When you use a tool you built, you know where it’s sharp edges are.

You can avoid slicing your finger off. You need not worry about electrocuting yourself, you know not ot pull on the cable too forcefully.

The same is true of software.

I’ve been working on CorrectedTime since Star Wars day, 2009. It’s hosted the dinghy sailing results for Sheffield Viking sailing club since December 2010. In all that time, I’ve been the sole user.

Each week, I bring home the race sheets (entered on A3 paper, as the club has no electricity and little mobile phone coverage) and enter the sailor names, boats and lap times into the Rails app.

Issues that have plagued the app for literally years, that were niggles, not deal breakers for one person are now getting addressed.

For example:

  • I only needed one user login (did not have password resets, email confirmations or smooth sign in page).
  • Sometimes, a helm and crew would be displayed with the helm as the crew. A quick edit and this would be fine.
  • I needed to deploy a new build if the handicap for a boat changes (these numbers are often tweaked yearly).

Presentation was good enough for the small audience, with minimal styling, but not great.

Over the last 6 months the rate of change has accelerated. The CorrectedTime has become better and a smoother experience. It’s now nearly ready for new and non-technical users to evaluate and use week-to-week.

I think I’m going to enjoy using and sharing CorrectedTime with it’s refinements. After all, I’m a user too.