Three weeks ago I wanted a small app to simulate rolling dice on my computer. Unfortunately the few apps for Mac OS that I could find didn’t really do what I wanted them to do. So, rather than admit defeat and just roll a handful of actual dice, I decided to learn how to write software for Mac.
I had a bit of a chuckle to myself over that, because I had the same thought 18 years ago, when I was studying at Uni. Back then I was studying electronics, but had several subjects devoted to programming, and I wanted to be able to write software for the Mac. I even went so far as to outlay a large (for a uni student) chunk of cash on a software development package.
The reason I found it funny was that back then I struggled to find the resources to learn the ins and outs of programming for the Mac, and never actually managed to write any software. Now, however, it’s completely different. It’s possible to get everything needed for Mac software development for free, including some very good tutorials. I think I spent 3 or 4 days learning how to use Apple’s new language, Swift, followed by a couple of days building my first app.
Now, I won’t claim to be any sort of expert, and I’m pretty sure that the code I’ve written could be improved, but I’m pretty happy. I’ve managed to achieve something that I’ve wanted to do for many years. I might even be able to make some software that someone else finds useful.