Have an idea for a new piece of software? Computer programmes can include anything from a video game to a work organisational tool to video chat software to a music production tool – the more creative the better. If you want to turn your idea into a reality, here is the path you should take.
Get some programming knowledge
There are two routes here – either you find a team with coding knowledge or you learn to code yourself. Learning to code is becoming a more and more useful skill in this digitally heavy world and there are all kinds of tools out there such as Codeacademy that can help you to learn it, on top of books and courses. You’ll need to choose a language first and then you can start getting to grips with the basics. Once you’ve learned the ropes you can start experimenting by making your own code and trying to solve problems. Ideally it help to know some coding knowledge and have a team to help you. You’ll be able to more effectively manage them and their helping hands will get the job done much quicker.
Write a design document
Before you can get programming, it will be important to have a design document. This will allow you to stay focused during the development process. You should lay out each step, allocating tasks to different people if you have a team and possibly setting deadlines to keep you all motivated. Even if you have a clear idea of what you want the finished to product to look like, it pays to take advice from your team, especially if they have superior coding knowledge.
Create a working prototype
This is where you start developing your software. Expect new ideas to enter the process along the way. You should focus primarily on function – art and design can come later with the help of graphics designers. When you have a fully working prototype, you can begin to test.
You will need to assemble an alpha testing focus group. They will test your programme for bugs, which you can fix to deliver the finished product. Some kind of software to organise the testing process will be needed such as test management from QASymphony.com. Once your alpha testing group have thoroughly tested your programme and you have fixed all the bugs you can move onto the beta testing phase. This involves a larger focus group, sometimes even offering it to the public to test before general release. Continue to iron out bugs until you are happy that you have a finished product fit for distribution.
Distribute your software
You can distribute your software through a custom-made website, or if it is an app, through Amazon app store or Google play store. Your next job will be to market your software which you can do so by getting reviews from tech sites, posting on forums, releasing promotional and tutorial Youtube videos and by promoting through social media. Ensure to keep updating and refreshing your programme – more bugs will inevitably be found that happened to slip through the net. Just because you’ve completed the software doesn’t mean your work is done!