I’ve experienced the four stages of grief — denial, depression, anger, acceptance — but recently realized that there are four stages to shipping, too:
In relief phase we are all just happy to be done. The product is out the door. There’s a little adrenal kick that goes along with it. This phase never lasts long.
Then exhaustion sets in. It’s been a long road and invariably the hours have been tiring. 6, 7 days per week, 10 plus hours a day, dreaming about code when asleep, awake early, asleep late. The exhaustion mutes the brain, though, and lets a day or so pass with some rest.
Once the brain starts to recover a little then fear sets in. What’s broken? If it’s broken am I going to be able to fix it? Is anyone going to care? Will we have downloads? Did I remember to do this or that? Did that last minute change cause a problem? I never did retest this one section. I’m sure that was broken! The reviews are going to be horrible.
Finally, with time, acceptance sets in. Well, it will do what it does. If there are bugs we will fix them.
And that’s when we start planning the next build.