Man, it’s hard to make an app really, really good!

I’ve been working as a developer for 25 years and I’ve been coding for 40. That’s a long time and a lot of code, and still, it’s really, really hard to make an app good! Apart from it needing to be sweet to look at, have nice and usable functionality and please the users’ need it has to have quality! It needs to install without a glitch and run smoothly and reliably.

The Work Day Logger is in some sort of pre-release release. A beta sort of, and thousands of people have already downloaded it and I see from my logs that hundreds are starting it every day. I can’t see who you are, what you do and what you enter into it of course, but I can see the starts. And on Microsoft Store, I can see that it crashes. A little bit too often.

I’ve worked hard trying to eliminate these crashes, but since I haven’t been able to reproduce them, I haven’t been able to lower the crash count. Until today, when a couple of crash dumps entered my Mantis Bug Tracker. All the way from China. That led me to a couple of critical bugs that I fixed and has just released in version 0.17 (on its way out as I type this).

But back to the title of the post. Man, it’s hard to make a really good app! I consider myself an experienced and professional developer, and I’ve really poured all my knowledge into this app, separating the code, putting things in classes, using all the right development pattern, smelling for bad code odour… And still, bugs slip through.

I’m working on this all alone, so I haven’t been able to get any code reviews and I have to test it all by myself. No friends of mine will help me, damn them ;). And to make an app really, really good you need three things:

  • Users that use the app and let you know what they want
  • Pals who can pick up your code reviews and give a second opinion on the solution you choose
  • Testers who use the app in all the ways that you as a programmer don’t

I’ll be working on improving all these steps as I move on with Work Day Logger and the new initiative I just started, the Work Day Tasks project.

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