Dear 100 Hour Board,
I'm trying to make an android app, only because I can't find one already available for what I'm looking for. I have no computer experience, and although I found the directions online I'm confused. Is there anywhere/anyone on campus I can go to who can show me what to do so I can understand the instructions? Or a video, I'm a visual learner.
Dear Zwerg Zwei,
Creating an app without a programming background is like writing a paper in a language you don't speak; you probably need a few hundred hours worth of background in computer science before writing your own app is a realistic goal. After taking and getting an A in BYU's intro programming class, CS 142 (which for lots of people requires 20 hours/week for a semester), you could likely make sense of the tutorials that are available online and produce an app if you put a few more weeks (as in 40 hours/week) in. Without getting formal training in CS, you'd need to teach yourself the equivalent. Two or three hundred hours of googling Java tutorials could potentially get you something close to what you'd get from CS 142. There's lots of stuff in the archives about programming, learning to program, etc. that could help you figure out where to start if several hundred hours of self-teaching sounds better than CS 142. (It doesn't to me, but who knows.)
I really would recommend taking CS 142, and I'd recommend it to anyone, not just to you. It teaches you a whole new way of thinking and expressing yourself. I'm emphasizing the time commitment involved not to kill your dream, but to make sure you have realistic expectations. Programming is rewarding, but it's also challenging in ways that non-professionals frequently do not appreciate.
In this question, I linked to The New Boston, which currently has 200 Android development videos. The first couple videos are all about setting up your programming environment.
It's getting easier all the time. Try reading this post by Wired. The author pays some money for a templated App and then makes his own Flappy Bird clone. You could probably do the same if you're App-bound.
-Castle in the Sky
If you don't have the time or money to take a full-blown class, you could try an online alternative such as Treehouse. I've been slowly learning HTML and CSS through them for a while, but have courses on many different programming languages (including an Android development track). And at $25/mo, it's a heckova lot cheaper than enrolling in a class at school.
- Beemer Boy