I’ve never built an app and I don’t know Swift or Java programming. I’m also not a genius.

Thanks for coming JBA (James Builds an App)! I’m James, and as you might have guessed, I’m building an app. I’ve never done this before, I don’t know Swift, Java, and I’m not familiar with user experience theory. In short, I’m a non-genius beginner.

I’m hoping I can share my experience with you and help you to become an app programmer too. Hopefully you’ll get there faster than me by learning from my mistakes. I have a few goals here on this blog that details my app-building journey:

1. Learn Swift and Java

Swift is the language of Apple’s iOS and Java is the language of Google’s Android. Apparently you can also use something called Kotlin instead of Java, but I’ve never seen that outside the context of Android apps and I love skills that port to other companies easily, so I’m doing Java. I’m going through Udemy’s top-rated course on iOS development, and eventually Udemy’s top-rated course on Android development after that, so if you’re interested I’d highly recommend those courses. I’ve gotten some great information and learnings on Udemy over my career.

I’ll admit – I do already have some basic programming experience in Python. It’s a completely different language though, and I’ve never been employed as a developer. So I do understand some basic programming concepts, but if you’ve never programmed before, try not to give up. Eventually you’ll start to see how it works!

2. Learn Xcode and Android Studio

Xcode is the mandated IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for iOS development and Android Studio is the IDE for Android, so I’ll be learning those. IDE’s are basically like Microsoft Word for except for writing code instead of documents. Sure you can write documents in notepad, but Word (and others) makes things a bit easier and has some cool features for producing something really professional. is what I will be following, so definitely check that out. Again, great learnings at Udemy.

I’ve chosen to work on the iOS version and Swift first despite being an Android user myself (Pixel 2, as of this 2019 writing). The target users for my app are primarily iPhone users, so it makes sense to start there.

3. Share What I Learn With You

I’ll be posting what I learn from my experiences here, and I hope it helps you. I’m hoping you can not only learn how to write some good Java, but also how specifically the Android environment works and the cool things you can do with it. I’m a tech nerd, after all – learning how things work is what I do.

Happy learning!