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How did I manage to convert an idea to a mobile app?

Today, 7th March 2023, I'm happy to announce that my mobile android app SyncOpApp is live on google play and ready for you to try in this link: The idea combined two of my major passions which are software development and music, it solved a set of problems musicians face on jam sessions: 1. How do I notify other musicians on a new chord progression? 2. How do I know when the next chord should start? 3. How do I get out of my usual chord progressions? The idea came to me roughly when the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2019, to create an app that answers these questions, there were no similar apps at the time I started, so the only problem was I had zero knowledge in building mobile apps. I started gathering information and make decisions, my first important decision was finding a technological stack that will allow me to reach my goal ASAP and to be the most efficient solution for my project (which was Xamarin since I already had a strong C# basis). I fell in love with the cross-platform idea which means building the core business logic once and developing the OS-oriented parts for each platform (Android, Windows, iOS). The cross-platform architecture taught me a valuable lesson in development, I had to think on how to build this project properly from day-1, this was my very first step towards becoming the software architect I am today. I went head on and hands on for this project, in a few months of working nights, I managed to build the basic core functionality, a working UT suite, get vast experience in Android and Windows apps, refactor and build everything from scratch, learn about google play, firebase, Xamarin, JNI, UWP, etc... I've reached a major milestone by building the core business that contained a networking infra, storage infra, complex musical engine, all integrated to gain a synced Musical shared Timeline between devices. To reach that point, I had to build some UI to test my core logic between real devices, needless to say, the UI was very lame and around this point of time I started asking myself what do I have to do to reach large scale distribution, you just have to have great UI/UX. The app also needed audio files for a metronome click and chord announcement, so I recorded myself and prepared those assets to be used directly on my project, having a recording studio and software was beneficial. I spent most of my developer career as a data-path engineer and never considered myself a tasteful designer, working on a UI/UX was new and challenging for me, I had to think differently and learn fast. The mission was clear, how to communicate non-verbally with the user and make sure the UX is easy and intuitive, at this stage I had to find testers and get as much feedback as I could, I wrote documentation to help testers and spent time on this feedback process. As time passed, I understood what this project needed, started doing market surveys about musical app designs to focus on the look, and began outsourcing designs along with as much documentation as I could provide. An app needs an icon, color set, logo design which is one job, then you need the actual app UI design, but it is usually built with designer tools such as Adobe XD, which has no usage in the actual project. The output of the designer must be adapted to the development language, in my case Xamarin, and logic must be added to control the UI work-flows. The UI was a year long process, getting the best from a very low budget, managing freelance designers and developers when being a full-time employee and father. Fortunately, at some point I decided to focus, cut back on planned features, accept some truths regarding Android's audio system and get this app available in google play. Finally, that's an app.


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