The very short story of DevMaint

-Hi Lisa, welcome to your new job as a software developer! You will start here in our support team doing maintenance. That’s the best way to learn our products. After a year or so, you will be ready to start working on new development.


This is how it was; I had forgotten. The separation between the “fun and creative” software development and the lower-status software maintenance. For nasty bugs, the heavy artillery would be brought in to assist, but the different teams didn’t work close together on a daily basis and there was definitely a rank between the two.

Over the years I suppose the lines just gradually faded and maintenance became a natural part of development, increasing the quality and work engagement. Also, I surmise the separation between maintenance and development was never as astronomic as the separation one typically sees between development and operations.

Nevertheless, in 2018, we terminated our legacy maintenance contracts and reorganised by forming stable teams responsible for both development and maintenance of their respective codebases. From a governance perspective this was at least as important as merging development with operations: the DevMaint movement.

2 thoughts on “The very short story of DevMaint

  1. I haven’t forgotten! And as I remember it, it was you who many years ago (2012?) suggested we (at TUI/Fritidsdresor) should change from having project teams and “maintenance” teams to only have product teams. Unfortunatley I also remember a PM who was not very positiv to the proposal in the first discussion (myself). But, luckily enough you convinced me and others, and I think it was an extremly improtant change and a corner stone in the successes to come after that. It is really difficult today to imagine going back to having it separated!

    Liked by 1 person

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