At my day job, other than data analysis and reporting, I develop applications using VBA, Office and VB2008, and I think I’ve gotten reasonably good at doing it. I’m there to identify areas which need improvement and then I develop tools that staff can use to streamline their day-to-day jobs. Most of these things I come up with myself based on awareness of these ‘gaps’ in productivity or access to useful data, but staff also approach me with ideas which I then convert from paper to electronic systems. So, basically, in my day-to-day role I’m never without a challenge in terms of coming up with ideas or developing those suggested by others.
When I get home and try to think of real-world solutions that I can write and maybe even make available for lovely people like you to use I often fall short of ideas. It’s kind of like a ‘developers block’ of some kind. I find myself looking for ‘that thing/idea’ that doesn’t yet exist, only to come away with nothing. I know, I know, I’m not going to find something that doesn’t exist, but some ideas would be nice.
It’s actually quite difficult for me to gauge what people would find useful in terms of desktop software applications. Somewhere out there, somebody wants something that will make their daily lives easier. It could be some kind of financial function that just doesn’t exist yet, or access to multiple streams of data into one package so that analysis tasks can be made easier, but I don’t know what these things are. And when I try to think about what would make my life easier in terms of software that I don’t have that does that thing I need, I have periods where I simply fail to come up with ideas.
Does anybody else have that problem? Do you have any suggestions on software/services that don’t exist yet or could be improved upon? It’d be interesting to hear your thoughts…