Kids, Code, and Computer Science Magazine

Dogfooding

Steve Starer on Flickr

Eating dog food doesn't sound like much fun but it's an important part of creating software.

Dogfooding is short for “eating your own dog food”. As a software company or developer, this means using for yourself the software you write for your clients.

This has great advantages because you are able to see what the user experience is like for your clients. You are also more likely to fix a bug if it affects you in your daily work.

For a long time the compiler for Microsoft’s C# programming language was written in C++. Recently the C# team at Microsoft created a new compiler called Roslyn, which is written in C#. It is a lot faster than the previous compiler and it has the advantage of now being cross-platform (it works on different types of computers). I think it is cool that the code to write the language is written in the language.

No one really knows where the term dogfooding or eat your own dog food comes from. In the 1980s, there was a TV commercial actor Lorne Greene mentioned he fed Alpo dog food to his own dogs. And the CEO of Kal Kan Pet food also supposedly ate the company’s dog food product at annual company meetings.

However, the first mention for computer programming was in an email from a 1988 email from Microsoft manager Paul Maritz, titled Eating our own Dog Food, encouraging another Microsoft manager to use their products as a way to understand and improve themm.

So now that you know what dogfooding means, you can find ways to try it yourself. What software do you use, or could you use, that you might also build for other people?

Learn More

Eat Your Own Dogfood

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_your_own_dog_food
https://web.archive.org/web/20080621080007/http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-5047467.html
https://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/so/2006/03/s3005.html

What is the Work of Dogs in this Country?

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000012.html


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