I also needed the practice of finishing an app.

There is nothing wrong with starting an app and throwing it away, or just stopping when you don’t need to go any further.  You end up with a program with a few quirks (bugs) that never get fixed, but you are probably the only person using it anyway.  That is fine.  But every now and then you need to FINISH something.  By FINISH, I mean shipping quality.  Shipping quality is hard btw.  It takes more time.  You need other people looking at things.

This is to remind you that software can be hard.  We deal with details, lots of them.  Selling software to other people means dealing with even more details.  It is good to do every now and then.  On your own.

So what was I thinking?  I thought it sounded like fun.

And by fun, like running a marathon half prepared fun.  BTW: I never did get to the “In app purchasing” bit.   I guess that can be next time.  It was to remove the ads.  I never have released an app with every single feature I ever wanted in it.

One thought on “So what was I thinking anyway?”

  1. Wow. Great article, and even better app for agile. Maybe now I can get my boss to go agile, because the server can run on his ipad. 😉

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