Earlier this year I published my first iOS app as an indie developer and because I had many questions throughout the way, I figured I’d write a blog post about the things I learned, so other developers wondering the same things can get answers. This article is not a tutorial on how to build an app, I won’t explain any code, but I will share the things I learned on what it takes to publish an app by yourself and why you should do it too.
When you are publishing your first app, it puts you in an extremely vulnerable position. You are sharing something with the world that you have spent weeks, months, maybe even years on and there is no quarantees who people will react to it. I know that I had severe imposter syndrome when publishing my app, and I still do. But the fact is, if you don’t publish you won’t know if your work is any good. The chances are your app is not an over night success, but knowing how people feel is better than wondering. When you get feedback, you can adjust priorities build features users actually want.
Even though I’m not going to tell you how to build an successful app, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. Got an idea? Is this for yourself or are you looking for a wide audience? Who are your competitors? Are there apps in the store already that do the same thing yours does? How is your app different? Got all those questions answered? Cool. Now for the things you didn’t think about, but still need.
So what did I learn from publishing my own app? A lot of things. I became more comfortable writing code and sharing what I’ve done publicly. I finally realized that done is better than perfect. And yes, I do realize that nothing is truly ‘done’ in software, but at some point your product, feature, etc. is good enough. That point is sooner than you think, so stop being so critical!
I learnt how to prioritize tasks and features to make the most of my time. I learnt to let got of features I wanted to add, but didn’t give enough value. I’ve learnt to refactor code better by breaking less in the process. Most importantly, I’ve gained confidence in my skills. I have plenty to learn, but I have learnt enough to be able to ship a product (and some people seem to like using it).
So why you should release an app?
TL;DR Just publish it. It’s worth it!
If you want to check out the app I build, it’s called Bean Juice, and you can find it in the App Store.