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Macintosh Program Development/Scripting Market

By ssuranie ·
I was hired by my company almost four and a half years ago as a Senior Web Designer because I not only had design experience but I could hand code HTML, JavaScript and ASP. They had a weird set up where the design department creates the designs and HTML shells of the page but the IT group wrote the middle ware and back end code. (It's a publishing company and the web group grew out of the art department).

Anyway, they were also doing a lot of things inefficiently one of which was archiving the magazine articles for the web by using an extension for QuarkXpress (design layout program) that converted an article to HTML. Problem was it didn't address our proprietary ASP includes and stuff and the HTML was no better than what MS Word spits out - table imbedded in table imbedded in table and so on. The guy doing it was spending about an hour cleaning up one article. Multiple that by 5-6 articles per mag, 28 mags and you can see where he was way behind in the archiving. In a meeting I comment that there has to be a better way and that we should consider building our own application. My boss says ok, you do it.

So from the ground floor I learn to program in AppleScript and use REALBasic to build a GUI and develop a tool which converts the articles to clean HTML code and the whole process takes about a minute.

Fast forward to today, I've probably have built a dozen apps for the company which improve work flow and efficiency, including 4 DAMS (digital asset management systems) for our photographs, images and ads. I built the back end DBs (in MySQL), the apps that automate about 90% of the process of getting something into the db and the web front end (in PHP) so users can search for and retrieve stuff from the dbs. I'm sitting here today working on a new one which will automatically resize, rename and store our employee photographs so the IT group can use them in apps they develop.

So here's the point of all this. I've asked my boss for a title/job description change (read: raise) and he turned me down. I still do some design work but I would say I am 75% programming, 25% design and on top of that semi-managing the department as he is in charge of other groups as well and relies on me for a lot of the small managerial type things.

Anyway, I like building the apps for Macs and the whole improving workflows and efficiency role I've fallen into, and even more specifically for the publishing industry. But I am thinking that I have bumped the ceiling here and maybe it's time to spread my wings. I'm just wondering if there's a job market out there for me and if so, what's my worth($$$) in that market and since I am asking any tips on where to begin.

Any help would be appreciated.

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The Mac market

by DC_GUY In reply to Macintosh Program Develop ...

Graphic arts, publishing, printing, photography, etc. That's a sector in which Macs predominate. Not only is the software better, but these are creative people who don't want to spend one minute of their lives learning to be software mechanics in order to make their tools do what they're supposed to do.

Even in Corporate America, you'll find that the advertising departments in many of the biggest companies are Mac shops. They find that they can't hire and retain the most creative people if they force them to work with PCs.

Hang in there. The PC world is going to collapse under the weight of its own defects and user-hostility before long and the entire planet will have to upgrade to OS/X.

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niches

by BatmanG8 In reply to The Mac market

The trouble is that there are so many more things
Macs can do well, beyond the art department:
science, statistics, accounting, economics...
anything a Sun or SGI or Windoze box can do can
be done on a Mac. And, quite frankly, I'm a
little miffed when I slog through several job
boards and the only Mac jobs they have listed are
hand-holding jobs rather than software product
development.

The original poster was partially marginalized.
He was a programmer in a shop that puts its value
on art and articles. Because his good words were
not up on the radar screen, they were not
appreciated, possibly not even noticed, or at the
very least considered only up to minimal
expectations. (And I'll bet he occasionally gets
effusive praise for tiny little things, he's
done, too.)

Getting appreciation for your good work is
something that doesn't happen automagically. Of
course, some have the knack to make it happen
without thinking about it, but most programmers
do need to make conscious efforts. When you get
something done, put it on your Things Done list,
in your periodic report to management, or
whatever. Make management aware of the good
implications of what you've accomplished, how
it's helped them.

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Let me clarify

by ssuranie In reply to niches

First off thanks for the responses, I'm going to cover both in the same message.

DC - I'm aware of the predominant users of Macs - I started as a graphic designer who migrated to web design who migrated to web programming who has since migrated to Mac app development. You also forgot to mention universities and schools which do use a greater proportion of Macs than their private sector counterparts and this is where you could do a lot of development for the sciences and other industries.

I don't think I was clear in my post, my fault. What I am curious about is if I decide to look for greener grass how hard will it be to find a position where I am developing for the Mac? I actually think it's going to be quite hard.

And BMG8, I have tried to promote myself sort to speak but as I pointed out in my post I am being blocked by my direct manager who won't even approach anyone above him in regards to discussing a title change or promotion for me. Doing an end around him is a gamble for if it back fires I still work for him and that could be uncomfortable.

My co-workers are aware of what I do and most agree I am getting shafted. Problem for me is I want to move on but I don't know where to look for development jobs on the Mac side of things. I've actually considered hanging out my own shingle but I got 4-kids so my capability to take risks is limited.

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Don't limit your search to Graphics/Web

by macartisan In reply to Let me clarify

You've built small but functional content management systems.

That's certainly valuable on the artistic side, but it's also a set of
skills that can be used to handle similar problems in inventory,
database programming, customer relations management and
even light duty software build management.

In case you're wondering what that last one entails, the build
manager on a software project is the guy or gal who - in part -
makes *absolutely* sure that the right files make it into the right
locations on each disk image created during the development
process.

It's not really a management position in most cases, but it does
take a detail-oriented person with programming skills that mesh
with whatever development environment the programming
group uses.

You're already used to getting the right pieces in the right
places; that's most of the battle. Install Apple XCode on your
Mac, pick up a introductory book on developing in Cocoa (Aaron
Hillegass' book is a very good start), and read up on using
Subversion to maintain your code. Then you'll be 100% ready to
fill a vital slot in a Mac software development department.

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I am in need of your expertise

by markroach25 In reply to Macintosh Program Develop ...

Hi, I need some advice. I am learning applescript and need advice on the best way to copy data from a web site and import this data into a spreadsheet document.

I don't want someone to send me a script on how to do this. Instead, I want someone to point me in the right direction. For instance, is the best process to; copy the web data onto clipboard and then paste into the spreadsheet; or link each part of the web data to a particular variable, which will be connected to each spreadsheet cell. the website I want to extract data from is located at

http://www.travelex.co.uk/uk/personal/rateslist.aspx

the specific data I want to import is 'currency' and 'We sell' column.

Ideally, I would like to write an applescript to automatically import this particular web data to a particular spreadsheet and then manipulate that data among other spreadsheets.

I just want to know, what is the best process to follow.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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