App Programming without prior knowledge

I am a marketing expert but I needed to learn coding… And you can too! It will take you 5 minutes to create your first program, while it took me 3 months.

After one year of being able to create the prototypes and even some working web-apps myself, I decided to offer some knowledge online. Then I had the idea for a real challenge:
Is it possible to teach a person without prior knowledge the basic principles of coding a useable web-application in a very short period of time? Say 5 minutes, so that even the most impatient person can do it?

So I took one of my personal favorite – my photo sharing application – and figured a way to instruct how to get code, put it on a host, organize a functionality and make it run. And it turned out, you can walk through the tutorial in even less than 5 minutes!

And here it is: The 5 Minute Coding Tutorial

Why did I as a marketer learn coding?

On February 22, 2014 I had this idea for an app. I thought, I had this super great startup idea that you can tell no one, before you are not online attracting a huge user base, so that you have first mover advantage.

The problem: no partner for the programming.

First, I thought of how to find one: startup-job ads, university leaflets, meet up groups, all sorts of guerrilla search. I was to stay under the radar right?

I also asked 2 software developing companies for the cost of having it developed by them. €5.000 – I was hesitant.

I had a feeling to waste my time and started to find out what I actually needed to put my idea into reality. A simple search showed me, I needed to create a LAMP stack. Well, bear with me, I will explain later in detail! One of the main things for my LAMP was php programming language and a MySQL database. I looked up courses and found out that the next day, a MySQL class starts at a public education center in Berlin. For 75€ I could learn it the next three days. And I did. A few days later I had put together all the necessary queries (? this will be explained later, let’s focus on the story here!) for my program. Next step would be to learn php.

Then I met a guy, who was more than capable of doing all the development (thats how you actually call such an activity). But he was not willing to sign a confidentiality agreement. We did not partner up.

After another two months, my program was ready. Still no partner found. My last step was to learn how to create a responsive website with contemporary design, so that it looks like an app, when it was just a website frontend.

After three months my prototype was ready for the testers. It worked flawlessly and I was proud.

The real me – the marketing guy – started to market it. And it did not work out.

But after trying and trying, I put the thing in the drawer and went swimming (it was summer in the meantime). And … I had the next idea. My know-how enabled me to think in solutions. I know now, how to create the prototypes for my ideas. And it takes me 2 weeks – instead of three months – to make them ready for testing! I do not have to spend €5.000 for a program of which I do not know how it works.

I learned a few things:
– Do it yourself
– or at least have basic knowledge of how to do it.
– Forget confidentiality agreements, NDAs and secrecy agreements
– but also do not run around with ideas (only technical illiterates do that).
– Put it in the drawer, if it does not work after trying hard for 2 months.
– Use it as a code resource.
– Take it back out whenever the market situation may have changed.

I have put together the best resources for the elements of a LAMP-stack, so you do not have to scramble it together like me. Using these to learn coding will take you not more than 1 month. You will have your first idea coded in another month. So, you can launch a beta in 2 months!
Request the resources to get started!

Last week I learned that my idea – actually a good alternative – attracted serious funding in the 150 million $ area. Well, there is room for at least 2 of these… . Time to take it out and try again…


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