What’s the scariest day of a software release? Is it the day before the release? The day of the release? It’s neither, the scariest day of a software release is the day after the release.
Why? That’s when all hell can break loose. That’s when your software will move from your small testing world to the big real world, when it will really be tested beyond the small and friendly confines of your company. That’s when you’ll know if there’s a problem and you’ll be called upon to fix it right NOW. Not tomorrow or next week but right now. The day after the release is by far the scariest day of a software release.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to bringing a software release to fruition. It takes a great amount of effort. And there’s definitely a lot of pressure to get it right. But all that’s nothing compared to the nightmare of having to deal with a software release gone bad. It can mean rolling back, losing data, angry customers, customers who’s entire companies go down because of you. It’s not a good position to be in.
It’s also when the customer wants solutions and answers right now! How can this have happened? When will it be fixed? And you need to give them an answer and solution NOW. You’re on the fire cooker and with each second that passes the stress and pressure increases exponentially. No one wants to experience the day after a bad release.
The day after a release is always tense, everyone’s on standby waiting for any signs of trouble. Although I’m not making justice to real soldiers, it almost feels like being in the trenches waiting for the battle to begin. It can be nerve racking.
You’re hoping for a completely quiet day, but you’re prepared for the worse.
And that was us on Monday this week. The good thing is that it was a completely quiet day!!! Not a word. Not a peep. Nothing. The release went absolutely perfect. Not one hitch. The server got hammered by the sheer number of downloads but it held up without a problem. A lot of people upgraded based on the sheer number of downloads, but not one support request was related to the upgrade!
I couldn’t have asked for anything more. So far every single release of LandlordMax has gone really well. It’s been great. Of course I could say we’ve been very lucky, but I have to admit there is a lot of effort that goes into each release to make them successful. And it pays off. It’s worth the time, and I strongly recommend every company put the necessary effort into successfully releasing software rather than just throwing it out there and hoping for the best. It’s worth it.
And please don’t misconstrue this last comment as me saying that you should only release software when it’s fully complete feature wise, that’s not at all what I’m saying. I’m a big fan of evolutionary software, meaning build your software iteratively. Don’t try to build it all at one time, rather build as many features as you can now and add more later in future versions. It’s just that whatever you do build now, make sure it works to perfection.
Once I’ve written the follow-up article I promised on our sales metric here at LandlordMax, I’ll post an article about how to significantly improve the odds of successfully releasing a software. If you’re interested come back soon, or if you want to save yourself some effort, you can also subscribe to my RSS feed so that you don’t have to come back each day until I post the follow-up. As well you can subscribe to my email newsletter which will send each of the blog entries I publish to your email box directly.