Always eat your own dog-food!

So a few days ago I decided to open registrations for my (still alpha/beta) service in order to get feedback and better guide future features.

This is a service inspired in Google Calendar’s 5am daily agenda, but instead of limiting it to send you a summary of events for the day/week, it lets you include all sorts of stuff that matters to you.

In my case, I’m receiving events from different sources, plus a couple of RSS feeds, a daily quote, summary of my Stripe transactions for the past 24hrs, nasa’s astronomy picture of the day, and even the state of my solar batteries at home.

3 days in, I woke up and my 5am email was missing! I logged in to my account and clicked “preview” which builds the content exactly in the same way as when the email is about to be sent. So an error flashed, I found a bug! (ok, I confess to not properly do unit testing!)

Turned out that NASA’s astronomy picture of the day was to blame! On that day they didn’t send a picture but a link to an youtube video, and the json format was not as I expected it to be. A small glitch in my code made the whole content-building process fail and the email was not sent.

So even though I was sad that I couldn’t get any users to help me try it, I got happier due to the fact that at least I got more time to fix nasty bugs!

In the meantime I found a second bug, also because I’m using my own product daily, as a user.

Always eat your own dog food 🙂