I work in a medium sized company that provides certain services to American municipal governments. A large part of our product is software which manages some of these services which we sell to the governments (allowing them to use their own staff).
My boss famously never took a day off and he handled all the various devops, on-call, and maintenance of old systems. Like most developer groups, we have high turnover and nobody besides my boss has been here more than two years. If it was an ancient system using Ant (some Java build tool) he did it. He was willing to do all the stuff nobody wanted to do while leaving the fun job of writing virgin code for new projects to us.
However, he abruptly announced a few days ago that he is leaving as they wouldn’t even raise his pay to the top of the pay band as ifs “for external hires only.” A massive transition effort has been initiated (dozens from customer service to IT to dev are involved in a full time basis) to try and document everything before he leaves.
Problem is, nobody even knows the technologies used. We have FORTRAN code. Nobody here knows that. I’ve been assigned to document five systems I have never even heard of, which is basically just collecting passwords and SVN repo names as I am not primarily a Java dev.
Today, he took a day off for the first time in years, as I suspect he no longer cares. The prod database goes down and nobody has a clue how to fix it. We had to place a very expensive call to a database services provider for advice.
They are now talking about vast changes ranging from moving some of us to dedicated maintenance devs and instituting on-call.
Basically, what typically happens when a bus factor 1 event occurs? Are we in for a period of substantial pain and frustration? As I’m inclined to join my boss in leaving to avoid that.