Programming and Marketing Computer Software

Create a home business by programming and marketing computer software, including starting out as a computer programmer, writing software programs, sought-after software programs and marketing software programs.


| November/December 1982



078-039-01

If you've been keeping up with the news, you're probably aware that people of all ages are currently exploring this new marketplace of computer software.


PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Mark Jordan suggests if you're interested in personal computers and paid "homework" you should consider making money programming and marketing computer software. 

The Age of the Home Computer has burst upon the 1980's with all the hoopla of a video game arcade. What with the appropriate shelves in libraries and bookstores groaning under the continuing influx of new material on the subject (and publishers are still hard pressed to keep pace with the rapidly developing technology), plus the increasingly familiar sight of computer retail stores at shopping centers everywhere, it apparently won't be long until home-sized electronic brains—like television sets before them—become the focal points of living rooms across North America.

Because of the rapidly spreading popularity of these "mini-minds", a number of subsidiary industries have sprung up. And one of these new markets presents opportunities for computer enthusiasts (or people with the potential to become proficient with the electronic wonders) who have a yen for program journalism to start freelancing by programming and marketing computer software for profit!

SOUGHT-AFTER SOFTWARE

As you probably know, a personal computer has to have a program to run: Without this software (a term which is "computerese" for the list of instructions the machine is supposed to follow), it'd be about as valuable as a stereo without a record. And although anyone with a "microthinker" should be able to write problems for it, most folks don't have the time or the inclination to create their own software . . . they'd really rather buy what they need from someone else. So as the price of home units continues to come down (as is currently the trend), microcomputers are going to be more accessible to a greater number of consumers than ever before . . . and the demand for software just might skyrocket! Already, the need for new programs far exceeds the available supply.

If you've been keeping up with the news, you're probably aware that people of all ages are currently exploring this new marketplace. And when you realize that a lot of folks are getting paid anywhere from $2.00 to $200 apiece for simple games—and $500 or more for business-related packages—it's certainly not hard to see why computer program writing for profit is an attractive field!

COMPETENT COMPUTING

Many individuals have likely shied away from creating programs because they assumed that success was beyond the reach of anyone except "whiz kids" such as Daniel Bricklin and Robert Franstan, who—in 1978—pooled $16,000 to found the highly successful software company they called VisiCalc (it's now referred to as VisiCorp and earns over $2,000,000 a year!) . . . or the 16-year-old enthusiast in California who wrote a game program that has brought him over $100,000 in earnings.





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