Father’s Day is a bit of a big deal to me. Not big celebrations or presents or anything, just a day of quiet pride of being a dad.
This year however, my five-year old Liev and I have made it an even bigger deal, by marking the occasion with the release of our first app.
The app, Fun and Naughty at Daycare, is an interactive picture book, featuring the life of preschoolers at my son’s old daycare. It started in the form of a traditional book as a goodbye present for the caregivers when he moved on to start school. He came up with an idea for the story (he’s the hero, of course) and drew all the pictures. It was a big hit with kids at the daycare and with other children – with huge input from a four-and-half year old, I think it really resonates with young readers.
When I started teaching myself Android programming, this seemed a good first project.
Having moved into management many years ago, this marks the first programming project of any significance for me for well over a decade. The code would make my profs cringe, the lack of unit testing is deplorable and with only vague memories of try-catch statements from my CompSci classes, it’s a wonder it works at all.
And yet … despite almost 20 years of technological advances since graduation, and despite developing an “app for android smartphones and tablets”, (to which I note the only two words in that phrase that have the same meaning now as they did when I was in school are “for” and “and”) it all came together pretty well.
I remember in first year, when students questioned the logic in learning a non-production programming language like Pascal, our profs told us that the language didn’t matter, it was the concepts that counted. I’d say my experience 22 years later has proved their point.
At age five Liev, is a bit young for programming. As anyone with a kindergartener knows, logic is not their strong suit … but creativity is! Hence our app featuring lots of fun clickable elements, barnyard animal sound effects, and some admittedly, questionable plot points.
We’ve been working on this for about six-months and as Father’s Day approached we set that as our target release date. The app is completely free - no ads, no in-app purchases – we just want people to enjoy it.
It’s our Father’s Day gift to the community and each other.
Available now on Google Play.