Smart, but not THAT smart

It's just a few years ago, and this pilot fish is in the weekly status meeting with his fellow development managers.

"We had a developer on-call rotation schedule where a technical guy or gal provides backend support for difficult support requests -- usually involving bugs that only dev guys can find and fix," says fish. "This on-call is the most disliked item on a dev person's schedule."

So when the on-call issue comes up during the meeting, fish suggests that the company provide a single mobile phone, to be handed off to whoever is on call. That would mean there's only one number the help desk has to call in case of after-hours emergencies.

Fish also suggests that the phone should be a smartphone. That way, the on-call dev person at least has something to play with and show off to his friends during the much-despised on-call duty.

Almost everyone thinks it's a good idea. But one dev manager asks, "Wouldn't it be very difficult to debug code on that small screen during the on-call?"

Reports fish, "When the laughter died down, I went through the changed process of on-call with that dev manager -- with the new smartphone in the picture."

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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