Home > .NET, Software Development > Chomping the dog food with a nice Chardonnay

Chomping the dog food with a nice Chardonnay

Joel Spolsky has written an interesting piece about the idea of “eating your own dogfood” which simply means using your own software – people who buy dogfood don’t eat it. Over the years, I have seldom been in the position to use the software that Thycotic Software Ltd has developed. The software has usually been out of my realm of usefulness – how many of us even know the slightest thing aboutchromatography, sewer planningor asbestos claims for that matter?

This all changed when Thycotic decided toproductize its internal time tracking and billing system –myclockwatcher.com was born! We use the systemeveryday as our time tracking system (to track billable consulting hours and product development hours) andnowitis also a product for our customers.

Some observationsto date:

  • Features we need (such as certain reports) are usually also needed by our customers
  • Product stability is not negotiable (all hail TDD!)
  • Customer requests help us to rethink our own business use of the product
  • Using your own product can also bea big selling point to customers

There is furtherdiscussion on “eating your own dogfood” here.

Categories: .NET, Software Development
  1. Marc Hoeppner
    March 30, 2005 at 1:21 pm

    Hmmm, this looks suspicously like the ASP.NET starter kit (http://www.asp.net/Default.aspx?tabindex=8&tabid=47) for time tracking!?

  2. Jonathan Cogley
    March 30, 2005 at 5:07 pm

    Marc,

    Yes – our product started with the Starter Kit but has been improved in many significant ways:

    1. myclockwatcher.com actually works! 🙂
    2. Tons of bug fixes
    3. Unit tests – application is now Test Driven
    4. Time entry via email for handheld devices
    5. Expenses
    6. Clients
    7. Extensive reporting in html and pdf
    8. Keystroke optimized
    9. Added concept of billable and non-billable
    10. Vastly improved user interface

    And were are only just approaching our 1.0 release! Expect even more features in the future.

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