Teaching People To Code, So They Want To Pay For Apps

The iOS App Store is an amazing software marketplace with a few big problems threatening the developers that fill it with apps. The rules Apple placed on developers in the iOS ecosystem started a toxic pricing “race to the bottom.” Software in the App Store is free or very cheap, which many would argue is good for customers. I agree, it is good but only in the short term. Long term, good developers won’t be able to support themselves and will go out of business. Developers will also put less work into apps because they know it can only make a certain amount of money. They need to make a profit to stay in business, it’s that simple. While I do think Apple needs to address many of these problems, I thought I would take a stab at the problem from another angle. Many people have come to believe that software should be free and balk at paying even 99c. People will always want things for free but I think some of the problem lies with the ignorance of what it takes to build an app. If everyone learned a programming language in school a wider set of people would have a better idea of how hard it is to create a complex app. My hope is that if everyone knows how difficult programming complex apps are, they will be more willing to pay for them. It’s not that programming is hard to learn but complex apps can take hundreds if not thousands of hours to create. That’s a lot of work for a little return. I realize I am fighting basic human nature, people will always want things for free but maybe this will help with the problem. (Of course Apple could always just allow trials and upgrade pricing in their App Stores but I think teaching everyone in the world to code has a better chance of happening.)

Why I Want People To Pay More For Software

While it is true I am becoming a software developer my reasons are entirely altruistic. I recognized this problem long before I started to learn to program. OK, I lied, my reasons are a little selfish. I like good software and I don’t want to see developers I like go out of business. I want them to make a lot of money so they add new features to their apps. I want them to be able to quit their day jobs and focus on app development to get updates faster. (Alright my reasons are pretty selfish.)

Final Words

I don’t want to scare anyone off learning to program. I merely want people to know that a lot of work went into creating the apps they use everyday and they should want to pay for them. Programming isn’t that hard to learn, if you are interested check out Codecademy or Treehouse. Once you get the basics down you can create simple apps fairly easily. (I built a simple “flip a coin” iOS app in an hour yesterday.)


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