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Tech support. If I was the Programmer King of the World, I would decree that no one could be a programmer without first putting in 2 years as front line, customer facing tech support. I dont mean "flip-book" & "read answers from a script" tech support like you'd get from a telco, but rather the kind where you have to actually research, test, and experiment to duplicate problems, report on them, interact with the customer, and if possible, find resolutions.

I find that when programmers go that route, they have a better feel for the 'ecosystem' of their products, and they develop a better feel for what the common weak points and problem areas are. In the end that lets them create more reliable products.