Code Bootcamp within London’s Hot Tech Job Market – Interview

News Update

I recently done an interview with switchup talking about the challenges and motivation of starting our bootcamp in London.

There were quite a few interesting and thought provoking questions and it was a really good experience! Here is a sneak preview!

Hi, Alex! What motivated you to start a bootcamp?

The main motivation was to share knowledge and empower people to start coding. Coding is such a relevant skill to have today. Another key driver was to make coding accessible and teach it in plain English.

Someone graduating with a humanities or even a hard science degree may find it difficult to land a job in their field in the current climate and at the same time will be faced with an abundance of well-paid tech jobs in the market. This is where a bootcamp is ideally placed to offer that head start into the tech space.

What challenges have you faced so far with starting your coding bootcamp?

Keeping up with demand and adding more courses. We have grown very quickly in a short space of time, so striking a balance between expanding our course offering, whilst ensuring that quality of content and delivery remains high is our key priority. However we are aiming to add two new courses on web design and mobile app development later this year, so stay tuned!

Read the full interview on switchup

New Game: Super Football Kids – Concept Art

Wall West Studio

Recently I completed my first ever game TrainRush! It’s available now, so check it out on App Store!

Catching the Gaming Bug

After releasing my first game, I have seriously caught the gaming bug! So I have now started working on my next game which will be a football based game for iOS. The concept is based a playground style football game that I used to play after school, more details on that to follow! The new game will be called:

Super Football Kids

Here is a sneak preview of some early concept art. The inspiration behind the game is based on a pencil sketch I drew when I was about 9 years old!

Super Football Kids

Super Football Kids

Super Football Kids

Super Football Kids

Super Football Kids

Super Football Kids

Super Football Kids

Super Football Kids

Super Football Kids

And of course the football pitch which is based on a 5-a-side layout.

Super Football Kids

This game will probably take a few months to finish due to the amount of coding/testing and art work required, so stay tuned.

Happy coding!

Useful Free Resources for iOS App Developers

Blog Post

In this article I will show you the best free resources for iOS App Developers!

So you’ve learnt Objective-C or even Swift and developed your killer iOS app, now you need to get familiar with the top free resources for iOS app developers.

You have lived and breathed Xcode for weeks, maybe months. You have spent days staring at the simulator, you have spent nights dreaming about how you app will take off and take over the world! You have signed up to Apple Developer Program, distributed your app to your beta testers, tested on a multitude of devices, collected user feedback, iterated and fixed major bugs and issues.

You are almost ready to launch…

That’s where I was with a few of my iOS apps and below are a few resources that I found particularly useful prior and during launch. Best of all they are all absolutely FREE and easy to use! Check them out.

Freesound.org

Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds. Browse, download and share sounds.

Search a good sized library for app sounds to make your app come to life. You will need to filter on Creative Commons license and WAV format.

Makeappicon

Generate App Icons of all sizes with a click!

These guys make generating icons of various sizes a breeze based on one uploaded image… What’s more is that the image set is packaged up for you and is “droppable” into Xcode. Beautiful!

Free Resources for iOS App Developers  Free Resources for iOS App Developers  Free Resources for iOS App Developers

TiCons

Generate Icons & Splash (Launch) Images

This online tool is great for generating all the required launch images. Unfortunately it will not package them up into an asset you can easily drop into your Xcode project like Makeappicon – that would need to be done manually.

icons8.com

18,000 free flat icons

Free Resources for iOS App Developers

Need I say more? This is by far the best and largest icon set that I have come across. The icons8 icons will make your app look really polished and cool!

LaunchKit Screenshot Builder

Create gorgeous images for your App Store page in minutes.

This site is very useful for creating screenshot style images for promotional web sites and can also be used for App Store images. LaunchKit additionally has a monitor to keep an eye on App Store reviews and a landing page builder. Make sure to sign up to their beta program to get your paws on other goodies extra early!

Free Resources for iOS App Developers

presskit()

Spend time making games, not press.

A good press kit is essential these days to get your app off the ground. Bloggers and reviewers don’t want to hunt down scattered information about your app, they want everything easily accessible so they can bang out that review in no time. All the apps assets are packaged up into one page – description, background, images, videos and links.

Here is an example created with presskit() for my game app Snappy Elf.

Pretty cool eh?

App Store Review Guidelines

Apple published their App Store Review Guidelines in the hope that they will help you steer clear of issues as you develop your App and speed you through the approval process when you submit it. Make sure to get familiar with these guidelines to get your app approved first time!

Inkskape

Draw freely.

This is my favourite tool at the moment for drawing scalable vector graphics (SVG format). Amazing!

GIMP

The GNU Image Manipulation Program, for X Windows systems.

Look past the funny name and boring description to find a good all round image manipulator tool. Great for resizing and converting between different formats.

Blender

Blender is being made by hundreds of people from around the world; by studios and individual artists, professionals and hobbyists, scientists, students, VFX experts, animators, game artists, modders, and the list goes on.

It is amazing that such a powerful tool is free! You can use this tool for a vast array of things including creating 3D models to import into your apps.

Free Resources for iOS App Developers

Check it out but beware this is not for the fainthearted and has a steep learning curve!

Cooltext

Cool Text is a FREE graphics generator for web pages and anywhere else you need an impressive logo without a lot of design work.

You want a quick cool looking text logo? Look no further! This online logo generator will do the trick. I have been using this for years for websites, presentations and now apps!

Free Resources for iOS App Developers

Free Resources for iOS App Developers

Free Resources for iOS App Developers

Fontfabric

To make your app look really awesome it’s a good idea to embed custom fonts. This is the best resource I have found which offers amazing free fonts.

Free Resources for iOS App Developers

Subtle Patterns

Free textures for your next web project.

Need a nice background for your app? This website should have you covered! They offer a great selection of free textures.

Giphy

Create quick animated GIFs of your game play and share them easily!

Fabric.io

Made by Twitter. A great mobile analytics package. Monitor crashes with Crashlytics and understand in-depth what your users are doing with your apps with Answers.

PrivacyPolicy.com

Create privacy policy tailored to your needs.

When you submit an app to Apple for review you will need to have a privacy policy setup on your website. Use this handy generator to save yourself lots of time. Just make sure to exclude in in your robots.txt file otherwise it may mess up your search optimised content keywords.

And finally, don’t forget about marketing!

Designing and coding an app is just the start. You will need to promote it too! However that will be the subject of a future post.

I will be updating this list as I find more cool free resources for iOS app developers!

Happy coding!

Designing and Coding TrainRush! Game App for iPhone

Wall West Studio

It all started with a train ride to work a few months ago.

I looked around to see most fellow passengers playing simple games on their mobile phones to pass the time and avoid any awkward eye contact! There was a frenzy of flicking, swiping, tilting and so on!

Being a programmer and a keen gamer myself, I decided to make a game there and then. The inspiration for the game was right there in front of me too! I decided to design and code a simple 2D game app for iPhone which revolved around flicking passengers onto arriving trains. I called the game TrainRush! The game would get progressively harder with obstacles and power-ups. It was just an idea at the time and I would need to design, build and publish it!

Once you decide to code a game app, there are 100 thoughts and questions racing through your mind! What will it look like? How will the scoring system work? How to make it difficult but fun? Should it have a leaderboard? How to make it work with different screen sizes? And so on! I started getting some basic designs down and the game started to take shape from there…

In total, the game took around 4 weeks to develop and test.

Early Passenger Designs

They were pretty bad…

passenger 1

passenger 2

passenger 3

passenger 4

passenger 5

passenger 6

passenger 7

Final passenger design:

passenger final

Going from Idea to App Store!

The original sketch…

TrainRush! Concept

And here is the finished product!

TrainRush! screenshot

TrainRush! Game App is Available To Download on App Store

Download on the App Store