I’ve recently completed my first iOS app, “Like, Wow!”, and submitted it to the App Store for review to be published in TestFlight, Apple’s beta testing program for iOS and macOS apps. Once that process is complete, I’ll submit it to be published on the App Store. The app counts the number of times people say the word “like”. There’s a little backstory on why I created an app in the first place.
While most of my career I’ve held the position of CTO at small investment companies (a number of hedge funds and also a private equity firm), I never really lost interest in programming. My job didn’t require me to spend much time rolling up my sleeves and diving into the details, but I enjoyed those few opportunities when they arose. In fact, the lack of those oppportunities was one of the factors that led me to walk away from that career.
In my new startup, we have a number of ideas about what we are going to create, mostly in the “fintech” space to some degree. A couple of the ideas would involve development of a mobile app that would be part of a service offering. Since I had no experience developing a mobile app or even managing a team that did so, I thought it would be helpful to understand the process such that if we ever outsourced the development to an external company, I could be effective in reviewing the app and managing the project.
To that end, I decided I should build an iPhone app. I’d had an idea for an app from a couple of years ago but had never spent any time to think it through. So I dove right in. I downloaded Xcode, signed up for an Apple Developer account, started watching some WWDC videos, went through a couple of tutorials online and slowly but surely started building it.
It’s been a really fun project but not without its challenges. I came into this with no experience in this space. I had to get familiar with Xcode, learn Swift, learn SwiftUI, understand processing of audio data, learn how to perform speech recognition, develop icons and other artwork, get familiar with the process for submitting an app to the App Store … essentially every step of the way I was facing something new to me.
Each one of these topics on its own is not overwhelming, but coming in with no experience in any of these areas meant that each new phase required lots of research, experimentation and led to many mistakes along the way.
But that’s also good material for some future posts about the development of “Like, Wow!”