At the beginning of May, our team released a huge update to Social Warfare and Social Warfare – Pro. It was one we’d been working on and planning for months.
Nearly the entire code base was looked over, audited, and a great deal of it was rebuilt from the ground up to make it more efficient and flexible than ever. It was like our developers were on a hunt to find every area of improvement, eliminating years of much-needed maintenance.
This update had actually been delayed several times just to make sure everything that needed to be included was fit in. And even then, we didn’t get everything done that we wanted to.
Push came to shove and we felt we couldn’t delay the release any longer, so we did.
And what happened afterward was probably the most stressful time in our company’s history.
The release came with a handful of bugs that did not show in our initial testing. What this revealed was that our internal testing procedures were nowhere near effective enough, and we needed to make some dramatic improvements to them.
To our team’s credit, every single one of us went above and beyond the call of duty when the flood of support tickets began coming in. We worked around the clock in order to make sure every Social Warfare user who was encountering trouble was answered.
In that first week after release, our small team of 6 answered more than 1,800 support tickets, over 700 social media messages or mentions, and roughly 100 direct emails.
With only 4 of us doing direct customer support (while the other 2 were buried in code), you don’t have to be a mathematician to realize that’s a lot of typing.
Throughout this process, we had to address some very angry messages, and it is understandable for those experiencing issues to be upset. We always try to let our users know that when something goes wrong, we feel it. And we do everything in our power to fix it quickly.
At the same time, we heard from many users who were understanding, patient, and compassionate during this time, and that absolutely meant the world to us.
I’m writing all this to say that, well, we screwed up. And we know it. We own it. And there’s no excuse.
And for that, on behalf of our entire team, we are deeply sorry for anyone who experienced trouble in the release of Social Warfare 3.0.
I also wanted to write this to let all of our users know that we have committed to learning from this experience and making significant internal changes to ensure something like this never happens again moving forward.
The following are several internal things we’re doing to ensure future updates have the lowest possible potential for bugs and conflicts:
- More extensive testing: We have instituted a mandatory testing protocol that requires our team to try new versions on more than a dozen different development environments and test sites.
- Programmatic Code Audits: We are currently looking into automated code audits and testing that can help us test more extensively at scale.
- Strict Release Guidelines: We have committed to a more disciplined release schedule and approval process so that when a release does happen, our whole team is prepared.
- Beta Tester Rewards Program: We are opening up 20 spots in our new Beta Tester program in which we will reward qualified testers for helping us to get more eyes on updates before they are released publicly. (More on this below.)
While we know that there’s no way possible for any release to be 100% bug/conflict-free, we hope that these new protocols will help ensure that every release hereafter has been as thoroughly tested as possible.
Beta Tester Rewards Program
If you’re a savvy WordPress user and would be willing to help us thoroughly test out our latest updates, we’d love to have you apply for our new program!
As an official Beta Tester you’ll be rewarded with the following benefits:
- Free 5-site license to use as you please (for Social Warfare – Pro and all other add-ons)
- Special recognition on our website’s About page
- Direct access to our team via private Slack community
Now, we won’t be letting just anyone into the program, so there will be some minimum requirements:
- Must have development or test sites that are non-public to test on
- Must be fully capable of working with FTP
- Must have a basic understanding of using Github (downloading files, creating issues)
- Must have decent communication skills (or at least be able to articulate issues being found)
- Must be willing to communicate via Slack
- Must be willing to do at least one thorough test for each release candidate
With that said, if you’re interested in joining this program, please click the button below to submit your application.
We’re only opening up 20 spots for this elite team of Beta Testers, so apply quickly!
A sincere thank you to all of you who have supported us despite our flaws.
We are humans, and the only way we can continue to do what we do is because of the amazing support of other humans like you.
Here’s to being stronger and getting better moving forward.