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  • daveprue
    started a topic "Issue reported to our bugs team."

    "Issue reported to our bugs team."

    Originally posted by bartho;
    Hello,

    Issue reported to our bugs team.

    regards,
    Bernhard Bernsmann
    Is this phrase meant to softly close a thread, or will we ever hear back about the status? I think that the translation is actually "Go away. If I pretend somebody cares about your problem then maybe you will stop posting". Sorry Bernhard, I mean no offense saying this, I know you are trying to be helpful.

    What happened to Thomas in the past two weeks? He was giving us really good status information, reproducing problems, offering suggestions, communicating to the development team and then the bugs got fixed. It looks like customer support is spiraling back down to its state 3 months ago. Its a shame.

    Most of the customers of NetMake are in exactly the same business as NetMake is: We design, develop, market, sell and support software to paying customers.

    One big difference between NetMake and customers like myself is probably best summed up by my company's policy on Customer Service:

    We listen to our customers. They use our software every day in the real world, so they know the good and bad of it. Customers give us valuable feedback at no cost to us. They are not only our lifeblood, but valued members of our Design Team.


    I need to give my customers better customer support and quicker response than they can get from my competitors, otherwise they will go someplace else. Maybe not today, because my product is the superior product today, but my competitors are working hard to have the superior software product. Being in the software business is much more than simply having a software product. Companies differentiate themselves in other ways. I could never, ever tell my customers "Issue reported to our bugs team." and expect them to accept that as the last thing they ever hear about the problem. I would be creating an unhappy customer that will leave as soon as a viable alternative exists.

    Put very simply:

    Code:
    good customer support = customer loyalty;
    customer loyalty = more sales;
    When a software product is initially being developed, it evolves as the brainchild of the developers. They know what it is that they have envisioned, and they set about creating that product. However, post-release development, enhancements, feature evolution, etc. are all driven by the market. That is the purpose of the existence of Product Managers. They keep their fingers on the pulse of the marketplace, compare features to the competition, encourage feedback from their major and most experienced customers and using all of this information, they create a roadmap for the future of the product. This cannot be done in a vacuum. Letting developers establish the roadmap of a product based upon what they "feel like working on" is a major mistake. They are employees, they are not paying customers. Prioritization of the product roadmap must include customer feedback, otherwise you end up with a "really cool" widget that nobody wants to buy.

    I would really love to see a chart of ScriptCase sales over the past few years. I would bet a month's pay that somebody is concerned about increasing the level of sales at this point. Is it such a big secret that customer satisfaction drives sales?

    Aducom spent time and energy setting up a Mantis site to track the status of bugs (in English). Nobody from NetMake participates. This forum also has very little participation from NetMake.

    I really have to ask, does senior management at NetMake have any idea of the serious level of customer dissatisfaction and the potential backlash? I cannot believe that senior management is totally incompetent, so I must conclude that they are simply unaware of the customer dissatisfaction.

    In closing let me say that I think that ScriptCase is potentially a stellar product. I also think that NetMake has the potential to be a stellar company. The only thing needed for these two things to achieve their potential is a change of priorities by someone who cares.

    Sorry if I have rambled on, but I depend on Scriptcase. Just as I would be upset if the performance of my electricity supplier was less than adequate. I depend on them as well, not just for my company's success, but the success of all of my employees. Keep in mind, NetMake, that your actions affect the lives of many thousands of people in far-flung countries.

    Dave
    Last edited by daveprue; 12-10-2014, 03:26 AM.

  • Giu
    replied
    I just can fully agree with Albert. I would like to add.... We as partners are working very hard to try to change things

    Leave a comment:


  • aducom
    replied
    Ad 1: When I bought the product (V6) the conditions where the same, a one year update. I don't know how it was before. Embarcadero sometimes produced more 'major updates' a year to get enough $$$. I think that a subscription model is more fare.
    Ad 2: Lifetime means here that you can continue to use the current version after licence expiration.
    Ad 3: I have done a lot here but also on other products in the past. Except for a simple thank you I never got any rewards regarding licencing. Perhaps I'm demanding too little ...
    Ad 4: Similar as above
    Ad 5: I don't know about this. I renewed when there was black friday. Most companies have specials now and then. Currently there are special offers but I don't know what it means in your currency. Regarding support/pricing, I have bad experiences with a lot of companies. Embarcadero changed licence conditions within the subscription period, and besides some hotfixes the real fixes where always in the next version. Nothing new, I don't think that SC is doing it that bad actually.

    Regarding the bugtracker, I don't want to repeat myself over and over again because I agree on this and the QC issue. On the other hand, the main devs are native Portuguese as are the threads in their Mantis. I've had access to it and although I speak a bit Portuguese it was not for me. I was told that most devs, and even management are Portuguese only so there's a problem.

    Again, I understand your anger as well as your points although I have a different opinion about some things. For me productivity is the main key and despite the fact that I need to find some work-arounds now and then I still am able to create applications that satisfies our customers. Yes support sucks and I hate the empty standard message 'sent to bugsteam' telling nothing. But the alternative products are even worse and building code from the bone (pure php)... as you say, it isn't 1995. (Although I am older than that ;-)

    Leave a comment:


  • daveprue
    replied
    Originally posted by aducom View Post
    Dave, I understand your anger. But maintaining old versions 'for lifetime' is something you won't find in any product. I don't see that in products like Oracle's PeopleSoft which costs tons, I don't see that in Embarcadero's products like Delphi and C++, which costs thousands and I don't see that in Scriptcase which costs hundreds. We develop products in a wide range of products, even Cobol which costs thousands a year per user. I'm not defending SC because you do have some points but pricing is not one of them. To keep a company alive they need revenue, the costs of the environment you need to calculate into the product(s) you make. I'm sure if you develop products for your customer that they don't have a lifetime guarantee. We don't. So if you can't make profit with the development of your products, you need to quit, which is a valid argument. It's why we dropped our Delphi and C++ Embarcadero's because it had cost us more than we could earn from it. That's how things work...
    Albert,

    I am not asking or expecting them to "maintain old versions 'for lifetime'".

    The key points I was trying to make were:

    1. Bugfix updates for current product versions should be free. 8.0.027 to 8.0.028 should be no-charge. It is free for virtually all software in the marketplace (even windows).

    2. Annual charges were never stated when we purchased the software, it was billed as "Lifetime License". The only option was with or without support. There was no discussion that bugfix updates would be charged. I fully expected that major updates (v7 to v8) would not be free, but I expected that updates to fix bugs in the current version of the product would be free. I think that is a reasonable expectation.

    3. The developers that frequent this forum do a lot of NetMake's work for them. Testing, isolating bugs, workarounds, fixes. It seems that NetMake places zero value on this. You, me, and many others on this forum are doing NetMake's work for them by supporting their customers. Not only does NM not acknowledge this by reduced costs for contributors, but they cannot even be bothered to maintain a Bug Tracker, or even to post a word of thanks on the forum.

    4. Fixes that I have worked hard on and have submitted to NM will be released in an update soon. If I want the update, I have to pay NM. I have to pay for the same fixes that I did for them at no charge. In my view, that is simply not the way to treat customers if you want a good reputation.

    5. Prices for ScriptCase have gone up again today. I agree with you that pricing needs to be able to generate a profit. That is 100% correct. But pricing should not be increased simply to compensate for sales declines due to poor customer service. If NM's customer service was anything above dismal then I would gladly pay a reasonable price for support, but my fiduciary responsibility to my stockholders prevents me from paying something for nothing.

    BTW, Peoplesoft and Embarcadero have customer accessible bug trackers, as does my company. This is not 1995.

    Dave
    Last edited by daveprue; 01-21-2015, 06:12 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • aducom
    replied
    Dave, I understand your anger. But maintaining old versions 'for lifetime' is something you won't find in any product. I don't see that in products like Oracle's PeopleSoft which costs tons, I don't see that in Embarcadero's products like Delphi and C++, which costs thousands and I don't see that in Scriptcase which costs hundreds. We develop products in a wide range of products, even Cobol which costs thousands a year per user. I'm not defending SC because you do have some points but pricing is not one of them. To keep a company alive they need revenue, the costs of the environment you need to calculate into the product(s) you make. I'm sure if you develop products for your customer that they don't have a lifetime guarantee. We don't. So if you can't make profit with the development of your products, you need to quit, which is a valid argument. It's why we dropped our Delphi and C++ Embarcadero's because it had cost us more than we could earn from it. That's how things work...

    Leave a comment:


  • daveprue
    replied
    Well, unfortunately I won't be around to see it, if they do.

    Evidently my "Lifetime License" does not entitle me to updates any more, unless I pay almost full price again ("Update Renewal" is USD$1509 for 4 seats versus USD$1600 initial purchase price).

    I guess all of my contributions helping out NM by tracking down bugs and giving them the relevant information to fix and release updates has been a one-way arrangement.

    I find it insulting to me that they value their updates so much, and yet value my time so little.

    I can't see paying exorbitant prices year after year for update releases that fix bugs that I have helped to track, diagnose and test.

    Perhaps when NetMake becomes a more professional company, with communication channels regarding bug status to the hardworking customers that depend on the product, I will consider paying them. In the meantime, what they do currently is just not worth the money they are asking.

    Dave
    Last edited by daveprue; 01-21-2015, 02:10 AM.

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  • nacyil
    replied
    Good speech Dave !!!

    I hope that bugs team will take it positifly !!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Cavadinha
    replied
    Originally posted by aducom View Post
    That's dramatical imho as it will break current code. Since there's no documentation what-so-ever, users find these issues and report them as bugs. Please provide a list of known issues to be indicated as new functionality and not bugs. I'm very curious about that.
    Don't worry, when I said this:
    There are a lot of "bugs" that are actually new features or a change of the actual implementation.
    I meant that a lot of users report bugs that aren't bugs. Don't mean those changes will be made or even go live.
    But still we have to filter those issues and this takes time.
    Changes like this that modifies the actual behavior of the tool are taken very seriously. We study it carefully.
    Discuss the upside and downside any change.

    AND the most important concern we have is: "Will it break the current costumers and sc versions on the market?"

    So I might state that you don't need to worry about changing the features anyway we want / like, because thats one of the top tier concerns of our CEO and any changes like this go through him.

    Besides, we love the dedication of all our resellers / partners. We love the effort our costumers and partners do to improve our tools and you guys are mostly the ones we want to please.

    Leave a comment:


  • aducom
    replied
    mmm we say that people get promoted until the level of disfunction. But what can I say. I am one of the old people started in assembler and am working in a management layer currently. I can only hope that I'm one of the people who can combine development and management ;-)

    I've had a lot of discussions regarding the quality and management issues. So far I did not manage to reach the real management level of Scriptcase. It is said that they speak Portuguese only.. Duh...

    Leave a comment:


  • daveprue
    replied
    This problem with NetMake is a well known issue that has plagued our industry from the beginnings. You can read about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

    A developer/programmer/engineer gets better and better thru the years. He gets promoted - junior programmer, programmer, senior programmer, etc. Then the worst thing happens. He gets promoted to Team Leader, or Software Manager. Now he is in a job that requires a totally different skill set than the one that he has developed, and he is not equipped to make business decisions. He was a really great programmer, but becomes a terrible business manager because he does not have the proper skills for that.

    In the worst case, the successful programmer gets into senior management, and does not understand that business decisions are very different from programming skills. Customer support suffers, strategic product management suffers. But on the bright side, all the programmers are having a good time as long as they ignore the customers.

    Just my opinion based on 35 years of experience in software development, and seeing this happen repeatedly.

    Dave

    Leave a comment:


  • aducom
    replied
    There are a lot of "bugs" that are actually new features or a change of the actual implementation.
    That's dramatical imho as it will break current code. Since there's no documentation what-so-ever, users find these issues and report them as bugs. Please provide a list of known issues to be indicated as new functionality and not bugs. I'm very curious about that.

    If the policy of scriptcase is that it can change features anyway they like and at the time they like, so that I cannot be sure that my applications running at my customers are stable, then I need to pray that nothing gets broken on each and every new update of scriptcase. I haven't run into issues like that, but if I do then I promise I will quit using SC immediately and stop my work here. SC will be out of business in no-time. Guaranteed.

    But I trust that SC management is wiser than that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cavadinha
    replied
    Originally posted by aducom View Post
    Well, the major issue is communication and quality control. I agree that every tool will have bugs, but it's completely uncertain which issues are acknowledged as bugs, which are (being) solved and old bugs regularly re-appear, which makes me suspicious that the csv system (check-in/out) is not working properly. You still lack a beta test team. And I think that a lot of issues should have been discovered at your quality control in stead of the community/customers. Before deployment you simply need to create a test script to check if all is still working well.... Especially obvious functionality like this. When I say you made progress then I mean the latest decision of scriptcase to stop developing new functionality, but work on fixing bugs only. But these fixes have caused a lot of new bugs, see the forum.
    There are a lot of "bugs" that are actually new features or a change of the actual implementation. But when a costumer reports something we note it down (when its not a bug) and check later if it fits the software, if adding it to the tool will make it better.
    We are achieving a whole new level of maturity in the testing area. Unfortunatelly the team is small. We know that. But we're working on this. I'm sure you notice some improvement on the test / release area.

    About a beta test team or closed beta for costumers are being discussed, but I can't say nothing for sure.

    Regards

    Leave a comment:


  • aducom
    replied
    Well, the major issue is communication and quality control. I agree that every tool will have bugs, but it's completely uncertain which issues are acknowledged as bugs, which are (being) solved and old bugs regularly re-appear, which makes me suspicious that the csv system (check-in/out) is not working properly. You still lack a beta test team. And I think that a lot of issues should have been discovered at your quality control in stead of the community/customers. Before deployment you simply need to create a test script to check if all is still working well.... Especially obvious functionality like this. When I say you made progress then I mean the latest decision of scriptcase to stop developing new functionality, but work on fixing bugs only. But these fixes have caused a lot of new bugs, see the forum.
    Last edited by aducom; 01-06-2015, 01:20 PM.

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  • Cavadinha
    replied
    Originally posted by aducom View Post
    I started using SC 6 and I have to disagree. There has absolutely been made progress. But it doesn't mean that things are 100%, and there is still a lot to be improved.
    Yes, indeed a lot changed from version 6, as a software that keeps being changed and updated its very unlikely that it'll be 100% anytime soon.
    We're always seeking to make a better tool and keep it updated with new technologies and with the needs of our costumers.

    Sometimes we're too busy to leave a reply, but we do read the forums, but even the simplest things needs some bureaucracy.
    We need to keep tracking of all things: old bugs, new bugs, improvements, suggestion and stuffs and you all help us improve this tool.

    Leave a comment:


  • aducom
    replied
    Originally posted by pettechservices View Post
    I was a customer of SC a few versions ago (I believe either v5 or v6) and the issues were the same then... so much that after a few months I got a refund. I check back because the product is nice and was able to develop quickly, but responses and support weren't far from good... guess much hasn't changed seeing all the bugs and sporadic support.
    I started using SC 6 and I have to disagree. There has absolutely been made progress. But it doesn't mean that things are 100%, and there is still a lot to be improved.

    Leave a comment:

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