Hi, I hear this very often that you get waken up in the middle of the night to fix something really quickly. And it sounds cool, it sounds like - I'm so important, .... (and who doesn't want to be important).
But now I was thinking about it - is this really happening? Especially in the way it's presented? Or is it rather something which almost never happens and if, than you could have had expected it anyway.
I'm working in Europe and so far was developing software which was mostly used by other businesses in the same country (== same TimeZone) - This way, nobody would have found out if the software isn't working at 3am or on the weekends, because just nobody was using it. I also used to work on a team which was developing banking software, and there the guys developing the backend were "on call" during the last few days of December as this is the time when banks are testing and performing all their final bookings. But this also wasn't a 3am thing, rather a - oh NYE is on a Sunday, so I'm not at work, but still reachable on my phone, just in case - thing. And those people were expecting it during those times.
I've also talked with a friend who is working for a big internet company which has millions of users. He's working in their HQ n Europe and was saying that there are every day some people "on call" but it's rotating and you won't be it more than 1-2 weeks per year. Also as the company is internationally active and has employees in different TimeZones I guess that those just can restart a service (in case it stops working) or simply shut it down, until it gets fixed on the next day.
So I'm wondering, are people in the US just selling it as something more than it actually is - and in reality it's similar to what I've experienced so far - or is the wake up call a real thing and it happens every month at least once and than you're sitting there for 2 hours trying to fix the bug, barely able to think what you are doing? (at least that's how I'd imagine myself working under those conditions)