I’m a Netflix subscriber, but not a very big user. I don’t watch that many movies, so I visit their website quite infrequently. However, tonight it’s the third time that I try to go there to add or remove something and I get the wonderful message:
“The Netflix web site is temporarily unavailable due to scheduled maintenance.
It is anticipated that the site will be available again at 2:30 AM Pacific time.
We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you. You can contact Netflix Customer Service at 1-888-638-3549.
Please visit us again soon.”
Excuse me, but I’m a client. If they have a “scheduled maintenance” they have to schedule it with me! That’s how things should work. That’s how things are done where I work. And that’s why Amazon does not have “scheduled maintenance” of their website. You just keep it up. Shutting a website down for over 2 hours!!! That’s just a sign of bad engineering. No wonder when I interview candidates I see that people have very little knowledge of how to design systems with high availability. Performance, sometimes. But availability…
Anyway, if I was the only person that used my Netflix account I would be very tempted to just cancel it tonight. It’s convenient, it’s really not very expensive, but I just don’t like to support bad engineers.