We don’t give date estimates for bug fixes. Quit asking.

As a long time product manager, one of my pet peeves is the bug/hotfix process.  Stepping back, we have a well defined triage process, where a good team of dev, support, and support engineers (as well as myself) sit in a room, and agree on priority, severity, and even whether it is a defect, or just desired different behavior requested.  This works well.

Issues are brought in, verified, assigned severity (and if there is a work around, that lowers the severity, as you would expect), and tossed into the queue.

The maintenance team, 3 developers, then pull items from the queue in FIFO with some stack ranking due to priority.  At any one time we have 30 – 60 issues in queue.

What this rant is about is the constant badgering I get from sales.  “When will issue X be done?”  “Why isn’t {insert pet issue} done yet”, “I am going to go to the division GM if you can’t give me this this week”, among other less printable comments.

As there is a queue, and it is ranked by priority and severity, we get to them as we get to them.  We do not make duse dates available.  I will not commit to more than “It is in the queue, and the team will address it”.  

Sigh, I seem to lose 2 hours a week in these pointless discussions.  I have an idea, why don’t you find a bug in Windows, and call Microsoft support.  See how much “pull” you have there.

Great drive in music today – Steve Vai set

About 2 minutes into my drive to the office today, a great set of tunes popped up on the ol’ iPod plugged into my stereo.

From the forgettable movie, “Crossroads” (the Ralph Macchio one, not the britney spears one), there is a scene where Macchio’s character cuts heads with Jack Butler (played by Steve Vai), a guitar player who sold his soul to the devil.

The scene has for parts, “Fried Chicken”, “Butler’s Bag”, “Headcutting Duel” and the victorious response, “Eugene’s Bag of Tricks”.  Fantastic guitar work, and the piece de resistance, is the Eugene’s Bag of Tricks.  It is really one of Pagannini’s Caprices arranged for the guitar.  (In the soundtrack, all these parts are played by Vai, naturally).

What a great way to make it into the office.