Howdy everyone! This is an open call to see whether any of you would be gracious enough to volunteer for our on-going testing program. Due to our increasing number of users, I felt like this has become necessary in order to avoid scary blunders for the larger population.
It's been a while, and I’m still just one extremely tired lady coding these things (and managing everything else in this company) in her bedroom, so saving time by avoiding proper testing seemed super attractive in the short term. Back then, there were less risks too, because we had so few users. It just seemed like the most logical thing to do. Long story short, I fucked up.
To address this issue, I'd like to transition into a more careful way of doing things. I’ve underestimated the amount of all the passion our apps have gotten from the community - it's both something that I am incredibly grateful for, and maybe pretty overwhelmed with too. I don’t want to make any mistakes again - so I’m trying very hard to be more disciplined.
The Short-term Goals of the Testing Brigade
Find high-priority issues before final release. Examples of these are white screens of death, freezing, anything that makes the experience un-unusable. As the apps reach more stable states, I can imagine also including medium and low priority issues that I can tack onto my todo list.
What You Get as A Member of The Testing Brigade
Well, firstly, you will have my undying gratitude! But, in case that’s not enough - to bribe, ahem, I mean, reward - I'm also planning to send out a small token of my appreciation in the form of an IRL present. It's a little bit of a secret for now, and I'm planning to send them out only to brigade members after the first big round of testing is done (most likely a Golden Thread Update).
You’ll also get first access to whatever features we choose to rollout, as well as a private messaging platform for all testers (still TBD based on our responses) where I can poke you about individual issues you’re seeing.
Testers will be initially limited to 30 people, with a wide range of devices. If we don’t respond, it’s most likely that we have enough users with your particular device.
If you’d like to volunteer, please fill out this form! We’ll contact you about your acceptance into the program in a later email.
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On a more personal note, I'm admittedly starting to feel quite overwhelmed with all the eyeballs that my little tarot apps have been getting. In the past week or so, I've thought a lot about the future of this little company and how to overcome all these growing pains, and there's a lot to do.
For those of you that don't already know this, tech changes rapidly - and that means that the frameworks we use change quickly too. Whenever your iPhone is updated, or your browser is updated, that sometimes has a cascading effect into things that we build - like the lag issue Golden Thread is facing now with the latest version of iOS. I think this is partially due to iOS 10.3 being absolutely, miserably slow - but also partially due to Golden Thread needing some major refactoring for performance issues. Golden Thread was my first foray into app development, so was definitely stuff that I was learning as I went.
As someone who came from the design field, the realization of this reality has slowly slowly dawned on me, and there's kind of an existential horror that comes with the idea that everything you worked on really hard to make can be wiped out so quickly. I suppose that's true with everything in life, but I've always considered this project something that I had a special control over for whatever misinformed reason. Like I was building a little world in here that was safe, and the things I touched could not be affected when things went wrong. Like a little retreat!
Another creeping issue that is floating in the back of my mind these days is that the framework I've used to build the apps recently made their new version stable - meaning at some point in the future, we'll have to make the switch over, because the old version will no longer be maintained. Yep, that means re-coding all our apps. So...that's stressful. But until we make the switch over, it'll mean that every fix I do will have diminishing returns.
I realize that the majority of people won't care about this, and just want their apps to work, and that's okay. I guess I needed to get this off my chest - for everyone that read through the whole thing, thanks for listening - I needed it! :)