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INTRO Self taught iOS and Android app developer. AMA

sol369

New Contributor
Feb 22, 2017
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Minnesota
Hey everyone!

I've been lurking on this forum and have found a lot of good information that helped me with getting clients on upwork especially. I thought that it was time to introduce myself and answer any questions any of you had about building apps / teaching yourself how to build apps / freelance app developer on upwork / etc.

About Me
- Self taught iOS and Android Developer
- 23 years old
- Been building apps for the past 3-4 years
- Taught myself how to build apps after I had an app idea but no money to pay someone to build it for me lol. (Actually I did pay a couple of people on upwork to build it for me but since I was a broke college student, I couldn't pay them a lot so as you expect the app turned out like crap. Wasn't anything like I wanted so after going through this 3 times, I decided it was time to learn how to build apps myself.)

Anyways ask away
 

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beatgoezon

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Aug 31, 2013
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Welcome to the Fastlane Forum, good to see a fellow app developer!

Do you work as a freelancer or do you lean more towards the whole self-publishing entrepreneurship side?

Also, what kind of apps do you develop- traditional apps(utility, social), games, etc?
 

sol369

New Contributor
Feb 22, 2017
7
18
15
25
Minnesota
Welcome to the Fastlane Forum, good to see a fellow app developer!

Do you work as a freelancer or do you lean more towards the whole self-publishing entrepreneurship side?

Also, what kind of apps do you develop- traditional apps(utility, social), games, etc?
Thanks @beatgoezon !

Right now I'm focusing on the freelancer side of it (want to build a reliable source of income), but I still work on my own apps on the side whenever I have time.

Traditional apps, mostly social media apps. Right now most of the clients I've worked with have wanted a social app.
 

beatgoezon

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Thanks @beatgoezon !

Right now I'm focusing on the freelancer side of it (want to build a reliable source of income), but I still work on my own apps on the side whenever I have time.

Traditional apps, mostly social media apps. Right now most of the clients I've worked with have wanted a social app.
Sounds awesome man:) I wish you the best with with your venture!
 

beatgoezon

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Thanks man you too!

What about you? Are you building apps on the side/freelancing or employed?
I was building simple mobile games for a few years with a developer(weak at programming), didn't get the results I wanted due to the competitive nature of the App Stores and eventually decided I need to create better skills if I want to succeed in the app/tech industry in the long term, lol that was a bummer.

Right now am looking into brushing up my competency in Unity and C# as well as learning 3D modeling(using Modo 3D and Blender) to create something with higher quality for users, and am possibly looking to get into the VR or AR industry(also picking up Swift 4). I'm not sure how well the experience of designing 2D games will transfer over, so I'm still looking into it, and I might possibly just go into the VR/AR industry for the long run if there indeed is a long-term strategy that can be applied to it.

So as of now I'm just building out very very basic concepts of VR apps in Unity as well as simple 3D games for mobile(non VR) and playing around with xCode's new ARkit for augmented reality apps, not quite sure(hesitant/action faking?) on which path to go with since each has it's list of pros and cons:)
 

sol369

New Contributor
Feb 22, 2017
7
18
15
25
Minnesota
I was building simple mobile games for a few years with a developer(weak at programming), didn't get the results I wanted due to the competitive nature of the App Stores and eventually decided I need to create better skills if I want to succeed in the app/tech industry in the long term, lol that was a bummer.

Right now am looking into brushing up my competency in Unity and C# as well as learning 3D modeling(using Modo 3D and Blender) to create something with higher quality for users, and am possibly looking to get into the VR or AR industry(also picking up Swift 4). I'm not sure how well the experience of designing 2D games will transfer over, so I'm still looking into it, and I might possibly just go into the VR/AR industry for the long run if there indeed is a long-term strategy that can be applied to it.

So as of now I'm just building out very very basic concepts of VR apps in Unity as well as simple 3D games for mobile(non VR) and playing around with xCode's new ARkit for augmented reality apps, not quite sure(hesitant/action faking?) on which path to go with since each has it's list of pros and cons:)
Thats great man!

Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality is definitely blowing up and hot right now. I know what you mean with the app store its definitely cut throat, especially now with Swift making it easier to build apps. One thing I noticed with the app store is ASO. Its so important, one of my apps were getting like 1-3 downloads a day (which was definitely sad lol). Then I researched some keywords that best fit the app and after a few days of researching I update the keywords and now the app consistently gets over 100-200 downloads a day (blew my mind.)

Best of luck with the new ventures! ARkit looks really promising.
 

Elbert Dockery

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I'm definitely going come back when I have some time and post some questions?

In the meantime I want to knkw how many clients have you work with per year? Did you have a lawyer look over your contracts before you did client work? Do you have a LLC or corp right now? How good did you feel you had to get before you start sending out your resume to clients? If you don't mind sharing your income progression since you started? What has been your greatest reward and worst consequence so far? Could you picture yourself going back to the w2 life? Or are you loving the 1099 life?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

surfer92

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Hey @sol369

I am launching a mobile game soon on Android and iOS.
How do you go about testing your apps for multiple devices?
I am worried that when I launch the app it won't work or act strange on other people's devices...

Hey @beatgoezon

I develop games in Unity with C# so if you have any questions, shoot me a message. I have done 2D, 3D and VR games.
 

sol369

New Contributor
Feb 22, 2017
7
18
15
25
Minnesota
I'm definitely going come back when I have some time and post some questions?

In the meantime I want to knkw how many clients have you work with per year? Did you have a lawyer look over your contracts before you did client work? Do you have a LLC or corp right now? How good did you feel you had to get before you start sending out your resume to clients? If you don't mind sharing your income progression since you started? What has been your greatest reward and worst consequence so far? Could you picture yourself going back to the w2 life? Or are you loving the 1099 life?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
1. Started freelancing this past March so hasn't been a year yet, but I would say so far I've worked with 15-20 clients.
2. Honestly since I was starting out I didn't worry about that until I get a steady stream of work and clients. Probably not the best advice but for me personally I feel like you waste your time doing those things when you can spend that time getting clients/marketing then worry about that when your making a good amount of money. I was reading this book called "The freelancer manifesto" (great book by the way) which basically said it was a waste of time and the tax savings you would get with LLC / corp wouldn't make a big difference until your earning over 80-100k I think it said in the book.
3. First couple of months it was 1-2k then next couple months went up to 2-3k and now I'm making 3-5k monthly.
4. Teaching myself how to code has been the best reward. Honestly it was the best decision I could've made. One thing you don't think about when wanting someone to build your app is all the changes your going to want and the bugs to fix and trust there will always be bugs. If I didn't teach myself I would have to pay someone to do those for me and with being a college student and not having the budget, it would've killed my app and wasted valuable time that I could've used to learn how to program.
5. For the right price I would lol, but honestly have been working jobs since I was 14 and always hated working for someone else (coming to work on time was always my biggest problem lol) so I knew then I wanted to be my own boss and set my own hours. Loving the independence and working whenever you want/sleeping in/etc.
 

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sol369

New Contributor
Feb 22, 2017
7
18
15
25
Minnesota
Hey @sol369

I am launching a mobile game soon on Android and iOS.
How do you go about testing your apps for multiple devices?
I am worried that when I launch the app it won't work or act strange on other people's devices...

Hey @beatgoezon

I develop games in Unity with C# so if you have any questions, shoot me a message. I have done 2D, 3D and VR games.
I have 1 real device for iOS and 1 for android. I use that to test to make sure everything is working properly on a live device. Then I test the ui/and different os versions using the simulators that Xcode and Android Studio have. They work pretty great especially android's simulators. I would definitely install a crash reporter sdk in your apps so you can catch the crashes that you miss during testing.

One thing I learned with testing was that users will not use your app the way you think they will lol, so try your best to make your app crash during testing by doing things that users might actually do instead of what you want them to do
 

Elbert Dockery

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Feb 21, 2017
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Chicago
1. Started freelancing this past March so hasn't been a year yet, but I would say so far I've worked with 15-20 clients.
2. Honestly since I was starting out I didn't worry about that until I get a steady stream of work and clients. Probably not the best advice but for me personally I feel like you waste your time doing those things when you can spend that time getting clients/marketing then worry about that when your making a good amount of money. I was reading this book called "The freelancer manifesto" (great book by the way) which basically said it was a waste of time and the tax savings you would get with LLC / corp wouldn't make a big difference until your earning over 80-100k I think it said in the book.
3. First couple of months it was 1-2k then next couple months went up to 2-3k and now I'm making 3-5k monthly.
4. Teaching myself how to code has been the best reward. Honestly it was the best decision I could've made. One thing you don't think about when wanting someone to build your app is all the changes your going to want and the bugs to fix and trust there will always be bugs. If I didn't teach myself I would have to pay someone to do those for me and with being a college student and not having the budget, it would've killed my app and wasted valuable time that I could've used to learn how to program.
5. For the right price I would lol, but honestly have been working jobs since I was 14 and always hated working for someone else (coming to work on time was always my biggest problem lol) so I knew then I wanted to be my own boss and set my own hours. Loving the independence and working whenever you want/sleeping in/etc.
So how long do these contracts last typically? Are these apps easy to make(not database extensive or require a ton of AI), How did you go about acquiring clients? What kinda of portfolio did you show off to them? How long do you code each day for the client? Has anyone tried not to pay you?
 

sol369

New Contributor
Feb 22, 2017
7
18
15
25
Minnesota
So how long do these contracts last typically? Are these apps easy to make(not database extensive or require a ton of AI), How did you go about acquiring clients? What kinda of portfolio did you show off to them? How long do you code each day for the client? Has anyone tried not to pay you?
1. Depends on the project for bug fixes usually 1 day to 1 week. For full apps anywhere from 1 week to 2 months has been my longest one.

2. None with AI but most apps have needed a database. I've built mostly social media apps, thats what alot of clients I've worked with have wanted. For the database I used Firebase for almost all of them. Very easy to use and works well for an mvp product.

3. All through upwork. Lex's upwork thread helped me alot with how to position myself and get clients.

4. I show them 2-3 apps I've built that match what they want or close to it.

5. I'm usually working on more than 1 project at a time so total I spend at least 4-8 hours a day sometimes more.

6. No I haven't, when I started that was a big worry for me and researching reddit and other places about peoples experiences with not getting paid the biggest thing I noticed almost all of them had in common was that they didn't break the project done in milestones, so they would create the whole app/project or put in all these hours without milestones then in the end a dispute happens and there out all their money. Thats why since the very beginning I tell my clients I only work in milestones and I always make the first milestone a really easy one for me that I can finish quick to test if the client will pay or not. Using this method with over 30 jobs I've worked on and not once has someone not paid me.
 

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