We've rebuilt our demo site from the ground up, giving us a comprehensive sandbox for testing DevResults' capabilities, as well as a way for interested people to play with the software.
From the first day DevResults launched as a stand-alone product, we've had a demo site available to showcase the software's functionality. The site showed how a fictitious development project might use DevResults to manage its work. The program isn't real, but we've tried to make it at least a little realistic. It's set in Guinea, West Africa, because that's where Herb was a Peace Corps volunteer; the activities and numbers are all randomly generated, but the places are real.
As more and more people started to use DevResults, and as the software evolved and became more powerful, the demo site gradually started to lag behind. Resetting the demo to its original data was time-consuming and tedious, and so people's experimentation with the site would often leave it in an awkward state.
So during a recent retreat, we dedicated a couple of days to whipping the demo into shape.
- We made sure that there was sample data to showcase everything DevResults is capable of.
- We optimized the demo-generation process so that the site can be automatically reverted to its "clean" state on a daily basis.
- We streamlined the whole process of signing up for access to the demo.
- Instead of logging in with your own name, you can now choose from a set of fictitious characters to impersonate.
Our hope is that this will not only help people who are considering using DevResults a better sense of what it's capable of, but will also give the engineering team a way to test new features with different kinds of randomly-generated data, to make sure that we've considered all sorts of scenarios.
Getting started with the new Demo
If you've used the demo before, just go directly to https://demo.devresults.com. You'll need to enter your email address to verify that you've signed up in the past.
If you've never seen the demo, check it out. All you need to do is fill out a short form. You'll immediately receive an email with a personalized link to the demo site.
At this point, you get to choose from a variety of fictional characters who work for this fictional development project. Just click on a face and you'll be off to the races.
How it works
Once you've chosen who to impersonate, you'll have "owner" privileges on the demo, and you'll have the full run of the site. You can create new activities or indicators, enter indicator results, view reports, change settings, and so on. You can either poke around using the data we've preloaded into the system, or try out entering some of your own.
If you want to see how things look as a different user, just log out, enter your email address again, and pick a new user from the selector.
Keeping things tidy
To keep the demo from experiencing bit rot, we will completely reset the demo instance on a regular basis. This will give all users a more consistent experience.
On the other hand, it also means that any data you create in the system will have a short lifetime.
At the time of this writing, we have about 85% sample coverage of the types data you can enter into DevResults, and we're working hard to finish up everything else. We're also working to have data for every type of scenario that DevResults supports.
In its current state, you should see quite an improvement in both the quantity and quality of the demo data which should require less effort from you to starting playing around with the system.
We're not done improving the demo. More and more organizations are starting to use DevResults as an enterprise-wide solution, with individual program-level DevResults instances reporting to an enterprise-level "mothership." So we're working on an expanded demo that shows clearly how this exciting scenario works.
All of us here at DevResults are thrilled that the new demo is finally ready and we welcome any feedback you might have on how to make it even better.