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Insider: Welcoming the New QS/ION Technology Team!

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Dear Insiders,

Over the years, we have grown from my one-man blog to a multi-faceted software company. When we began, I was just a hacker learning how to write PHP code for a cool Magic project, and somewhere along the lines, that series of hacks turned into code that over a thousand people rely on every day.

While I'm competent at building software, I am not the correct person to build it to scale to the level we're at (nor the level to which we aspire). For over five years, I have been wearing the dual hat of CEO and CTO. And unfortunately, when priorities have been forced, CEO duties have taken precedence.

Today, I am glad to finally reveal that we have resolved this by adding a proper CTO to the team. Before I expand on that, I want to explain where we've come from and why we've ended up where we are right now.

When I started building Trader Tools, my vision was for a beautiful abstraction layer above the "rest" of the Magic finance internet. It was the tool to bring together all tools – no dogma (e.g., Mac vs. PC) or exclusion/inclusion (e.g., only stores in {x} region). A purely platform-agnostic tool that interfaced with whatever you needed it to.

Along the way, we exploded into a real company and my output as a developer couldn't keep up without neglecting my duties as the leader of the company. Somewhere along the line, the vision faded, replaced by endless nights of dissecting code to figure out why something wasn't working the way it should.

This duality has manifested itself in what can only be described as gentle, long-term decay of our core technology stack. At the very core of this is a double-edged sword: we grew too large, too fast. What we have needed for years has been a proper Chief Technology Officer, one that is not a self-taught coder trying to bring a glorified hobby project up to par.

I am proud to announce today that we have finally done so, and in the best way possible: from within. Effective immediately, Tyler Tyssedal will be the CTO of QuietSpeculation.com. Tyler first joined our team years ago as a copy editor, where his job was to find stray punctuation marks and make sure submissions were logical and flowed nicely.

From there, he morphed into a content manager, then to our managing editor. Somewhere along the line, he also became a front-end developer to complement my back-end skills. Somewhat poetically, he has returned to his roots: ferreting out stray punctuation marks in code and ensuring that our software is logical and flows nicely. The more things change, the more they stay the same.... Beyond that, however, Tyler has full-stack enterprise experience, developing in a variety of languages and on many different platforms.

A proper CTO is the first and most crucial step in the process of bringing our software stack up to par again. The second step is empowering our new executive with a team that can... execute!

Over the past months, the critiques of Trader Tools have grown more vocal, and rightfully so. The software is simply in a condition that neither we nor you find acceptable, and we have brought on a proper tech team to make that right.

Along with Tyler's promotion to CTO, we have bolstered the team of developers that report to him. This includes back-end (making things work right), front-end (making things look right) and operations (making people work right).

There is a saying in engineering: "Good, Fast, Cheap – Pick Two."

We are now, for the first time, in a position as a company to opt for good and fast over cheap.

In practical terms, this means stuff is going to get fixed – and fast. Believe me when I say that no one gets more frustrated than I do when our software doesn't work. When I think of the beautiful vision of what Trader Tools can and should be, it frustrates me that we haven't yet built that out. You, the Insider that is reading this right now, deserve the vision that I've been dreaming of.

This is very different than previous promises of "we're working on it." "Working on it" once meant working slowly and steadily, with a management structure that wasn't truly empowered to turn up the gas and get things done. The difference now is that we have a full technology team stacked up against this issue and the resources to power it. The vision remains the same at its core, but it is being implemented in a more experienced, evolved and modernized way.

You can expect regular updates on the state of these projects as well as a more transparent feedback loop. Right now, bugs and suggestions come in from all corners of the internet. Going forward, we're going to keep things simple: just send an email to bugs@quietspeculation.com and it will get parsed into our project management system!

I want to close this letter by once again thanking you, the Insider, for being a part of what we've built. I speak for the entire team when I say we're excited for you to be a part of what is to come.

Always at your service,

–Kelly B. Reid
CEO, Quiet Speculation & ION

Kelly Reid

Founder & Product Manager

View More By Kelly Reid

Posted in Announcement, Free Insider

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10 thoughts on “Insider: Welcoming the New QS/ION Technology Team!

  1. As a fellow entrepreneur (Badgelist.com) I’m very excited for you. Posts like the one above come to me occasionally, and are surprising given the claim that they are “paying monthly for a defunct site.” This site is not defunct. There’s great content every day I’m happy to pay for. The amount we pay for a product that is being built by a small company for a niche audience shows that we are earlyvangelist users. Note to everyone: building software is hard and unbelievably time consuming. Even the biggest companies run into software issues all the time. When you sign on as an early user for a software product that no one else has ever built you need to accept that things take time.

    Appointing a CTO separate from the CEO is a big milestone and I for one am very excited to see what you can do with the new resources. Congrats Kelly! Rock on!

  2. This is quite timely given just this week feeling like I’ve come to the end of my rope with Trader Tools. Please prioritize fixing bugs before trying to introduce new content or functionality. I will keep hanging on for now, good luck with this new effort.

    1. Britton, I understand. One thing to point out, though, is that often there are separate teams working on separate projects. It should not be presumed that one feature added has subtracted from the priority of another.

      As you can see we are doubling down on getting the ‘broken windows’ fixed. I appreciate the support!

  3. OOF, not off to a good start. I just emailed bugs@quietspeculation.com and it bounced…

    I love your service, I hope this new effort can make it a more pleasant experience.

    Lists often require multiple renames before I can successfully delete them.

    Trade routes timed out on me multiple times over the weekend.

    Trade routes doesn’t seem to work for miniature market.

    Generally the speed of QS and Trader tools has been very slow and getting worse.

    Expeditions (and I’m sure other masterpieces), valuable tokens, FTV, Player Rewards and lots of other more unusual/rare cards are not in TT. I keep a TCG beta list to inventory these.

    Thanks

    Britt

  4. Hey GTG,

    We’ve been exploring a few options that would help us add a level of transparency to the progress on these projects. We’ve been considering a public Trello board, but right now we’re leaning toward setting up a Wantoo instance so that it’s easier for the community to help us prioritize.

    If you (or anyone else) has any feedback in these areas, I’d love to hear about it.

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