Joel Spolsky used to be better known for blogging about software than for his company and its products. His posts on coding and hiring were pretty influential, but what made one of the biggest impacts on my life was a post on the desks that Fog Creek gave their employees. I’m not lucky enough to get such luxury paid for at my job, but I wanted a standing desk badly enough that I bought myself a Steelcase Series 7 on Joel’s recommendation, figuring he must have done the research to determine that those were the best (I spend at least 8 hours a day at that desk, after all; love the desk, by the way).
I had read his blog for years before I actually had a chance to use FogBugz. We used it at work and while I don’t particularly care for any feature-planning and bug-tracking tools, it was relatively straightforward and did most of the things we needed. We’ve since abandoned it at my job, but when it came time for me to decide on a tool to help plan my side projects, FogBugz immediately came to mind.
It helps immensely that they have a Students and Startups Edition that allows up to two people to use their products for free. It’s a great approach: if the company becomes successful and grows, the goodwill and ecosystem lock-in go a long way in helping that company decide to start paying for the products. I don’t expect to get there myself. Everything I hope to find time to work on will mostly be for fun.