The technical support team at Ephox is fairly small; currently there are only two of us.  This normally works out ok because our front-line team is fairly cluey and can handle a lot of cases by themselves.  It means, however, that when the other tech goes on holiday for a week I’m left doing it all by myself.

This week I worked on 43 cases, which is probably some kind of personal record.  And that doesn’t include another handful that I consulted on but weren’t actually assigned to me.

A few of them were simple follow-up emails on old cases, but most were actual technical issues with some confirmed bug reports thrown in for good measure.  One of the reasons we have a Senior developer doing support, of course, is that I just dive in and fix them myself.  I thought the bugs I’ve fixed in the last couple of days were amusing:

  • Potential deadlock with cached image downloads
  • HTML filter failed when there was a <title> tag inside the <body>
  • Infinite loop in background spell checking after removing a space followed by a single quote with track changes enabled
  • Style dropdown was only one item high with the document navigator disabled and no linked stylesheets

If you look at those last three in particular, you’ll see the sort of edge case scenarios we find our customers hitting more regularly than you’d think – and the last one was reported twice recently.  It’s an unwritten rule of customer support: any time you get a report of some weird use case that exposes a bug in the product, within a week there are other customers reporting the same thing.

I will say this however – while Ephox technical support can be a challenging job, it’s a rewarding one.  We are very proud of the quality of our support (which comes from putting developers on the team) and pretty much every week there are customers who are so happy with our support they leave comments like this:

You’ve been really helpful, and have responded quickly in all cases, IMHO – many companies are nowhere near as good as yourselves.

I have two weeks left on my support rotation, and I’m doing better than I predicted – only now am I running out of podsafe music podcasts to listen to.  It’s a bit sad to be leaving the support team, I’ll miss the wide variety of cases that come through; but we can’t leave developers on the team too long or they burn out 🙂