Back in December, we offered up a poll: Would you be willing to test out your in-development app or service in a “real world” context?
We asked that question after reports emerged that DoorDash had asked its engineers to actually deliver food to customers. In theory, carrying out a few deliveries via the DoorDash app would give those engineers crucial insight into customers’ pain points (and potential app issues). But on Blind, which surveys anonymous technologists on a range of issues, many of these DoorDash engineers thought the idea was ridiculous. “What the actual [expletive]?” one wrote. “I didn’t sign up for this, there was nothing in the offer letter/job description about this.”
According to our poll, though, some 92 percent of technologists would be perfectly happy to put their app or service through its paces in a real-world scenario:
Anyone who’s worked in software long enough has heard the phrase, “Eat your own dogfood.” Usually that means using your own product internally; whether an app, tool, or even a new operating system, you integrate it into your current workflow to figure out its quirks and areas for improvement. Pushing an unfinished product into wild comes with more risks, although many companies have done just that, figuring that a tide of user feedback will help them iterate faster.
It's clear that technologists are totally okay with “dogfooding” and real-world testing, and with good reason—how else can you figure out how your audience will respond to certain features, or if they like the UI/UX, or if it all works as intended? When you’re developing anything, the more data you can leverage, the better for the ultimate product. And if that potentially means bringing a few takeout deliveries to someone’s door, so be it.