Total Newbie

Hi guys... Total Newbie here.....gulp!

After 5 years now of contracting others to do my Apps, I find my children's book (w/games) Apps in total disarray. No one app is coded the same, yet most are identical other than the book story line. To finalize the scenario - the first company I used developed 14 books for me and must have sent them to numerous individual developers - possibly students. One update that works for one - crashes another and so on. Regardless, here I am.

I know it is a big leap for me, but I have to get control of my apps. I have to learn to code.

I was hoping to gain some guidance please on where to start. My plan is to update 1 existing apps (as it is and save as a Demo) to get it optimized and normalized. Then disseminate that code to all books, changing the story book related info only. Then as my experience develops and I learn from you all, I hope to build one book app (with modules) from scratch that is my foundation moving forward.

Can anyone guide me on a few starting points, please? Although I have apps in iOS and APK, my goal is iOS now. I am open to any documentation that is suggested. So here are some questions - A BIG THANK YOU IN ADVANCE:

  • How do I know what was used to create my apps?
  • What file extension would I be looking for?
  • Are there 'pre-made' toddler games (like paint pictures or Match Shapes, etc) and related code so that I can plug'n'play whether paid for or standard w/iOS or Swift?
  • I believe iOS is the platform and Swift is the app to code. Any documentation suggested is appreciated.
  • Is Swift the only app I should use at this point?

Thanks again - look forward to the adventure!

Just a thought: You probably should hire an experienced developer just to advise you during the transition and get you up to speed - not to do the bulk of the work - in order to help you to understand and fix the things that would take you quite a while to figure out on your own. Otherwise you may end up with a lot of grey hair : )


Swift is a high-level programming language mostly used to write apps for Apple platforms.

Personally, I wouldn't say Swift is the optimal starting point for someone new to computer science. But in terms of simply learning how to code and having fun developing apps, it's a great language for anybody to work in.

If you're planning to learn on your own, my advice would be to start off by reading the book and practicing in Xcode playgrounds. Xcode is the favored integrated development environment for MacOS and can be dowloaded on the MacOS App Store. Simply put, it comes with everything you need to create apps for Apple platforms, and includes playgrounds where you can practice writing and running Swift code.

Once you cut your teeth on the language itself, start searching for tutorials on creating apps. You can find some nice ones at, for instance. There are tons of them, so it should be simple. People at teamtreehouse do an especially good job on this, but don't forget about the free trial.

If you're stuck, Google it.

A core principle, and a very important thing to keep in mind here is to always search for the problem you're stuck with. Being skillful in finding the answers saves you massive amounts of time.

If you happen to have any mathematical background (it's knowledge we're talking about), you have a high chance of picking this up pretty quick. Good luck!

P.S. Feel free to ask any questions about the Swift programming language on the forums.

1 Like

Hi Boris - Sure appreciate... ha - I already have grey hairs from the initial developers (and old age)... But your point is understood. I had that in mind and will do as suggested - The developer I used last, I felt comfortable with but I had been trying to contact over 3-4 weeks and had not heard from him until literally a few hours after posting. I was thinking I would have to go forward alone or find another 'experienced' developer I could trust. So - yes - good point and I will do that.

Hello Anthony - Again - sure appreciate the response. I bookmarked your 4 links and will review. Thanks. I love the technical side - and have developed (from the user side with a very moderate amount of internal code) numerous 3rd party apps (Lisp, VB and .NET) for AutoCAD and databases. That is where my mind is trying to correlate and figure out if Swift is like a 3rd party software (but I have not found in any of the many Google searches).

You are correct - absolutely - Google is our friend - especially in today's times. In the early years, searches were a scary adventure into the unknown with much chaos and confusion.

I do like to jump into things and snoop around to learn from the inside. So that is why I tried to get an overview of what software so I could just ‘open’ a file and learn. As Boris mentioned, he is correct as well, gain some experienced guidance as I start. Let me consume the 4 links you noted and follow up.
I hesitated to ask such a wide open question in a forum when Google searching is so powerful. But there is no replacement for experience - textbook knowledge can only get you so far - then the real world throws curves and caveats. Especially with software – there are so many opinions on the multitude of issues and complexities!

One last example please... I had guys working for me in the engineering world that wanted to write their own code for AutoCAD efforts. Sounds good, but although personalized, keeping up with the intricacies and versions and compatibilities can be a nightmare. Also doing a website with php code can be overwhelming to someone at my knowledge (and time constrained) level. So WIX, Shopify, etc. MAY be an answer. I have read endless forums with advice on coding with a software that can export to Android or iOS, but I do not know if that is the correct answer either. I ramble... :blush: what I am looking for is a stable, clean, fun GUI for the children. So choice of tools will be important at the immediate onset on my path forward.

So with spending my funds on Apps that are not smoothly functioning, comes being ‘caught’ in the corner to scramble and try to get something done. Sometimes asking a few questions (hopefully well thought out) will jump start things.... all said - there is no replacement for hard work and dedication.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I look forward to the adventure and excitement of developing.:slight_smile:

I recommend the Getting Started with Swift video from WWDC 2016.

It uses Swift 3, but is still relevant for Swift 4.2 (with some minor changes).

Hello Ben - Just getting time to refocus on Swift and now see your guidance. Thanks - will do - sure appreciate.

Hi guys... so as I move forward, would you mind offering your 2 cents... I would like to buy a MacBook that will get me by initially. Is the Mac Air adequate or do you suggest I need a Mac Pro? I am a WIndows guy and evidently moving to 'the dark side'.... :-)

Hi Ben... I am listening to "Getting Started with Swift"... I have to admit - it is well above my current knowledge of code. But - I get the general premise. I see where Swift must 'reduce' code and also act as a 'gatekeeper' to ensure consistency and most bases are covered...? It may take a while to get through the 1 hour video - but it is helping - thank you.