Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Trial and Error

With my current design and layout artistic ability, there is only so much that I can do at the moment in terms of interface presentation and my ability to create something that is technically modern-looking.  While trying to think of new product ideas, I have been spending more time looking at some of my complex projects and thinking about what that means in terms of functionality.  Until I learn more about how to better design a product, I am focused mainly on the tech demo aspects of the functionality and what that means for building a new idea.  This will largely give me more time to think of ideas and learn more at the moment.  If I create enough to know that I have the ability to make something work, I can focus more on the things that I need to work on like expanding my (eventual) market presence.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Design Hurdles

Thinking too much can be a serious problem when you're involved with design-related pursuits.  You make a design that you like and you can second guess yourself a million times.  In reality, it's part of the design process itself.  What if people won't buy my product?  What if it's too complicated?  What if somebody else has something that's just plain better than mine.  These are questions that need to be asked, but you have to keep making progress.  It's one of those things that can technically help you, but only to a point.  If you have any idea where that point is, or could be, then fortunately for you, you probably won't get there.  A good way to deal with these sort of mental hurdles is to keep telling yourself that you like what you have done.  It's difficult to ever place any sort of finality on a coding project, but you don't want to work harder than is reasonable.  Arbitrary goals and deadlines can be a big help to let you call something completed, even if it isn't perfect yet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Technology Space

I have to decide where I want to stand on new technology as a method for actually expanding my business.  I know that new technology is going to be a part of my long-term plan, and to some extent it's going to be a part of my short term plan (especially with things like free libraries).  I think that I can implement what could be a fairly important new technology in several ways, but I have yet to consider if this is going to negatively impact my overall progress in any way.  The basics look like something that I would be able to do, but I haven't done any research into the surrounding ideology or implementation techniques.  This means that I may know how to get things to work, but I may not have a full understanding.  I think that I'm just going to do it anyway and see what happens.  I can always fix things later.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Professional Improvements

With the work that I'm getting to do for my new project I have also been fortunate enough to expand my vocabulary a bit.  Surprisingly, you don't really learn too many new areas or features very often.  When you're working, there are usually a fairly regular set of things that you use and major deviations from that are unlikely (mostly because you are more likely to plan projects with the features you are used to).  Just reading through manuals is not as productive as you might think because if it were included there, you would have learned it in the first place.  In addition to all this, I have several projects that I think could benefit from a slight vocab expansion.  And of course, who could forget the most important part of having a new feature set as part of my code base.  Hopefully I'm not making a bit deal over something that isn't much, but I have enjoyed being able to improve myself as a professional.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Slow Progress

Work is being done again.  I have a new idea that's outlined and everything.  So far, my initial progress has lead me to the conclusion that I could make this part last a lot longer if I put more work into planning things.  My actual plan consisted of about four sentences before I started writing code.  I should have books filled with my planning documents.  I should know every piece of the project, every potential problem area before I even begin to write code.  Writing code is not meant to be something you just race into without giving it much thought.  That's how you end up with products that lack features, how you run into dead-ends that you can't figure out, and a lot of other unforeseen problems.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Identify Competition

I wrote the outline for the competition guide today.  It's a document that outlines how you would go about researching the competition for any product.  This was actually fairly discouraging because I finally realized where my real work is going to be.  I need to have a competition document for each and every product that I make.  These documents will need to be updated.  I need to know something about how my products on an individual basis, fit into the market.  The market changes on a regular basis which means that the research will need to be maintained in order to even know that we are producing something that is going to do well, that is wanted, that will be around for a while.  There should be at least one person in my company that knows these things.  This is not advanced stuff.