Software Development Teams

Discussion in 'MCSE' started by msnews.microsoft.com, Jul 5, 2003.

  1. 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!
     
    msnews.microsoft.com, Jul 5, 2003
    #1
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  2. msnews.microsoft.com

    meh Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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!
    >
    >
     
    meh, Jul 5, 2003
    #2
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  3. msnews.microsoft.com

    BeastFish Guest

    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" <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > 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!
     
    BeastFish, Jul 5, 2003
    #3
  4. msnews.microsoft.com

    Jack Freeman Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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!
    >
    >
     
    Jack Freeman, Jul 6, 2003
    #4
  5. msnews.microsoft.com

    Shell Guest

    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
    -
    http://drshell.home.mindspring.com/
    Into computers since 1972.
    WARNING! Information and e-mail addresses contained herein, are for personal use only. By entering this site, you agree that you will use this data only for lawful purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this data to: allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via direct mail, electronic mail, or by telephone. Violators will be dealt with accordingly.
    -
     
    Shell, Jul 8, 2003
    #5
  6. 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
     
    Joseph M. Ferris, Jul 8, 2003
    #6
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