Showcase: Sumire Kobayashi

Sumire had an app idea that could help people in her community. She learned to code Swift, and successfully built Mori Marche (森マルシェ), an iOS app to exchange things.

Sumire is currently working on Mori Marche (森マルシェ), an iOS app that helps people in her community exchange household items. The app is completely focused on Japanese-speaking users. “It’s a bit like Craigslist, but then for my own niche”, she says.

Why an exchange app? “Within the Japanese community, only a few basic web apps exist for this purpose, and they are not the easiest to use. People end up not posting items. I wanted to make something that people can easily use on a daily basis.” She saw a way to improve, and wanted to experiment with how that could be done. Sumire: “And why buy everything new? It’s so much better if you exchange things.”

In recent months, Sumire has participated in my courses, completed many LearnAppMaking tutorials, and we’ve done a few 1-on-1 calls. Did they help in mastering iOS development?

“What I like about your course, is that you teach how to make rather complex apps. You explain in great detail how everything works.” Sumire went over the course materials multiple times, she says. Just to learn iOS development at first, and the second time, she started to combine topics and techniques into her own app. “It’s so refreshing compared to just reading a book. Hands-on projects accelerate your learning.”

The one thing that stood out most in the courses, Sumire says, are the app templates. She’s based her Mori Marche app on the social network app template of the course, and built her own functionality on top of it.

“Coding is worth a try, to see if you get hooked on it or not!”

It also helps to have a mentor, Sumire says. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” she explains, “so having someone like you help with Q&A for a project gives me a direction to work towards. It’s so important to ask for directions.”

Is there anything that makes her smile about iOS development? “Debugging”, Sumire answers promptly. “Maybe coding is not for everyone, but there’s an addictive quality to it. Coding is worth a try, to see if you get addicted to it or not. It’s like a computer game or reading a good book – you get hooked. And it’s productive, because you learn how to control stuff with code.”

What about frustrations with building apps? Sumire: “iOS in particular? The fact that Swift always changes! It’s not like Fortran, which is old code. Swift changes often, and that’s always a little bit depressing, because you have to relearn something you already mastered.”

What does she want to do in the future, going forward? “My goal is to develop different projects, and eventually make some of them profitable. The goal is not to become a freelancer, but to find and solve problems with apps. I have many ideas, and I want to try them out.”

Her advice for beginner iOS developers, that are starting to learn to code today? “Give it a try, to see if you like coding or not. It’s worth a try!”

You can download Sumire’s app, Mori Marche, in the App Store (for Japanese speakers). You can find more information about the app on this page. And keep an eye on her publisher page — I’m sure new apps will pop up there in the near future!