As a software developer, the one thing I’m good at is listening to users.
I’ve always worked in public or semi-public: release, listen to feedback, release, listen, repeat forever. I worked this way for years UserLand. All of NetNewsWire was developed this way, beginning with the very earliest betas of NetNewsWire Lite back in 2002.
My entire career has been about software development as social activity (and a little bit as public performance, I admit).
I don’t know another way to do this — and, if I did, that other way probably wouldn’t suit my temperament. It may not be the best way to do software, but it’s the way that works for me.
Which is why I’m more than a little bit at sea with the iPhone development experience. Getting beta testers is a technical and legal challenge. And I’m used to having hundreds, not just a few. Discussing development and design issues with other developers is usually a valuable thing, but there’s an NDA in the way.
But, then, well, in theory I can do frequent public releases, get lots of feedback, and keep the cycle going. Great theory. Works for me!
Of course, that is, if I had a way to get my releases to the public... That’s where I’m bugged. I keep getting feedback on stuff I fixed or changed days ago. And no feedback on the recent changes.
Anyway, just thought I’d wave hi from out here on the waves.