The Escalation Engineer

There is a particular position within an engineering group that I think contributes tremendously to the overall user experience of the customer; the escalation engineer.  This is the person who does the initial triage of any bug coming in from the support team.  The funny thing is that most engineers don’t want to do this job.  They want to work on shiny new features.

I wish engineers felt differently.  This position is the one that makes customers the happiest.  Users do want new features, but more importantly, that want old features to work better.  And they want issues to be resolved quickly.  Most organizations don’t even have this position.  Problems are just fed into the hopper and dealt with in due time.  Engineers should want to work as an escalation engineer.  You get to work on interesting problems and have closure.  “Problem solved!” feels real good.

A former boss (who shall remain nameless) said, “Feed the beast!” about making sure the engineering team had enough “features” to work on.  I thought this was complete bullshit.  When you just keep shoveling crap into the engineering team, they will produce horrible experiences.  If you have more engineers deal with and fix problems you will end up with a better product and happier customers; not to mention a more successful business.

Whatya think?