Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Ways Bugs Cost Us

When I was growing up to be a tester, I learned to think in terms of importance when it comes to bugs. 

Working with remotely installable antivirus, the bugs that would block us from remotely fixing the broken remotely installed antivirus, those would be tough ones on the global market. And I learned that really well by one day distributing a new version to early adopters where was was a high level exec, and sending someone over to their home to fix their computer that no longer could get online on their remote day. We considered it so important that there was a really insightful design of a feature that would enable fixing. 

I was thinking about this bug yesterday, when I was watching a sales colleague wonder about a device installed up in the air out of his reach, figuring out if we really would need to lift him up there with a computer to know what was going on. This time we were lucky - time was enough to resolve the issue but time needed was long enough to make us worry. Positive outcome though was to really be part of the experience and build a better connection with a colleague I don't always work with closely - that relationship usually turns into magic over time. 

What the experience with the problem that the kind of problem I thought it would be, I stopped to reflect on how the world as I know it has changed.

Importance of the bug is less central now. The speed of analysis, and applying a fix is the new essential thing. 

I've had seemingly small problems (in terms of mistakes we made in creating software) that took a long time to fix because in a multi-team distributed system, finding the right person feels like the jokes in which you knock each door only to be directed at another one, to end up back where you started with more information. 

If this throughput time to resolution is intertwined with the importance in scale, time escalates the problem. 

Time from report to a fix in the customers environment is key. 

Every customer matters.