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README - For non-programmers with great ideas

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:32 am
by Rock Hardbuns
Once every month or so, some unsuspecting person comes into the forums to find a programmer. Sometimes they are willing to pay up front, sometimes it's "you implement my idea and I'll sell it and we'll split the take". Sometimes they don't want to pay at all.

These posts often end up being ignored, or responded to with insults and bad sarcastic puns (in keeping with KvR tradition).

Here are a few reasons why:

* Your idea might not be as great as you think it is. A programmer will sometimes go through hundreds of different ideas and models during the design and implementation of a plugin. Most end up discarded. The reason a lot of synths and effects are similar in their essential nature is not for lack of imagination or creativity on the programmers part. It's because the boundary between what works and what doesn't is very sharp, and countless variations of the stuff that works tend to appear rather quickly once a new design or algorithm has been discovered.

* Your idea is probably not as easy to implement as you think it is. Programming time tends to grow exponentially with the complexity of the design. A very simple synth can be made in an evening. A synth with intelligent voice stealing and pitch modulation and so forth takes two weeks. (These time frames are hypothetical examples.) Even experienced programmers often have serious difficulty estimating the complexity of a project. If you think you know how easy or hard your idea is to implement, you are likely to be wrong.

* Even if your idea is as great as you think, you must do a sales pitch. Put your idea on the table and don't be offended if the response is dismissive. We can group the developers that hang out here into two rough categories: those who do it for their own amusement and those who do it for a living. The amateurs will typically have their heads full with their own great ideas, and the pros probably have their hands full, hunting obscure bugs. So you need to catch someone between projects and convince them that your idea is better than whatever they might have brewing in the back of their minds.

* ... or, if you don't want be specific about the idea, be specific about what you are willing to pay and how. Realize that any kind of custom written software is likely to become expensive. Who you are and where you are is also good to know. You could be 12 years old as far as the reader knows. And freelance work can be complicated even in the best of circumstances.

To put it all a bit differently: Programming is hard work, and programmers need motivation. If you want them to be motivated by the idea, you have sell the idea. If you want to motivate them with money, tell them about the money, and give them a reason to trust that you actually have it.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:20 am
by kenn
Considering how much some people rag on the developers of free VSTs, what you're asking may well be impossible. This IS kvr...

About 10 years back, when I was supporting a software product, the head of development for this product (who was a Ph.D and semi-famous) used to collect all the wierd and wonderful requests for product enhancements he received. Invariably, people would assume that their idea would be easy to implement because it was just a "simple matter of programming". He abbreviated this to "SMOP".

Every trade show there would be some useful feedback, and a whole pile of SMOPs.

Programming is hard (but fun). I make a living doing web back-end programming, but I have HUGE respect for the folks here who produce the apps and VSTs and VSTi's, so many of which are brilliant, yet they sell them for next to nothing, or give them away. :hug: :hail: Respect, y'all.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:12 pm
by Benedict
Aah but it is easy :P

I sell web sites and we do a lot of database things. Customers say well it is only another box or two on a page, why are you asking $1000 for it?

Tip of the iceberg!

I am an SE developer so no C++ yet but I agree fully that a sales pitch must be made. I have build custom things for people but I have to say I have never benefited to the extent that the idea man suggested.

I will still listen to a good sales pitch though - and lose interest when things become undercooked and sketchy and I'm about to be left with an ugly baby.

Keep em coming

:)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:52 pm
by fgauer
...programmer for over 22+ years here. And yes, it is very hard work. But ideas are necessary to get momentum going and a project fueled. That's what it's all about.

I don't mind reading any ideas at all. Some can be very far-fetched - yes. But you can't really find out unless you get some feedback and a seasoned/good programmer can compassionatey and considerately tell you if what you are proposing is within the realm of possibility (in terms of functionality and resources) or if you need to move and get a little more realistic.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:06 am
by Rock Hardbuns
fgauer wrote:...programmer for over 22+ years here. And yes, it is very hard work. But ideas are necessary to get momentum going and a project fueled. That's what it's all about.

I don't mind reading any ideas at all. Some can be very far-fetched - yes. But you can't really find out unless you get some feedback and a seasoned/good programmer can compassionatey and considerately tell you if what you are proposing is within the realm of possibility (in terms of functionality and resources) or if you need to move and get a little more realistic.


Sure. As long as the idea is actually presented and the asker can handle dismissive responses (or none at all).

This thread was created in response to a series of requests for programmers, where the posters had very unrealistic expectations and became sort of abusive when that was pointed out.
That particular trend seems to have died out since.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:43 am
by haydxn
Indeed! The template for such threads would frequently be:

THEM: "I've got a great idea for a plugin! I need a programmer to develop it!"
US: "What is the idea?"
THEM: ".. well I can't say til I know you're going to do it, someone might steal it"

Fair enough if someone wants to keep it a little 'hush hush' but you've got to at least present a few clues as to what it's about - a programmer needs enthusiasm to chase a project! It's most likely that if someone did make the effort to PM the author, they'd probably get halfway through reading the reply and decide that they'd already wasted enough of their time...

If it's SO good an idea that it needs to be kept under wraps, make sure you've developed a spec for it as far as you possibly can. It's a lot easier to get a working implementation/prototype put together if there's a well structured abstract to build upon.

But, generally, just bung your ideas out. if it's that good, people will want to do it - and if it's just something you want to use, there's a chance someone will find it interesting enough to just knock it together for free [i know i've done it loads of times - although they're usually pretty simple ones!]

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:02 am
by aciddose
"Customers say well it is only another box or two on a page, why are you asking $1000 for it?"

your house is just a box with a door on it, why are you asking $300,000 for it?

:hihi:

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:42 pm
by Benedict
aciddose wrote:"Customers say well it is only another box or two on a page, why are you asking $1000 for it?"

your house is just a box with a door on it, why are you asking $300,000 for it?

:hihi:


That would be more like $650,000 but I don't own it. The little Italian man next door would be mighty annoyed if I sold his son't house.

:lol:

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:39 am
by halfpower
Also computers and VSTs haven't been around all that long. A lot of the programming going on here is either cutting edge, or something fairly close to it. If musician or producer is requesting some funky new piece of software, then the programming is apt to be, not on the cutting edge, but the bleeding edge. While there are some very talented VST programmers on this forum, I would say that very few of us have really everything, as the technology involved in cross-disciplinary.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:08 am
by dacaumodo
So I guess no one's ever gonna make me this pedal steel guitar emulation VSTi, right?

Oh well....


{Rides towards the sunset]

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:53 pm
by griels
halfpower wrote:Also computers and VSTs haven't been around all that long. A lot of the programming going on here is either cutting edge, or something fairly close to it. If musician or producer is requesting some funky new piece of software, then the programming is apt to be, not on the cutting edge, but the bleeding edge. While there are some very talented VST programmers on this forum, I would say that very few of us have really everything, as the technology involved in cross-disciplinary.


pHz's sig springs to mind...

"What is now proved was once only imagined."

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:13 pm
by jwatte
[mod edit: The Market Place forum is where to put your advertisement, not a sticky informational topic in the DSP forum. Feel free to re-post your offer there.]

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:39 am
by Milesy
aciddose wrote:"Customers say well it is only another box or two on a page, why are you asking $1000 for it?"

your house is just a box with a door on it, why are you asking $300,000 for it?

:hihi:


I feel this pain... I do freelance e-commerce stuff and people dont realise that this small change from the outside may look small but requires two days of coding to do properly, and write effective tests for the code.

grr

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:28 pm
by james0tucson
aciddose wrote:"Customers say well it is only another box or two on a page, why are you asking $1000 for it?"

your house is just a box with a door on it, why are you asking $300,000 for it?

:hihi:



Because almost any day of the year you can soak in the pool, and look up and see snow capped mountains in 3 directions. That has a price ;-)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:48 pm
by Stupid American Pig
Every developer I know never has a shortage of ideas brewing. I think that most of the ideas posted here could likely get finished more quickly if the OP spent a month learning how to code.(thus learning how much is really involved) Almost every "simple" project I have ever worked on has had at least one hurdle that made things take longer than "planned". Furthermore, it's pretty easy to be comfortably middle class if you write code for a living, so a starving artist with an idea will not likely get much attention even if they offer to pay.