Thursday, March 02, 2006

There's never just one release

One of the biggest issues that I've had career-wise has been the even distribution of new development work with support work. One of my past jobs, I ended up spending all my time supporting the released products, and no time developing the new products. This caused problems because the support effort was not well-regarded - it wasn't the sexy new stuff that fired everyone's imaginations. I got quite fed up about it, so it's now one of my discussion points at interviews and reviews.

So when you planning software products, be aware that someone will have to be the support team, and they either have to like the job, or you'll have to have a rotation between the people to prevent burnout.

Support duty is hard for many developers, both from the technical side and the glamor side. Some of the difficulties are:
  • It's difficult to keep answering the same questions time and again from the different customers that run across an issue.
  • It's difficult to see where a customer is having a problem when you know the code well - you expect things to go as you designed them, and not as the user does them.
  • you have to make the quick fix, because the customer can't wait long for a solution.
  • you don't get to exercise your design muscles because the product is released, and nobody will want to rework it.

Technorati Tags --
, , ,

No comments: