Domain Expertise

A new guy on our team got a challenging bug to fix. He took a long time to get up to speed in the business of the trouble. Our team lead decided to take over the work. However there was just one problem. It was difficult for the lead to figure this stuff out as well. So what does he do? He called me up.

I told my team lead that it was a challenging problem. He would need to dig in there to figure out what was going on. Unfortunately he was directed to fix this problem ASAP. I advised him to just give up and declare the problem done. He was not happy with that idea. So I gave him some other hacks that might qualify as getting the problem masked for now.

Turns out our customer rejected the hack. This issue was starting to get a lot of visibility. Both my team lead and I got an email from the customer declaring that the fix did not fix anything. I ignored the e-mail since my team lead made the command decision to ship a hack.

I somehow got involved in a long conference call with the customer for some other business. During the meeting I saw a lot of emails about the failed fix. Then my phone was ringing off the hook. I ignored the calls since I was in a conference call. However when the lengthy meeting was over, I found my team lead in a bind.

Now I could have just told him that I told him so. But that would do nobody any good. So I gave him some ideas on how to proceed. We could have saved ourselves from the drama by just doing the hard work in the first place. Shoddy efforts like this will only make the customer mad. Let’s see how it all turns out. The only thing I do know is that I got the deep domain knowledge. That knowledge is power. I must wield the power wisely.