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Sick of working as a phone monkey, I wanna code!

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  • User profile image
    rabid_lunat​ic

    I'm sure when some of you reach 30 years old. you say "do I REALLY want to do this the rest of my life, what ever you're doing. I am a phone monkey and really sick of it.  I want to write code, I always have but put it off.  Well 30 hit me like a 2x4 between the eyes.

    Where to start? eventually I want to write apps for phones, I can't explain why that is just what fasinates me the most.  Should I learn Java or can C# and .NET handle software other than Windows Mobile?

    With deep Respect,
    Peter.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    rabid_lunatic wrote:
    I'm sure when some of you reach 30 years old. you say "do I REALLY want to do this the rest of my life, what ever you're doing. I am a phone monkey and really sick of it.  I want to write code, I always have but put it off.  Well 30 hit me like a 2x4 between the eyes.

    Where to start? eventually I want to write apps for phones, I can't explain why that is just what fasinates me the most.  Should I learn Java or can C# and .NET handle software other than Windows Mobile?

    With deep Respect,
    Peter.


    well do you have any coding background?

    do you know hardware ?
    do you know about text messaging systems?

    do you want to write apps for a lot of different phones or just a few?

    as far as i know it's mostly .Net for Windows based phones and Java for the rest.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    rabid_lunatic wrote:
    I'm sure when some of you reach 30 years old. you say "do I REALLY want to do this the rest of my life, what ever you're doing. I am a phone monkey and really sick of it.  I want to write code, I always have but put it off.  Well 30 hit me like a 2x4 between the eyes.

    Where to start? eventually I want to write apps for phones, I can't explain why that is just what fasinates me the most.  Should I learn Java or can C# and .NET handle software other than Windows Mobile?

    With deep Respect,
    Peter.


    With .NET your applications run on a very small subset of devices with abyssmal power lifetimes, because of their overpowered CPUs which means your applications run "as they were intended"... even Quake 3 Arena.

    With Java you can target practically every mobile device out there and churn out loads of terrible lowest-common-denominator Java-based games.

    Your pick Smiley

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    They have a lot of simmilarity - when you can code in one you can code in the other, and if I were you, just pick one and go for it.

  • User profile image
    TrainingTime

    Good for you man! When I started coding for the web at 23 years old some pople told me I was too old to be a coder. 14 years later I'm still coding and run my own company. It can be difficult to make the transition though, but with enthusiasm like that you should be able to do it.

    The best thing that you can do is to teach yourself on some practical projects. I always find that it's way easier to learn a new coding language when I have a practical application to work through. Find something that's relatively simple, but that interests you in having for your own use. Then find tutorials and buy books that will help guide you through the basics and start putting together what you need. If you're a complete beginner to coding, then a basic introductory course or book would not be amiss as you'll need to get the base concepts down.

    As regards which language is best, I'll leave that to the mobile experts as I specialise in web apps.

    Good luck - I get a kick out of seeing people so ethusiastic about getting into coding.

  • User profile image
    vbrunner__

    TrainingTime wrote:
    14 years later I'm still coding and run my own company.


    you RUN your company and still code?  that gives me hope for starting my own company in the future!

    and for rabid_lunatic, as much as a fan of C# as i am, i'd say go with java.  i honestly think there is little chance for C# to have any libraries that can target any phones, but you can look (Mono:ARM looks promising...)
    C# is a great language, but if you want to be universal, go with java.

  • User profile image
    SlackmasterK

    vbrunner__ wrote:
    
    TrainingTime wrote:
    14 years later I'm still coding and run my own company.


    you RUN your company and still code?  that gives me hope for starting my own company in the future!

    and for rabid_lunatic, as much as a fan of C# as i am, i'd say go with java.  i honestly think there is little chance for C# to have any libraries that can target any phones, but you can look (Mono:ARM looks promising...)
    C# is a great language, but if you want to be universal, go with java.


    Depends on the phone. Visual Studio comes with tools for deploying to a mobile device using the .NET Compact Framework. It just has to be running Windows Mobile.

  • User profile image
    An_Angel

    OK I'm probably going to end up putting a different angle into the mix here and it won't necessarily answer your question about which language but it will give you a bit more of an idea of what areas to concentrate on.

    Firstly, anything written in C# for a mobile requires the .net Compact Framework.  There are a lot of windows mobile devices out there but they are mainly used by business people and mobile enthusiasts.  They are great devices but they do have their limitations, you will also need C++ to be able to do any lower level stuff for this.

    So where to next... you mentionned Java... (J2ME) it's a powerful technology and requires the right version fo the JVM on the device for on device apps to run.  Most phone providers lock their devices down and require third parties who want apps running on them to jump through hoops to do so...  The OS's that I know of that work with Java... Windows Mobile (to some degree but by no means perfectly!), Symbian (beware of version issues) and Linux... yes I did say linux on a mobile...

    All the OS's will run C++ apps too... although this is a much slower and clumsier process.

    The big mobile growth area at the moment is mobile web.  Now that is something you can get into without having to be constrained by a specific language, however it does mean that you need to be up on the latest mobile web best practice guidelines and ideally conform to the .mobi standards but that's not so bad as all that.

    You then get to play with all sorts of technologies including mobile tv, video, payments etc.  Something that you need to be aware of in this environment however is the sometimes connectedness of mobile web... you also have to contend with the ideosyncracies of the different browsers and capabilities of devices.  What works for one may not work for all!

    So where would I suggest you start... Start off with a web service that does something fun and do this in any language you like... (think about a mashup of some sort) Then create a fun UI for it that is designed to the .mobi standards and finally look into the issues of sometimes connectedness and work it from there. 

    You may find that you need to learn some new skills and you will learn for yourself over time what languages work best where... one thing I will say is try not to use anything too bandwidth heavy in the UI or data transfer... as your user will get charged. 

    And most importantly of course, have fun and experiment.  Figure out the areas of mobile that you are most interested in.  Saying you are fascinated by mobile is one thing.  Figuring out that it's UI, context, web services or something else is another entirely.  There are almost as many areas of mobile as there are pc software development.

    I hope the above is a little helpful... also consider going along to a local mobile dev usergroup at some point, they are around here in the UK... I'm sure there will be a Mobile Monday or something similar around.

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