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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

While enjoying his retirement on Tenerife, Phil Evans has taken up no-code app development and become an active part of the SAP AppGyver Community. His newest project Adventure Hunt allows groups of friends and family to explore the town while solving puzzles and discovering landmarks. Adventure Hunt is currently available for Tenerife, Lagos, and soon Albufeira. We interviewed Phil for this edition of SAP AppGyver's Creator Spotlight:

Outdoor escape room: Adventure Hunt

How did the Adventure Hunt project get started?

I was the operations manager for a small telecommunications company in the UK. We sold it and I started to wonder about possible side projects to have in retirement. We came across this idea for a kind of outdoor escape room, solving fun puzzles while on a pleasant walk through different towns. It’s designed as a tourist attraction and for locals. We believe the price is very reasonable as we’re at around 20€, which includes a t-shirt and a few hours of entertainment for a group of 2–4 people.

Being semi-retired, I didn’t really want to be in a direct customer role. The great thing about this app is that the whole thing is automated, from someone buying it on the website to participating in the activity, there’s zero touch from me. The Firebase database updates in the background and I managed to get it published on both App Store and Play Store, which I was really happy about.

What advice would you give to people building their first apps?

A lot of people start building their first app before they really understand what they’re building. They don’t know what app variables are used for, they don’t know if they need backend storage, and they haven’t storyboarded how many pages the app will need. Before you start, you need to go through that process because that will give you clarity about what you are building.

People often dive into the middle of it, or somewhere near the middle, because they don’t actually know what size or shape it’s going to be. So in my opinion, the first step should be to storyboard your idea before you start building it. If your storyboard comes to more than ten pages and you have a non-technical background, then start again. Ten pages is more than enough for a first app. Anyone who has managed to publish their app will be very good at working through the issues they find.

Everyone needs to face the problem-solving part, where if something isn’t working they’ll find a workaround. Many people will get stuck if something doesn’t work, so you need to develop problem solving skills as early as possible.

You don’t want everything to be too easy at the frontend for new users because then they miss out on developing the necessary skills to build and deliver their app. You’re going to have to overcome obstacles, so don’t look at them as problems, look at obstacles as learning opportunities. The sweet spot with AppGyver is that it’s one of the more complex no/low-code platforms, and really it can build anything.

Any final thoughts on SAP AppGyver?

AppGyver is a great platform with a great community, and it’s got amazing potential. It’s not easy for entry-level users, but if you’ve got a problem solving attitude you will get there.

When we say someone is ‘non-technical’ that only means they haven’t worked in a technical job. Anyone who picks up a new appliance in their house and learns to use it is a technical person to me. It isn’t really what job you’ve done, it’s really more about how your mind works.

👉Heading to Tenerife or Lagos soon? Check out Adventure Hunt.