Being a successful programmer is dreamt by most youth nowadays. It's proven by the increasing number of students enrolled to study Information Technology (IT) at colleges. However, do we really need many years of experiences before we can develop great applications? For those who work in IT company must have known that we have to work several years before being trusted as the project manager. On the other hand, many of us have great ideas of applications that should be created that might generate income for us in the future.
Don't worry if you don't have any experiences on it, because you can start by analyzing the requirements, deciding the type of applications, choosing the database and programming language, and starting coding to launch your application. Getting errors, staying overnights, getting stuck, feeling frustrated will be your closed friends during your first application development, but after that you'll be happy to develop other applications because experience is the best teacher.
Analyze all requirements. Before starting doing things related to programming, you should collect all needs and requirements that should exist in the system. If you're going to make a simple program for your cakes site, you can start by classifying the types of cakes you sell, the prices, the ingredients and its prices, the employees' wages, etc. List all things that are related to program you're going to develop.
Decide web or desktop-based application. Now, you should have got imaginations how the application will be and how it will help your works. If you need to be able to access the data from far places, you need to develop web-based application, so you can monitor the transactions easily. In contrast, if you don't need to access it online, you can develop desktop-based application that is simpler and quicker to build. For your reference, now, more developers prefer to build web-based applications because we don't need to install anything in client's computers, except web browsers.
Decide the database and programming language. If you have extra budget, you can build the program using non-open source database and language, such as SQL Server and VB.NET/ASP.NET. If you have limited budget, I recommend you to develop using MySQL and PHP for web-based application. Any choice you made, you can get the tutorials and helps on the internet easily.
Design the tables and forms. This is the last phase you should follow before start coding. Design the data to be stored in each table. To avoid forgetting including the required data, you can design the forms simultaneously so you can update the data while making the forms. Form is the user interface shown to users to help them storing data and doing transactions.