In any big organisation there are a number of applications that have been running in production for many years but still need maintaining. Sometimes those systems are in limp home mode and we can only make small changes to help them across the finish line. This is not a very appealing scenario to an engineer with a can-fix attitude, but there are still many benefits to getting involved in troubleshooting live issues.
I used to think that greenfield projects and new features are the most important areas that would give me opportunities for learning, but I have realised looking back at my experience that digging into code that I had not written or from a project I was not part of has given me many benefits: confidence in stepping into the unknown, a better understanding of systems that seemed to be a black box and also the ability to predict possible pitfalls when implementing new systems and prevent failures!
In this talk I would like to share the steps I went through when I could no longer avoid diving into the unknown, some anecdotes of things I’ve learnt and how I have been trying to get my team excited about sharing the brunt of helping production systems continue running.