Danger, end of year resolutions ahead

In a life of a company, there is no real difference between December 31st and January 1st than there is between say, May 5th and May 6th. It is in our minds that this date, of the end of a year, has any real meaning. We will work on January 1st (yep, we will) the same way we did every other day in 2009, trying to do the best we can to accomplish our goals.
Still, the end of a year is always a good time to stop the usual rush for a moment, take a look back, and learn how to improve and do better next year.
and so:

What did we do

One of the things we are proud of in 2009, is the fact that we have managed to have 12 new versions, exactly as we planned in the beginning of the year (well, one is still to come in 2-3 weeks but we will do our best not to disappoint our customers in the last one).
– A new version every month –
Every version with meaningful enhancements, improvements and fixes (the full list can be found here).
It turned out to be a difficult task, but it looks as we have succeeded to find the right balance. A balance between a tight schedule and the need to release a substantial version, one that would tangibly improve our customer experience.
This brings another thing we see as an achievement – every change we’ve made to Testuff was either a direct request from customers or an indirect result of customer comments and feed-backs. We have learned in the past years that there’s no reason to guess what users will like or want in the application. It is very simple to ask them directly, get ideas from their emails (be it questions, comments or feature requests). We continued to discuss specific improvements with customers, prior to designing them, and in some cases had customers give direct feedback on some prototypes for us.
Our customers engagement was always real, enthusiastic and of much help (and we thank them all).

  • 2009 was also a year of growth for us. We have been fortunate to acquire many new customers.
  • We kept on the good service and smooth operations.
  • Not even a single customer left us because they weren’t satisfied. We had only two customers whose projects were complete and didn’t need a test management tool any more (and we already know one of them will be back in January :-) )
  • Our support team had an average response time of less than 3 hours to any incoming email.
  • Our web site has been upgraded, slowly but surely, and we have received good feedback on the new home page.
  • On going improvements to our back-end infrastructure.

What didn’t we do

Oh yes, we didn’t manage a few things….

We couldn’t escape a few version releases with bugs, for which we had to release a new version the following few days. This is something that, as a¬†testing tools and services provider, we should try hard to avoid :-(
Testuff still has some odd and rare client-server communication issues, which although very infrequent, is very annoying and had been with us for a while. It had affected only one or two of our customers (and even them rarely) but we see it as one of our failures in 2009.
Lastly, we planned to release our Mac and Linux version in 2009, but as it looks now the Mac version will be out in the beginning of 2010, followed by the Linux.

What will we do

Testuff has quite a few plans for 2010. It is not our way to plan “too big and too fast”, as we don’t believe in magic. However, if we meet all goals and plans we’ll see a bigger – and happier – company in 2010.
We hope to see a few new co-operations with companies that are working with software development companies, giving them testing services and/or actual testers.
During our strategic 2010 discussions, the entire team agreed that if we could repeat some of our 2009 achievements, it will be an achievement of its own… For example: another 12 monthly versions; high quality and fast support; maintaining an efficient right-sized team; and keeping the Testuff spirit – Testing can be fun! So, expect more of the (good) same.
We will of course continue to welcome new customers…

What we won’t do

We won’t stop improving Testuff for the benefit of our customers.
We won’t be annoying any customer or registered user with too many marketing and sales emails.
We won’t raise the price of licenses.

Happy holiday season to all !