Keep Your Programmers in the Loop

You can't, and indeed you don't want to, isolate your programmers from the real world. On the other hand, if you want your software developed on schedule, you don't want them to be constantly interrupted. Yet it is important they see for themselves the sort of problems that are coming in. It is the only way they may realize there are problems they haven't anticipated. The realization alone can alert them to working on it from a different angle and enable them to revise their coding so the problem doesn't occur.

There are times when the support team can only resolve their customer's problem by talking it through with the programmers. The best way to balance all these requirements is to agree on discussion times in advance. When programmers and support staff do get together, support personnel should have the call information on hand.

In my experience, programmers are not only willing and concerned to see problems that are brought to their attention, but are invariably already aware of the problem's existence and wrestling with the cure.

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