why should I do production support?

I hear this question almost every month from at-least one product engineer(specially new hires) in the team. In this blog post, I will to try to answer this question with my experience of doing production support at Gojek, an Indonesian superapp with 18+ products.


Currently, I am leading a team called IronBank[1] which is responsible for profitability of Transport product. Transport product is responsible for moving people from Point A to Point B in 4 countries – Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

We don’t have dedicated production support folks (yet). From Transport group, we have 3 product engineers on production support. These people are rotated weekly. So this blog post is within the context of a company with decent scale and no dedicated SRE folks.

My initial days at Transport

On my first day, I saw Gojek being down for ~40 minutes because google maps directions api started returning html code in the response 🙂 . It was an intense day. Almost everyone in the company was on production support call. I saw few folks handling the communication with customer support folks, keeping them upto date with the issue. Few folks were trying to reach out to Google support to get the eta on the fix. Two engineers from Transport were building the fallback mechanism of google maps directions api. At that time, Transport was quite lean. The product team had around ~7 product engineers(including frontend) with two PMs. After 2 days of “orientation” my mentor asked me to do production support 🙂

My production support experience

Initially, I struggled a lot. That was mainly because of three reasons – 1) Gojek didn’t have any process around production support 2) Gojek architecture and scale were huge 3) I didn’t have any real experience of doing production support. Long story short, I was on production support for almost 2 months and I would say those days helped me grow as an engineer. I felt a steep learning curve.

Below are the list of things I learned during production support

  • I developed customer empathy
    • It was very emotional for me to see when thousands of drivers were not getting bids/bookings because one of our database vm restarted 😦
    • One day at around 5pm Jakarta time, thousands of customers were stuck in their office because we forgot to change the data type of one column from integer to big int(integer overflow)
  • I learned about the Alerting & monitoring infrastructure of Gojek
  • I learned how to do write good RCAs
  • Production support helped me figure out the architecture issues in our systems. This also helped me in figuring out the tech debt items
  • I met a lot of (good) product engineers in the company during production support and learned a lot from them
  • I made tonnes of memories while doing production support. It was a fun time

[1] I no longer work at Gojek

why should I commit frequently?


Every now and then I see developers making commits of huge size – sometimes 1000s of lines(the above image is from a real incident where one developer added 1000+ lines and deleted 450+ lines in a single commit). Even I have done this mistake multiple times. This small post is my take on why should we commit frequently. At the end of the post, I am going to show a small tool which can help you in building the habit of committing frequently.

Importance of committing frequently ?

  • Having periodic checkpoints because of small commits helps in debugging and makes the history cleaner
  • Small commits make collaboration better. If you commit and push the changes frequently, your team-mates will be able to integrate with your codebase frequently(sometimes even prevent merge conflicts)
  • Small commits encourages us to think iteratively

A plugin to build your habit

If you use zsh, you can use this plugin to encourage the best practises of git. The plugin displays a message in the command prompt when it sees that there are some uncommitted changes. See the image below – the plugin is showing Don’t forget to commit frequently in the command prompt.