Hobby vs. professional software creation


Glad you see it like this! As you can tell, I really appreciate this discussion as well!

In that case… you asked for it! :joy:

I might have given this impression, but I don’t see hobbies as being anything bad or less valuable than any other thing, mostly just different.
It’s just that I work with many small makers and developers and I see how much sweat and blood goes into the making of their works. Inside me, something cringes when I hear it called hobby, because to me it goes way beyond that. But as I said, that’s linked to what the term means to me so don’t worry too much about that.

I know quite a few of those. Unfortunately it’s not the case for just the music area, but also other creative fields are affected. I the point is that when it comes to creative trades, the concept of “professional” is to be considered from a slightly different angle than when we talk about what traditionally is considered a non-creative trade (this distinction is probably worth a discussion in itself, but let’s just stick with it for now). When you make music, photography, art, whatever it is, being a “pro” is not only less relevant, but has also a different meaning in my opinion. I think, depending on how the individual approaches it, this also extend to the outer regions of creative trades.
What I mean is, often the software that enables you to be creative is a creative work in itself.


Many of my friends have pet (hobby) projects because it’s fun. Pet projects quality by all the aspects (idea, algorithms, UX/UI, code) can be top-notch, many well-paid software or its part can be rubbish. As an example, (IMO) best of Yamaha DX7 emulator is Dexed (https://asb2m10.github.io/dexed/), which is free and open-source.

Only one plus for a big company is having an engineer who understand how UX/UI can be. I stopped to work with some modules and its software part because of headache after each configuration of these.


Yeah I didn’t want to say this, because you know… but yeah, that’s where 99% of the open source projects really fall short. And to get back to VCV, they actually managed to get into the 1% imho.


My replica was more about 1-guy/small companies that try to selling their stuff than open-source. Especially for utility modules and its software when I only need to minimize amount of actions/clicks and especially time of thinking/remembering golden combo that helps me to activate the process.

Remark about VCV: I’m not a smart person at all but what should I do for downloading audible instruments pack after: 0) registration 1) click on +Free ? Checkout is not active, no download links ? :smiley:


IIRC they appear in your VCV rack after you log into your account from the main rack application.

edit: I’ve checked and yes, you hit the ADD button (or buy a pack) on the website, then you open VCV rack and hit the “update modules” button in the top toolbar. It will then download the modules and add them to VCV. You’ll have to relaunch the application to make them visible.

Yeah but it applies to most open source software projects as well, and not just music-related ones. One of the most obvious examples being Puredata.


Thank you. I will try. It was not clear for me because of no notifications and no comments after click on the button.

VCV looks like a good instrument for testing new digital modules. Hope that more companies will share their modules for testing purposes (even for 1-2 days trial and paid “testing subscription”). For me - it’s a lot easier to test new module before buying than using carousel buying-trying-selling.


I think that making arbitrary distinctions between “hobbyist” and “professional” is just succumbing to the cultural hegemony of the dominant ideology, as Zizek (and Gramsci) would say. There are more valid modes of production than were ever dreamt of by neo-liberals (or by Uncles Karl and Friedrich, for that matter).

As for the superiority of “professionally designed” user interfaces, I can offer many counter-examples. Just last Sunday I spent 4 hours with my partner looking at stoves, cooktops and ovens (she is renovating her house). Modern microprocessor-controlled ovens offer many advantages, but the user interface matters, a lot. In general, the UIs ranged from abysmal (Smeg), through bad (Bosch, Westinghouse, Gaggenau, Miele, Ilve) to acceptable (Siemens, Neff). None were good.

And don’t get me started on the UIs of a lot of medical equipment…


People use the term “amateur” in a very negative way and “professional” in a positive way.

In reality an amateur is often someone who is doing something for their enjoyment instead of financial gain. So a professional can actually be only doing something because they need the money. Hardly a labour of love.

Of course there’s people who are passionate about their job and others who couldn’t give it toss what they’re going as long as there’s a pay cheque in it.

You can’t really stereotype about amateurs and professionals since there’s a huge range of competence and motivations.