As the IT market is moving more and more in the agile direction, writing good code is merely one of the skills a programmer needs to have to make a client happy. The ability to work in an iterative IT delivery with daily contact with the client as well as having insights into the business logic of the developed product have become highly valued skills for a programmer. Furthermore, in the blended roles where a programmer also can enter the part of technical support to maintain what has been developed, there is yet another layer of communication and touch point to master – the one towards the end user where the actual value of well-working software is put to the test.
Such is the case in our delivery for our client that has put to the market a room booking manager – a product that is daily getting more and more end users throughout the world. For this client, we are developing and maintain the product by the team of our IT consultants in Softhouse office in Sarajevo. While most of the issues in the maintenance can be solved remotely, some problems require onsite visits and direct attention from our support for the benefit of a quick resolution for the end user.
For this purpose, our IT consultants Senad Zaimović and Dino Brzika traveled all the way to Japan to work on an issue for a client’s client who reputedly had problems with the room booking manager crashing in use. As thorough problem shooting was done remotely without being able to solve this problem, the client still expressed the need for our team to investigate the problem onsite, monitor the installation of new software and to spend time onsite close to the end users if any possible questions arise, and to make sure that everything goes smoothly when the system is up and running.
“After I had worked with the development of this product for a year a possibility opened up to also work with the support team of the product. I agreed to try this position as I already then understood that it might broaden my skills for a better understanding of the product from the perspective of the end user. Little did I know that this initiative would lead me to visit one of the end user companies in Japan seeing the actual product in use and experiencing this exciting culture through my work”, said Senad.
Having arrived at the end user company and after a first analysis, the team concluded that the problems they were there to fix were not caused by errors in code or product, but instead by a human error based on insufficient knowledge of how to manage the device which led the system to crash for our users. After the realization that the end users did not have enough training how to use the devices, it was made clear that our support team should have a few open training sessions on how to use the product for the staff with a detailed explanation of how the system works.
“It is always a challenge to investigate and solve a problem from afar”
As a concluding step of the visit, the team also worked on corrective action to make sure to leave the end users with sufficient knowledge. They made a training manual that was attached to one training device for the employees to use to test and learn the functions of the room booking manager to ensure that same problem does not occur. Dino concludes:
“Up until our onsite visit we had only had contact with the end users over online meetings, and I do believe that we have a good way of solving issues that are caused by a product defect. But, if the problem is caused by something in the client’s technical environment, it is always a challenge to investigate and solve a problem from afar. However, this time, once we had investigated the problem, we were pleased to see that the solution was not advanced, but rather pleasant!”