More than 2000 years ago, Mary and Joseph ( went from door to door in Bethlehem desperately seeking shelter. They were turned away numerous times, and perhaps they were even told that their needs could only be met in a week or a few weeks' time. As the time of delivery drew near, they must have felt frustrated, exhausted, and even terrified. However, they must have also been filled with anticipation and trust in God's plan. As a theologian serving as Project Manager for the BibleBooster community, I am tempted to draw analogies from their timeless situation, although I will try to avoid using too many. Please accept my apologies in advance 😉.
The BibleBooster community has had an incredible year. Looking back at the "old" version 3 sites, they now appear quite outdated. The newly launched version 4 websites, with their fresh user interfaces, have received a continuous stream of positive feedback 🎉. It is clear that the new functionality is better serving the needs of Bible readers, our most important audience. Additionally, we have welcomed new Bible Societies to the BibleBooster community and worked together to onboard, train, and launch new sites.
This year, the community adopted an agile approach and workflow processes to address the community's needs more efficiently. While there have been many successful launches of new sites with impressive visuals and widgets, it must be acknowledged that many of you have experienced moments of frustration similar to those of Mary and Joseph (I hope not too similar though 😉).
The minimum time it takes for a new feature or bug fix to be released is four weeks from the initial proposal. This is due to the current sprint and release cycles. However, thanks to the developers, there have also been several urgent hotfixes outside of the regular release cycle. Nevertheless, the cycle from bug detection to staging and production releases can sometimes be quite lengthy. Bugs that are not deemed urgent might have to wait for a fix, causing understandable frustration. Furthermore, listening to user feedback and assuring them that fixes are on the way, or worse, informing them that their requests have been “added to the backlog for later processing”, can be extremely demanding for support teams. To all who have experienced these challenges, I want to express my gratitude for your patience. The intense period of the new version release and migrations has been demanding for you. I also want to thank all of you for your valuable input, bug reports, feature requests, and for the time you have spent in BibleBooster Community Coffees where we have discussed priorities.
The BibleBooster team is committed to delivering high-quality digital Bible engagement products and services that are focused on the user. As our motto states, we do this as a community, by Bible Societies for Bible Societies. I am grateful that Christ himself has been present in our work and blessed it. He is the Logos, the Good News, and he has given us the mission to spread his word throughout the world. This is what motivates the BibleBooster team and the entire community, providing us with daily bursts of energy (coffee also helps 😉). While we may face challenges during our sprints and have to leave some tasks for the next one, please trust that the team is dedicated to delivering and meeting your needs in the following sprints. We make every effort to optimize and address the most important needs in each sprint.
Christ himself reveals himself in three sprints: in Creation, in Incarnation, Death and Resurrection, and finally in His Return. The time of Advent and Christmas we need to make sure we reserve time and focus on the most important tasks in the current sprint: preparing for the feast of receiving Christ, celebrating, and giving thanks that He was born as one of us, that he conquered death, and that he has invited us to serve in His ministry until the day of resurrection. This is what binds us working together. This is what gives us our goals. This is what makes us BibleBooster Community. Thank you for being part of it!
Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Project Manager (interim)
P.S. When I saw the first preview of our new BibleBooster App development version in October, I already felt like Christmas had arrived. Now that’s something to look forward next year!
🎁 🎁 🎁