[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software]

Joel on Software

The Road to FogBugz 4.0: Part V

by Joel Spolsky
Friday, April 01, 2005

I was really hoping to ship FogBugz for Windows and FogBugz for Unix on the same day, but it just wasn't gonna happen. There were a bunch of little details we needed to get right on the Unix side and with over a year of development we had accumulated a few little things that Thistle didn't compile perfectly. And it seemed a shame to hold up the Windows version (90% of the market) for the Unix version (10%). So on February 23, 2005, at 7:35 PM Eastern Time, FogBugz 4.0 for Windows went live.

I thought to myself, ah, now I can relax.

I have no idea why I thought that.

I should know by now that shipping software is the beginning, not the end.

We promptly got whacked. The phone lines lit up like a New Mexico license plate frame. Our weekly sales tripled. We could barely keep up with the phone calls and email inquiries. This is a good problem to have, and I don't know why I did not predict it, but even if I had, I probably wouldn't have done anything differently: I believed what Eric Sink wrote in The Hazards of Hiring: "Don't fill a position until after the need for that position is painfully clear."

And we won the Jolt Award, which is unbelievably cool (4.0 was too late so the award was for version 3.1):

Jolt Award

In the meantime, we've got another half dozen things on our plates at Fog Creek Software. We're starting to get the kind of gigantic customers who want things just a little bit different, and they're willing to pay so much money for it you'd be insane not to give in.

We're working on rolling out a new scalable stack o' servers to handle the demands for the next five years.

We're gearing up for the coolest summer internship program you've ever heard of... our four interns will develop a brand new product from soup to nuts, and get the darn thing up and running and earning real money from real customers by the end of the summer -- something that's challenging enough without a filmmaker running around making a documentary about it, which, I hope, does not turn out like The Restaurant, Blow Out, or, god forbid, The Office. My David Brent streak is a mile long and will need to be actively surpressed. "I see myself as a friend first, probably entertainer second, and boss third..."

And we really, really need to hire more people, no matter what Eric says, which means we'll need a bigger office, so that's more work too, and life goes on.


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

Next:

Making Wrong Code Look Wrong



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You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.



About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, which lets you organize anything, together, FogBugz, enlightened issue tracking software for bug tracking, and Kiln, which provides distributed version control and code reviews. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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