My company, Fog Creek Software, has moved into a new office in a Manhattan townhouse. It's great because there's a big garden out back -- we got wireless networking so we can work outside in the summer.
When you're managing a team of programmers, one of the first things you have to learn to get right is task allocation. That's just a five-dollar word for giving people things to do. It's known colloquially as "file dumping" in Hebrew (because you dump files in peoples' laps). And how you decide which files to dump in which laps is one of the areas where you can get incredible productivity benefits if you do it right. Do it wrong, and you can create one of those gnarly situations where nobody gets anything accomplished and everybody complains that "nothing ever gets done around here."
My latest article, Human Task Switches Considered Harmful, explains why you should be careful that each programmer is only working on one thing at a time.
Don't buy puppies at pet stores.
Michael has started a weblog about technical interview questions.
What's up at Fog Creek Software?
Sometimes I think we should be called Fog Creek Renovation, since we're spending a lot of time fixing up the new office. Michael got all 3 bathrooms working. David is working on new halogen lighting downstairs. Babak came up with a great layout, and I assembled some kewl curvy bookcases. You venture-capital funded wimps probably never had to touch spackle.
More interestingly, we're getting close to shipping 2.0, the next major version of FogBUGZ, on March 1st as promised. If you have any urgent feature requests email David directly. If you bought the first version, the upgrade is free.
In an earlier column I slammed Netscape for using the entire world as beta-testers, and then ignoring the bug reports that came in. Here's how we're going to do beta tests. First of all, we're limiting the beta test to people who promise to install the beta. We're inviting a select group of people to install the beta, and asking them to tell us when they will be installing it. During that time, we will literally be standing by the phone on our toll-free line to help them with any problems that come up. For our 1.0 users who are upgrading, this is the best way to get help and be sure the upgrade goes smoothly.
If you tried out FogBUGZ using our on-line demo, but didn't buy it, I'd sure appreciate a quick email telling me what you thought. I'm obsessive about listening to customers.
We've got another very cool product in the oven, which I'm super excited about, but that will have to remain a mystery for a few weeks. Stay tuned, all will be revealed in good time!
1113 posts over 15 years. Everything I’ve ever published is right here.
There’s a software company in New York City dedicated to doing things the right way and proving that it can be done profitably and successfully.