Whether you’re a business owner or a tech-junkie, you may feel like stepping into app development. Of course, it’s not as simple as just working on it for 5 minutes, but it’s actually a lot easier than you may think.
This is largely due to the sheer number of helpful resources available on the world wide web. From tutorials to software packages to videos, almost of every aspect of every process is covered. You can find people to collaborate with quickly and easily. You can locate companies that will help your app building pursuits with no hassle. There’s never been a better time to get into development.
Despite all this, many people can struggle with it, and that’s understandable. It’s such a jargon-heavy subject that many people are turned off instantly. That being said, if you get past this initial hurdle, you may find the rest of the process easier than expected. This article will give you a quick run-down of what it takes to build a web app, whether you’re a rookie or a veteran.
Are there any resources available to help me?
Well, I’m glad you asked, and there most definitely are. The internet is so stuffed full of resources that it can be hard to identify what you need with a quick Google search. In general though, there are a few things you should be keeping your eye on.
Simply put, a web app is an app that’s stored on a server and delivered via the browser, be that Google Chrome or FireFox. As such, you’ll need to understand the delivery process as well as what works on individual web browsers.
In terms of building up your understanding of coding jargon and development, your first stop will be a tutorial. A website like CodeAcademy can teach you the basics as well as advanced courses for pros. There’s even a YouTube channel that can act as a visual aid for you, to supplement your learning.
Many will be turned off by the complex nature of coding and overall app design, but there are a number of shortcuts you can use. For example, PaaS Provider can help simplify the code-writing aspect of app development. This is by giving you a platform from which to run the app while the infrastructure building and maintenance is handled by the provider.
Overall, it depends on your skill set. Most developers will opt for a provider because it makes the whole process a lot easier. Newbies should start with some basic coding tutorials, because a little understanding goes a long way.
Step One: Create A Killer Idea
It’s kind of the elephant in the room, so it needs addressing. The app market in general is so crowded that nothing less than a brilliant idea will stand out. Make sure you yourself are also invested in this idea, or you won’t see it through. Whether you want to build a simple video editing tool or a widget for your own website, just be sure you’ve thought it through first. You should be writing out flowcharts and diagrams every week, perfecting your design.
Scope out the competition, and any apps similar to yours. You don’t want to build something that’s already been done a million times. Some examples of popular web apps include Postify, which allows you to schedule social media posts. In general, you want to avoid all social media related apps, as these are the most common type.
If building a web app is your side job and isn’t full time, consider your commitment to it. If you truly feel passionate about your idea, then you’re more likely to see it through to the end. Which leads me to…
Step 2: Time Management and Identifying Resources
Nobody said it was gonna be a walk in the park. Yes, it can be simpler than you expect, but you still need to sink a good chunk of time into it. You could schedule a few hours each week that you know you’ll stick to. If you miss your time frame in one week, double it the next week. Consistency breeds results!
This in mind, keep an eye on the advancement of various scripts. Flash used to dominate the web, but is slowly being phased out pretty much everywhere. HTML5 is on the rise, and could eventually render Flash unnecessary. Be sure your web app won’t be outdated in a few months to save the hassle of re-coding.
Step 3: Testing, Testing and More Testing
Throughout the development process, you should be conducting through tests across all areas. Whether you’re partnered with a provider or not, it’s still important. You can’t prepare for every eventuality. Ask your friends and family for their opinions, and identify weak areas. The web development process is just like any other creative process, and collaboration is key.
You should also test your app across a variety of browsers to ensure full compatibility. After all, you can’t predict what browser people will use. Making mistakes in this phase is fine, that’s what it’s here for! As long as you learn from them and improve, make all the mistakes you need.
So, hopefully, you’re now well on your way to a killer web app. At its core, it’s just like any other creative process. You have to choose the tools of the trade, learn how to use them, then use them!
Yes, it can be full of jargon and complexity, but so can anything. Even playing Angry Birds will be an alien concept to some. All you need to do is take the time to perfect this particular art form, and you’ll be on your way to success.