The new year is a time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future. In that spirit, I’d like to share information about the past year and where we’re going with AgileZen in 2012.
In 2011, we focused a lot of our effort on hiring a solid team of people with the right mix of experience and culture fit. We started the year with 3 people and ended with 6, and it’s been great to see us all work together and have fun!
We also made huge improvements to our infrastructure. We moved our systems from dedicated servers to Amazon AWS, which has improved uptime and performance, and has allowed us to do zero-downtime deployments. We also spent a good deal of time on other back-end work, including a new architecture centered around a messaging bus. This allowed us to move some processes, like our notification system, from the .NET codebase into Node.js. While this took longer than we’d hoped and wasn’t customer-facing, we’re really happy with where we are now. This new architecture was necessary to put into place in 2011 to support the direction we want to take the product in 2012.
Lastly, we focused on releasing features customers have been asking for, from our API to integrations with HipChat and Campfire. We’re continuing work on the integration front with the release of GitHub integration a week or so ago and BitBucket, Google Code, and a few others in process right now. There are articles specific to these releases on the blog if you’re interested, but let’s move on to 2012.
This year, we’ll add to the team again. I’m (personally) really excited about this, since building a great team is one of the best things about my job. Right now, we have two open positions on the engineering side, and we’ll likely be adding several other people to the business side too. We’re working out the exact number now, so I’ll be posting information about our openings to the blog as it becomes available.
Alex, our most recent hire, joined us late in 2011 to run all things marketing, so we’ll be making some significant progress on this front in 2012. We’ll be spending more time creating content like writing blog posts and making videos; not only will this be fun for us, but we’ll be able to improve the information we make available to customers too. We also plan to sponsor more events, especially those in the Raleigh area. It’s a personal goal of mine to support the local entrepreneurial community, so those are the types of events that will be on our radar.
The biggest marketing initiative this year will be redesigning our marketing site. This will include a new look and feel and updated content! We’re working with a firm to make this happen, and we just started the process. We hope to have something available in April, so I’ll be blogging about it when we get a little further along.
On the development front, we’re in the process of completely re-writing the user interface. We’re essentially re-building that side of the product with real-time updates baked into the core of the product. While the goal is to get to feature parity with the current product as soon as we can, there will also be some changes to implement along the way. We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing all our customer feedback and taking into account the team’s brainstorming sessions and have a great plan in the works.
Above all else, we’ve always been interested in solving the problem of helping people work together more effectively. After a couple of years of talking with our customers and better understanding the difficulties they encounter on a daily basis, we believe we’ve identified an opportunity to solve this problem in a new way. We haven’t quite finished baking it yet, but when it’s done the new version of AgileZen will help you stay organized and communicate more effectively than ever.
That’s all we can tease about right now, but stay tuned over the next few months!