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Superstars

Just reread Joel's "The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing" ( http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000073.html ) as I'm sure many of you sure many of you are familiar with. The feeling I get from reading it is that Fog Creek's employees are "superstars."

One of the only ways we can measure the results of Fog Creek's hiring practices is to look at their output: CityDesk and FogBugz. Are these the type and quality of software you'd expect from a company that hires the best?

Or, what kind of products would you expect from a company with employees who are smart and get things done?

I guess this posting reads like a troll, but it's really not. Joel puts his reputation on the line by writing an article like the aforementioned. I'm just curious if his company lives up to the image.

Chi Lambda
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I believe demo versions of both are available, why don't you have a look for yourself?

Mr Jack
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

It sounds like you're asking... "If we put several superstar programmers in a room for a year, would they produce Citydesk?  Because I think they would produce something more dramatic."

But you need to remember that its not just the product's market that showcases the programmers' abilities, but its ease of use, its focus on the market, its innovation, its lack of bugs (serious ones at least), and other factors that really show you who is working on it.

And, of course, we must realize that Fog Creek is a software company out to make a profit, so they aim to produce something worthwhile.

Lou
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Can't say much about the smart part, but since they have two products out, at least you can say they get things done.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

FogBugz is very good once you get it set up.  Sometimes an update will break it. 

However, it isn't so much the quality of the code that impresses me as the thought they have put into the business process that the software is intended to assist. 

Scott Stonehouse
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

>> Are these the type and quality of software you'd expect from a company that hires the best?

The two aforementioned entities, software and programmers are sadly not in a direct relationship.  This is due to influences by salesmen and management.  The difference in FogCreek is that they don't have these two criminals getting in the way.

Some Guy
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I consider FogBugz to be best of class software. There are two audiences for bug tracking: those who want to having something that works well and doesn't get in the way, and something that is stupid complex and attempts to be the enforcer of heavy duty process.

FogBugz is the only really great software I know of in the former category. It is, quite literally, the bug tracking solution that is "smart and gets things done". It's notable to see what was purposefully left off the product, as those are the kinds of decisions that make or break usability.

CityDesk is also relatively unique. I found it to be bug free, and pretty exciting when I first used it. However, I hit too many artificial ceilings for my happiness. But it was an admittedly un-marketed product that was very early in product life. Only time will tell whether it becomes the amazing piece of software that it has the potential to be. (I haven't seen 2.0)

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

marketing. don't forget that joel is probably good in marketing. at least he made all of us read his site.

but it doesn't mean he is right.

na
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Some Guy - you speak poorly of management and sales, but realize you're beating up the star of the show - *Joel* is management and sales for FogCreek.

The cool thing is that he happens to be a good manager and (IMHO) a pretty good salesman.

Methinks you meant to say "bad managers and poor salesmen"

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Scott,
you are absoloutely right. Software that aligns and helps a business process is a winner. Anything else is a PITA. Really, it all goes back to William of Occam: "Do not multiply entities beyond necessity". Here the necessity is the business process.

regards,

stephen.hill@motorola.com
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

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