One of the most crippling things you can do as a programmer is to try and build an app. Especially an ambitious one. Apps are like buildings. They look cool from the outside and sometimes even quite straightforward to construct, but they require planning, plumbing, foundations, electricity and about 10,000 more things you probably never even thought of.
Not too say you should never build an app. Maybe you have the necessary experience, the right team or the determination and grit of a young pitbull. Or maybe you just want to taste failure so you can learn from it. That's all fine. But disappointment can also really hit your morale in the most unfortunate of places.
So should we build nothing? Of course not. But why not try to go for something more elusive. Something that doesn't require a huge checklist. Something that isn't held hostage by high expectations of how things should work. I promise you, you will still learn how to code. You will still face challenges. And you will still have something to share with the world.
Free yourself from the app meta. Because even if you keep it simple. Even if you limit 'the features', and even if you have the 20/20 vision. When you start with an app; marketing, money & expectations always come creeping up on you like the hungry little predators they are.
You start thinking about the end user, the market, business models, and how you're going to connect Stripe. You worry about performance and scaling. You dream about how your app is going to become that one side project that happened to earn you a lot of money. You end up scheming, while you should be coding.
Instead... let's make art. Let's make little games. Let's make interactive stories. Let's make weird stuff. Let's make graphics. Let's make things that surprise yourself and everyone who'll use or see it.
It's okay to build things that seem completely unnecessary. Projects that do little else than make you smile. It's completely fine if you're navigation doesn't make sense. Or if you're project breaks all the patterns that rule our web. Because that work may end up to be the work that inspires me, you and everyone else on this website the most.
So when you just want to code. When you just want to experiment. When you just want to build. Don't always go for an app. Go for something weird. Delight us. And delight yourself!
If you made something cool, I'd love to see it: @ma5ly