Skip to main content

How To Enjoy a Week of FogBugz

I have been on an eternal struggle to find the rights tools to keep me organized and on track with my projects. Flying blind is just not something I can do, with such a wandering mind. I especially like time tracking tools, because if I am tracking my time in a task, I am far more likely to focus on it until it is complete. Distractions make a lier out of me. When Joel Spolsky blogged about the Evidence-Based Scheduling in the newest release of his FogBugz product, I finally decided to try the service out for a new project I am starting on over the holiday. It has been about a week and I already have some really good impressions.

As far as bug tracking goes, FogBugz seems to be bare a good deal of similarities with Bugzilla, but is still very familiar to a Trac fan. They've even added a Wiki, although I've not used it. I'm working in solo on my FogBugz trial, right now. (More on that later.) I do wish for dependancy field on cases, instead of just linking to them in the comments. Overall I don't have many wishing for the case tracking itself, and I'm barely using the features available.

The listing is very customizable and I've taken advantage of a few different configurations already, so I can definitely see myself finding more that are useful. There have been some things I haven't found the right fit for. Notably, areas and releases have been a little awkward. Many things cross over different areas of work, so I don't have a clear separation there. I kind of wish for tags, instead. As for releases, there simply are not good uses for those when a project is so internal. I can just make a release for when we decided it is done, but then the field is as useful as not existing at all. I tried to make pseudo-releases for different milestones of functionality, but I am not sure if that is a proper fit.

Time tracking, the very thing that drove me to try FogBugz, is possibly my favorite part. Seeing what you guess and what you actually take is revealing. I seem to guess over, usually, but I wonder if I'll see my task estimates actually getting better as I use this over a period of time. The feedback may train me. I've even found, so far, that the release estimations seem to be pretty well calculated and I've hit the dates its estimated pretty well. I want to write more about my thoughts on estimation and how well you can estimate what you can't design until you've done much of the things you need to estimate in the first place.

I really am loving it, but I know I need to wait out my trial before making any final call. I think it is well worth the cost over the free Trac and others, even for personal use.

Comments

Anonymous said…
If you plan to use FogBugz for personal projects, I would recommend going to Settings->Your FogBugz On Demand Account and switching to the "Student and Startup Edition". In that mode, you can use our hosted version of FogBugz for free indefinitely so long as you have only one or two users in your install.

Popular posts from this blog

CARDIAC: The Cardboard Computer

I am just so excited about this. CARDIAC. The Cardboard Computer. How cool is that? This piece of history is amazing and better than that: it is extremely accessible. This fantastic design was built in 1969 by David Hagelbarger at Bell Labs to explain what computers were to those who would otherwise have no exposure to them. Miraculously, the CARDIAC (CARDboard Interactive Aid to Computation) was able to actually function as a slow and rudimentary computer.  One of the most fascinating aspects of this gem is that at the time of its publication the scope it was able to demonstrate was actually useful in explaining what a computer was. Could you imagine trying to explain computers today with anything close to the CARDIAC? It had 100 memory locations and only ten instructions. The memory held signed 3-digit numbers (-999 through 999) and instructions could be encoded such that the first digit was the instruction and the second two digits were the address of memory to operate on

Statement Functions

At a small suggestion in #python, I wrote up a simple module that allows the use of many python statements in places requiring statements. This post serves as the announcement and documentation. You can find the release here . The pattern is the statement's keyword appended with a single underscore, so the first, of course, is print_. The example writes 'some+text' to an IOString for a URL query string. This mostly follows what it seems the print function will be in py3k. print_("some", "text", outfile=query_iostring, sep="+", end="") An obvious second choice was to wrap if statements. They take a condition value, and expect a truth value or callback an an optional else value or callback. Values and callbacks are named if_true, cb_true, if_false, and cb_false. if_(raw_input("Continue?")=="Y", cb_true=play_game, cb_false=quit) Of course, often your else might be an error case, so raising an exception could be u

How To use Sphinx Autodoc on ReadTheDocs with a Django application

Sphinx is awesome for writing documentation. ReadTheDocs is awesome for hosting it. Autodocs are great for covering your entire API easily. Django is a great framework that makes my job easier. Between these four things is an interaction that only brought me pain, however. I'm here to help the next dev avoid this. Autodocs works by importing your modules and walking over the classes and functions to build documentation out of the existing docstrings. It can be used to generate complete API docs quickly and keep them in sync with the libraries existing docstrings, so you won't get conflicts between your docs and your code. Fantastic. This creates a problem when used with Django applications, where many things cannot be imported unless a valid settings module can be found. This can prevent a hurdle in some situations, and requires a little boilerplate to get working properly with Sphinx. It require a little extra to get working on ReadTheDocs. What makes this particularly h