Some Lessons I Need To Learn Twice

You’d think after 13 years I’d know better. Some lessons, though, are easily forgotten.

On Thursday last week we shipped version 1.1.2 of powerOne Financial Calculator to the App Store. It was accepted into the store on Friday. Saturday morning the first bug report rolled in that there was something wrong with template creation. It was pulling other templates in. Testing on this problem led me to a bigger problem — any templates created before version 1.1.2 were hidden from view.

On Saturday evening, after a half hour bug fix and a day’s testing we shipped version 1.1.3 to Apple, which was accepted into the App Store today. Luckily we escaped major catastrophe as neither bug was fatal — all previous templates were recovered and new templates are now created correctly again.

We have been at such a frantic pace here that we got lazy about testing. Sure, we were testing around the areas that were changed but we weren’t spending time testing everything before release. We didn’t think we had touched these areas — user-created templates — with version 1.1.2. We were wrong.

I learned this lesson the first time in March 1999. We shipped version 2.0 of FCPlus Professional… then version 2.0.1 then version 2.0.2 then version 2.0.3 all on day one. Nasty lesson learned.

So a reminder for this decade: write test cases, expand test cases, and actually step through them all before shipping.

A lesson learned that only caused a day’s panic and three days worth of consternation… but nothing else. Luckily.

2 thoughts on “Some Lessons I Need To Learn Twice

  1. FCPlus Pro – Classic! Hopefully you didn’t press a ton of 2.0.1 & 2.0.2 CDs. Were you on Digital River back then???

    • Now that I’m thinking about it some more, I think it version 1 not version 2 that this was an issue, which would have been winter of 1998. I have this clear picture of sitting in my first business partner’s apartment, panicking over this as I kept fixing bugs. And he left the company before version 2 was shipped (and 1998 was out).

      Ah, yes, CDs. Jeez, that feels like a million years ago. I didn’t cut CDs of version 1 until later, when Franklin-Covey came calling. And when we first launched the company, online sales of this stuff was unheard of. We used partner sites — PalmGear, Handango (back when they charged a very reasonable fee) — for online. We took all orders by telephone then. (No one offered electronic credit card processing over the web for a company like ours! We had to have the actual machine.)

      With version 2 we signed up with NetSales, which later was bought by Digital River, and then of course we built our own system with osCommerce. I was still using that osCommerce system until a few months ago, Dan! (Got great use out of the code you helped write!)


Comments are closed.