Published October 4, 2013 by C. G. Brown
You may have noticed a few days ago that we removed the ability to mark a support ticket as a Priority Ticket. We had a few reasons why we did this, and we thought it would be interesting to share. Hopefully, those of you among our customers who are doing a startup will find the information useful.
Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
A few years ago, while using them for some demos, we noticed Site 5 had a priority ticket button. Just pay an extra dollar to get your ticket bumped to the front of the line. We thought this was a neat way to allow customers to self-organize, and implemented a version of it in our own support system, identical down to the $1.00 priority ticket fee. Our hope was to both allow customers with urgent to get better support and add a bump to revenue.
Why Did It Fail?
There were a few things wrong with this approach:
Customer Expectations - Customer expectations for quality and speed of service went through the roof as soon as they paid, even though the payment was just one dollar. We would get responses along the lines of “It’s been four hours and I haven’t gotten a reply to my answer to your last question! I paid for priority support!” At first, we were annoyed by this (I’m just being honest). When we stepped back though, we realized that it was our fault for not...
Published October 1, 2013 by Runako Godfrey
As we’ve blogged before, the ProjectLocker team has been making some upgrades to our back-end systems. One of the key reasons we’re doing this is so that we can provide you with more detailed information about your projects. Today, I want to tell you about a new interctive commit report we’ve added to ProjectLocker Portal. We’ve heard from customers that they want more reporting like this, so I think you’re going to like it.
To access the new report, first login to ProjectLocker Portal. You’ll notice a new menu item on the left, right under the recent blog entries:
Click the link to access your reports and you’ll see the interactive report screen:
What Does All This Mean?
The main report screen is a table of the hours in the week. Days start at Sunday with the first row and go down vertically to Saturday. The horizontal axis represents each hour of a day, starting at 1AM on the left. Each square in the grid that is colored means that someone on your team made commits during the hour/day combination at the intersection of the axes. At the bottom of the page is a legend that indicates the color used to represent the number of commits made during each hour. The “Previous Week” and “Next Week” buttons let you navigate your...
Published September 23, 2013 by Runako Godfrey
Today, I want to offer a quick tip for anyone who uses Subversion on OS X.
A caveat: I wouldn’t recommend using the Finder as a replacement for a dedicated Subversion client. For that, I’d recommend something like the Subversion support built into your IDE (e.g. Subclipse), or a standalone client (my personal preference is the standard command line client). However, if you need to have a non-technical person quickly drop some assets into your Subversion repository, this might be just what the doctor ordered.
Here’s how to do it:
- Go to the OS X Finder.
- Navigate to the Go menu and choose Connect to Server (keyboard shortcut: Command-K).
- In the Server Address box, enter the complete URL to your Subversion repository and click Connect.
- When prompted, enter the login and password you use to access your Subversion repository.
After a few seconds of exchange, you will see a Finder window showing the directory tree contained in your Subversion repository. You can drag and drop files to or from here, all without using a dedicated Subversion client.
Tech Bonus/Why this works: Subversion is designed from its foundation to build on Web standards, chiefly a standard called WebDAV. WebDAV was intended to enable editing of documents and files via Web servers. That’s why if you ever inspect Subversion network traffic, you will see that it uses obscure HTTP verbs like PROPFIND, PROPPATCH, and MKCOL. While most applications on the Web only use a small subset of HTTP, Subversion uses a broader set that includes those used by the WebDAV protocol. The good news is that most clients that implement the WebDAV standard will automatically work with Subversion.
Published September 20, 2013 by C. G. Brown
On Saturday, September 21 from 8:00 AM EDT (12:00 noon GMT) to 10:00 AM EDT (2:00 PM GMT), we will be performing maintenance and upgrades on the ProjectLocker database servers. During this window, you will have access to Subversion, Git, and Trac on all servers, but the following services may experience brief outages:
- ProjectLocker Portal
- Notifications and Backups (delayed during outage window)
If you have any questions, write us at support -at- projectlocker.com or open a ticket in Portal prior to the window.
Published September 5, 2013 by C. G. Brown
I have a confession to make.
I didn’t want to talk to any of you. At least not at first.
Runako and I founded ProjectLocker nearly ten years ago with the premise of making software developers more productive, though we didn’t quite have such a clearly distilled message at the time. We started focused on enterprise, then expanded our reach to small and medium-sized businesses as well. Throughout the process, one of our primary design considerations was scalability.
I came from a consulting-programming background, and Runako came from a product development background with some consulting experience as well. We knew we wanted to build something that could grow faster than the number of hours we put into it, but at every step, we tried to build better mousetraps, more scripts, more tools, to ensure that we could scale.
Having limited resources and time taught us how to triage. We also learned to shed some of the masochistic streak engineers seem to develop after a few years of diffcult classes followed by late nights in the office. Even so, we still spent a lot more time figuring out how to scale the product and how to make more exciting tools for our users than how to make our customers crazy about us. That was a mistake.
Recently, Paul Graham from Y Combinator wrote a now-famous blog post, Do Things That Don’t Scale. In that post, he explains in detail the different approaches early-stage startups use to stimulate growth, and why...