If you don't already know it, you
can develop software without doing any programming at all.
Many people are intimidated by this, and that's why I'm
here to walk you through it. But before we can get to the
really fun stuff, we have to lay the groundwork.
You don't need to be a programmer to create software. But,
and this is an important *but*, you need to *design* the
software. And you don't have to know any programming to
design software. You just need to know exactly what you
want the software to do.
Figuring out *what* the software should do is your job.
Figuring out *how* the software will do it is the
programmer's job. But determining what the software will
do can be a very tedious job. Nonetheless, you have to do
that before you do anything else.
The design phase is probably the most important part of
developing software. Just as an architect creates every
detail of a building on paper before starting
construction, you should create every detail of your
software on paper before looking for a programmer.
There are two important reasons for this. First, the
programmer is really just putting your ideas into code. So
he needs to get just about every detail from you. Second,
your design will tell you what skills your programmer
needs to have.
So let's get to it. I'm only going to cover part of the
design process today because I want to keep the size of
the lesson manageable. Here's the first step you should
cover in designing software. Not everyone does it this
way, but I do.
Step #1: Write down all of the benefits of using your
software. This is really a first step to developing any
kind of product I think. Doing this first can save you
time later on. And if your product idea really isn't that
great, you'll probably find out at this point.
Just sit down and write down every reason you can think of
why someone would want to use your software.
What will they gain?
How will their life be better?
What problem will it solve? How?
Will it save time?
Will it save them some work?
Will it help them make money? How?
Will it help them save money? How?
Will it help them do their job better? How?
Is it easy to use?
Does it work fast?
Will it allow them to do something they can't do now?
Those are just a few questions you can ask yourself. The
longer the list, the better. If your list only has one or
two benefits on it, and they aren't *really* fantastic
benefits, then you may need to rethink this product.
This brainstorming session is always something I have to
force myself to do. But it always makes my life so much
easier later. Using this list of benefits, I have a much
clearer idea of what the software needs to do. And when it
comes time to create the web site to sell it, I can use
this as an outline for what needs to be on the site.
Trust me. Do this *before* you develop a product, not
after. And don't just *think* about the benefits. Actually
write them down.
If you want to know more about creating your very own
custom software without writing a single line of code, click
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