Broken Software Club

Alec Bertram
Alec Bertram

On 4th December 2019 • 4 min read

DeepCrawl's Broken Software Club

We're excited to announce the public launch of our feature private testing group.
 

Our Development process

At DeepCrawl, we follow an iterative process for rapid development that involves starting every new feature/project by deploying a broken version of the feature to our live production application. These releases are always non-working, ugly, and often only a single element of the feature we think we’ll build. As we build out the feature, we make tiny improvements to the feature and constantly deploy updates (sometimes 2 or 3 times a day). At the moment, only the DeepCrawl team and a handful of select testing users see these work-in-progress features.

This method of deployment is called “continuous integration”, and means that we can deploy code as soon as it’s built, then independently flip a switch to release it to clients when we feel it’s “ready”. 

For the past year or so, we’ve been working with users on large scale to validate the things we’re building. We’re trying to see whether what we’re building is valuable, whether the interface is intuitive enough, and whether it’s likely to solve the problems that we set out to solve. By doing this we’ve been able to hold back releases until they were “good enough”; and divert work away from things that we thought would be useful, but would have ultimately turned out to be useless.
 

DeepCrawl’s Broken Software Club

We’re at a point where we’re developing new things so quickly that we’re exhausting our list of clients that we know want to be a part of developing DeepCrawl, so I’m publicly launching membership to our Broken Software Club. If you’d like to see very-early-stage prototypes, use analyses months before anyone else, or have a say in the future of DeepCrawl, please sign up now.

How will I use the “Broken Software”?

We always deploy a non-working version of features that we’ll later fix. In the early stages, we’re trying to figure out if what we’re building is actually useful/usable; and in the later stages (once it’s actually working), we’ll be using analytics to monitor usage to see how the feature is actually being used

We may also invite you to join a workshop before any code is written, about the problems that you have and how they could be solved.

Will this break my DeepCrawl account?

No. All new things are additions to existing functionality, and are often on completely new screens of the app. You will be able to opt-in to each new feature, so if something doesn’t work for you, it can be switched of in a couple of minutes.

Can I just get access to working features earlier than everyone else?

Yes! Broken software isn’t for everyone. On a feature-by-feature basis, you can decide whether you’re happy to see the early bleeding-edge prototypes, or whether you want to only see it when it’s working and almost ready for prime time. 
 

Sign up to Broken Software Club

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Author

Alec Bertram
Alec Bertram

Alec is the Head of Product at DeepCrawl. He has 10 years' of experience in SEO, and works to make sure we're building the most valuable things we can for our users.

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