What have you been doing?

Looking at Reinvented Software’s news page or feed, you may think that all I’ve done since the 4th of March is read the MacUser review of Feeder over and over again (did I mention the 5 mice rating?), but you’d be wrong.

A day in the life of a full-time software developer can be long and varied and little of what you do is actually developing software, but what comes with it.

A lot of time is taken up by support requests, especially the first month after releasing something. Usually these aren’t bug reports but questions, compliments, feature requests and occasional misunderstandings. With Feeder in particular I get a lot of questions about how people can best work with RSS feeds on their site, glitches with podcasting software and so on. I enjoy doing this stuff, it’s great to connect with people and find out what they’re doing, but it can really gobble up hours of the day.

ReRegisterThe other side of things is taking care of the site and back end systems. Behind the scenes I have a system which integrates with PayPal and Kagi to accept payments and generate registration codes, send out lost codes, etc. Last week, despite me making no changes whatsoever, my server decided to stop talking to PayPal, which meant me doing everything manually until I could get it fixed. It turned out to be problem with my hosting company’s network, but it all adds to the workload. Incidentally, I’ve also got a front-end system called ReRegister (shown in the screenshot) so I can work with my online database in Cocoa comfort. Mostly these things save me time and allow me to stay in bed while the money pours (er, drips) in, so I shouldn’t be too huffy when things go wrong.

Anyway, in the meantime, all that feedback I receive – or at least the valid stuff – is being sifted into x.x.x bug release versions, converted into hints and tips on my site or added to a list of new stuff for the next version of Feeder, which I’m desperate to start soon, but haven’t had the chance. Ironically, releasing Feeder 1.1 will cut down on the support work that is keeping me from starting it. A month ago I foolishly told a lot of people it would be out in a month. Well guess what – it’ll be out in a month.

I’ll be writing a bit more about the future soon. If I get a chance 😉

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