Eat Your Own Dog Food
As staff, you must use the services you are providing. For example, if you provide a bouncer on fruit.ircnow.org, you should use that bouncer every day for all your IRC chat. In other words, eat your own dog food.
Eating your own dog food has many benefits:
- You notice right away when your service is broken
- It shows you have confidence in your own services
- It's a great way to advertise
If you're not dogfooding, this is probably because your service is awful. So go and fix it. If you don't want to use your own service, who else will?
Admins who don't dogfood admit their own service is garbage.
In February 1980, Apple Computer announced "Effective Immediately!! No more typewriters are to be purchased... We believe the typewriter is obsolete. Let's prove it inside before we try and convince our customers." (Wikipedia) Apple Computer dogfoods.
Microsoft forced over 200 developers to use Windows NT daily to perform daily builds. It crashed often. They fixed it. (Wikipedia) Microsoft dogfoods.
What happens when you don't dogfood?
In the mid-1990s, Microsoft's internal email system was built around Unix. What an embarassment for Microsoft. Everyone considered it proof that Unix is better than Windows.
If you are running an @ircnow.org mail server, are you using GMail every day? What an embarassment for your team. That's proof GMail is better than your mail server.
- Thus, I came to the conclusion that the designer of a new system must not only be the implementor and the first large-scale user; the designer should also write the first user manual. The separation of any of these four components would have hurt TeX significantly. If I had not participated fully in all these activities, literally hundreds of improvements would never have been made, because I would never have thought of them or perceived why they were important.— Donald E. Knuth, "The Errors Of TeX"
Take pride in your work: Dogfood.