We visited Anas at High Storrs School to chat about his journey into app development and to find out the secrets behind his success on the Google Play Store – here’s what he had to say…
MIS: Hi Anas, good to see you! What made you get into computing, especially app development?
Anas: The first thing that got me into computing was the Make Learn Share programme – I was really inspired by all the amazing people involved; my teachers and the trainers who taught us app development, robotics and digital making in general.
At this point I took the next step and started to specialise in app development, mainly using App Inventor (http://www.appinventor.org) along with the Python (https://www.python.org) and Unity (http://unity3d.com) applications.
It was at this point that I started to make a bit of money (from the download of apps on the Google Play Store as Nez0, 2800+ downloads and counting!) so I began upgrading the apps that were already selling, giving them more features that would hopefully result in even more downloads.
I then started to offer free apps that would further increase my overall download count and raise my profile on the Google Play Store – this really helped get me known as a serious app developer.
MIS: You mentioned a few different programs that you use for app development, do you have one that you use the most?
Anas: I really enjoy using App Inventor – it’s really reliable, easy to use and gives great feedback from it’s Android Emulator. It’s similar to Scratch in that it’s got a designing page and a coding page – you can create blocks and connect them together to perform a task. It’s easily possible to create an app within an hour once you are familiar with the program; and you can publish your apps straight to the Google Play Store.
I also use Scratch, but nowhere near as much as App Inventor because of it’s ability to create .apks that you can easily show to your peers and get their feedback.
MIS: Thanks for that Anas. Are there any websites that you use to improve your coding skills and to keep yourself informed?
Anas: Yes, my favourite is the Google Developer Console, which is a great website. Once you’ve uploaded your app you can get really good and honest feedback from the other coders on there who will help you improve your app. The site has a rating and comments system – the good thing is that if you receive a negative comment about your app, you can use the information to make it better.
MIS: That’s great, thank you! What would you say to a younger person who is interested in coding to inspire them?
Anas: There are so many different ways to get into coding and computing – if you find one that you enjoy then follow your heart and choose that one! Computer Science is the future, learn now and you’ll have a head start, especially if you are passionate about what you do.
I started off using Scratch in the Make Learn Share programme but then quickly moved on to App Inventor – it doesn’t matter what you use to create your apps if you have a vision of what you’d like to achieve.
MIS: Many thanks Anas!