The Dancer in the Shadows

Monday, May 13, 2013

"I'm on the latest version"

I work in tech support.

"I'm on the latest version" as an answer, when I ask what version and build a user is on, is one of those answers that really makes me want the ability to strangle people through a phone line.

Stop and think about it. Is the user really likely to check for the most recent available update before answering that question? Ever? Beyond that, the "latest" version is normally an Alpha release that is not available to general users, and even a Beta release that is available is certainly a later release than the most recent stable release; if you are actually on a Beta release, and you are calling me, something is wrong. The company I work for does not do general availability Beta releases. If you are on a Beta release, you are testing a new feature you requested, and you should be contacting the Development team directly. I can't help you with the Beta releases. Except under special circumstances, I'm not allowed to. I'm not part of the Development team.

We do make bug fix builds from the code tree on a frequent basis. I don't know Q/A's process for determining when to cut the branch and make it an official Service Pack, but it happens, and the bug fixes and new features continue on a new branch after the cut off point. In this way, there is always a newer release than the currently downloadable Service Pack. With the extensive Q/A testing done for an official Service Pack over and above the standard testing every new build receives automatically when the compile completes before it will even be considered for release to a customer, there are typically at least five new builds after the Service Pack before the Service Pack is even made generally available. I have personally delivered one of these post Service Pack builds to a customer because it had a new bug fix that the just finalized Service Pack did not have, before the Service Pack was finished with the extensive Q/A testing.

Unless you received the latest build in the last ten minutes, I will guarantee you are not on the latest build, and telling me you are does not help either of us.

--- The Dancer in the Shadows


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