Adam Tuttle

Entries Tagged as Adobe

Customer Support and Time Zones

Let's talk about customer support. It's your first line of defense when customers are affected by bugs, so it should be a very high priority.

Of course I'm being set off (again) by ongoing issues with PhoneGap Build. Probably around 80% of my work is developing PhoneGap based mobile apps. And again, the site is experiencing issues...


This particular problem is not even one covered in my previous rant. They have (when occasionally bothering to respond to customer support tickets) mentioned that there were issues with the process that does compilations notifying the website that compile was complete, for one or two platforms. Well, if I had to guess, I'd say the issue is now more widespread. I uploaded a build around 2 hours ago and it still hasn't been marked as completed for a single platform.

But that's not what I'm flying off the handle about, today. No, today is about Time Zones in relation to customer support.

For the uninitiated, there's this whole section of the planet in a time zone called US-East, where a shitload of people — yours truly included — live and work. And while they don't post profiles of all of their employees, we can extrapolate based on their posting habits and the occasional twitter bio, and estimate that Adobe has two teams working on PhoneGap Build: One in India, and one in San Francisco, California.

These two time zones are almost directly opposite one another, so you might think that between them they could cover customer support needs fairly well; in 12 hour blocks, with one team handing over everything to the other team at the end of the day, never going un-covered.

Woe, but were that true.

Instead, what seems to happen is that at some point in the Indian late afternoon or early evening they punch out, and the customer support portal goes dark for the night. While it does feel a bit rare, subjectively, let's say that when the SF team wakes up and heads into the office, they do in fact pay attention to the support portal. It often doesn't feel that way, as someone who's under deadlines and frustrated with a support black-out, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt for the sake of argument.

If the India team stops handling customer support at 5pm in their local time, and the SF team starts handling support at 8am in their local time, then there's a chunk of time un-covered there. At first glance that time block doesn't seem so bad. It's 5:00pm until 8:30pm in India, or 4:30am to 8:00am in SF. But if we look at that time frame for US-East, that's 7:30am to 11:00am — basically the first half of every day is radio silence.

Not just radio silence, but when a big problem happens, like, you know, NOTHING WORKS, then we're sitting on our hands and our deadlines for half a day waiting for someone, anyone, to come save the day. When my applications are useless I get a notification, and I drag my ass out of bed no matter what time it is, and I don't go back to bed until it's fixed.

This is geographic discrimination, and it suuuuuuuuucks.

And let's be honest here: they're not jumping on tickets at 8am in SF. More like 11am, if at all.

I know I sound like a broken record, here, but come on guys. This service is the fucking cats pajamas... when it works. To quote a colleague of mine, if you could keep it online we would "fly to California just to throw a stack of money at you."

For at least two weeks now they've responded to every one of my "hey, btw, your service is down" tweets, more than 12 hours later (often even 24+ hours later!), with something along the lines of "sorry, we're making some changes soon to address this!". I don't think your definition of "soon" and mine are the same.

Published 2013-05-21 @ 11:02 in Adobe PhoneGap

Help Adobe Understand the CF Community

The ColdFusion team has a very, very short (2 questions!) survey, to help them understand the tools that the CF Community prefers. It will only take a few seconds of your time, so please take the survey now!

Published 2012-02-22 @ 07:57 in Adobe ColdFusion

Upgrade your Flex knowledge to 4.5

I'm thrilled to announce that after a lot of hard work writing, editing, and re-writing, an article that I wrote is now live on the Adobe Developer Connection: A Flex 3 developer's introduction to Flex 4.5 and Flash Builder 4.5

In the article I give a (very) brief overview of most of the changes and new features between Flex 3.x and 4.5 and between Flex Builder 3 and Flash Builder 4.5. If I covered everything in depth then the article would be longer than you would want to read and longer than I want to write -- so I stuck with an overview of each change/addition, and then tried to provide links for further reading if a topic is of particular interest or importance to you.

I hope you find it useful!

Published 2011-07-26 @ 08:00 in Adobe Flex

Decompressing from Max

This year was my first time attending Adobe Max, and by all accounts, I picked a great year to be my first.

It seems all anyone wants to talk about is free stuff -- and yes, there were some nice giveaways -- but there was so much more to it than that. I think I averaged somewhere around 4 hours of sleep per night, from Saturday night through Wednesday night, because there was so much going on. All day every day I was forced to make tough decisions between sessions that I really wanted to attend, and every evening seemed to include both an officially sanctioned social activity (like bowling at Lucky Strike) and something more or less spontaneous with a gathering of other friends (like 1am pancakes!). I made new friends every day. I tasted homebrew, and went to an expensive restaurant on Melrose. (My god the taxi ride over was hot!)

But more importantly I sharpened my saw, I learned new skills (apparently I'm a mobile developer (or at least I will be once the new versions of Flex and Flash Builder are released)), and came back invigorated and inspired to push my own boundaries. I probably have half a dozen ideas for applications I want to develop, all of which involve something I've never done before: at least one for AIR for TV app, one or two for AIR for Android, and one combination Flex / HTML5 app all immediately spring to mind.

Previously I had a view of Max as more of a sales pitch and less of a place where I could learn, and I'm happy to report that this view has changed.

I'm excited for what the future holds. I hope to be back at MAX next year. And I hope to see you there.

Published 2010-11-02 @ 01:51 in Adobe Conferences