Being Responsible

Our customer had opened a trouble ticket documenting times when the production system seemed to hang up. I assigned this ticket to one of our developers. He had a hunch that another developer was running performance intensive queries which caused the problem.

So we had this developer try to recreate the situation in a development environment. But we had no luck. There was just not enough data in our development database to make any queries last very long. The developer then came up with a plan to have the queries be run in production to see if we could replicate the problem. Our client had some reservations about this affecting their users, and requested that we join a conference call to discuss it.

I should have known something was wrong when I dialed into the conference call, but the developer had not called in. However I was familiar with the plan and pitched it to the customer. I took good notes. I then went to the developer and provided him with a list of action items that needed to be done to make the production test happen. Later I got an e-mail from our customer asking me to make the production test happen. Apparently the developer just e-mailed the customer and requested they do all the work to prepare for this test. I immediately called up the customer and apologized for the inconvenience, and told them I would get this developer to do all the leg work. I went to have a talk with the developer. But he had left for the day. So I went about making a detailed list of all the tasks that needed to be accomplished. And then I specifically tasked the developer to personally see to it that he performed all the tasks.

Our company recently lost the contract to perform the maintenance work on our project. We are finishing up the work on the existing contract. I think we must have had too many developers like the one who passed the buck on this production performance test. Now I understand that not every developer can be a rock star. But I expect everyone to take responsibility and follow through with work we need to do. Time and time again I have disappointed though. It is my hope that the next contractor provide better customer care.