Chris Tsai, Support Ninja

This week, Chris Tsai took a few days of vacation time, and I covered for him.

Let me clarify. When I say “I covered for him”, what I mean is that I tried, frantically, to keep up with the flow of email, tickets, and IRC queries, which Chris handles all day, every day.

Chris is our front-line technical support guy at SourceForge. He’s the guy that gets your complaints, comments, and bug reports, via the ticket system, email, and IRC. These queries vary from password reset requests and requests for documentation to requests for legal advice and help on getting some of our projects’ software working.

By the way, we are a project hosting company, and we have thousands of projects hosted here. We are not, and cannot be, experts on all of those projects, so requests for help on configuring FileZilla and editing audio with Audacity are redirected to those communities.

And we are not lawyers, and so request for legal advice are redirected to the Software Freedom Law Center.

I thought, when he showed me what I would need to do in his absence, that it would be a snap, and I would be able to get my own job done too. Not so. I quickly discovered that Chris is a support ninja, and that I can’t hope to measure up to his skills. It’s not that the volume of support requests was huge, but, rather, that because of the number of different developer tools we offer at SourceForge, Chris has to know an awful lot of things in order to answer the breadth of questions that are asked.

SourceForge offers revision control using Subversion, Git, and Mercurial. We have the ability to host various applications in your web space, as well as wikis, ticket trackers, databases, mailing lists, and discussion forums, and Chris supports all of these, with, as far as I can tell, a relatively small percentage of the inbound requests being escalated up to the second line of defense.

So, all of that to say, you are in good hands when you host your project at SourceForge.

Oh, and also, that Chris is never allowed to take a vacation again.


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