The USS Quad Damage

If I were a bus driver, with flowers in my hair...

wait, no, I meant a manager... with a company... in my hair...

I think Joel is a boring dude. In my feedreader his stuff is always left till last. Contrast with Coding Horror which I fear and loathe which still only ever has 2 or 3 posts unread. It looks like I prefer fear and loathing to boredom.

I don’t think it’s the fact that he’s a boring writer. Well, then again, maybe he is, but it could also be that the content doesn’t really click with me. The only reason I subscribe to his blog is that sometimes it does. In many ways I hate his software, FogBugz, because he does nothing but talk about it all the time. It’s as bad as a dude talking about his kid: “oh she took her first steps” “he called me 'dada'”; FUCKING SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR KID ALREADY. HE DID A SHIT, HE DID NOT CURE FUCKING CANCER!

err... anyway, the thing about his software is that it’s actually pretty good. FogBugz is meant to be a project management application par excellence. It also contains the features of an issue tracking system, a wiki, collaboration, and maybe a couple of other things to tie it down. The main selling point, from what I can see, is regarding Evidence Based Scheduling, which is as reasonable as it is decent. If I was going to spend a bunch of time making some “project management” software (it’s really more just the estimates tracking portions of software project management) it would be something similar to FogBugz. If I had my own decent sized company and it wasn’t writing a competitor to FogBugz (even if it was), I would probably use it. I don’t, and I can’t, and due to where I work it would take some effort to get some project to use it, I can’t even make my company use it, but that’s another thing.

It has it’s downsides, though. One is it’s “kitchen sink” approach. In many ways, the dudes it’s marketed towards (small or medium businesses with some flexibility in how projects are managed) want the kitchen sink. They don’t want to buy 5 pieces of tiny software, just one that does everything. However, if you’re already using a wiki and bug tracking software, and have some email / forumey software already set up, the inability of FogBugz to automagically interact with that stuff is a bit gay. I also wish they had a tiny desktop app which sat in my system tray and acted a bit like MusikCube instead of forcing me to have a browser constantly open.

I guess the other thing is that it doesn’t offer assurances to larger businesses which have processes already in place (gating, ISO, etc.) that it’s somewhat compatible with them. Depending on what processes they have exactly (esp. proj management related ones) it’s actually not that compatible. That’s a hard thing to sell to a company unless you do it straight to the CIO or CTO.

Still, good luck to him, and I hope he talks about something else once in a while.