The answer to your particular question will matter on the scope of
your product(s) distribution. Personally, I serve in the support role
(email & phone) for one of the products I've developed, but that
product has a very narrow business specific market and sells for
several thousand dollars. That, coupled with the fact that I was very
comprehensive and thorough with my help files & documents (and
designed the software to be as easy to use as possible), means the
support role occupies very little of my time.
You have to weigh the amount of time that will be spent on the support
role versus development issues (updates, bug fixes, new features,
etc.). Many developers don't like to serve in the support role
because they prefer to devote their time "creating cool stuff that
makes a computer do cool things" as opposed to answering what they may
perceive as "stupid questions" (keep in mind that a developer will be
intimate to the inner workings to the product and may find it
difficult to perceive an end-user point of view even to a most valid
question). So it is imperative that they are aware beforehand that
their role might also include support (if that is the route you decide
Another consideration is the communication skills of your support
personnel. They need to take an end-user perspective and not talk
over peoples' heads.
Perhaps it is best to discuss the whole support issue with your
BTW, for my reply to your post, I expect a free copy of whatever it is
you're making ;-)
> Hello everyone!
> I would like to know about who "can" and "should" be included in the
> Software Development Teams for small and startup companies.
> Consider this scenario: Three persons wish to develop and sell software but
> they are low in budget and could not hire many people to perform different
> kind of roles. So each of them has to wear multiple hats (such as planning,
> developing, testing...etc) successfully.
> My particular question is that after the software is developed and sold to
> the customers, could (and should) the members of this Software Development
> Team provide customer support (such as via Newsgroups) without forming a
> spereate customer support team? Is this a possibility and does any software
> development teams in the world do this?
> Thank you all for your time!