I write software, mostly for Macs, mostly for the entertainment industry, but that is because I like Macs and everyone knows I work in the entertainment industry.
The stuff I do works as well on PCs and for people who don’t turn up to work on a unicycle.
Software is the road map your computer uses to do stuff. Microsoft Word & Excel, Photoshop, iTunes; These are all bits of software. Some people call them Apps, but they should maybe get over themselves.
I use this funky programme called ‘FileMaker Pro’, if you’ve got a Mac, you’ve probably heard of it. They used to say you could make databases with it but in the last few years, the word database has become very 1970s-radio-DJ and now they say we make Custom Apps.
Why would you need a Custom App?
- If you have ever had to copy email addresses out of Excel and paste them into new contacts
- Do you create job sheets for work by … doing it all over here … arranging it slightly differently … adding some more information … adjusting it a little and sending it off to the customer?
Do you do this a lot? Do you do it repeatedly?
Have you ever thought ‘There has to be a better way of doing this?’
If the answer is ‘yes’ – that’s where I come in.
Quite often I will advise you not to have a piece of software created especially for you as there is probably something on the market that will do what you want. If there is – use that. Maybe, what you are doing doesn’t need anything special, just a little more knowledge?
Some people though, do need a little more help.
Custom apps can be simple…
Contacts Database (Why would I need that – I’ve got one on my PC/Mac/ZX81?).
Simple, basic, but can be so much more.
How about if you want to keep scans of passports of all your contacts and you want reminders of when these are going to expire?
You might want to select multiple contacts and send them all the details of upcoming jobs
You may want to send details of multiple contacts to upcoming employers (driving licenses, CRB forms, SIA certificates etc) along with a professional spreadsheet of dates of birth, mobile numbers and next of kin emergency info.
They can be a bit more complicated …
Music database What? I’ve already got iTunes and Spotify.
Do you have a back-catalogue currently in Pro-Tools, on 2” tape or all on hard drives?
Are they in various storage units unable to be accessed, let alone listened to?
Would you like to add in details of venues, performers, show reports, track info, recall info etc?
They can be a complete Suite of Software
We could start with something simple and let it grow. Your contacts database can then become a job-booking system, which can then create itineraries for your people in the field. These can either be printed or accessed on their own iPhone or iPad app.
Anything is possible – the world is your oyster. And I’m that hook thing you use to get into the oysters. And the lemon; I’m the lemon as well.
To quote Ferris …
The question isn’t ‘What are we going to do?’ The question is ‘What aren’t we going to do.’