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Dogfood vs. Getting Help: a Dichotomy

I’m pretty stoked about a potential new partner/employee (terms not yet determined) here at Cabin Fever.

Over the last couple of years, pretty much everyone but me has fallen by the wayside as we (I, now) march toward releasing a product. I still say “we” here & there, and I do in fact get to consult with some pretty smart folks who have an (intellectual) interest in the company, but as for doing the work? It’s all me.

That’s actually been okay, because I write code pretty fast & it takes a team of several people to equal what any one of them could do on his/her own anyway–any benefit from multiple developers comes, IMHO, only after the addition of Coder #5 to a team, and even that’s horribly risky. Well, two guys can be somewhat faster than one, maybe, if they’re on the same wavelength, but three? No. Not over the long haul. Not if the project is at all complex. Just saying.

So, free rein to do what I think I should, plus intelligent advice from people not afraid (or perhaps even eager) to point out my boneheaded mistakes? Cool! Plus, I do get to work from my cabin.

Still. Scarecrow’s private beta test can’t credibly be stretched out for more than another couple of months at most, and there is a LOT of content to be developed. There’s a lot to learn, and it probably won’t all find room in what I use for a brain. Plus, a newcomer who isn’t a clone of me can’t be expected to know all the weird hacks I do to create websites.

Enter WordPress. Not just to host the blog. For the Cabin Fever and Scarecrow websites, as well (though not for the Scarecrow application itself).

As a software developer, I hate working with it. I strongly prefer other technologies…specifically, other programming languages than PHP. But you know what? I’m having to face this central fact: nobody but me cares that I don’t like it. It’s quick to set up, lots of people have worked very hard to add all sorts of features I’ll find useful, and so: I am working on a decent simulation of gratitude. After a while, it may seem real even to me.

This will boost productivity (I tell myself). New Person will not need to learn a bunch of coding/scripting tricks to be productive. I will have to take a week or so and migrate what content I have (meager, ’cause I’ve been coding instead, y’know?) to the new platform and set up all the fancy new bells & whistles. But afterward, things will be better. That which is intended to be parsed by readers of English will now be written in…English. As a concept, that ain’t all bad.

Really, I’m excited, and this is all good stuff. It just goes a bit against the grain, ’cause I prefer building things to using stuff other people built. I will, however, get used to it.

Will anybody but me ever care to what extent we’re dogfooding over here? For our core product (Scarecrow), maybe yes. For the site’s content? Probably not.

Welcome, O Brave New World!

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