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I would like to know your opinions / thoughts on a few things...


Hi everyone at DonationCoder.Com. I stumbled onto your site and was so impressed by what I saw that I donated to you as soon as I determined that you weren't a scam (you just looked too good...). I am currently learning VB.Net 2008 and am making some pretty decent software along the way (if I do say so myself). I am currently working on a software suite for school kids that will be very useful (includes scheduling and a calculator for your marks). I am still working on it but I think that it will turn out as a fully-functional piece of software that would probably be worth a lot of money in a computer store. One thing that would be useful for me would be software that you wish that your kids had for school. Another thing that I am contemplating making is a database for school library's that lets them upload books that children borrow to the child's computer, so they know when it is due. This would be useful (I think). One project that I stopped working on but might pick up on again is a program for dog-lovers (such as myself) that you can use to give the dog a rough medical diagnosis when you type in symptoms of the dog disease.

I am also looking for other apps to make and would be more than happy to make them if they are good enough (worthy of VB.Net). The GUI of my software matters to me and I would like your input on any screen shots that I put up. I have a website, but I still need to set it up so I won't post the link just yet, for the sake of my dignity. I would like to eventually become an actual software writer for DonationCoder but for now I'm happy to start small.

I would like to post my software up eventually but really don't know where to begin. I guess my first question is: What software do you with that you have that you don't? And this doesn't have to be a tiny, 20 minute piece of software. What do you really wish that you could do on your computer that you just can't.

Thanks for reading.

PS. This is my first post, not only on this forum, but on A forum, so if I have put this post in the wrong section or done something wrong, please move / correct me. Thanks.

Welcome to the forum lachjames  :up:  This is the right place to post.

The ideas you are working on sound nice.  The main general piece of advice i would give is one that many programmers have a hard time doing -- which is to spend some time at the beginning of each project searching the web for similar programs.  Take a look at what others have done -- the good and the bad.  In this way you will know what pitfalls to watch out for, and you'll know what kind of functionality is already out there.  Sometimes the result of such investigation is confirmation that there is indeed a need for the program you have in mind.  Sometimes the result is you realize that the project is bigger than you thought and that you have bitten off more than you can chew.

You have a line in your post i don't understand:
What software do you with that you have that you don't?
--- End quote ---

s/with/wish and the sentence makes sense to me :)

Sorry about that, I was cutting and pasting a bit to make the post make more sense, but I must have missed something... I meant to say: "What software do you wish that you have, that you don't?"

I would recommend reading this book:

Also techniques that are quite useful:
Talk to some prospective users about what they would like, don't like about existing software. Ask them what they would like from software. Find out what their problems are at the moment. Inevitably you will find that your assumptions about what the user needs are wrong.
Creating scenarios of use. Creating stories for how you think people might use your site. Not just the interaction, but how is it going to fit into their lives. It will give you a better sense of what is (and isn't needed) and will stop you from missing stuff.
Before coding, sketch some design ideas. Create some prototypes with bits of paper (one sheet for each dialog). Then just see does it feel right. If you can, try it out on some prospective users.


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