Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Eating your own dogfood

"Eating your own dogfood" is a phrase that has a long history in the software industry. It refers to the technique of using your own product internally, yourselves, before, during, and after you deliver that product to your customers.

It's not always possible to practice this; sometimes your company writes a product for which you have no use, internally. I've been at those companies. I've also been at company where we do use our own products internally, and the difference is stunning.

So I was particularly pleased, earlier this week, when, at my day job, we upgraded our master internal server to the latest nightly build of the code. Not only are we continuing to eat our own dogfood, but this latest release contains a number of enhancements that I contributed to, so I'm excited to have that software in the hands of real users.

It will be a few more months before we decide that this software is sufficiently well-constructed that we are ready to deliver it to our customers, but this week was a major step in that process.

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