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FogBugz Time Tracking Reports

We’re using FogBugz 6 for our daily project management needs. It’s a great tool in many ways and I think it will get only better on the way. But FogBugz lacks one quite important feature. There is no way to easily get a report how much time each of your developers spent on their tasks during the day or to see on what are they currently working. You might wonder why is that.

Well it’s quite funny but the company behind FogBugz doesn’t really want to provide this kind of functionality. Because they believe this would make people provide bad estimate data to FogBugz. You can read more about it on Joel on Software blog post about amnesia. They might be true about the bad data thing. But in my opinion they aren’t the ones who should decide how people should to use their tools. If people want to shoot themselves in foot - explain to them that it’s wrong and what will happen if they won’t listen and then let them shoot themselves in the foot.

We for example need to know on what tasks our developers were working during the day and what are they doing at any moment of time. And ofcourse seeing that a certain task took too long or that a developer was doing something without a task for 4 hours is very valuable. In other words if people know for what reason this tracking data is gathered they might as well not lie and provide good data. Don’t force your developers to have 8 hours long reports. You should know they spend atleast 2 hours doing whatever they like.

I tried to look for 3rd party solutions that would in some way allow us to have time tracking reports, but I didn’t like any of them and of course they are all commercial solutions. I got really excited to find out that FogBugz has an API that allows to do various actions. One of those actions allows to get a user time sheet report for a certain time interval. So I quickly developed a small php application that would login to the system with all the users we have and aggregate their time sheets. The application itself is no piece of art but I think it’s simple and it gets the basic job done. You are welcome to try y fogbugz time tracking application out yourself. It has a dependency to ZendFramework’s HTTP client. You can easily replace it with anything you like. To install the application you need to configure the index.php by providing the api url, fogbugz users list, current timezone, and path to the zend framework. If you have any problems or requests please feel free to contact me.

I’m also adding a screenshot if you care how the reports look:

fogbugz time tracking report

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