Pilot your Projects
Here’s a secret. Every time we release our software, we play a little wait-and-see. So much is possible with our software, so many possible paths and use cases and media formats and configuration options and … so many possible combinations of stuff that we just can’t test everything. We spend weeks on testing but can’t test everything. It’s not humanly possible. The result? A little wait-and-see. This way we are ready to jump on something we missed and fix it immediately.
We just released Version 4.2 last Friday. We don’t like Friday releases because it puts wait-and-see over the weekend. But the release was just too cool and the testing effort too comprehensive to stifle our desire to get things out the door. One week later, this looks like a good call. Reports from our customers are quite positive. Are we good or just lucky?
In a way, every major release is a pilot. (And for IntuiFace, almost every release is “major” because of how often we introduce new capability.) Sure, we acted very responsibly in the time leading up to a release: we collected all requirements, studied all software architecture nuances, set priorities, wrote the code, ran the tests. Is it ready though? You never really know until you set the bird free and see if she can fly.
Never underestimate the value of a pilot. Not just in terms of making sure you licensing is straightened out or if hardware is performing acceptably well. I mean be humble, put your experience in front of people and get real feedback. It’s amazing how much we unconsciously assume about our audience. We all know how reliable assumptions are.
Don’t be surprised if our next release isn’t on a Friday. That won’t be an accident.