I’m Camille. (PAUSE) I run support at a small startup called Clubhouse. Need help. (PAUSE) I know what you’re thinking [NEXT]
How with so much on plate? Here today to share new approaches to technical leadership End of talk will have plan
Lot on plate too. Phone rings, ticket in queue, angry tweet in Twitter feed
CEO’s Twitter feed.
Ready to tackle. Fine for “lion’s share” but many require attention from you - the Engineering team
Quick show of hands - escalations? regular meeting? answer users directly?
Every time we have to be on, come back quick many require attention from YOU - the Engineering Team By A Show of Hands - deal with bugs/escalations? meet with? answer directly?
We think about you constantly. Underdog protagonist. Attention - Time - Closer Relationship
Anecdotes - > Stories from the trenches Lost full day of work frontend change Then we think
We pull together metrics and visualizations But one thing works better than stories or data
All Hands Support defined Many goals but three main ones I’ve identified
More people available to attend to customers
Your support team is on the front lines Enthusiastic and angry customers
Getting into the user context and understanding painpoints in a way that can inform future development decisions.
Noble endeavour Cool things can happen - third party integrations, internal tools, opportunities to deliver super fast solutions But if sounds bad, not alone
Developer who decided to service outside forum instead of customers At ANOTHER company, BigCartel support is its own skill and developers are expensive At Clubhouse went alone but soon ran into issue, we couldn’t quickly hire out of. Developed another approach
Some of the developers. Some of the time. Works well at small company like Clubhouse can work well if coordinate across three key areas
What’s yours what’s theirs? Support needs to have written down and be ready to train. Engineering also needs to have their workflows written and ready to share. Rogue dev pushing code. Missing QA and documentation is not good. Get relationship off to good start by harmonizing process.
Who does support need? Who can you afford? At another company Automattic they rotate whole product team for Support Week. Assign appropriate tickets. In addition to technical, also need good communication skills. Don’t put on the snarky dev who was just hired to crunch code. But might need to look at how hire if no one fits the bill.
Daily commitment? Regular rotation? Support happy to take ALL TIME I know at ANOTHER STARTUP FullStory, they rotate people on and off support desk avoid EMPATHY FATIGUE. Also regular interval to review arrangement and report wins back to the organization.
So harmonize process. Pick the right people. And set clear periods of time to rotate and review. There’s the plan. We’ve all got a lot on our plates to be sure BUT
with some more hands on deck, I think we can tackle it all.
Making Developers on Support Work For Everyone by Camille E. Acey
Making “Developers on
Support” Work for
Camille E. Acey / @kavbo