The Shape of Everything
A website mostly about Mac stuff, written by Gus Mueller
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May 7, 2006
(This post is from my old, old, super old site. My views have changed over the years, hopefully my writing has improved, and there is now more than a handful of folks reading my site. Enjoy.)

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Speaking of letting your programmers be free, and since I won't remember to post about it on the correct day...

May 14 marks the one year anniversary of my first day of full time mac indie programmer-ness. And I'm happy to report that everything is still going good. Hurray! Yea! Stick it to the man!

Of course it's also been a lot more work this way too.

...

So for the past couple of months I've been working on VoodooPad 3.0, and I'm at a point now where I can expand the private beta a little bit more. So if you are already a VoodooPad user, can keep a secret, and promise to backup your documents in a safe place shoot me an email (gus@flyingmeat.com).

I've been slowly adding testers over a period of time- so chances are I won't add you to the list right away. I find it's easier to let in a few folks, and they end up reporting new bugs that hadn't been reported yet. So I can fix those, add in a couple more testers, fix new bugs, wash, rinse, and repeat. And I don't feel so overwhelmed this way.

Why the secrecy? In case I have to rip out a feature before the final release. It's a lot easier to do that if people don't know about it (and I've already done it a couple of times for vp3!). And it also emphasizes a bit more that this is alpha software, will beat you up and steal your girlfriend if given the chance.

Don't look at vp3 the wrong way, it'll kick your ass.

Just kidding- it's mostly nice. Mostly.

-- posted 2:38 pm

Matt Gemmel has a nice post on programmers being creative, or how most managers like to pretend that there is no creativity in programming. Ha!

(Actually, I've met programmers who think there is no creativity in programming... weird, huh?)

I saw what Matt describes all over the place when I was working at m1. It was so silly.

Obviously not all managers are like that. When I worked at Mizzou I had pretty much the freedom to do the graphics and layout and anything I wanted on the projects I worked on. I even got a wacom tablet (and I've been hooked ever since). The pay sucked, but as far as what I was doing and the teams I was on- that rocked. Management pretty much said "this is what we need" and we were free to use what technologies worked and got it done best, design the look and feel.. everything. It also helped that we were all very competent in our respective areas as well.

And we created apps that we were told were impossible to write. (Stupid consultants, what do they know?!).

Moral of the story? Let your programmers be free, they know what they are doing. And if they don't... well, fire them ;)

-- posted 2:16 pm