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Piotr Torończak

Piotr Torończak

Intelligence officers get no champagne rooms

The myth says that unfulfilled developers end up in support. You’d agree to that, wouldn’t you?

We don’t like it, but we don’t care much about it either. And apart from that, you don’t tend to hear much else about us, do you?

Well, you will – when a major failure occurs and you hear those rumors about a spectacular fine the company had to pay to rectify it (deal with it developers – after a while we have way cooler stories to tell! If we can… both we, and the CIA, have confidentiality agreements inked on our foreheads.)

As we’re spies support analysts, quite often the effects of our job are not visible.
SUPPORT: “Have your major systems worked smoothly for the past month?”
END USER: “Well, isn’t it supposed to?”
SUPPORT: “Did you notice that some data arrived a bit later than usual because of a major ETL failure?”
END USER: “What are you talking about?”
Exactly. Of course you didn’t know. Why? Because a bunch of rocket-science-level engineers spent half the night restoring it.

Working in support requires a specific mind-set. One similar to a surgeon’s. Or an intelligence officer. Our job requires both technical and soft skills. It requires chess master abilities that allow us to foresee what will happen if a certain operation is restarted in a production environment (mistakes are hardly forgiven – not by your boss, but by the system you work on. You can worry about your boss later). We take responsibility for our actions. Show complete transparency. It is as simple as having a fellow colleague behind your back when you run the simplest script (not because you’re an idiot, because small mistakes cause big failures and things are so delicate in our world). Being willing to pick up a phone call overnight and carry your laptop on your back while shopping with your wife. Taking the time to go step by step through that over engineered piece of code created by Mr. Nobody and figuring out what failed (or what may fail).

Welcome to the world of support, where what is delivered is so obvious and unnoticeable that your client does not even know you exist.

PT

PS: But we party hard. Have you noticed me limping around with crutches for the last few weeks? A bone fracture. After a support team party.

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2 thoughts in Comments

  1. Peter

    It’s often hard to get thanks for things that didn’t happen.

    And if something does happen, everyone wants to know how and why.

    It takes great skill and discipline to recover from an incident in the darkest hours so thanks for keeping it all in good shape 🙂

    Reply
    1. Piotr Torończak Post author

      I appreciate your comment and I believe all Objectivity Support teams appreciate your thanks! 🙂

      Appreciation for a delivered product lasts long and it’s visible, but a flawless functioning of a system is often mistakenly taken for granted.

      After a while stories being told around are different – devs recall that great project completed. Support walls somehow remember more what failed with a big-bang rather than brilliant resolutions 🙂

      Reply

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