How do you deal with the emotional turmoil of bugs in production?

I know bugs are normal, but it still hurts when we have deployed with a customer and there are bugs in production. I feel anxiety when I open my email sometimes, because I'm so worried it'll be another customer service email.

Founders, how do you deal with this?

tanmayisai's profile thumbnail
I haven't been a founder but as a PM when we ship with bugs it feels the same way! Unless it's an alarming number of bugs, it's normal. I always made sure to send apology notes and grateful notes to customers who complained and experienced issues. They don't mind as much :) Messages always sounds worse than things are!
BrianaBrownell's profile thumbnail
A few questions to ask yourself - Is your QA and testing process robust enough? How is code reviewed before deployment? If there are no issues here, then I'm afraid it's just a part of life. How to deal with it is: have a sense of humor about it and don't blame people, fix things diligently when you find them, appreciate the customers who care enough about the product to bring it to your attention.
With a good checklist, or a transparent process flow, plus buy in from colleagues, you can cut errors waaay down. I just did this in a recent assignment. My predecessor had created a process that worked for them, but was impossible to explain or replicate. I spent about a month streamlining it (with a ton of initial pushback). I recently handed it off and can see that it is moving smoothly. One of the people who pushed back is trying to tinker with it, but they haven’t wrecked it. That’s a victory.
vrose's profile thumbnail
I am not involved with code or a founder (my boyfriend is both, so I have a pretty good understanding!), but I do receive and respond to any customer emails about bugs. While it is never a super fun time for anyone, we have tried to improve the experience by celebrating it with the customer. They found something that can help us be better at what we do, and we’re going to provide them with excellent customer service to solve the bug!First, we reply and let them know we’re sorry for the experience but we’re working on it and we will report back soon. We also ask if we can hop on Zoom with them to more quickly understand/diagnose the problem. Then once we know what’s going on, we reply again and say “We have good news, and more good news! The first is that we’ve solved the problem. (Provide more details). And the even better news is we’re going to be sending you an Amazon gift card as part of our bug bounty program! Yadda, yadda….” Our company is small enough that we can provide this level of service for most customers who have issues (not everything qualifies for the bug bounty program though) and they’re always pretty appreciative. Good luck!
love this!!!
amyburns's profile thumbnail
I can relate, have been there with my experience with enterprise software. I agree with all of the ideas in this thread! Especially for using QA (unit, manual or automated testing) to help find bugs before a release. In my experience on a scrum team, we try to iterate our releases for small pieces of value, which helps cut down on a giant release that might be buggy, but gets the software out to the customers so they can use some of it, provide feedback (customers sometimes find things we would never dream of testing for) and then we iterate. Then we keep building out functionality. Our team also allows for some time each sprint for production issue handling, since...stuff happens :( But yes, being on the receiving end of a production-support issue can be stressful at times. I try to tell myself "this is great feedback" but some days its better to regroup and figure out why we're getting so many bugs.