Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.

Producing Software, the Easy Way

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OK, so the post title is a total lie. There really is no easy way to produce and sell software. There are varying degrees of difficulty that can be associated with software development, though.

When I started working on iRooster I never really intended for it to turn into something that I would sell for profit. It simply didn’t occur to me. Rather, my interest in it was that it scratched a personal itch (this is a recurring theme in discussions on “how do I come up with an idea for software to make?”).

Allow me to set the stage for you: I’m 20 years old, I’m taking no less than 19 credits per semester in college, and I’m sure-as-hell not sleeping enough. As any normal, rational college student would do, I tried to ameliorate the effects this could have; I push my classes back and refuse to take anything that starts before 10am, or 11am when I can wrangle it. Unfortunately, this didn’t solve my problem at all. I was still missing my morning classes without fail. My alarm clock wasn’t cutting it for waking me up; I slept right through the alarm, or I would wake up long enough to turn it off and then roll over and go back to sleep.

Obviously, I needed a solution to this problem. I could have gone to bed earlier, but nah. Instead, I made myself a new, better alarm clock. iRooster started off simply: it was a single window application with a text field for entering a date and time. It had a hard-coded playlist specified in it, and would start iTunes at the time specified with my playlist. I started leaving my Powerbook on my desk, plugging my PC’s speakers into it, slipped the subwoofer underneath my bed, and never had any trouble waking up again. Neither did my roommates, unfortunately. iRooster would wake them up as well, much to their chagrin.

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