Reductions in the size of the Dorico team(?)

In one of yesterday’s posts I read MarcLarcher’s comment “But now that I know the Team is shrunk down to seven geniuses only, I don’t really expect this to happen“. I am unaware of reductions in the size of the Dorico team and hope Marc or somebody else can share what they know. (I could be wrong but seem to remember that the team originally included something like 14 members.)

EDIT: I just realized my above reference to Marc’s post from yesterday identified him by name only rather than by the “tag” @MarcLarcher that will result in him receiving notice of the reference. Apologies, Marc—I do consider it important to let others know when their words are being quoted.

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Yeah it was from a Facebook repost originally from Daniel, explaining to the whiners^H^H^H complainers^H^H^H er, customers who aren’t happy enough with this release. Anyhow he explained that they’ve lost some headcount. One, maybe two people.

Sounded like pretty normal project stuff to me - it’s been coincidentally happening on my day job team too. Just normal attrition, people have moved to other jobs. And right now there’s a quiet recession going on so there’s a hiring freeze - no doubt similar things are going on in Steinberg (Germany just entered recession, though Steinberg is owned by a Yamaha I think, or some such.)

Regardless of that it’s been pretty hard finding anybody to hire recently. Partly due to a weird Big Tech hiring spree the past five years, where literally they poached people and gave them sinecure jobs just to keep them away from their competitors. Bizarre, never seen that, anyhow a lot of those folks got laid off (thanks a lot!)

Not that I know anything, but it looks like normal software project stuff on a team which does rather specialized kind of work. Will Steinberg staff up again in a few years assuming economic conditions improve? Maybe, but it probably wouldn’t hurt if people could stop complaining about this or that and instead just bought the damn update :grin:

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The Dorico team is still roughly the same size as before. You can see the names of the people who are working on the software in the About Dorico window inside the software. One of our experienced programmers left the company towards the end of 2021, and rather than replacing him, that position went elsewhere within Steinberg, which is the kind of thing that happens all the time. There are nominally seven developers in the team (Andrew, Bill, Graham, James, Michael, Paul, Stefan), and we still have our complement of three testers (Akiko, Richard, Toshi), our UI/UX person (the honey-voiced Anthony), our technical writer (Lillie), our team lead (Ben), a marketing person (Anastasia), and myself. So we are 15 people, down from 16 two years ago. But it takes a village to make a product like Dorico, and even though he’s not technically (if you look at the org chart for the company) part of the team, I certainly consider Ulf to be part of our team, and we rely on dozens of other people from around the company for all manner of other functions. Likewise, our product specialist (John) and DACH-region business development manager (Markus) are not technically (as far as the org chart goes) part of the Dorico team, but they are crucial as well.

During the Dorico 4 development period, Paul and James were largely working on Steinberg Licensing rather than on Dorico 4 directly, though they were not alone (developers from other product teams and other engineering teams were also very much involved, together with people from all departments of the company), and we all benefit from their work, as replacing the eLicenser was and is a huge step forward.

During the Dorico 5.0 development period, Paul, James, and Stefan were largely working on another project, not on Dorico 5 development work, and we expect them to continue working on that project for some time to come.

So we have had, and continue to have, fewer people available to work on Dorico features than we had prior to Dorico 4, but the team is as stable as it has ever been, and we are simply doing our best to provide the time and talent of our amazing engineers to the projects where they are most needed.

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Can you disclose whether it is a directly Dorico related project (as in a blockbuster feature coming up some time in the future) or something relatively unrelated?

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I missed seeing John Barron’s name. He may not be directly involved in development, but he is (along with Anthony) crucial in explaining Dorico’s in’s and out’s to users.

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Thanks to all and especially to Daniel for his very comprehensive outline.

Yes, @Derrek, you’re right, I missed out both John and Markus, each of whom are absolutely vital in innumerable ways.

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Ulf is an absolute gem and worth his weight in gold. He consistently (and willingly) goes above and beyond to help people with audio engine problems (including one-on-one video conferencing sessions!), and he’s always gracious and kind in his forum responses. His problem-solving abilities are incredible and at a genius level. Steinberg is lucky to have such an awesome resource working for them.

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Ulf is indeed a treasure! I’m currently working with him on a problem. He has gone above and beyond anything I could expect in his ongoing attempts to solve the problem while always being gracious and kind in all our interactions. Thank you, Ulf!

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Thank you @dspreadbury for this amazingly detailed answer. It is very reassuring to know that András gone has not been a part of a more global and economical shrink, I wish him only good things for the future, and that the Team is as stable and reliable as ever. We keep investing in you people because you are the Team that is making Notation software moving ahead far far far away from where it was ten years ago. It’s just amazing to watch you people build this wonderful tool up. Kudos!

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This is my first post after years of reading this forum and using two major music notation software products. This thread about the size of the Dorico team confirms one of my greater cultural worries: probably around 100 developers globally (summing for all competing products) are being responsible for the longevity of the creative output of 10,000s if not 100,000s of users. And all this is based on business models.

Notated music is part of our global cultural heritage and I wish its contemporary tools could fall under the protection by and support from and organisation like UNESCO (suggestions for a better candidate?). The legibility of centuries old manuscripts is deteriorating due to paper and ink effects. Who guarantees we can open and read our digital scores in 20 years from now?

On a happier note: I am glad I made the change to Dorico. There definitely is a learning curve, that mainly has to do with understanding the design concepts. But the functionality is superb, the quality of the support and this forum outstanding. Thank you, Dorico team!

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Tens or hundreds of millions is actually more likely…

You might want to look into the work of the W3C Music Notation Community Group, of which Daniel is also a major organizer.

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Wow, only 15 people writing this great notation software! KUDOS to all of you!!

Dorico for iPad impressed me so much, I purchased Cubasis for iPad. Both apps have very well designed, intuitive UIs that make simple and quick work out of tasks that result in great time savings. The best thing I can say is what I told a friend who’s using other products.

“Steinberg software works for me;
I’m not working for it.”

I should add, I comment from experience using multiple Notation and DAW software packages on 4 different platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac, and iOS — iPad a lot more than iPhone.

John

Print everything! And save as PDF at least.

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the usb-key licensing with product-purchase model does. (vs. subscription model of licensing which does not, cough cough boycott Avid)

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According to Daniel’s reports, one developer has gone, and of the seven remaining, two didn’t work on Dorico 4, and three didn’t work on Dorico 5 and are expecting to be busy with another project for some time to come.

Have people not been buying it?

There have been lots of good things in Dorico 4 and 5 but attracting new users seems to have been the highest priority. That probably makes commercial sense (I’m sure there’s been the calculation that those attracted to Dorico from the beginning aren’t likely to desert) but it can’t be a surprise that some of the early adopters are currently feeling rather anxious and neglected. It seems a bit harsh to dismiss them as whiners and complainers.

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So, reading what he said, while the words make it sound like the team has only marginally shrunk - it actually sounds like the coding team has been cut in half.

Going from 8 down to 4 active programmers is a huge cut in programming workforce.

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It may be that the project diverting two programmers from full-time work on Dorico 4 & 5 is for a longer term project that may benefit Dorico in the future.

Three programmers and I’d guess their work will have little to do with notation for the printed page.

It’s nice for you that you’re a glass half full sort of chap but I can see little positive about the current situation.

Later in the programme, Steinberg closes London office, recruits developers in Canada and Ukraine…