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  • Writer's pictureJenn

I want to develop my own app but I am not a developer, should I?

One of the things that we mostly want to do are the things that we are not capable of executing on our own. Like let's say I am a writer and I want to open my own cake shop an out of nowhere or if I am a scientist and I want to write an autobiography of my life for people to know who I am and my achievements. And in this case... I am a gamer and I want to develop my own app. Should I?

It is a good question to ask yourself before going off and kickstarting your app-development adventure without prior knowledge what is waiting for you out there. Let me give you a speedrun on how the journey happens in real life. It's quite different compared to our imagination on how it works.


There are two things that we can do here if we are programmers with basic or no experience at all, (1) we can ask someone to teach us how or (2) hire someone to do the app for us. But the thing is, neither option is easy. Creating an app is much more complicated than the developers are making it seem.

We can see free and paid app makers out there, 'easy to use' they say and 'good for beginners' they sell. There may be templates and whatnot, but at the end of the day, you either still have to learn a little bit of coding because templates are not enough to create the app you want to see or pay premium package of some sort to have access to more features, reliable customer support, removing watermark and other perks they can attract you with. We used their 'app maker' for free because we lack the resources and want to use our 'goaled app' to make money and yet instead we end up spending more than we are earning.

And take note, even IF we were able to make use of what free available stuff they offer us, for how long will it be of convenient use? We don't exactly have the freedom to manually code the things we want. Take note that apps are updated often to improve it. Bugs, glitches, compatibility, generating key, etc.


Let's get something clear here. IF you do hire someone to develop your app, do you at least know how to revise it when revisions or updates are necessary? Like I said before, we will need to keep putting up with updates every now and then and the app is full of codes. You touch one and can't put it back or misplaced a file or accidentally pressed on your keyboard and hit save -- how do you put it back the way it was?

In the end, you will be investing to a team of developers or a single developer for your project. For those with basic knowledge, you might get a chance to get the gist of how it works and be able to edit on your own but it consumes more time than you know. I always had to spend my entire work day to focus on exploring the files and such, but of course I had the developer teach me-- which is not always helpful.

Ah! So I can also ask the developer to teach me what to revise?

Yes but not a particularly good idea. Unless you guys are partners or you guys are friends and not digitally close and is actually far, far away from each other, you. Never. Know. what the future holds. The developer may or may not teach you everything, may or may not ghost you, may or may not ask for more payment, and other possible scenarios.

I only asked to learn the basic stuff that I want to revise, like the Terms of Service of my app, how to post content, and the credits. Other than that, I have limited freedom to design or mess around with the app because I am personally too scared to touch any of the code stuff.


Not exactly.

If you plan to upload your app in Google PlayStore where all the apps gets a chance to hit off, then you will find yourself bumping into possible issues. Now our situation may be different depending on the version of your software, difference in programming language, etc, etc. Me and my friend used Android Studio, I think Kotlin language and then Flutter an SDK tool of some sort. Yes, even I don't know much. I know very basic stuff so you could say this blog is based off my experience.

Android Studio.


Issue 1:

Now, I hit the Developer Registration Fee barrier but let's say a week later that was resolved.

Issue 2:

And then I excitedly clicked and explored and wow! I thought I was about to upload my app when I saw that it actually wants a .aab file instead of the usual .apk. I had to explore this on my own and was able to export the app as .aab woohoo! But then, it was talking about getting your app signed or something. Of course, there is a documentation to guide you but it doesn't make things easier for me in any way.

Issue 3:

For some reason the so-called required "Generate APK Bundle" button does not show up to me and I've clicked on every article relating to this issue but none had resolved it for me. I watched every YouTube video I could find but to my dismay, none could help me all the same. I have been in a 16-day delay from my supposed initial release because of this. My latest research has led me to find a documentation or a blog (I almost forgot now because of all the stuff I've read) that says that there really is no button for Flutter users but instead, we are to type it in our build.gradle manually. Which leads us back to coding, which we have been trying to avoid.

If this is not stressful enough, I don't know what else would convince you that maybe this whole 'I want to build an app without coding knowledge' is a bad thing.

I might update this blog to give you more detail on my journey. But as far as it goes, me and my friend are still stuck figuring out how to upload the app to PlayStore. Until then. Think carefully before you jump into this journey!


As of today the app is up and running for the past months.

While I find it a success and felt a bit proud to see my hardwork now available in public. The struggle does not stop there. Yes it's up there and I have friends review and rate the app but by far, there aren't really - totally zero - unique people who had installed the app. So basically it's there, hanging by a thread, not generating a single penny.

For now I keep it up because I love what I do. I write and it relaxes me when I work too much. So if you don't have the patience to keep going, update it monthly, then it's just there waiting for a fish to bite the bait.

Hope it helps.

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May 18, 2022

Congratulations on publishing the app!

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