Toad World® Forums

Why Toad

The question was raised recently: “Why Toad?” Replies were given. I wish to
offer mine.

  1. The users

Toad users have always been at the front and center of what makes Toad the
phenomenon it is. Their passion, dedication, ideas and commitment to their
product is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. It is their product. They
conceived it, help design it, talk about it, share it, help one another learn
it. They are committed to the idea that users can have a profound impact on the
software they use if they are vocal and participate in the development process.
They are the smartest Oracle professionals on earth. To our competitors I say
“our users are better than your users.”

  1. The management

From the beginning Quest management has been remarkably prescient in leaving
Toad in the hands of users and its development in the hands of the users and the
development team. “Leave them alone, leave the process alone” has been stated
repeatedly, first by Vinny Smith, then Juli Ackerman, and others since, some key
names which immediately surface- Lisa Waugh, Ramon Graham, Rony Lerner, Lenka
Vanek, Claudia Fernandez, John Pocknell. These are all people who eventually
“got it,” and understood how to move the product forward and protect the team
who wrote it. I’m proud to have known all these people and have been inspired at
seeing their own personal growth over the years as well as their great labors
and intelligence in pushing Toad into the far reaches of the planet. I’m
convinced that Toad would not be Toad today if anyone else had bought it. To our
competitors I say “our managers are better than your managers.”

  1. The development team

The team consists of what Netflix calls “Highly Responsible People.” Although
I’m the fortunate guy who gets to call himself the development manager the
reality is the team is more akin to a Republic, or rather a loose coalition of
member states (team members), with each person in complete charge of their work.
The people we have always sought are ones who know how to manage themselves, are
mature and driven and want complete responsibility for the work they do. They
want to answer directly to users. They don’t want to hide behind a process. When
they make mistakes they see those as learning opportunities. They want to be
deeply engaged with users. A quality they absolutely must come to possess is
humility. I can’t say enough about the importance of humility and the radical
notion that our users are smarter than we are. Much smarter. Plus we possess
some secret weapons, guys who can simply out-code most engineers I’ve ever
known. They’re ridiculously fast. To our competitors I say “our development team
is better than yours.” (N.B. this doesn’t conflict with my statement about
humility. Humility is truth, it’s not false modesty, and the truth is we are
better because we listen more closely to our users).

  1. The product

Toad is simply a great product. If I didn’t know that from the love users have
for it I would know it from the fact that all our competitors rip us off. It’s a
deep, deep tool. Nothing else comes close to having the depth of Oracle
expertise Toad has, because we have great users who engage a willing development
staff. Toad is also quirky and kind of corny in how it adheres to a traditional
MDI style interface. People love it. We do get complaints at times from some who
want to remake it into something which looks up to date and like their other
fancy neo uber glass style Mickey transparent ribbonized candy cane Goofy kid
play things. But if we did that we know we’d be strung up the flag pole naked,
with tar applied to us, feathers sticking everywhere. I was outside walking
tonight in the fog. There was a big toad in the road just sitting there. What an
amazing creature! Full of bumps and ugliness. But the ugliness makes it
irresistible. You just have to love a toad. Some would like to kiss it and turn
it into something beautiful. But it would no longer be a toad. If we let Toad
continue to be a toad, I assure you “our product is better than the competitors
product.” Millions of devoted fans aren’t wrong.

  1. The beta program

Constancy is key. Frequency of release is critical. We don’t do monolith. We’re
not set up to produce massive annual releases, that’s not our strength. Our
strength lies in how fast we can churn out releases. And boy do we do that! How
about two releases a week, every week of the year? Given the increased frequency
of betas we do as releases near, we probably average around 120 fully useable
releases every year. We’ve been doing this for 13 years. Using those numbers as
rough averages we have produced over 1,500 product releases of Toad. Almost
every one of those has been done with some level of user input. To those looking
for a better product elsewhere I ask “is their beta program anything like
Toad’s?”

  1. It ribbits

In Conclusion

Toad has the best users, the best managers, the best development team, the best
beta program and is the best Oracle tool the world has ever seen. It also
ribbits when it starts. It has been that way for 15 years without wavering one
day. Not one! Our development team has been ramping up lately and we are the
strongest team we have ever been. Why have we been ramping up? Because we have a
very exciting long term vision which will propel us through the years ahead. It
is a vision which, if fully realized, has the potential to transform how you do
your daily work.

To those not yet on board I say it’s time to get on board, time to start
experiencing Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Come along with us and help us to create the
future.

Mark