Was My first App a Waste of time?
From the trials and errors at the beginning to finally publishing my first Android App to the Google Play Store, there is a feeling of being on an F1 Race podium or a 40 km’s marathon winner. But, as time is passing, downloads are not growing exponentially. To be fair only 22 after one month and it starts to feel as if it was not worth it.
So a question comes up: was the time spent developing my first App a waste of time?
I can give you the answer right away, and I can assure you that it was absolutely not a waste of time. And to be of some value to you I will list the top 5 reasons why, even if nobody downloads your app it is a very big achievement in your developer career.
1. You improve coding skills practicing
The most natural reason is that you are coding and developing an app, so naturally you are improving your skills as a developer. One thing is to read articles and another is to get everything working properly and without bugs. So when you have your app with all functionalities planned integrated and with all bugs fixed you will be ready to start the new snapchat or Instagram.
2. Learn how to fetch data from APIs
Number two reason comes from the first reason. Most probably you will connect your app to some sort of backend. It may be to Firebase, or to a public API to fetch some data from the internet. By doing this you are now able to connect any app to a backend and that is really important because most apps store data in the backend and fetch it as needed.
3. Learn how to publish an App
After you have your App ready and tested you are in the stage of publishing. But that is not a walk in the park. You need all the design material for the store page. Collect all the information requested, go through the rating of the app. A lot of meticulous and tedious work, that really matters to get your app online in the store. So if you come through this alive you can brag yourself that you have your app published on the store. A lot of developers only go through the development phase and are the owners of the apps to publish, so if you know the process you will get ahead on many screening processes.
4. Have an app to show off
Naturally if you have your app published you can show it off. Whether it will be to your friends or to an interviewer, you have something to show your work and it will be a great discussing topic in the interview.
5. Position yourself for the next project
At the end of the project you are more than ready to start the next. All the mistakes you made, were a lesson and those long hours going on stupid bugs are gone. Now you are more productive, you know what to do and more importantly what not to do. So get ready, start brainstorming for your next idea and when you decide to start remember all the mistakes you made. Learn from them and be a better developer.
You have to start somewhere, so just pick a project, start and go through with only one thing in mind, great code. Don’t think about downloads, ads or profit after two months. It will come, but in the long run. Now just focus on your code and your skills. It will be more important for you to take your time and learn how to create a robust layer for network calls then just what is enough. It will pay off on all your next projects.
So to wrap up your first app even with zero downloads will never be a waste of time but a bundle of really valuable lessons to your career, whether it will be working for a company or as a freelancer.
Take care and take your time.