Atma Xplorer

Xploring Games, Computing, Photography

Guide to Programming Series: Week 3

The end-users

If the program will be for your personal use, you can pretty much make your program look and act any way you want but if you plan to give or sell it, give thought on how to make things user friendly.

If users have even the slightest complaint, they’re unlikely to use or keep on using it, whether or not it actually works. This is why putting yourself in the user’s perspective is important. Are the buttons too big? Is the font readable? Is the result what I expected? These are a few of the multitude of questions that you need answered to increase the odds that people use your program and (hopefully) buy a copy.

Always remember that your customer’s preference outweighs your own. Your goal as a developer to make your program meet your users’ demands, no matter how weird, bizarre, or illogical they may seem.

Mainframe

The target computer

Pick which platform you want or need to run your program on. Will it be a Windows-, Linux- or Mac-only?

If you’re writing a program to run on a Windows, for example, your program can take advantage of several built-in functionalities (such as the .NET framework) native to the OS. If you’re writing a program for both Windows AND Mac, brace yourself since you’re in for a major overhaul. Programs like Open Office and Firefox are well known because of this so-called Multi-platforming. Note that coding for the Windows and Mac versions of the said programs vary greatly due to the difference in their native OSs.

A portable program, on the other hand, is one that can be run on different computers (and different OSs) with little or no modification. This is the reason why so many people use C/C++ and Java to build their programs.

A programmer... sort of

Programming skills

During the design stage of any program, consider your own programming skill. Even if a brilliant idea pops in your head, with little experience and some deeper background on your language of choice, writing your program may take a long time – if you don’t give up out of frustration first.

Your skill and experience determine the language that you pick for each project. An experienced programmer will look into aspects like portability while a novice will pick the easiest language to learn and use (unless it’s a necessity). Others still, take the easy approach and choose a much simpler language such as Visual Basic to create programs with little effort and very few backend (things that happen behind the scenes) coding.

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  1. McBilly December 16, 2007 Reply

    Oh wow Sylv. A whole new design. I’m still losing my way around your site. Haha. Hmmm. Honestly, I love the old design better. The new design kind of needs more effort to get around the navigation. But that’s just my 2 pesos. Hehe. 😀

    With regards to writing a program. I have to agree on what you said, it’s very much important to plan before writing out the codes. It could also mean a cleaner code and a lot of saved sleepless nights trying to read a cluttered coded program.

  2. sylv3rblade December 16, 2007 Reply

    I saw too many spam sites carrying the same theme. After seeing Karlo‘s new theme, I thought it’d be best to switch now too. This new theme is still in Beta. I’m still adding a few bits to make it work but overtime I think switching to a more monotone theme is the right move.

    On coding yes. I’ve had bad experiences on “rush” projects that nearly ended up in the recycle bin because I didn’t plan for them perfectly. No more impulse programming for me.

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