Monday, July 6, 2009

The Crying Developer...

I've talked about the support team before, but David Bland wrote a very disturbing post about a new hire that ended up crying under his desk due to his abuse on support assignments. The post is short and leaves out some of the details to create a complete picture, but the essence is clear. He summarizes with:
What lessons can we learn from this tragedy?

- Good developers want to create code, not continuously patch it.
- Do not leave a team member isolated on a project with no end in sight.
- Training new team members should be mandatory.
- Single points of failure do not save you money in the long run.

As part of the LinkedIn discussion, I added the following:
A developer shouldn’t be forced to do full-time support indefinitely, especially not on code he didn’t write.

I agree that developer’s need to create AND support, but it is much better when they have to support the things they created themselves. It forces them to reflect on their work and the process around them. In the right environment, this can lead to great improvements as they communicate what this forces them to learn.

When one person indefinitely builds and another supports, it becomes to easy for one person to be motivated and another to become depressed.

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