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Why Developers aren’t your Helpdesk

Posted by on Thursday, December 22, 2016


Ask yourself, What is your developer’s job? Are you piling up helpdesk tasks on her lap while she could be spending time building and improving your core product? If so, stop.

You know computer things… Fix my phone.

Rest assured, it’s not uncommon for computer-centric staff to default to IT helpdesk support. It’s an easy path (rather, bottomless pit) to get caught in -especially if your developer is kind and willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

Truth be told, a very profitable tactic is to have the fewest staff on payroll while maximizing the output of production -so why not take advantage of that nice developer raising her hand? Here’s why, your developer was hired to build, maintain, monitor and service your product (AKA: A vital solution that brings in a recurring revenue stream). Don’t distract her with other IT tasks. It’s not at all about her competency -she can do it, it just doesn’t make any financial sense to expect her to.

In short, there comes a point when having your highly productive players wearing too many hats is no longer optimizing your business, but instead, slowing your business down… dramatically.

Your developer shouldn’t be doing Helpdesk work

Here’s a quick list of tasks that a Helpdeskversus a Developer should be responsible for:

Task Developer Helpdesk
Network Management
Vendor Management
Phone/Desktop Support
Application Deployment
IT Training
Program Design
Program Installation
Program Testing & Maintenance

When your developer reaches a point where she feels that production has slowed, it’s time to consider hiring or outsourcing some of the tasks that really don’t qualify as doing her jobDoes that developer really need to be on the phone with your ISP during an outage? Does that developer have any interest in managing all of the vendor licenses attached to your domain? Should she really be spending her time to sync contacts on your iPhone?

OK, where do I start?

If you’re looking to hire someone to handle IT, check out our blog post, Effective Questions for Interviewing IT Staff. That should get you started. Alternatively, consider outsourcing. For example, IT Support is a service that can easily be outsourced. Full disclosure, this is what Profound Cloud does -but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re a good fit for you. There’s are a lot of great options out there, so shop around. The concept of outsourcing versus hiring a Systems Administrator is simple, rather than hiring one person, you get an entire team.  More so, these teams don’t all go on vacation at once or require medical benefits (which is another cost to consider when looking to hire.)

Once you’ve identified the tasks your Developer shouldn’t have, she should be well on her way to focus on the tasks that increase your revenue stream.

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