Taking FogBugz Forward

The platform that pioneered bug tracking is taking a big leap forward for the new era of software development.

FogBugz is a lot of things — it’s a tool that helps teams make great software, it’s the platform that pioneered bug tracking, it’s a smart and opinionated set of project management tools that are informed by two decades of experience in how to successfully ship software. And for more than 16 years, it’s been our flagship product at Fog Creek. So this marks a good time to articulate a clear public roadmap for what’s ahead.

Having learned a lot from the recent launch (and thrilling early success!) of Glitch, we spent some time thinking about our vision for FogBugz’s future, and how we’ll be (re!)investing in the platform. These were our starting principles:

  • FogBugz provides a unique and valuable set of tools for managing the software development process, but some of its power just isn’t very discoverable.
  • The user experience and design of FogBugz haven’t evolved to keep pace with the other tools that dev teams use, which means the platform hasn’t felt as relevant to newer software developers.
  • People who know Fog Creek like our history of advocating for developers, and of supporting the way that teams learn to make great products, and that should be reflected in FogBugz itself.
  • FogBugz users are increasingly relying on a suite of different tools for tasks like chat or continuous integration. It would improve the development process if those were connected directly to FogBugz.
  • Software development has changed to focus on a broader set of business and social goals that goes far beyond bugs in code, and needs to respond to bigger organizational or cultural concerns.

And of course, there are the fundamentals — we want to make sure FogBugz is a solid, reliable platform that every team can trust, and to keep iterating on all the core features and components that you rely on.

With these ideas as our initial hypotheses, we started asking FogBugz users how you would like to see the platform evolve. Here’s what we heard from you:

  • People who use FogBugz today really appreciate its abilities, and in general are the kind of teams that like to use the best tool for the job in all their processes. This means FogBugz users are hungry for better connections to the other best-of-breed tools like Slack, GitHub, Google Docs and Trello.
  • FogBugz does have great project management and bug-tracking tools but seeing more energy and innovation around the platform could make it even more valuable for your teams; its older design can sometimes present a barrier to wider adoption of the platform, or to discovering its deeper features.
  • Most people who use FogBugz have a pretty positive impression of Fog Creek Software and most of you use at least one of the other products we’ve created or co-created, whether that’s past work like Stack Overflow and Trello, or our newest offering, Glitch.
  • There are a lot of polite 😬 responses about the branding of FogBugz.

In short, a lot of the feedback that our community has about FogBugz matches the way we see its strengths and weaknesses today. That gives us a pretty clear path for how we’re going to follow through on what we heard from you.

An early glimpse at the simpler, cleaner user experience that’s coming to FogBugz

Modernizing the FogBugz experience

While we’re proud of our long, innovative legacy, it can be an obstacle to getting new users to give FogBugz a fair shake. Even though FogBugz is quite powerful, it shows its roots as a product that’s been around for a long time by Internet standards. Some parts of the user interface and design are a little long in the tooth, and honestly, even just the name FogBugz feels a little bit dated these days.

So we’ll be rethinking and updating the FogBugz user experience to make it more closely match the simplicity and accessibility of the other tools you use, without compromising on the customizability and power that make FogBugz so useful.

We’ll be making these changes iteratively, and we’ve scheduled time specifically to get your feedback as these changes roll out, so we can refine the FogBugz user experience to fit your workflows. The first fruits of this work will start to show up in the next few weeks, and will continue on into 2018.

We want to hear from you.

We hope you’ll follow along as FogBugz takes this big leap forward, and if you’ve got ideas or requests, we’d love to hear them. To get the latest updates on where FogBugz is headed, just let us know you’re interested!

If you haven’t checked out FogBugz in a while, you can get started and be ready for the exciting new developments. Start your free trial right here.