My former co-worker Nick Bradbury talking about software support:
My first week after joining Automattic as a mobile developer was among the most unusual new-hire experiences I’ve had. Instead of jumping into the code, I did customer support – and I’ll continue to do it for another two weeks.
I’ve loved this post since Nick wrote it. I should have linked to it sooner.
My first few weeks at NewsGator were spent helping the support team figure out bug reports. I hated it, but the time I spent triaging those bugs made me deep dive into the code.
If you want to really learn a new piece of software – either through joining a new team or by acquiring it from someone else – follow the bugs. They’ll lead you to the code that needs the most attention.