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I'm currently working on an online app that includes many fairly new (for the company) features and they fall outside my expertise area by far, which means the edges may not be really well rounded yet. My boss wants it to be released in a somehow continuous manner, publishing features one at a time. All of these features are new, the interface might not be definitive, and the style is definitely not, so everything is somehow left hanging. That's why we are only telling about this software to a bunch of users (although it's publicly available to everyone).

This continuous delivery method allowed him to decide to release quickly and without a deep testing or understanding on what other issues could be raised by imaginative users.

I decided to be honest and tell the users we're on a Beta phase, ensuring people understand what that means and allowing them to contact us through email in case they find any issue.

However, my boss told me to remove the Beta warning and test while it's online already, even removing the access to the contact email.

I guess this is to hide premature hurry (well... according to his words, to hide hesitation), but isn't it a backfire, if a blocking problem lets people out for too long, or the interface changes from one day to another? Wouldn't this make the software look unstable and untrustable?

How to convince my boss it would be better to show users the software they use is far from finished and may present problems?

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    Even if it is better, the matter is how to convince your boss. – Walfrat Jan 11 '17 at 15:39
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    It definitely would. A blocked user that can't reach you is a lost user. – xlecoustillier Jan 11 '17 at 15:40
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    Does your boss care about alienating potential customers? Maybe you if you can show financial reasons for him to care, then he will care. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jan 11 '17 at 15:43
  • Most software is "far from finished" and all software "may present problems." Unless people depend on your software for their lives or livelihood, there's probably no ethical dilemma here. And that usually means, just do what your boss says. – svidgen Jan 11 '17 at 15:55
  • Indeed @Walfrat, I changed the question accordingly. Thanks! – Korcholis Jan 11 '17 at 16:04
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Releasing a piece of software as not beta should only be done after testing. You will lose most of your customers, when only one GUI element is not working. For example, a well known online clothing company (I don't know if I'm allowed to write down the name) released an update to their Website which doesn't allow chrome users to access their shopping cart by mistake. Imagine: you have done all your shopping and then you get mad, because you can't buy your items. You will then never go back to that website.

I would recommend, that you talk to your boss. And if that doesn't help, ensure, that you don't get held responsible for any caused damage.

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  • Luckily for me, nothing done in this software is prone to be punishable on me or anyone in the company, aside from maybe some users' tantrums. – Korcholis Jan 11 '17 at 16:16
  • @Korcholis: Are you sure it also can't come back to you as a bad annual review, missed promotion, etc. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Jan 11 '17 at 17:48
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau Well, everything scores in life. I'll keep this in mind – Korcholis Jan 11 '17 at 23:02

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