I left the world of computer science in 1992 after receiving my engineering degree, and recently made an effort to bring my skills back to 2018. The first version of the SlideMagic app was outsourced to a developer, and I had virtually no understanding of the underlying code, and focusing purely on designing the user interface.

As I am pushing for the next iteration of the app, I want to change that and I am making great progress. The “practice” feature I am working on is developing a razor sharp, 100% correct, conversion of SlideMagic decks into fully editable PowerPoint files. (The current conversion gives you a clean file that you can present in PowerPoint, but as soon as you start to edit PowerPoint shapes, the imperfections in the conversion are revealed, but it is already one level up from many other presentation applications that simply paste a screenshot of a slide into a blank PowerPoint slide).

The process so far has been interesting and I am starting to understand the file structure of PowerPoint files, the PowerPoint object model, Microsoft’s .NET framework and the C# language. All of this technology is sparking new potential ideas where to take SlideMagic next.

Software development in larger teams is like a funnel: you define the spec, and the developers set the train in motion to deliver it. Sometimes, the phase I am in, less organised and experimenting where I can, works better to come up new concepts to make it easier for people to create presentations and business documents in general, especially the “everyday” ones.

Apologies to the potential clients for bespoke design work I have been turning down over the past few months, but hopefully they can benefit from what I come up with at the moment at some stage in the future.

Cover image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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