Expectations The Mindset For Success
Note: This article is part of a larger journey. To see the Table of Contents, click here.
I’ve been teaching iOS development online for over 7 years and I still hate it every time an article gets written with a headline like this:
“I built an app and sold it to Facebook for a billion dollars”
“I learned to code and became an iOS developer in 30 days”
“I built an app that improved my business and then I retired”
It does happen but I bet you the people in those stories worked their butts off, big time. (As everyone says, “There is no overnight success”)
The wrong mindset
The problem with these articles is that they set the wrong expectations for people who start their coding journey and it causes the wrong mentality when approaching problems and obstacles. Having this sort of false mentality ultimately leads to failure.
Maybe you get really lucky and the stars align and your first app is a viral hit. It gets bought out by Facebook and you become and instant multi-millionaire.
That would be amazing wouldn’t it?
A more likely scenario…
But it’s more likely that your first app won’t get many downloads. Heck, your second app might not even get as many downloads as your first one.
But maybe starting with your 10th app, you get some traction and you start to grow a small loyal audience. They respect you for your dedication to listening to their feedback and continual improvement of the app.
They tell their friends about you and the app and your app business grows to a point that can support you financially.
That’s a more likely scenario.
Here’s another likely scenario:
In the process of building 10 apps, you realize that you’ve got a pretty good handle of things!
You could apply for a job as a junior iOS developer at a software consulting company or you could become a freelancer, helping other people realize their ideas into apps!
These are very probable scenarios that can happen to you, IF…
And big IF right here..
IF you can stick with it and get over the hump. (Your #1 enemy as a beginner. More on this in a bit.)
The Mindset For Success
I’ve guided over 5000+ students through learning app development and here’s one interesting observation that I’ve made:
I’ve noticed that having the right mindset when starting out is a strong predictor of whether or not the student will succeed.
So what’s this mindset?
Learning how to build an app is just like learning any other new skill; it’s a journey, not a race.
Impatience leads to frustration which leads to quitting.
As with learning anything new, there’s going to be roadblocks and obstacles but this is where having the right mindset is so important.
Those obstacles are opportunities for growth and learning.
As a seasoned programmer, I can tell you that a large part of building apps will be troubleshooting and figuring out why your app doesn’t work the way you intended it to. Great developers are also great problem solvers.
25% coding, 75% debugging
It’s not a knock against the coder; it’s just that when you’re writing code, it’s impossible to foresee 100% of the user scenarios and edge cases and interactions with other parts of your code.
There’s bound to be bugs and unexpected behavior and then you’re going be spending a lot of time debugging and trying to figure out how to fix it.
Don’t let that discourage you though because the feeling that you get when you finally solve the problem is a natural high like no other!
Not to mention that by overcoming your roadblock, you “level up” and learn a lot!
When you get very familiar with Swift code and Xcode, you’ll find that you can hack together an app idea really quickly but the majority of time afterwards is spent refining, debugging and polishing your app.
What learning to code is actually like:
By taking action and taking that first step towards your goals
… you’ll start making a little bit of progress
… which helps you gain a little bit of self confidence
… which motivates you to continue
… where you’ll make even more progress
… which helps you gain even more self confidence
and this virtuous learning cycle repeats, building up more and more momentum.
I didn’t invent this stuff up. If you ask yourself, this is what learning any new skill is like.
I simply designed my training to facilitate this cycle to form as fast as possible!
However, there is one thing that you need to watch out for…