You and I have been through a lot together. It doesn’t seem like that long ago when I was sitting and programming, nothing really important, and I said to myself, “Wouldn’t it be really cool if…?” And here we are now, only a short time from your gold build.

I feel like I’ve gotten to know you, that you’re not just a program or a set of files. You have a personality that I spend most of my day with, sometimes more than the people I work with and even my own family. We have our ups and downs. We’ve had days where we hated each other, and you were so stubborn that I wished I had never written you in the first place. But we also had times that made me feel like one of the proudest developers in the world. We learned a lot together and sometimes your bad behavior taught me something new about the way I write software. At other times you’ve amazed me with the things you’re capable of doing, producing results that were useful in ways I’d never originally intended, as if you were secretly developing yourself while I wasn’t looking.

There are going to be users out there and most of them are great people who will be excited to buy you and work with you. But there will also be some that won’t be so nice, and they may say or blog really bad things about you. You may be installed into environments where you have no clue. People aren’t going to be so gentle with you in the real world. They won’t be forgiving when you make mistakes and won’t give you the soft restart that you’re used to when you get debugged. I’ve tried my best to give you everything you need to avoid those situations and handle them gracefully, but sometimes unexpected things happen. Just remember all the good things you can do and let the bad stuff go.

We’ll be seeing each other from time to time, during bug fixes and maintenance, but it won’t be like this last development cycle. I hope I’ll be able to keep improving you and making you the best you can be, but in reality I’ll have new features to work on and a schedule that only allows us so much time together. I know my new features… they’ve started just like you did, some of them as ideas that came to me while I was writing you. But no matter what features I may work on in the future, the time we’ve spent in development together will always be unique and I’ll always remember it, just as I remember the features and programs that came before you.

This will be a milestone build and release and I can’t wait for your introduction to the world. Remember that I believe in you more than you know. Now get out there and show everybody what you can do!