Craft great software, and fix the bugs that really matter
You know, there was that team at Volkswagen that created software to cheat on emissions testing. And they probably checked off all the items on their to-do list. They probably even fixed most of the bugs that they were tracking. But if technology is actually negatively affecting the air that we breathe, then maybe we need to think bigger about the way we craft software these days.
At Fog Creek, we’re a company that was pretty much born to help squash bugs, whether it’s “this doesn’t look right in my browser!” or “we shouldn’t be secretly polluting the earth!” We launched FogBugz back in 2000 as one of the first and most influential bug-tracking systems around, and it evolved to be great at project management, issue tracking, and lots more. Since it launched, the platform has been used to fix over 50 million bugs, by tens of thousands of teams around the world. But recently, we’ve been thinking about “Big Bugs”, trying to imagine how we can address both the necessary parts of shipping software and the larger risks that too often get overlooked.
Manuscript is different.
The first thing to know is that Manuscript is for making software. Manuscript is not a generic project management tool; if you want an approval desk for your legal team, you should use JIRA. Instead, Manuscript is deeply opinionated about how to help a team make great software, and we’ve built on the insights of the thousands of teams that we’ve watched use our platforms over the last 17 years.
We knew Manuscript had to do all the essentials: task management, prioritization, scheduling, sprints, story points, and all that good stuff. And honestly, Manuscript is great at those fundamentals. But then we saw a chance to do something really new, based on a few simple ideas:
- Let’s prevent email. We’ve been inspired by how Slack has done a great job of reducing email sent within teams (including ours!) and wanted to bring that same seamless experience to capturing bug reports or even answering customer questions. So Manuscript triages emails that come in from customers or even through your web contact form and files them right alongside automated bug reports and your team’s own tasks. This makes them easy to track in one place, so you don’t lose important decisions because they’re buried in email.
- You’ve got enough issues. Manuscript has cases, not issues. Cases work better than the issues or tickets you might be used to in other systems — you aren’t forced to fill out a bunch of mandatory fields, and every case is assigned to just one person. That means you always know who’s accountable and no decision or task ever falls through the cracks because everybody thought it was somebody else’s problem. Even better: in Manuscript, search really works. Cases are easily searchable by anything you can remember about them, even if it’s just “I know I saw this thing last week and it was assigned to Bob”, Manuscript can help you find what you’re looking for.
- Your tools can talk to each other. Let’s face it, a lot of project management tools are trying to up-sell you on their chat platform or their productivity suite. Manuscript works with the stuff your team already likes, like Slack or GitHub, and these integrations are free, customizable and open source, instead of being complicated, expensive and out of date. Since Manuscript has a great API, as well as example integrations that are easily remixable on Glitch, it’s simple to connect it to any proprietary tools you’re using, too.
We’ve got a lot more to say about Manuscript coming soon, including a sneak peek into how Manuscript doesn’t just track tasks, it helps your team learn to craft better software — whether that’s making things more accessible, more secure, or just more thoughtful.
But you don’t have to wait for us to tell you the story: Sign up for Manuscript for free and find out for yourself. (And if you’re already a FogBugz user? We’ll be upgrading you to Manuscript for free — we’ll be in touch with all the details.)