Journey in iOS Development Series – In the Beginning…

Today I’m starting a series related to my journey in learning to develop iOS apps. As lightbulbs come on for me, I plan to write up what I’m learning, if nothing else for my own reference. But I do hope my readers enjoy the discoveries I make along the way.

These first few blogs will be somewhat autobiographical, so hopefully I don’t bore you to death. I’ll try and make them quick. More technical stuff will appear very soon. I thought to write a short article about how I got started. If I had an “In the beginning…” moment, what would that be?

The Early Days

It seems like just yesterday I was a little boy visiting my Grandpa’s house in Lawton, OK, eager to play on Grandpa’s computer. Computers in the early 90’s were still not quite the commodity they are in 2013. We didn’t own one yet, but Grandpa did.

If I had to point to an “In the beginning…” stage, it’d be the times when Grandpa sat down with me and taught me about computers. Not just games (although I did enjoy Submarine and Wheel of Fortune for DOS a lot) – he taught me the basics of how to instruct a computer.  He taught me to program. He was a Master of DOS and a QBasic Guru. If I had to guess, he still prefers elements of both today. :]

He is, quite simply, an amazing man. He is now a retired entrepreneur, but when he was running his music store there were always those “things that needed to be done”.  He viewed the “gotta do it’s” as an opportunity to automate by programming a computer to do it for __him, rather than do it by hand. He’s showed me how he programmed apps to produce his financial statements, track his budget, print invoices, and all kinds of other “by hand” stuff that he was able to make “automagically” with a computer. It was (and still is) fascinating to me.

In addition to those early years of influence, I’ve learned from Grandpa that even though “there’s an app for that” already, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you how you want it to work. Grandpa could be happy with 99% of an app’s functionality, but there’d always be that one thing that bugged him. What did he do? He wrote his own. He made it work how he wanted it to work. He may not have been inventing a new wheel every time, but because he could program, he could improve the existing wheel to his liking.

All of this has served to motivate me in my pursuit of programming in general.  I love my Grandpa.  My Grandpa loves computers.  The little kid inside of me is yelling, “Me too!  Me too!” to this day.

My Grandpa just turned 81 and he still loves the computing world.  It’s been great fun to watch him use his latest computer: his iPhone.  It’s been even more fun to show him the little apps I’m making as I learn to program for iOS.

Next up will be a post on how I’ve approached learning to program for iOS.  What’s my strategy and how is it going so far?  See you again soon with all that and more.

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