Why Support Teams Are An Engineer’s Best Friend

We’re all engineers, here, right? I’ve got a little secret to share…

Our support team is our best resource – but we’re not using them.

We build software that gets used in the real world. If we want to know what happens after it leaves the confines of our build system, the support team is the first in line to find out.

Sure, product management can tell us all the wonderful things the software should do. We build software that is robust and feature-rich, and testers make sure the software does what we expect.

And then it hits the real world. Anything goes.

People, of course, use our software in the ways we would expect. But also in ways we would never have imagined. Things we thought were obvious and apparent somehow turn out to be not so obvious after all.

Support hears it all.

They hear the questions, the complaints, the bugs and the features our customers want. They know when a problem affects many customers and when it affects almost nobody. Support is the first line of debugging, and they know what problems are easy to diagnose and which ones are hard.

Go talk to the support team today. Ask them what users love and what they complain about. Ask them what makes something hard to debug and what makes it easy. Ask them what feature generates the most calls. Then go make your good software even better.

Comments

  1. BY mortoray says:

    Definitely! Support is the best source of real-world feedback about the product you are developing. Not working closely with them is just silly.

  2. BY RMS says:

    I suggest it is high time “support” be an integral part of the IT continuum rather than an “entry level” job. Perhaps it’s time for the personnel to be rotated on a regular basis. Only then will business be growing their own crop of apparently desireable “IT (specialized) generalists.”

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