If you are interested in writing software for Linux, you will benefit from taking a look at the following URLs that I have hand-selected from the internet. Like you, I was not really satisfied to just running
/.configure make make install
I wanted to be one the guys writing my own software and RPMs and deploy them on a Linux Environment. So obviously there is a reason why came to this page so i just have to wish you good luck and happy programming.
Understanding make and make install
Build your First RPM
Software Development in the Unix Environment
Cygwin (Tool that allows you to run shell like commands on windows)
Information About C++