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Course for Developing and Marketing a Program... as in an Actual Desktop Program from Start to Finish. AKA.. HELP!
Hello Content Creators, Devs and general student body...
I would like to either
Request a course that teaches the development PROCESS of a program that would be brought to market from start to finish. What I mean is not the actual "learn a language -> write a sample program -> etc..etc.." but rather the finer points of "once your program is written, this is what you need to do to make it market ready". And not for mobile either, where there's all sorts of defined steps for each platform and a ready and waiting app store that you don't have to think about, just upload. Anyway, I'll explain further after point #2
Be pointed in the right direction if there IS a course within the business series or elsewhere on the site that cover what I'm about to explain/ask. Even if there are concise external resources that cover exactly what I need right now, that would be fantastic if you could point me there as well.
Early last year I got fed up with a problem -- or rather an annoyance -- that I was having executing certain tasks involving another program that I use for my main job. I set out to figure out a solution and wound up learning how to code a script that would handle what I needed. As time went on I realized there were more things that I could do and the script grew. Eventually it turned into this big awesome thing and I loved it.
I then learned that I could compile it and *bam!* now I could send it to others that I knew that also used the same software I was using because I knew it would help them.
Well, everyone flipped their lids and was just thrilled because now all of these ridiculously repetitive and necessary daily tasks had been simplified down to a couple of keys. Awesome. And one of the more savy fellas contacted me and was like "Uh, why aren't you selling this? There's like 2 million people out there using the software you wrote this for dude..."
Answer: It just never occurred to me because I just really didn't know anything about that. But now that you mention it, wow... yeah, I'm gonna do that.
Commence "Operation Unrealistic Expectations": Formerly "Operation A Bajillion Dollars"
So, I got to tweaking the program as there were still a few bugs that I hadn't worked out because they weren't much of a bother to me at the time and hadn't been worth the time it would take to figure out the fix, but I also knew I couldn't sell it like that. Then I started implementing a couple of new things that I had wanted to and the ideas started coming.
I put a lot of them on the back burner for now -- future releases and all -- but I was left with a pretty solid piece of software that I know everyone that is within my industry and uses the software I use would still kill for.
Now to get folks to test it...
I have enough friends that use the software that I could at least get some decent early feedback from so I sent it out to about a dozen or so folks and the response was very positive but there were some snags I hadn't thought about or knew would happen and this is where I'm left now because I've looked into the fixes for it but I'm more confused now than I was before.
"Well, what are those problems?" asked no one.
I'll tell you... and these are the things that I'm talking about that I would like to see covered in a course.
Getting folks to successfully beta test is becoming an issue because browser security measures and windows security itself goes all nutty because it's like "wth is this??" and starts throwing warnings and in some instances will refuse to allow it to be run. I know from my initial researching into it that in order to rectify this I have to include a key or digital signature (publisher signature or whatever the real term is) but... that's where I fall short. Reading the various articles out there or the threads on StackOverflow, sitepoint and other places leave me more confused as to what needs to be done than I was before... speaking of confusing..
I want to protect it as much as possible and while I know piracy is inevitable I still need to do my best and that involves implementing a license key and if you thought I was confused about including a publisher key in my source well then compound that confusion sideways8. I try to read up about it and even in threads where someone is stating "I have no idea what I'm doing, please explain license keys and how do I do one?" everyone talks l like the OP's mother's womb was MIT and they came out wrapped in a CS degree(I'm looking at you r/programming). I have no idea what steps to take
Right now it's just an executable file... it's in a zip folder and once you calm your computer down into allowing it to download and be executed, it's still just that. An executable that you've dragged out of a zip folder. To me that's un-professional looking. It doesn't instill confidence and familiarity like your typical installer does but I'm not sure how that's done. I didn't know if that's supposed to be an entirely separate thing that YOU as the developer builds (in which case I was out of luck because that's way beyond my paygrade) or if there were applications that did that for you. After some quick searching I came across that very thing, but I was wondering if there was a best one or a preferred one. Etc...
I'm not clear on the e-commerce side of things and don't really know where to go what to do and who to believe. On here there's some stuff regarding that but it's one option as far as I can tell (wordpress) and I've encountered some negative vibes out there about the WP commerce solution.
I dunno, I'm basically asking the course or anyone at this point to fill in the gaps here. Fortunately I had a brief stint running an online advertising division so that area of the whole process, once I get there, won't be much of a roadblock. But it's all the other things to get there...
So, this is all the stuff rolling around in my head right now...
Do I do the publisher/vendor license first within the source and then use one of those apps to *poof* it all into an installer?
How does the license key process go?
Are there services that sell software to add something to your program that makes it so you need to enter a license key? Like... is it some external thingy that you bundle with your software or is it some sstuff that goes in your source code?
Do I need to build something that verifies the license key when a customer enters the key into the software or is there some sort of software that I can purchase to do that? Or are there services that handle that?
What's the best way to go about the actual commerce side?
What am I setting up in the way of an e-commerdce site?
What services should I use? (I've read quite a bit of negativity about wordpress e-commerce sites having a lot of vulnerability).
Is it best to run through a CC processor and have my business account or is it best to handle everything through paypal? etc...etc...
I don't know...
So please, if this isn't a course already, make it. If these things ARE covered on a course on here, please point me in the direction. If you know of elsewhere that explains this stuff like they're talking to a regular person and not a CS genius, please point me there. If you've had experience with this or know about this stuff, please please post here. Maybe we can connect in some way, I dunno(I really wish they had PM's on here).
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read if you've made it this far.
Ricky Catron13,023 Points
I don't think this has been covered and now I am stuck with a giddy look on my face like a kid who got the best present they never knew they wanted. I feel like this would make an invaluable resource to the library......but I don't think this is the right time to add it. Right now Treehouse is focused on Web and mobile technology. They seem to be slowly adding Desktop programming but I think a full library of content like that is a ways off. I am not sure who would be the correct person to tag for this content is so I am just going to tag Faye Bridge and hope that's the right track.
Goodluck on an amazing idea! --Ricky
Ps. I am a big fan of free and open software plus if you have already given it away to so many people I don't know how you are going to begin charging. I would love if you put it up on GitHub instead of charging for it but that's just me I know you need to make a living as well.
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