tab Anyone soloing using fogbugz?




steve stine live (8)

Go to http://www.fogbugz.com/ then at the bottom under "Try It", sign up.

under Settings => Your FogBugz Hosted Account, it should either already say "Payment Information: Using Student and Startup Edition." or there should be some option/link to turn on the Student and Startup Edition.

And yes, it's not only for Students and Startups, I asked their support :-)

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with FogCreek and Joel did not just deposit money in my account.

Is there anyone working solo and using fogbugz out there? I'm interested in personal experience/overhead versus paper.

I am involved in several projects and get pretty hammered with lots of details to keep track of... Any experience welcome.

(Yes I know Mr. Joel is on the stackoverflow team... I still want good answers :)


I use it, especially since the hosted Version of FugBugz is free for up to 2 people. I found it a lot nicer than paper as I'm working on multiple projects, and my paper tends to get rather messy once you start making annotations or if you want to re-organize and shuffle tasks around, mark them as complete only to see that they are not complete after all...

Plus, the Visual Studio integration is really neat, something paper just cannot compete with. Also, if you lay the project to rest for 6 months and come back, all your tasks and notes are still there, whereas with paper you may need to search all the old documents and notes again, if you did not discard it.

But that is just the point of view from someone who is not really good at staying organized :-) If you are a really tidy and organized person, paper may work better for you than it does for me.

Bonus suggestion: Run Fogbugz on a second PC (or a small Laptop like the eeePC) so that you always have it at your fingertips. The main problem with Task tracking programs - be it FogBugz, Outlook, Excel or just notepad - is that they take up screen space, and my two monitors are usually full with Visual Studio, e-Mail, Web Browsers, some Notepads etc.


When I was working for myself doing my consulting business I signed up for a hosted account and honestly I couldn't have done without it.

What I liked most about it was it took 30 seconds to sign up for an account and I was then able to integrate source control using sourcegear vault (which is an excellent source control product and free for single developers) set up projects, clients, releases and versions and monitor my progress constantly.

One thing that totally blew me away was that I ended up completely abandoning outlook for all work related correspondence. I could manage all my client interactions from within fogbugz and it all just worked amazingly well.

In terms of overhead, one of the nice things you could do was turn anything into a case. Anything that came up in your mind while you were coding, you simply created a new email, sent it to fogbugz and it was instantly added as an item for review later.

I would strongly recommend you get yourself one of the hosted accounts and give it a whirl


I've used both extensively in production software development environments.

OnTime isn't bad - once you set it up to handle support tickets sent to an email, it has all the daily activities of software developers pretty well integrated.

I personally prefer FogBugz, because of the predictive estimation stuff that it includes. Being able to pick a due date, and then getting a likelihood of hitting that date based on your past performance is pretty awesome. I also think in general FogBugz is faster to use and organize your features/defects, and I like how it tracks time better.

One area where OnTime wins out is that it is much easier to make reports against OnTime. It stores everything in a SQL server so it is easy to access (granted if you get the non-hosted FogBugz maybe you could do this too). Also, it includes a report designer so you can get to your data. FogBugz has the weakness that while you can track and enter the time you spent per item for the purposes of its experienced-based scheduling, it doesn't give you an easy way as a manager to look at how much time a given employee spent on what things that week. Hopefully they will add that in the near future.


FogBugz compared to OnTime

I've used both from a project lead perspective and a team member, to manage parallel projects and teams.

OnTime has a big feature matrix, but that doesn't translate into more value in an organization. For ease of use, OnTime fails. OnTime does NOT have a well designed interface, so for me, it does not stand out in the crowd. FogBugz, on the other hand, is pleasant to use, and I found myself "happier" to login every morning.

For me, the most important "feature" is: How well the tool presents and tracks issues and simplifies participation by team members. If it does this poorly, most of the other features fade. If it does this well, then some missing features can be forgiven.

On this one point, I find OnTime particularly inadequate and FogBugz particularly superior.

OnTime is loaded with different tabs in which information becomes lost or difficult to track. Teams and individuals often use different tabs for different purposes. I have to click around or I might miss something.

FogBugz tracks the issue with minimal clutter, like a discussion thread. When updates are made to the issue, all parties are notified via email, and no information is visually lost. At a glance, I always know what is going on with FogBugz.

OnTime 2009 also doesn't allow us to assign and track issues with multiple team members in parallel. You simply assign to a single person. No way to CC others. Big deficiency for team work.

Also, when performing a project review, we often take down a lot of fast issues as the customer speaks. With FogBugz I can use the quick mode to punch the issue in as fast as I can type descriptions, and return later to flesh it out. We cannot do this with OnTime, with its various required fields. Besides that, OnTime is just sluggish, taking 5-6 seconds just for the defect window to popup. I need to be able to enter issues during a meeting as fast as I can type it into Excel. The total time & clicks to create an issue in any tool is a key benchmark.

In short, with customers who use OnTime I see people constantly fallback to email for discussions, and I also see degraded communication (someone enters notes that others never see). I do not see this trend with FogBugz.

Feature matrixes look good on paper, but it is difficult enough to keep teams using a tool properly without the tool adding more difficulty. FogBugz makes it as simple as you want, while allowing you to drill down as needed.

OnTime, however, feels like a very detailed tracking database with quick WinForms app thrown on top.

The downside for me with FogBugz is price for upgrades. Yearly maintenance is steep at 50% of the original cost. I could not justify upgrades, in part because we are happy with FogBugz 6, but in part because I could not see what I was getting for my yearly maintenance fees. FogCreek wasn't very flexible on licensing discounts for us, after all they need to make a living, so we just decided to stick with v6 forever.

UPDATE 2014: A year or so after I wrote this, FogCreek sent me a free upgrade to v7 to fix a security bug. Just this year, they did the same thing again. They are the only company I've ever deal with to give me a free upgrade just to fix a bug, even without maintenance. A top-notch company with good people.

I'd still spend my money again on FogBugz without a second thought.


I actually encouraged the company I work for to begin tracking bugs with software (specifically FogBugz) and have been very pleased with FogBugz.

We blindly let our customers send bug requests into FogBugz through email, which has it's advantages and disadvantages. But we really haven't had any problems integrating FogBugz into a team that was totally unfamiliar with any bug tracking software. Overall, I'd rate FogBugz about a 9 on ease of use and stability.


I use GitHub along with Lighthouse for issue tracking. It's a little barebones compared to some of the other options, but at the same time it works very well if you just want a lightweight tool you don't have to worry too much about. It can integrate with GitHub if you want, and it's also free for open source projects.


GitHub recently introduced an issue tracker of their own; I haven't done a competitive analysis to determine how it measures up to other options mentioned on this thread, though.