I spent the end of last week and the start of this one setting up a private Bugzilla for work. Next week I get to finish a largish feature I’ve been working on, and branch CVS into stable and unstable. Basically just dragging the project(s) into an infrastructural world so I stop wasting about an hour a day wondering what to do next while searching for sticky notes among the tornado of papers, notebooks, manuals, PDAs, computers, and RFID equipment. Gee, life really is easier when you have a sewage system ;-). When it’s just you working on something, things like CVS, a bug-tracking system, and a wiki tend to be overkill, but add a couple people and/or a flexible locale, and all the traditional models of project tracking (the “e-mail” model, the “slips of paper” model, and the “bigassed whiteboard” model) all tend to fall flat. (Yeah, duh, I know.)
That said, Bugzilla was surprisingly easy to setup and get going. Even the sales weenie figured it out in short order during his day-long stint as tech support this week. He wondered if we were capable of handling this because there were “so many problems”—around thirty bugs on 80k lines of code, all of which surrounded new, untested features that had been added over the preceeding month. The most time-consuming thing was modifying templates, which will likely be an ongoing process whenever I hit the “I can’t think about code anymore” wall.
BTW, I’ve found that’s really the best time to do some kind of non-code/creative work—like walking after a big run. It’s so much better to let mid-afternoon laziness get absorbed in some artsy design work than just staring at the screen, kicking yourself for not working. It also tends to ensure the design isn’t rushed by making it something you race through in order to get to the “make it do shit” point.