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Software Development Teams

 
 
msnews.microsoft.com
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      07-05-2003
Hello everyone!

I would like to know about who "can" and "should" be included in the
Software Development Teams for small and startup companies.

Consider this scenario: Three persons wish to develop and sell software but
they are low in budget and could not hire many people to perform different
kind of roles. So each of them has to wear multiple hats (such as planning,
developing, testing...etc) successfully.

My particular question is that after the software is developed and sold to
the customers, could (and should) the members of this Software Development
Team provide customer support (such as via Newsgroups) without forming a
spereate customer support team? Is this a possibility and does any software
development teams in the world do this?

Thank you all for your time!


 
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meh
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      07-05-2003
Hello
I think it depends on what the software is.
My company makes end-user software. The users do not have the skills or the
intrest to know how our software works they just care about their "user
issues". On the other hand we do make a couple of programming environments
for out "field" employees and these folks need to have a more direct line to
the development teams but this is handled by qualified phone personel so
that we are not taking development time away from our programmers.

meh
"msnews.microsoft.com" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hello everyone!
>
> I would like to know about who "can" and "should" be included in the
> Software Development Teams for small and startup companies.
>
> Consider this scenario: Three persons wish to develop and sell software

but
> they are low in budget and could not hire many people to perform different
> kind of roles. So each of them has to wear multiple hats (such as

planning,
> developing, testing...etc) successfully.
>
> My particular question is that after the software is developed and sold to
> the customers, could (and should) the members of this Software Development
> Team provide customer support (such as via Newsgroups) without forming a
> spereate customer support team? Is this a possibility and does any

software
> development teams in the world do this?
>
> Thank you all for your time!
>
>



 
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BeastFish
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-05-2003
The answer to your particular question will matter on the scope of
your product(s) distribution. Personally, I serve in the support role
(email & phone) for one of the products I've developed, but that
product has a very narrow business specific market and sells for
several thousand dollars. That, coupled with the fact that I was very
comprehensive and thorough with my help files & documents (and
designed the software to be as easy to use as possible), means the
support role occupies very little of my time.

You have to weigh the amount of time that will be spent on the support
role versus development issues (updates, bug fixes, new features,
etc.). Many developers don't like to serve in the support role
because they prefer to devote their time "creating cool stuff that
makes a computer do cool things" as opposed to answering what they may
perceive as "stupid questions" (keep in mind that a developer will be
intimate to the inner workings to the product and may find it
difficult to perceive an end-user point of view even to a most valid
question). So it is imperative that they are aware beforehand that
their role might also include support (if that is the route you decide
take).

Another consideration is the communication skills of your support
personnel. They need to take an end-user perspective and not talk
over peoples' heads.

Perhaps it is best to discuss the whole support issue with your
developers.

BTW, for my reply to your post, I expect a free copy of whatever it is
you're making





"msnews.microsoft.com" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> Hello everyone!
>
> I would like to know about who "can" and "should" be included in the
> Software Development Teams for small and startup companies.
>
> Consider this scenario: Three persons wish to develop and sell software but
> they are low in budget and could not hire many people to perform different
> kind of roles. So each of them has to wear multiple hats (such as planning,
> developing, testing...etc) successfully.
>
> My particular question is that after the software is developed and sold to
> the customers, could (and should) the members of this Software Development
> Team provide customer support (such as via Newsgroups) without forming a
> spereate customer support team? Is this a possibility and does any software
> development teams in the world do this?
>
> Thank you all for your time!

 
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Jack Freeman
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2003
What you're saying is entirely possible and in fact many of the "small"
companies undertaking small projects will definitely adopt this model.

For instance, check out this UK based company:
http://www.ctm.uk.com/printable/services/sd/sd2.html
They provide customer support straight from the development team. I
personally think that the developer should be taken responsibility if any
defects has been found by the users (and NOT the customer support people who
do not have any knowledge of the inner working of the software!!) But as
you'll know, most big big software companies separate customer support unit
from the development team, which is sucks for the customers who wish to get
straight answers!

After all, this is your company, your team so you can distribute the
workload among your team members as you see fit! So the answer to your
question is "Yes, it is possible to do customer support by developers".

Hope this helps and good luck on your project!

Jack

"msnews.microsoft.com" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hello everyone!
>
> I would like to know about who "can" and "should" be included in the
> Software Development Teams for small and startup companies.
>
> Consider this scenario: Three persons wish to develop and sell software

but
> they are low in budget and could not hire many people to perform different
> kind of roles. So each of them has to wear multiple hats (such as

planning,
> developing, testing...etc) successfully.
>
> My particular question is that after the software is developed and sold to
> the customers, could (and should) the members of this Software Development
> Team provide customer support (such as via Newsgroups) without forming a
> spereate customer support team? Is this a possibility and does any

software
> development teams in the world do this?
>
> Thank you all for your time!
>
>





 
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Shell
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-08-2003
In responce to the post:
On Tue, 8 Jul 2003 14:25:32 -0500, "Ivan Demkovitch" <i@d>
stated...and I replied:

>In addition to everybody said:
>
>You will need a tester. Developers make very bad testers
>

Blonde girlfriends make great testers If you can't find one of
those, use a boss or anyone else who's non-technical.
Shell
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http://drshell.home.mindspring.com/
Into computers since 1972.
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Joseph M. Ferris
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      07-08-2003
Ivan -

Ivan Demkovitch wrote:

> In addition to everybody said:
>
> You will need a tester. Developers make very bad testers and good developers
> make stupid mistakes in stupid places.


At the last two shops I worked at, the testers were (mostly) aspiring
bad developers. Nothing scarier than a tester wanting to tell a
developer how to write an application - except maybe when management
buys into it. <g>

--Joseph

 
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