3 Reasons Why We Release Early and Often

Recently we’ve been answering questions on the 4D forum about commands and functionalities that felt incomplete or were missing, such as the Mail feature.

In this blog post, we’ll go through the 4D strategy behind the decision to release versions that are not fully developed, which is summarized in the “release early, release often” paradigm.

What is Release Early, Release Often (RERO)?

RERO is a software development philosophy that emphasizes the importance of early and frequent releases. And we at 4D try to live up to that philosophy by establishing an agile and open-minded culture that allows us to include customer feedback at an early stage. 

Experience the Latest and Greatest earlier

By releasing early, we give our users the chance to experience the latest software release. If the released feature is inadequate for any reason, users get to respond much faster. These short feedback loops allow us to steer product development teams in the right direction to ensure that customer preferences are addressed.

Faster Identification of Bugs

Early releases are an opportunity to test new features in real-life scenarios. This allows us to identify bugs and fix them quickly. This happened recently with the autocompletion of some 4D commands which automatically add closing parentheses; In certain contexts, this would create errors in the code. Something difficult to discover without putting the product in the hands of real customers to use it in real scenarios

The Smaller The Release, The Less Likely Something Will Go Wrong

Longer periods between releases increase the pressure to make each release meaningful, which means more code, more features, and more testing. The result is the possibility of having more bugs. Smaller, faster versions naturally limit the number of features and therefore the number of bugs.

Final thought

The first principle in the Agile Manifesto highlights that “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”

You can always choose what strategy fits your needs. Early releases ensure short feedback loops and allow you to benefit early from new features, but you can also decide to wait until they are fully developed.

• Product Marketing Manager • Intissar joined 4D in 2017 as a Product Marketing Manager. She works closely with the product, marketing, engineering, and technical support teams to highlight the ‘why’, the ‘how’, and the ‘what’ of new and updated features to different audiences. This close proximity allows her to craft messaging frameworks and write in-depth content and code samples for the 4D blog and website. After graduating with an engineer's degree in Computer Science from VINCI university, Intissar worked in several startups as a software engineer. Her hands-on experience includes software specification, design, and development, user training and support, and team management.