Do You ‘Eat Your Own Dogfood’ When Developing Software?

If you’ve spent any time in software development, you’re no doubt aware of the phrase, “Eat your own dogfood.” For those uninitiated, it means using your own product internally, which (hopefully) gives you a good idea of what to tweak in future versions. 

DoorDash’s version of “dogfooding” is simple: All employees must “dash” (i.e., deliver food) on a periodic basis, with the company donating any money made during deliveries to a nonprofit. In theory, these deliveries will give engineers some crucial insight into the pain points for those who use the company’s app. But according to SFGate, many employees—including a number of engineers and other technologists—are “furious” about it.  

On Blind, which surveys anonymous technologists about a range of issues, DoorDash engineers have filled a comment thread with their opinions on the policy. “What the actual [expletive]?” one wrote. “I didn’t sign up for this, there was nothing in the offer letter/job description about this.”  

But other DoorDash employees seemed fine with the occasional delivery. “This is not a new thing,” one wrote. “Doordash has been doing this since the inception of the company. [It’s a way] to connect with the end users. Think for the bright side, you’re doing it on DD time, sounds like an easy day of work.” 

All of which leads to a pressing question: How do you feel about having to go out and actually use your own work in a real-world context? Does the prospect of “dogfooding” bother you, or do you think it’s actually an excellent way to see what works and how your users will potentially respond to features? Just let us know via the quiz below, and we’ll reveal the results in a future article!