Last Real Studio Developer Column

RBD11-2The new issue of Real Studio Developer Magazine is out.  As always, it’s chock full of good information and it’s well worth a subscription, in my opinion.

Sadly, it’s also the last edition for my BKeeney Briefs column.  It’s been five years(!) and I’ve been talking all that time about the life of a Real Studio consultant.  It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve talked to a lot of Real Studio developers over the years that have given positive and informative feedback.

I still have plenty of things to say, but I’ve discovered that writing isn’t very fun on a deadline even when you have two months to do it.  I’ll still be doing blog posts here but they’ll be much more ‘organic’ than the column.

There will be a LOT to talk about in the next couple of months.  Real Studio 2013 is in beta testing now and I believe it will be released around Real World (April 23rd).  There WILL be some exciting news beyond just the new IDE (but can’t yet).  Naturally, I have some strong opinions on the upcoming changes so stay tuned.

Again, the magazine has been a lot of fun and I thank all of your kind words over the years.

Sept/Oct 2012 Issue of Real Studio Developer

The September/October 2012 (10.6) issue of Real Studio developer Magazine hit the newsstands (email inbox?) today.  Marc Zeedar tells us how to get our Real Studio applications ready for Retina based Macs.  He also has an article telling us how to get our Real Studio apps ready for Mountain Lions’ new GateKeeper security.

JC Cruz has an interesting article on text searching.  He includes a number of algorithms that you might find useful in your own applications.

In my regular BKeeney Briefs column I talk about the blood, sweat, and tears to become an olympic style programmer.  I give away my four secrets to my success.

I also have a review of App Wrapper and RB Package Maker similar to what I did a few months ago.  This fits nicely in with Marc’s GateKeeper column as you can use either utility to code sign and sandbox your Mac applications.

All that and much more!

Real Studio Developer Nov/Dec 2011

Issue 10.1 of Real Studio Developer came out while I was in Germany last week.  In my regular BKeeney Briefs column I penned an article titled “Telling The Story of An Application – Getting your client to communicate with you”.

I also do an interview with Marc Zeedar about…wait for it…me!  Trust me, you’ll find out more information about me than you ever really wanted.  Imagine my surprise when I went the conference in Germany when people said, “Huh.  The picture in the magazine is a few years old, right?”  Um…thanks?

Also in this issue:  JC Cruz has an article on getting started with the Report Editor in Real Studio.  Marc Zeedar walks us how he used Real Studio to make an app for his iPad.  Paul Lefebvre’s two columns cover Large Database Objects – working with pictures in databases, and Easy Web Services – create a web API.

Check it out.  If nothing else you can use the picture to scare away mice and small children.


July/August 2010 REALbasic Developer Magazine

The July/August 2010 edition of REALbasic Developer Magazine is out.  This months column title is “Having a Thick Skin: Take the Emotion out of Your Tech Support”.

I talk about the pitfalls of providing tech support when people asking for (or is it demanding!) for tech support aren’t nice.  Email and forums posts are awful mediums for communicating to each other so you have to take the emotion out of the equation.

Do you have any horror stories, tips, or jokes about tech support you’d like to share?

REALbasic Developer Magazine May/June 2010

REALbasic Developer Magazine’s May/June 2010 edition is now out.  A couple of things of note:

1)  They reviewed the BKeeney Software REALbasic training videos.  It received a rating of 4.9 out of 5 cubes!  As a celebration, we’re offering subscriptions for 20% off list price.  Use the coupon code RBDEVELOPER.  This discount is valid for the next two weeks.

2)  In my regular column I talk about the role of consultant and the jobs you probably should turn down.  Sometimes the client has unreasonable expectations and if they can’t accept REALbasic’s limitations then REALbasic isn’t for them and their project.  Accepting a project like that is just asking for trouble.

3)  Christian Schmitz, of Monkeybread Software fame, gives us some food for thought with an article on how to figure your hourly rate.  All good points.

[Updated 04May2010 16:23] Added link to get to the videos.

REALbasic on iPhone Debate

The March/April 2010 edition of REALbasic Developer Magazine hit my inbox this morning.  Besides the normal BKeeney Briefs column Marc Zeedar and I have a spirited debate on whether or not REAL Software should devote existing resources to making REAL Studio work with iPhone apps.

Note the italics on ‘existing’.  While I think it would be a nifty idea, overall, I question the wisdom of diverting resources from an already small development team to a product that might be doable.  Is this a Mac OS X only product or is it cross-platform?  I seriously doubt that it will be cross-platform but perhaps I’m wrong.  The point is that there are a ton of issues to figure out and then the question then becomes, “What are we going to give up in the desktop versions while this is being developed?”

Other thoughts:  Apple makes a boatload of money from developers buying Mac hardware and this product has the potential to take that revenue away.  One could certainly argue that it has the potential to sell more iPhones/iPads/iPod touches because more applications will be available.  But Apple has 140,000-ish apps right now.  Would 10,000 more, or 100,000 more really mean anything to Apple?

It also has the potential of being a potential support issue for Apple.  Assume for a second they allow RS to make iPhone apps.  The RB framework has a bug (because that’s never happened), or Apple changes the SDK one day and doesn’t give RS advance notice (Apple is secretive, no?), and now tens of thousands of RB iPhone apps no longer work.  Will the developer, RS or Apple get the blame?  Apple.  Just like how Microsoft gets the blame for crappy drivers and crappy 3rd party apps made by bad developers, Apple would get the blame.  Apple guards the keys to their kingdom very closely because they want it to be associated with a classy, premium product that “just works”.

Anyway, you can read the debate between Marc and myself in the magazine.  My guess is you can figure out my viewpoint.   😛  Marc argues, the opposite.

My regular column talks about making your projects more Agile-ish without going full-bore in using the Agile process.  It’s not as hard as you think and your clients might really like it.

Your thoughts?

Finding Work for REALbasic

It seems appropriate during this week of Thanksgiving to give a big thank you to all the readers.  So a big, hearty, “Thank You!” for asking questions and providing some interesting feedback.

Whenever I start talking to REALbasic developers, I get asked, a lot, about finding REALbasic consulting work.  It’s not hard finding work, but it is not always easy finding good projects.

The difference?  One issue that comes up is that because it’s real and it’s basic means REALbasic it must be easy-to-use (read that as cheap), right?  Wrong!  Making a good quality REALbasic application requires some perseverance and some experience.  I can guarantee that the RB apps I make these days are way better than my early RB apps.  Experience counts in software development just like in any other profession.

Good projects aren’t always available.  Maybe you have to do an ugly project for next to nothing to hold you over until a bigger, better project comes along.  With consulting it really is a ‘what is the next project?’ world.

So where do you find work?  The first thing you have to do is set up shop.  Does your website say anything about REALbasic consulting and/or development?  It should because that’s the first way people are going to find you.  You should also have a previous projects page that talks about the work you’ve done.  Sometimes you can’t talk about a project in a lot of detail due to non-disclosure agreements, but you can talk generically about the type of work you’ve done.

In a recent ARBP survey word of mouth and their website were the two highest percentages, by far, of any of the topics.

Do you self promote yourself in the RB Forums and the NUG list?  If not, you might be missing out on some work.  By answering some questions on the forums and NUG (for free) you can get some free exposure and people get to know your name.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that regular columnists/writers for RB Developer magazine are mostly consultants?

Are you listed in the ARBP consultants list?  You should be.  It costs nothing other than signing up for their limited membership (i.e. free).

Finally, the REAL Software Consulting Referrals Program is a great way of getting leads.  People who think they want a REALbasic developer to contact them fill out a web form and you get an email.  It’s then up to you follow up on the lead.  It is somewhat pricey at $1000/year but one good project and will pay for itself.

In fact, I would call the program a bargain.  In 2008 REAL Software changed the program and nearly doubled the price to be part of the program.  I criticized them at the time and still think it was a bit heavy-handed but the quality of the leads has gone up and so has the frequency of leads.  I contact most of the leads twice.  First when I first get the lead and in a couple of weeks afterward.  Most of the time they tell me they only have one or two replies to their original post so this says to me that there are not a whole lot of people in the program.

Look folks, if they’re filling out a form asking for REALbasic work they’ve already sold themselves on using REALbasic.  You don’t have to sell the merits of RB – they’ve self-selected themselves!  It’s like shooting fish in a barrel from a sales perspective.

Do you talk about what you do?  You should because you never know who you’re talking to.  I went to an NFL training camp this summer and while having a drink at a bar where the players sometimes hang out I had a great conversation with someone that happened to work in software industry.  While it hasn’t resulted in any work – yet – it might in the future and isn’t that what marketing is all about?

So that’s it.  There’s no secret to finding REALbasic work.  Have a great Thanksgiving and happy coding!