This past weekend, I was fortunate to be selected to speak about my app development journey at the Computer Gaming and Simulation Conference hosted by The University of Tulsa.
This was the first time that I had spoken at a conference like this. The presentation covered the topics of my journey as an iOS developer and my experiences of teaching a Game Design with iOS class at Holland Hall.
Additionally, I entered three of my iOS apps into the game and simulation competition categories, because that seemed like another fun new thing to try.
My forty-five-minute presentation follows and I am including specific bookmarks to the different sections of my talk. I also include the game proposal videos that I created in order to enter the competitions.
At the end of the conference, I was fortunate to have won first place in the simulation category for my app Chemistry AR+ (see video below).
In addition, V.S.E.P.R. Chemical Invaders (see video below) also placed first in the Indie Game Developers category. I was surprised and pleased with my results and grateful to receive some validation on my projects and work to date.
My presentation starts about 60 minutes into this video.
1st Place – Simulation category – Computer Simulation and Gaming Conference
1st Place Indie Game Developer – Computer Simulation and Gaming Conference
By the end of the conference, I was really exhausted.
It had taken a great deal to make the videos that you see above and put the entire presentation together. This was all done on top of a heavy remote teaching workload at school.
However, when the dust settled I felt a huge sense of accomplishment at all I had managed to achieve. My journey was full of a new direction in learning and had its fair share of frustrating times. This includes late nights staring at my computer screen wondering why my code was not working.
My advice to anyone that is thinking about trying app development is to definitely take the first steps and get stuck in learning from courses online from sites such as Udemy.com or tutorials on YouTube.
It does take a while to learn something worthwhile. Patience, consistency, and persistence are important parts to help you on your way to success.
It has taken 2-3 years in order to get to where I am today. So success does not happen overnight. Additionally, It takes a while for apps to gather sales momentum on the app store. In my experience, there is no such thing as an overnight success.
It helps to create an app in an area that you are passionate about. There are more rewards in your process. Additionally, you are likely to stay with your process for longer. I create apps around rowing, chemistry and education because that’s what I am passionate about.
If you develop your programming aligned with your passions the reward is the journey that you take rather then the product that you end up making. Therefore, find a project or idea that you want to develop. Trust me, this process will provide plenty of challenges to overcome. These challenges will provide the bedrock of your learning and you will be a better coder once your journey is complete.
On the flip side of that, if you are getting into app development because you want to make a lot of money, I don’t think that is a good reason to pursue this because you are likely to not enjoy the process of development and might give up too easily. Back to my point above, most of the folks I know that are successful at something either through achievement of financially are that way because they invested in their passions and the rest figured itself out.
When you encounter difficulties in your coding, it’s best to walk away for a while. For me, that means walking my dog, or watching a show with my wife. Believe me, your brain is always working, even when you are sleeping. Sometimes ideas and solutions need to percolate for a while. Meditation also is a good option. I find that I am most creative when I meditate regularly. You typically already have the answers inside yourself, it’s a question of clearing out the noise to enable the ideas to come to the surface.
If I can help in any way in your journey, or have an idea for an app and want to bounce some ideas off me, please send me an email and let’s start the conversation and I wish you the best if you want to start developing your own apps on the platform of your choice.