What’s a NetSeminar? Here’s what I think will happen if you register for my upcoming NetSeminar (free). This Thursday, December 2, 2004, at 11:00AM Pacific / 2:00PM Eastern / 6:00PM UTC you’ll go to some kind of URL, which, I believe, you will be told about as a part of the aforementioned registration process, being careful to use Internet Explorer and to turn off all your popup blocking geegaws and script prevention whatnots. Whereby you will be treated to:

  • an introduction by host Alexa Weber Morales, the editor of Software Development magazine, followed by
  • a scintillating 24 minute presentation by me about social software, squeezed down to fit in 20 minutes, which will involve talking really really fast and leaving many proofs as exercises to the reader, followed by,
  • a 20 minute infomercial by the sponsor of the whole thing, a company called Electric Cloud which makes a distributed parallel make utility. Electric Cloud was founded by John Ousterhout, who happens to be the creator of the language tcl (motto: “And you thought lisp had weird quoting semantics”), and he’ll be doing the demo, followed by hossanas for aforementioned distributed make utility by QuickBooks team lead Jon Burt, who has promised to get that secondary – monitor – popups – jump – to – the – first – monitor bug in QB fixed for me. Thanks Jon, I’m holding you to it, followed by
  • questions and answers, and all interspersed liberally with
  • those fun and silly Internet live polls (“Parallel Distributed Make is (a) important (b) cost-effective (c) the cat’s whiskers (d) all of the above”)

The whole thing will take exactly 60 minutes, no more, no less, and then the nice salespeople at Electric Cloud will quarrel over the registration data, a.k.a. “the Glengarry leads.” But seriously, just to keep the editorial / advertising story straight, I am being paid by Software Development Magazine to appear whilst Electric Cloud is paying to sponsor the whole thing, rah rah go blogs, even though Electric Cloud actually has really quite an interesting distributed make technology and you would probably want to check it out even if they weren’t paying people to say that. So it’s just like a regular seminar only it’s on the net. Get it? A NetSeminar!

Anyway, as I said, that’s what I think will happen. More likely there will be funny pratfalls, feedback sounds, microphone batteries dying, and in the background of my presentation you will hear glass breaking followed by babies wailing. I don’t know where we’ll get the babies. It’s not like there are normally babies in my office.

Register Now!


Peter Ireland: 10 Reasons to Shy Away from Venture Capital.

Seth GodinThere’s never been a better time to start a business with no money. This manifesto will show you how.”

(As I wrote last year, VCs do not have goals that are aligned with the goals of the company founders).

Last chance to nominate articles to be included in // comment: The Best Software Essays of 2004. There are a lot of great nominated articles on the list and not a lot of feedback. If you’re bored this weekend read through some of them and add your comments to the discussion thread.

Do you know any really, really smart Computer Science undergrads or college marketing geeks? I’ll bet they’d love a summer internship at Fog Creek Software in New York City. The pay is good, the benefits are great, and they’ll get to make a real contribution to shipping software.


A long time ago I decided that Joel on Software would be non-political. In programming terms, politics are orthogonal to software, and tightly coupling my personal political viewpoint would result in unnecessary arbitrary incompatibilities.

On the other hand I feel guilty every time I delete a post about politics from the discussion group. So I’ve taken some readers’ advice and created a second discussion group, called Off Topic, where you can feel free to flame about political or personal issues that are completely unrelated to software development, marketing, or management. We’ll see how it goes.

In Other News

I’ve been putting off writing new Joel on Software essays because every time I start writing one I realize that it’s much more important to get FogBugz 4.0 out the damn door. With any luck we’ll start trickling it out to beta testers over the next couple of weeks, with wider betas starting in about a month. The beta is only open to existing customers; you can request to be a beta tester here.

I’m totally excited about FogBugz 4.0. It’s our biggest release ever, it’s got lots of incredible new features, all of which make it even easier to enter and track bugs, features, and respond to customer email and even run online discussion groups. One of my favorite writers, Mike Gunderloy, who wrote Coder to Developer, is coming out with a book about FogBugz. One of my favorite web designers, Dave Shea, who created the famous css Zen Garden and has designed supernaturally beautiful templates for FireFox, TypePad, Blogger, and Fog Creek, has redesigned the visuals in FogBugz. Oh, and do you remember Jill McFarlane, the tester I raved about as being measurably 12 times as productive as average? She’s working on FogBugz QA. When this thing ships you can tell me if you think having a great team is worth the trouble or if I should have just farmed the development out to the cheapest bidder.