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Joel on Software

Introducing FogBugz 6.0

by Joel Spolsky
Monday, October 22, 2007

At some point, while I was running around the country giving demos of FogBugz 6.0, the development team officially got it out the door, and I don't think I ever officially announced, "FogBugz 6.0 is now shipping," so, here it is:

FogBugz 6.0 is now shipping!

It has a ton of major new features: an integrated Wiki, an API, a completely overhauled search engine, and lots of Ajax to make things really snappy.

Probably the most interesting part of 6.0 is Evidence-Based Scheduling, which uses a statistical technique called bootstrapping (a variation on Monte Carlo) to determine the probability that you'll ship on any given date. EBS is interesting enough that I'll devote a whole article to explaining it as soon as I get a minute of free time. Briefly, with EBS, you estimate features as usual. But then, instead of adding up everyone's estimates—instead of taking them on faith—FogBugz does a Monte Carlo simulation looking at what speeds developers worked at in the past, vis-à-vis their estimates. You use that same distribution of probabilities that you had in the past and run a simulation of 60 futures each of which will occur with equal probability. What you get, instead of a date, is a probability distribution curve that shows the probability that the product will ship on such-and-such a date:

The introductory price is a terrific deal, and it's only good until November 1st. For example, a ten-pack is only $999 instead of $1899. If you sign up for the On Demand version, you can lock in a rate of $21/user/month instead of $25. Go make yourself a free online trial, what are you waiting for?

HyperDev is the developer playground for building full-stack web apps, fast.

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