Bug Fixing – How important is it for a startup?

Quality Vs Quantiy

Quality Vs Quantity

Today I was part of a really long discussion within Mettl, where we discussed – How important is Bug Fixing. Basically the technical team was trying to convince the business to get some time allocated for bug fixing in a continuous manner.

The business team wanted to find out why should they invest time in Bug Fixing, instead of adding a new feature that a customer may be willing to pay for.

The engineers on the other hand had no doubt about the importance of Bug Fixing. For them it was obvious – If there are bugs; they need to be fixed. PERIOD. That is what they aspire to do – delivering bug free software.

To settle the debate; we got some sales guys in the conversation and asked them if they value new features more than Stability. Their choice was unanimous – “New Features” they said. On being further asked How many customer losses do they know of which happened due to bugs in the system; their response was “Not many”. Though still not convinced about preferring quantity over quality, I started to see the reason why this was debatable.

We then got some product guys into the debate and asked them to pick between New Features and Bug Fixing. Their response again was “New Features” of course they said. Their rational was they would like to experiment  with more features rather than fixing minor issues for features that did not fly previously. This also made sense.

While the discussion continued, the same question was asked in other ways. Questions like “How important is quality?”, “What happens when a customer finds a small problem?” caused the right effect and developers did manage to win themselves some time for bug fixing.

6 reasons to take up freelancing : A Gurgaon Based Freelancer

Its been six months since I quit my last regular job. I have been working as a freelance software developer in this duration. I have really enjoyed freelancing and provide below a few good reason for you to consider it as well.

Increased Productivity

As a freelancer, I’m more productive at work. The reasons for this are not difficult to understand – I concentrate on completing my work. There are not too many meetings; There are not too many coffee breaks; there is no office politics to be worried about. All these things that usually have a negative impact on a person’s productivity are not there at work any more – Hence a boost in productivity.

Sharper Learning Curve

This one too is not difficult to understand either. Since the duration of work at different assignments would be shorter as compared to regular job the learning curve would obviously be sharper. For example, in the last 6 months I have written an application to simulate increasing load on a web-site and monitoring its performance; I have worked on building an application over salesforce’s force.com platform; I have written a scrapper application that can compare prices of similar products on different websites & last but not the least I have built a website – http://www.chahiye.info with a partner.

More Hands On

If you have a decent number of years of experience in IT industry in India, you would have noticed how quickly on joining an organization you are given a team to mentor and grow. Gradually as the team grows, your daily routine moves away from actually solving technical problems to helping your team solve them for you. This definitely takes away the fun out of work. With Freelancing there is no team to worry about. Its only you and the problem – the stronger one would win (and here I hate to lose)

Better Paying

Freelancing work usually fetches more money as compared to a regular job. The organization hiring you (as a freelancer) does not much over-head in maintaining you as an employee. There is no PF, no medical insurance, no stock options, no annual increment/bonus, No need to worry about under-performance; no need to worry about quality of work assignment etc. All these reasons are good enough for an organization to dish out slightly more than a regular employee of similar back-ground.

Leaves with you more CPU cycles

With a regular job, a work assignment was more like “My Work” which resulted in my mind spending more time thinking about it. Even after work the mind was usually at work. A bright idea could strike in the shower or any where else. However with freelancing the association with work is not that tight – Somehow that association with work is weakened. Though I still think about work when away from it, but the frequency has reduced. As a result you are left with more free thinking time.

Stand-out in the crowd

Not many people in India seem to be doing what I have chosen for myself. This can be considered as an advantage as well as a disadvantage. When relatives ask me what do I do – I’m at a loss at explaining them. However I’m already getting exposure to meeting a lot of interesting people at a lot of interesting companies doing a lot of interesting work. This advantage clearly out-weighs the disadvantage.

What do I want

Recently my employer organized a 2 day work-shop on good interviewing skills. Initially I was very reluctant to go as I didn’t think I would gain much out of it. However I was pleasantly surprised & found the work-shop very interesting & useful right from the beginning. It opened my mind to the possibility of measuring things in an interviewee that I thought were not measurable. It also made me think on some bigger issues with respect to my own professional life that I had been ignoring. In one of the sessions the topic being discussed was “To find if the candidate’s long time goal & the company’s vision fit”. While this topic was being discussed – my mind came out with a very elementary question – What is my long time goal?

This question looks amazingly simple but it troubled me a lot that I didn’t have an equally simple answer to it. I started in search for an easy answer to this question by analyzing things that I enjoy and/or want out of my career. The portion below in this post describes these things & in the end arrives at a simple answer to this question.

a) Money – I certainly need money. It is a very important element that in the past has been the deciding factor on taking or leave a job offer. Could making money be my goal? The statement stresses on making money – I have to earn that money. Getting rich without earning it might not be enough to make me happy. So I started shamelessly with “My Goal is to make money” – Some more thinking & I realized that though this goal statement is correct, but it is not complete – there has to be something more to it.

b) Developing Software – I am a software engineer and I enjoy my work. I enjoy building software that simplifies people’s lives. I enjoy improving/enhancing its capabilities. I enjoy taking it to the next level & raising the bar for the competition. With these thoughts I refined my goal statement to – “My goal is to make money by developing software”. However this was also not it. There was still something missing.

c) Software Product – Since so far I have been working at Products Based organizations & have been enjoying it, I can call my self a products person. Though I have nothing against Services but its just that I think would enjoy products more. With this thought – I can further refine my goal statement to – “My goal is to make money by developing software products”.

d) My product – It is extremely important for me to feel the software product is my product. IMO without this association it would feel like working on somebody else’s product – which would kill the fun in being a product’s organization. With this thought I can refine my statement further “My goal is to make money by developing my software product

e) World Class – The product has to be the best in its class. Technology wise the product should be clear winner or it should be attempting through innovation something that hasn’t been attempted yet. This adds another word in my goal statement, which now becomes – “My goal is to make money by developing my world-class innovative software product”.

f) More than Engineering – Getting a thumbs-up for your product from an end-user is perhaps the most satisfying experience one can get. However to have a good satisfied customer you need to give your customer a good experience at all the touch-points. This requires a lot more work than just developing a good product. Fortunately, since I have been working in small start-ups I have had the experience to notice (and sometimes work in) these different areas: presales, tech support, documentation that go along with engineering to improve a customer’s experience. To summarize, I would eventually want to handle more than just engineering. So this refines my goal to

“My goal is to make money by developing & selling my world-class innovative software product

After having arrived at a short and simple answer to the simple question – I wondered was it worth the effort. Yes I think it was – Now I have parameters to measure my happiness at work. Also since I know exactly what would make me happy; I can ask for these other things (besides money) from my manager during my performance review 🙂

Hello World

This being my first post ever, it makes sense to introduce my self. This post intends to provide this introduction & also would also give an idea on what to expect in my future posts. Read on ……

Who am I

My name is Guneet. An engineer by degree with around 8 years of professional experience (at the time of writing this) in building software products. Hold a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Roorkee (which was earlier known as University of Roorkee). Have worked in 3 start-up organizations in different roles, developing products with Java Programming Language.

A happily married man, father to two children settled along with my parents in Gurgaon, India. Born in New Delhi (India) I have spent most of my 31 years of life in New Delhi. I have been living in Gurgaon since last three years and plan to settle down here now.

Why am I writing this Blog

I’m no blogger & I’m certainly not important enough for my writing to be read by others. In short, I’m not writing this for others to read (but if you are reading this, then I have nothing against it – please go ahead). I believe writing this would force me to introspect some aspects of my-self & come out with simple answers to simple questions that recently confronted me. In other words, I’m doing this to crystallize some my thoughts.

I keep dreaming (with my eyes wide open) about things & keep thinking about my dreams, but unfortunately these remain as thoughts which come and go & do not translate into actions. Through this blog, I also intend to capture these thoughts and to act on them otherwise dreams would remain what they are & would lose their significance.

You might wonder that I could have captured these thoughts in a word document and my goal would have been met – then why Blog? I actually thought about this and decided against it. Reason(s)

a) I would at some stage question the usefulness of this practice. A word Document would be much easier to ignore (even with good content) than a Blog.

b) Within hearts of heart, I want the world to know about my dreams/thoughts.

Being a father to two & having a role in the work place that requires more than 100% of my time, it doesn’t leave me with a lot of time (like all others around me) to blog. Therefore, the frequency of my posts would be irregular. In certain period of time you might find a couple of posts in short span, while I might be missing on this front for a long time at some other time. I guess this would be the usual & typical to most bloggers.

Related Topics : What do I want