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(AL.com)   We laid off 40 percent of our IT staff and refused to upgrade outdated equipment...let's watch what happens   (blog.al.com) divider line 347
    More: Fail, Jefferson County, information technology, Emergency Management Agency, computer crashes, county manager, equipment  
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38662 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jun 2012 at 11:15 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-10 01:11:33 PM

Babwa Wawa: SAP is a beast not to be f*cked with.


Unless you're a consultant for SAP related stuff. Looks like they took the cash that paid the competent staff's salary and ended up paying it to the incompetent consultant.

Hale-Bopp: This already came to Wisconsin. You're just not hearing about it yet because our servers are still catching up.


Before or after Walker came into office? Implementing SAP is difficult as it is when you have competent people in the private sector; it will be a colossal waste of tax dollars given the incompetence generated by cronyism-driven austerity.

If you know SAP well enough to collect a paycheck, it is a literal goldmine. Walk in, set it up, then leave with your large paycheck.


Strangerarranger: Does anybody know what the letters SAP stands for?
Submit
And
Pray


Or Such A Pain?
 
2012-06-10 01:17:23 PM

mxwjs: the funny this is most of those things are private where i live ( not that that makes it better or is even relevant ) my comment wasn't saying that the gov't fails at doing everything. they simply fail to do things even reasonably efficiently. blindly giving them more money doesn't help. i do vote. i don't tell people how to do their jobs ( why would that be something i would have to do? ) i don't biatch into the ether (because it doesn't exist ). i simply said just giving people more money doesn't fix stuff. an obvious statement.


Wrong. You said governments "never keep up their end of the deal." And I called bullshiat. Because it is. Don't sit there and tell me you said one thing when you clearly said much more than that.

I promise you that NO ONE hands out money blindly. I really don't know where you get that from. Departments in your local government fight constantly for depleted funds. Budget proposals are fought over & cut all the time. I have no idea where you get the idea that we're just POURING taxpayer dollars into dead end projects and inefficient systems. I really don't & it makes me wonder if you've ever worked in the public sector at all. No one ever said that pouring more money into something solves every problem. But if you look at this article, pouring money into a new server would've mitigated this county's problem.

And governments do things efficiently all the time, you just don't notice because they're running efficiently. I feel sorry for you if your police & fire are privatized. That sounds like a huge recipe for disaster. Literally.
 
2012-06-10 01:24:06 PM

slayer199: CruJones: You have full control of your data, and these hosting companies have been around longer than 12 years. Some are very profitable and provide fantastic support. I'm not talking about buying a slice of a server at Amazon. I'm talking about dedicated managed hosting, where you still have root access, and full control of your data. You just have someone else run the hardware, OS, backups, etc. But if I have a config that needs HA firewalls and load balancers, a six server web farm, with a MySQL cluster running on some SAN in the backend, it's a hell of a lot easier (and usually cheaper) and more reliable than having to have Rodney wake up in the middle of the night and drive to the office to fix a failed motherboard.

More likely is private clouds. I know my company would never go to something like Amazon's EC2. They want full control over the data which is the lifeblood of our business. For smaller companies, I can see going to hosted mail or servers...it makes sense. You don't need to have a network or storage guy...just a sysadmin to run the servers. "The Cloud" is overhyped (just like VDI). At the end of the day, It really depends on the needs of the business and the users.


Despite the protests, the future is hybrid hosting. Some stuff in dedicated gear somewhere, bursting in the public cloud as needed, or for test/dev. Right now, and the near future, public clouds can't handle security well enough, or the high IO needed for some databases. It all depends on the needs. If it's something you can live with being down for a few hours, that's one thing. But when you're EA Sports and tens of thousands are playing a game simultaneously, you need as much help as you can get. A large ecommerce site can lose tens of thousands with a small outage.
 
2012-06-10 01:26:22 PM

Deathfrogg: You didn't RTFA did you.


Don't feed the parody troll. That particular comment, coming so late in a thread about snafus in all manner of organizations, should be the clue here.
 
2012-06-10 01:30:06 PM

GAT_00: cman: GAT_00: cman: GAT_00: Hey, what do you know, Republican government policy is completely idiotic and fails horribly.

Same can be said for every government policy in existence

You're ex-military. So you're saying, you are, or rather were, part of the problem?

Oh of course I was

I've had this same conversation recently with someone who is not only currently working for a university and government entity as I am, but has worked for a city government in the past. He didn't understand why I said he was a hypocrite for complaining about government inefficiency WHILE he was on the clock working for the government.

Basically, I don't think you should be allowed to complain about government inefficiency if you were part of the problem. Particularly when you're actively working for the government or taking money from them.


If there is a train wreck unfolding in front of you, that does not mean you can do anything about it.
 
2012-06-10 01:33:35 PM

cman: GAT_00: cman: GAT_00: cman: GAT_00: Hey, what do you know, Republican government policy is completely idiotic and fails horribly.

Same can be said for every government policy in existence

You're ex-military. So you're saying, you are, or rather were, part of the problem?

Oh of course I was

I've had this same conversation recently with someone who is not only currently working for a university and government entity as I am, but has worked for a city government in the past. He didn't understand why I said he was a hypocrite for complaining about government inefficiency WHILE he was on the clock working for the government.

Basically, I don't think you should be allowed to complain about government inefficiency if you were part of the problem. Particularly when you're actively working for the government or taking money from them.

There was absolutely nothing that I could do about government inefficiency. I wasnt some big time leader in charge of ensuring that financial reports were sent out on time; I was a small time soldier who's major responsibility was ensuring that all the feces was burned in the shiat barrels and to ensure that the fire was out before I put the barrels back inside the shiat shack.


Save your breath. He's retarded. Ask him to explain the first amendment to you.
 
2012-06-10 01:33:42 PM
This is what you get when you defy the will of the Wizard-Priest kings of IT !
 
2012-06-10 01:53:21 PM

wildcardjack: There are danger in signing maintenance contracts without having IT check it out first.

They you might need... A Contract-Killer


[3.bp.blogspot.com image 635x800]


I see you are familiar with Simon!
 
2012-06-10 02:06:45 PM

slayer199: CruJones: You have full control of your data, and these hosting companies have been around longer than 12 years. Some are very profitable and provide fantastic support. I'm not talking about buying a slice of a server at Amazon. I'm talking about dedicated managed hosting, where you still have root access, and full control of your data. You just have someone else run the hardware, OS, backups, etc. But if I have a config that needs HA firewalls and load balancers, a six server web farm, with a MySQL cluster running on some SAN in the backend, it's a hell of a lot easier (and usually cheaper) and more reliable than having to have Rodney wake up in the middle of the night and drive to the office to fix a failed motherboard.

More likely is private clouds. I know my company would never go to something like Amazon's EC2. They want full control over the data which is the lifeblood of our business. For smaller companies, I can see going to hosted mail or servers...it makes sense. You don't need to have a network or storage guy...just a sysadmin to run the servers. "The Cloud" is overhyped (just like VDI). At the end of the day, It really depends on the needs of the business and the users.


This cracks me up. I recently had a client who is using "one of the leading in the cloud providers" as a hosted solution. And was told he was getting private hosting.

Well not so much. Turns out the private cloud quote unquote was just a /22 being shared by who the eff knows who else. We saw all kinds of traffic though, not just broadcast (bad enough) but other routed stuff that had no business being in "his" lan.

They're switching hosting companies. But I can assure you the one they were on would be mentioned first or second by a lot of people looking for hosting, and whose reputation is stellar.

tl;dr: hosting companies lie about how private your data is in these so called private clouds, even so called IaaS ..
 
2012-06-10 02:08:18 PM

Eshkar: I think IT workers should unionize.


Jesus f*ck lord no.

I'm not anti raving union, but .. as a 17 year "tech" I can tell you this would be about as popular as if you took a dump on the nachos at happy hour.
 
2012-06-10 02:18:38 PM

tb tibbles: Cloud computing is being hyped as a way to bypass equipment and maintenance costs. anything wrong with that picture?


Cloud computing has only been around for ~5 years. Give it another 10 before anyone in local government will do anything other than dismiss it outright as a passing fad, if they even dignify it with a response other than I'VE NEVER HEARD OF THAT THERE'S NO WAY IT WILL WORK NOW GET BACK TO WORK.

/Ah, local business and local government.
//They probably bought that 486 (MAXED OUT) in from a garage sale in 2002.
 
2012-06-10 02:34:34 PM
As an IT dude, this made me LOL
 
2012-06-10 02:36:51 PM

E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: just go back to COBOL


We did, it pointed us to where the thirteenth colony was: Earth
 
2012-06-10 02:41:38 PM

jso2897: mr intrepid: But, small government is all efficient, right?

I wish people would stop talking about "small government". Nobody actually wants it - least of all, those who shout for it the loudest.


Actually, they do want "small government"... just not for them. Take services away from someone else instead, because I deserve them.
Just another part of the "I got/want mine, f*ck you" mentality that is part of this mindset.
 
2012-06-10 03:03:17 PM

foxyshadis: tb tibbles: Cloud computing is being hyped as a way to bypass equipment and maintenance costs. anything wrong with that picture?

Cloud computing has only been around for ~5 years. Give it another 10 before anyone in local government will do anything other than dismiss it outright as a passing fad, if they even dignify it with a response other than I'VE NEVER HEARD OF THAT THERE'S NO WAY IT WILL WORK NOW GET BACK TO WORK.

/Ah, local business and local government.
//They probably bought that 486 (MAXED OUT) in from a garage sale in 2002.


You realize clouds are made of vapor right? By definition, cloud computing must be vaporware.
 
2012-06-10 03:17:31 PM

Generation_D: slayer199: CruJones: You have full control of your data, and these hosting companies have been around longer than 12 years. Some are very profitable and provide fantastic support. I'm not talking about buying a slice of a server at Amazon. I'm talking about dedicated managed hosting, where you still have root access, and full control of your data. You just have someone else run the hardware, OS, backups, etc. But if I have a config that needs HA firewalls and load balancers, a six server web farm, with a MySQL cluster running on some SAN in the backend, it's a hell of a lot easier (and usually cheaper) and more reliable than having to have Rodney wake up in the middle of the night and drive to the office to fix a failed motherboard.

More likely is private clouds. I know my company would never go to something like Amazon's EC2. They want full control over the data which is the lifeblood of our business. For smaller companies, I can see going to hosted mail or servers...it makes sense. You don't need to have a network or storage guy...just a sysadmin to run the servers. "The Cloud" is overhyped (just like VDI). At the end of the day, It really depends on the needs of the business and the users.

This cracks me up. I recently had a client who is using "one of the leading in the cloud providers" as a hosted solution. And was told he was getting private hosting.

Well not so much. Turns out the private cloud quote unquote was just a /22 being shared by who the eff knows who else. We saw all kinds of traffic though, not just broadcast (bad enough) but other routed stuff that had no business being in "his" lan.

They're switching hosting companies. But I can assure you the one they were on would be mentioned first or second by a lot of people looking for hosting, and whose reputation is stellar.

tl;dr: hosting companies lie about how private your data is in these so called private clouds, even so called IaaS ..


What's a shame is that many (most) internal IT folks have no idea that they're competing with these folks for their jobs. Your MS rep comes around today and says "Hey why don't you do DR on Azure?" and DR's a pain in the ass to manage, so you bring him around to the CIO, maybe the CEO or CFO for a cost justification.

He has a different conversation with that guy - it's how they can do what you're doing cheaper and faster. And of course they can because they're designing for 99.9% availability (hell, is Office 365 even replicated off-site yet? I know last year they weren't). Jesus, even the 99.9% is just service availability - they have absolutely no type of obligation around the availability of your data. AWS is the same.

And as if the bar isn't set low enough already, the payout of SLA violations is the portion of the service you didn't get. If you paid $75k a month to provide a function for your business and it's down for the month, the business impact might be in the millions. But you get your $75k and shut the f*ck up.

Yes there are providers who will provide 4 and even 5 9 SLAs, and include your data in it, but that shiat's pretty expensive, and there's the CFO saying "Hey, it's Microsoft, they couldn't f*ck things up that badly, could they?"

But I see IT folks (particularly the propeller-heads like Exchange admins) brokering meetings for their Microsoft reps with C level folks all the time, as if Microsoft isn't actually competing with them for their job. They'll be stunned by the pink slip in a few years.
 
2012-06-10 03:35:05 PM

Babwa Wawa: Yes there are providers who will provide 4 and even 5 9 SLAs, and include your data in it, but that shiat's pretty expensive, and there's the CFO saying "Hey, it's Microsoft, they couldn't f*ck things up that badly, could they?"


Microsoft is learning how to do that, but they're still nowhere close to IBM. IBM calls every f*cking week, talks about the sun, the moon, and the stars in your hands, and as soon as they find out I have any idea what I'm talking about, they can't get off the phone fast enough. Always want to be transferred to someone without a clue. No, sweetie, I own this company, but you can talk to my after-hours answer service if you like.

Babwa Wawa: But I see IT folks (particularly the propeller-heads like Exchange admins) brokering meetings for their Microsoft reps with C level folks all the time, as if Microsoft isn't actually competing with them for their job. They'll be stunned by the pink slip in a few years.


Luckily, in most of the places I've been, the knee-jerk response to any request now is "no." But it'll be free. No. But it'll do what you pay a full-time person to do, and an admin can take an hour to maintain it once a year or so. No. But if she dies or quits you'll be hosed for a month. No. But you brought me in and pay me to do this already. No!

This will change as soon as the economy gets back on track - back in 2004 everything was Yes Yes Yes Now Now Now. Hi, I'm from Microsoft and we-- I'll take ten. VMWare can save you-- Let's do it. Small biz owners are gunshy now, but they never have any idea what to do with wads of money floating around and just start throwing it at anyone who asks. Not complaining, as I've been a big beneficiary in the past (one peeled ten benjamins off of his personal wad and handed them to me), but it doesn't exactly make for stellar results.
 
2012-06-10 03:53:31 PM
I am a young nurse who happens to be male and plays PC games. Because of this, I have become renown at work amongst mostly female coworkers as a computer expert. One time at the main office I asked IT for the password to the wifi and they condescendingly told me the password was not given out to just anyone and that I would have to bring my laptop to them personally to "enable internet access." So I did and they just put in the wifi PW for me. After leaving the room I promptly hit reveal characters to discover the coveted SSID password... darthv8der. Which also happened to be the password for changing the main routers settings. I think I'm going to bring in an old phone that gets wifi and use it to change the broadcasted SSID to "Jerry Sandusky's Daycare Service"

/we like to have fun here
 
2012-06-10 03:55:26 PM
As a shining example of what happens when you try to introduce efficiency to the government: Someone close to me worked in private sector for 20 years or so, then got hired on by the federal government. His office has people who process their own billing and payments etc. The agency he works for has their own massive payment processing department in another building, designed to handle all agency wide transactions. Inefficiency... so he lead a project to eliminate those positions and transfer those responsibilities to the proper place.

His bosses then go: now what do we do with those people who lost their duties? Answer: lay them off, save money, the whole point of this. So what do they do? No, we find them jobs. New task for those people: audit the other departments processing of their lost duties. That's right... instead of completing the budget trimming, they now reprocess everything they have the other department to process. No lay offs or transfers at all.

farking government.
 
2012-06-10 04:45:58 PM

CheatCommando: JustGetItRight: but the real cause for their problems are the decisions repeatedly made by the voters.

Like I said, Alabamastan. They probably have pictures of Evil Bert on the posters they chant behind, even.


Nope. Your earlier post couldn't be more off base. In this county, they won't be praying for an intervention. Jessie and Al will lead a march about the racist servers because clearly race is why they failed to properly serve Jefferson county.

The people they've been electing that have run it inot the ground aren't the ones promising God will save them, they're the ones saying society owes you something and I'll make sure you get it - and by the way I'll be taking a big chunk for me too.
 
2012-06-10 04:49:30 PM

foxyshadis: Babwa Wawa: Yes there are providers who will provide 4 and even 5 9 SLAs, and include your data in it, but that shiat's pretty expensive, and there's the CFO saying "Hey, it's Microsoft, they couldn't f*ck things up that badly, could they?"

Microsoft is learning how to do that, but they're still nowhere close to IBM. IBM calls every f*cking week, talks about the sun, the moon, and the stars in your hands, and as soon as they find out I have any idea what I'm talking about, they can't get off the phone fast enough. Always want to be transferred to someone without a clue. No, sweetie, I own this company, but you can talk to my after-hours answer service if you like.

Babwa Wawa: But I see IT folks (particularly the propeller-heads like Exchange admins) brokering meetings for their Microsoft reps with C level folks all the time, as if Microsoft isn't actually competing with them for their job. They'll be stunned by the pink slip in a few years.

Luckily, in most of the places I've been, the knee-jerk response to any request now is "no." But it'll be free. No. But it'll do what you pay a full-time person to do, and an admin can take an hour to maintain it once a year or so. No. But if she dies or quits you'll be hosed for a month. No. But you brought me in and pay me to do this already. No!

This will change as soon as the economy gets back on track - back in 2004 everything was Yes Yes Yes Now Now Now. Hi, I'm from Microsoft and we-- I'll take ten. VMWare can save you-- Let's do it. Small biz owners are gunshy now, but they never have any idea what to do with wads of money floating around and just start throwing it at anyone who asks. Not complaining, as I've been a big beneficiary in the past (one peeled ten benjamins off of his personal wad and handed them to me), but it doesn't exactly make for stellar results.


It's all jargon and hardly a threat to any of our jobs. We've done this before, we'll do it again. A fad comes through that promises to reduce man power. It kinda does, we can do more with less manpower. But then we have idle manpower that we exploit to do bigger things than we did before. Wash rinse repeat.

Whatever problem you're banging your head on today will be a commodity solution tomorrow. We'll then be chasing bigger problems.

If you keep your head in the game, stay on top of the tide and KNOW YOUR DAMNED FUNDAMENTALS. You'll increase your income out of all of this.

If you don't, you'll be the poor sucker in the IT department in bum fark somewhere in the south with the bullet point on the resume "I farked up our entire accounting system". You'll envy the bastards that got laid off before it happened.
 
2012-06-10 04:51:49 PM

JustGetItRight: CheatCommando: JustGetItRight: but the real cause for their problems are the decisions repeatedly made by the voters.

Like I said, Alabamastan. They probably have pictures of Evil Bert on the posters they chant behind, even.

Nope. Your earlier post couldn't be more off base. In this county, they won't be praying for an intervention. Jessie and Al will lead a march about the racist servers because clearly race is why they failed to properly serve Jefferson county.

The people they've been electing that have run it inot the ground aren't the ones promising God will save them, they're the ones saying society owes you something and I'll make sure you get it - and by the way I'll be taking a big chunk for me too.


Funny you bring that up. Once upon a time we used to call computer devices names like "master" and "slave". We don't anymore. Wonder what happened.
 
2012-06-10 05:09:40 PM

Thunderpipes: Ceteris Paribus says: That's symptomatic of severe financial distress

No, it is a symptom of government run stupidity. A private company would have kept things up to date in a cost effective way. Government has no incentive since taxpayer money is free.


It's true. Private companies never fark things up.
 
2012-06-10 05:25:18 PM

Generation_D: Eshkar: I think IT workers should unionize.

Jesus f*ck lord no.

I'm not anti raving union, but .. as a 17 year "tech" I can tell you this would be about as popular as if you took a dump on the nachos at happy hour.


As a 13 year veteran "tech" I think they should, especially when it comes to big corporations that fark over techs with small salaries (or shiaty hourly) with impossible work loads a collective voice would be nice.
 
2012-06-10 05:26:49 PM

rohar: we used to call computer devices names like "master" and "slave". We don't anymore. Wonder what happened.


IDE was pretty much replaced by SATA, of course. Furrfu. Kids these days.

I have 2 IDE DVD+-RWs, which still work just fine....
 
2012-06-10 05:41:22 PM

Eshkar: Generation_D: Eshkar: I think IT workers should unionize.

Jesus f*ck lord no.

I'm not anti raving union, but .. as a 17 year "tech" I can tell you this would be about as popular as if you took a dump on the nachos at happy hour.

As a 13 year veteran "tech" I think they should, especially when it comes to big corporations that fark over techs with small salaries (or shiaty hourly) with impossible work loads a collective voice would be nice.


It's almost legally impossible. Development exception in the FLSA takes it off the table.
 
2012-06-10 05:47:20 PM
Also Relevant, from December 1995:

On the first day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
A database with a broken b-tree (what the hell is a b-tree
anyway?)

On the second day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Two transceiver failures (CRC errors? Collisions? What is
going on?)
And a database with a broken b-tree (Rebuild WHAT? It's a
10GB database!)

On the third day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Three French users (who, of course, think they know
everything)
Two transceiver failures (which are now spewing packets all
over the net)
And a database with a broken b-tree (Backup? What backup?)

On the fourth day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Four calls for support (playing the same Christmas song over
and over)
Three French users (Why do they like to argue so much over
trivial things?)
Two transceiver failures (How the hell do I know which ones
they are?)
And a database with a broken b-tree (Pointer error? What's a
pointer error?)


On the fifth day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Five golden SCSI contacts (Of course they're better than
silver!)
Four support calls (Ever notice how time stands still when on
hold?
Three French users (No, we don't have footpedals on PC's. Why
do you ask?)
Two transceiver failures (If I knew which ones were bad, I
would know which ones to fix!)
And a database with a broken b-tree (Not till next week? Are
you nuts?!?!)

On the sixth day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Six games a-playing (On the production network, of course!)
Five golden SCSI contacts (What do you mean "not terminated!")
Four support calls (No, don't transfer me again - do you HEAR?
Damn!)
Three French users (No, you cannot scan in by putting the page
to the screen...)
Two transceiver failures (I can't look at the LEDs - they're
in the ceiling!)
And a database with a broken b-tree (Norway? That's where this
was written?)

On the seventh day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Seven license failures (Expired? When?)
Six games a-playing (Please stop tying up the PBX to talk to
each other!)
Five golden SCSI contacts (What do you mean I need "wide"
SCSI?)
Four support calls (At least the Muzak is different this
time...)
Three French Users (Well, monsieur, there really isn't an
"any" key, but...)
Two transceiver failures (SQE? What is that? If I knew I would
set it myself!)
And a database with a broken b-tree (No, I really need to talk
to Lars - NOW!)



On the eighth day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Eight MODEMs dialing (Who bought these? They're a security
violation!)
Seven license failures (How many WEEKS to get a license?)
Six games a-playing (What do you mean one pixel per packet on
updates?!?)
Five golden SCSI contacts (Fast SCSI? It's supposed to be
fast, isn't it?)
Four support calls (I already told them that! Don't transfer
me back - DAMN!)
Three French users (No, CTL-ALT-DEL is not the proper way to
end a program)
Two transceiver failures (What do you mean "babbling
transceiver"?)
And a database with a broken b-tree (Does anyone speak English
in Oslo?)

On the ninth day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Nine lady executives with attitude (She said do WHAT with the
servers?)
Eight MODEMs dialing (You've been downloading WHAT?)
Seven license failures (We sent the P.O. two months ago!)
Six games a-playing (HOW many people are doing this to the
network?)
Five golden SCSI contacts (What do you mean two have the same
ID?)
Four support calls (No, I am not at the console - I tried that
already.)
Three French users (No, only one floppy fits at a time? Why do
you ask?)
Two transceiver failures (Spare? What spare?)
And a database with a broken b-tree (No, I am trying to find
Lars! L-A-R-S!)



On the tenth day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Ten SNMP alerts flashing (What is that Godawful beeping?)
Nine lady executives with attitude (No, it used to be a mens
room? Why?)
Eight MODEMs dialing (What Internet provider? We don't allow
Internet here!)
Seven license failures (SPA? Why are they calling us?)
Six games a-playing (No, you don't need a graphics accelerator
for Lotus! )
Five golden SCSI contacts (You mean I need ANOTHER cable?)
Four support calls (No, I never needed an account number
before...)
Three French users (When the PC sounds like a cat, it's a head
crash!)
Two transceiver failures (Power connection? What power
connection?)
And a database with a broken b-tree (Restore what index
pointers?)

On the eleventh day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Eleven boards a-frying (What is that terrible smell?)
Ten SNMP alerts flashing (What's a MIB, anyway? What's an
extension?)
Nine lady executives with attitude (Mauve? Our computer room
tiles in mauve?)
Eight MODEMs dialing (What do you mean you let your roommate
dial-in?)
Seven license failures (How many other illegal copies do we
have?!?!)
Six games a-playing (I told you - AFTER HOURS!)
Five golden SCSI contacts (If I knew what was wrong, I
wouldn't be calling!)
Four support calls (Put me on hold again and I will slash your
credit rating!)
Three French users (Don't hang your floppies with a magnet
again!)
Two transceiver failures (How should I know if the connector
is bad?)
And a database with a broken b-tree (I already did all of
that!)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, technology gave to me:
Twelve virtual pipe connections (There's only supposed to be
two!)
Eleven boards a-frying (What a surge suppressor supposed to
do, anyway?)
Ten SNMP alerts flashing (From a distance, it does kinda look
like XMas lights.)
Nine lady executives with attitude (What do you mean aerobics
before backups?)
Eight MODEMs dialing (No, we never use them to connect during
business hours.)
Seven license failures (We're all going to jail, I just know
it.)
Six games a-playing (No, no - my turn, my turn!)
Five golden SCSI contacts (Great, just great! Now it won't
even boot!)
Four support calls (I don't have that package! How did I end
up with you!)
Three French users (I don't care if it is sexy, no more nude
screen backgrounds!)
Two transceiver failures (Maybe we should switch to token
ring...)
And a database with a broken b-tree (No, operator - Oslo,
Norway. We were just talking and were cut off...)

(http://tools.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1882.txt)
by:
Bill Hancock, Ph.D.
Network-1 Software & Technology, Inc.
 
2012-06-10 05:52:53 PM

Eshkar: Generation_D: Eshkar: I think IT workers should unionize.

Jesus f*ck lord no.

I'm not anti raving union, but .. as a 17 year "tech" I can tell you this would be about as popular as if you took a dump on the nachos at happy hour.

As a 13 year veteran "tech" I think they should, especially when it comes to big corporations that fark over techs with small salaries (or shiaty hourly) with impossible work loads a collective voice would be nice.


You don't think they'd cashier all of you for even hinting at it and replacing all of you with kids fresh out of college who couldn't write five lines of code without giving themselves a nosebleed?
 
2012-06-10 05:55:31 PM

rohar: Eshkar: Generation_D: Eshkar: I think IT workers should unionize.

Jesus f*ck lord no.

I'm not anti raving union, but .. as a 17 year "tech" I can tell you this would be about as popular as if you took a dump on the nachos at happy hour.

As a 13 year veteran "tech" I think they should, especially when it comes to big corporations that fark over techs with small salaries (or shiaty hourly) with impossible work loads a collective voice would be nice.

It's almost legally impossible. Development exception in the FLSA takes it off the table.


Salaried workers can still legally join a union and strike. What they can't do is go back in time and prevent the glut of underskilled IT graduates ready to replace them at any time, or roll back the near-slave labor H1-B visa expansions. Much like Wal-Mart can fire every person at a store that unionizes and replace them within a week, a big company can pick up hundreds of starving techs and have a few consultants run the joint until full time hires come on board.

As you mentioned, it's all about keeping skills up to date, chasing fads and fundamentals alike. Techs would get more out of investing in themselves than in a union, though the really shy ones could use an advocate.
 
2012-06-10 06:15:57 PM

foxyshadis: though the really shy ones could use an advocate.


The incompetent ones, socially or intellectually, need to go to helpdesk. I have no patience or budget for them. As Brooks outlined, the difference between an average contributor and an excellent contributor is an order of magnitude. I have no patience for average.
 
2012-06-10 06:33:54 PM

rohar: foxyshadis: though the really shy ones could use an advocate.

The incompetent ones, socially or intellectually, need to go to helpdesk. I have no patience or budget for them. As Brooks outlined, the difference between an average contributor and an excellent contributor is an order of magnitude. I have no patience for average.


hmph... I'll take a socially inept computer geniuses over a dozen average ones any day.
 
2012-06-10 06:35:30 PM

CruJones: This is why hosting companies are projected to grow by like 20x in the next few years. Not crap like host gator or something, but real managed hosting.


This is where I jumped ship to. It just boggles my mind how IT departments are run especially when they'll throw $250k over a year at some contractor for some project and they laid off a guy at $70k salary who was more capable and could have done it in three months. They'll throw 10k/mo. for over a year on something they will never use, but we're supposedly out of our minds when we're trying to replace some seven year old laptops even though we have the budget approved for them.

The company has been on the path of destruction and even the CIO could care less about the IT department which handled the core product actually working. One day I realized I was on the Titanic and I was playing in the band; sorry, I don't want to be in the band on the Titanic. I jumped over to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) and we function as other company's IT departments. I don't think I'll ever go back to working for a non-MSP; like others have mentioned, they undervalue their IT staff, don't listen to recommendations, but still want everything to work.

/Thread has been a good reminder why I left that dump.
 
2012-06-10 06:48:47 PM

Eshkar: rohar: foxyshadis: though the really shy ones could use an advocate.

The incompetent ones, socially or intellectually, need to go to helpdesk. I have no patience or budget for them. As Brooks outlined, the difference between an average contributor and an excellent contributor is an order of magnitude. I have no patience for average.

hmph... I'll take a socially inept computer geniuses over a dozen average ones any day.


I'll take socially capable computer geniuses over that any day. Twice the output, only 20% more money. Settle if you must but excellent contributors reduces team size. Team size reduction increasses efficiency as communication cost is reduced by a square every time the headcount is cut in half.

All things being equal, nothing is equal.
 
2012-06-10 07:10:32 PM

rohar: It's all jargon and hardly a threat to any of our jobs.


Sorry, I just disagree. PAAS and SAAS are here to stay and will eat 30-50% of the IT jobs in the private sector, and shift spending significantly. The reason is that it's just a more viable financial model for non-critical IT. C-levels question capital expenditures presented by people who work for them. They don't question operational expenditures presented by external companies.

The way you protect yourself is to build a private utility computing infrastructure and start charging back to business as operational expense.
 
2012-06-10 09:12:48 PM

Sabyen91:

Can't go wrong in healthcare if you can handle it. Nurses rarely get downsized.


It has been heavily cut around these parts of NC. They fired all the experienced nurses that did all the training on the floor and replaced them with 60% of the number with straight out of college nurses with a combination of 2 year and 4 year degrees. Then when there is a screw up by doubling the patients per nurse to dangerous levels, the nurse gets sued and the hospital administrator gets a great big bonus for cutting staffing needs. After all, what hospital needs nurses with 30 years of experience when they can have someone who has a few semesters of college work behind them to do the task instead, even if they have the equivilency of only several weeks on the floor working.
 
2012-06-10 09:41:07 PM

PirateFuzzball: The company has been on the path of destruction and even the CIO could care less about the IT department which handled the core product actually working. One day I realized I was on the Titanic and I was playing in the band; sorry, I don't want to be in the band on the Titanic. I jumped over to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) and we function as other company's IT departments. I don't think I'll ever go back to working for a non-MSP; like others have mentioned, they undervalue their IT staff, don't listen to recommendations, but still want everything to work.


The problem with that is there is too much incentive for an MSP to treat its workers with disrespect - as they are contracting companies - since it pits two people against one worker.
 
2012-06-10 09:42:56 PM

Alonjar: His bosses then go: now what do we do with those people who lost their duties? Answer: lay them off, save money, the whole point of this. So what do they do? No, we find them jobs. New task for those people: audit the other departments processing of their lost duties. That's right... instead of completing the budget trimming, they now reprocess everything they have the other department to process. No lay offs or transfers at all.

farking government.


Better than the private sector, where they fark the worker to high heaven and not tell them until the last day for fear of retaliation.
 
2012-06-10 10:15:59 PM

slayer199: I don't have a VMware cert and I've been doing it for 5 years. You just need to get a gig that will get you the experience.


Yeah and that's the problem in my current situation. With a more realistic tech/user ratio I'd be able to work with the ops team on some server admin stuff and branch out on some of my own projects. As it is now, I have to put in a ton of OT just to keep up with most of my weekly workload, and the only exposure I get to more complex systems is account busywork the admins don't want to do.
 
2012-06-10 10:20:01 PM

bmr68: I shipped a dog for my girlfriends sister last month. The airline I used still had Windows 3.11 systems.


...Those exist? I thought Windows started counting at eight or so...
 
2012-06-10 10:31:15 PM

GoldSpider: slayer199: I don't have a VMware cert and I've been doing it for 5 years. You just need to get a gig that will get you the experience.

Yeah and that's the problem in my current situation. With a more realistic tech/user ratio I'd be able to work with the ops team on some server admin stuff and branch out on some of my own projects. As it is now, I have to put in a ton of OT just to keep up with most of my weekly workload, and the only exposure I get to more complex systems is account busywork the admins don't want to do.


There are technologies and methodologies that will allow you to complete your current workload in half the time. All you have to do is find them.

Time to find the bootstraps son.
 
2012-06-11 02:10:15 AM

GoldSpider: slayer199: I don't have a VMware cert and I've been doing it for 5 years. You just need to get a gig that will get you the experience.

Yeah and that's the problem in my current situation. With a more realistic tech/user ratio I'd be able to work with the ops team on some server admin stuff and branch out on some of my own projects. As it is now, I have to put in a ton of OT just to keep up with most of my weekly workload, and the only exposure I get to more complex systems is account busywork the admins don't want to do.


The best advice I can give you is work smarter, not harder. I script a lot. I document a lot so other people can do the same things. That frees up more time for fun stuff.
 
2012-06-11 08:02:56 AM

sethstorm: The problem with that is there is too much incentive for an MSP to treat its workers with disrespect - as they are contracting companies - since it pits two people against one worker.


In every sector, in every business model, there will be organizations willing to shiat on their employees. I'd agree with PirateFuzzball that you have a much better chance of getting a square deal from an MSP than from a private employer, for two reasons:

1. At an MSP, you have peers. Within direct employment or direct contracting, you often have very few if any peers. Even in sizable IT shops, you tend to only have one or two people that overlap with your job function. In little shops you might literally be the only IT person in the company.

This means that there are few if any, people there who can properly assess your talent and fair compensation for it. That's good if you're incompetent - I remember explaining traceroute to my boss back in the day and the look of wonderment in his eyes was priceless. I was a goddam wizard to him. But I knew that there was no way he could fairly assess how much I should be making.

2. At an MSP, you can develop. The major frustration I had with direct employment is lack of breadth of experience. You see the same shiat over and over again, and you have a difficult time developing unless you job-hop. A place that runs gaming backends is different than a financials shop which is different than a retailer, and it's really beneficial to see different sectors at work. My solution (before MSPs were popular) was to go to a reseller in order to gain that experience, but going to an MSP is definitely a valid option.
 
2012-06-11 01:54:22 PM

Babwa Wawa: In every sector, in every business model, there will be organizations willing to shiat on their employees. I'd agree with PirateFuzzball that you have a much better chance of getting a square deal from an MSP than from a private employer, for two reasons:

1. At an MSP, you have peers. Within direct employment or direct contracting, you often have very few if any peers. Even in sizable IT shops, you tend to only have one or two people that overlap with your job function. In little shops you might literally be the only IT person in the company.

This means that there are few if any, people there who can properly assess your talent and fair compensation for it. That's good if you're incompetent - I remember explaining traceroute to my boss back in the day and the look of wonderment in his eyes was priceless. I was a goddam wizard to him. But I knew that there was no way he could fairly assess how much I should be making.

With a fairly large employer I was with(think of one of the larger & privately held media conglomerates that does cable, ), I had no shortage of peers as a direct hire. I could bounce ideas around and have the better ones be implemented with a little . In addition, I didn't have the pressure of two parties on my back, just the company. Something goes wrong with an outside third party, they are likely to take it out on you via your immediate employer.

It is office politics taken to the next degree, and in a bad way for workers. There is a greater incentive with a contractor/MSP to mistreat workers, as there is an easier way to wash their hands clean of any misdeeds towards the worker - while there is no meaningful recourse for the worker.


2. At an MSP, you can develop. The major frustration I had with direct employment is lack of breadth of experience. You see the same shiat over and over again, and you have a difficult time developing unless you job-hop. A place that runs gaming backends is different than a financials shop which is different than a retailer, and it's really beneficial to see different sectors at work. My solution (before MSPs were popular) was to go to a reseller in order to gain that experience, but going to an MSP is definitely a valid option.

The same thing can happen with a large employer. That, and you don't need to really job-hop..

I'd rather take 30-40 years+ with various divisions of a large company across the world than to have to deal with precarious and indirect employment. One employer, plenty of job security, plenty of places to develop, and one company to answer to - your employer.

;
 
2012-06-11 01:54:38 PM
Shouldda been using Oracle, yummy, bloated Oracle.
 
2012-06-11 04:10:57 PM

sethstorm: With a fairly large employer I was with(think of one of the larger & privately held media conglomerates that does cable, ), I had no shortage of peers as a direct hire


I don't doubt that, but you have to be part of a large shop. SMB represents a large percentage of IT service spending. For those who do work in that space, they tend not to have a whole lot of peers around. It's stifling.

sethstorm: There is a greater incentive with a contractor/MSP to mistreat workers,


If you're running a bad MSP, sure, I can see that. But for those who want to be good at what they do (not just "body shops"), then there's a reduced incentive to mistreat workers, since the workers are the only asset you have. One of the top 3 gigs I've had in my whole career was working with a contracting shop.

sethstorm: The same thing can happen with a large employer.


I disagree with you here. A law firm is very different from a hospital, which is very different from a trading desk, which is very different from a library, which is very different from a manufacturer. Each will have very different needs and will set up their computing infrastructure in a very different way.

sethstorm: I'd rather take 30-40 years+ with various divisions of a large company across the world than to have to deal with precarious and indirect employment.


I can see the preference - especially if you're with the right employer.. I've found indirect employment to be far less precarious. You get contacts throughout industry, you generally get a broader base of experience, and the firm's revenue stream is diversified.
 
2012-06-11 09:01:59 PM

danceswithcrows: rohar: we used to call computer devices names like "master" and "slave". We don't anymore. Wonder what happened.

IDE was pretty much replaced by SATA, of course. Furrfu. Kids these days.

I have 2 IDE DVD+-RWs, which still work just fine....


I remember having to pay attention to the jumper settings and what part of the ribbon cable my IDE HDDs connected to whenever they needed replacement.

Vintage wine, yes. Oldies songs,yes. Vintage tech, never.
 
2012-06-11 09:02:23 PM

Babwa Wawa: I can see the preference - especially if you're with the right employer.. I've found indirect employment to be far less precarious. You get contacts throughout industry, you generally get a broader base of experience, and the firm's revenue stream is diversified.


The preference comes from that and the area(SW Ohio) having a deep history with large employers and directly-hired jobs. I've worked for one that's still in the area and lived next to another that did so (NCR - until AT&T acquired, eviscerated, and spun them off) as well. Contractorships just can't seem to really match in development/training, given their programs being worse than those backed by a decent-sized employer.

About the only aberration that exists is with government clearance work, where some employers do things that the normal private sector does not do. One example of this is where you're given the option to relocate or to fly weekly to/from the destination w/o cost. That, and the jobs have some inbuilt protection against offshoring.

It is a deep (and very actively maintained) preference. I simply don't believe it's impossible for mere mortals to have the extra long-term & direct-hire job with good benefits.


If you're running a bad MSP, sure, I can see that. But for those who want to be good at what they do (not just "body shops"), then there's a reduced incentive to mistreat workers, since the workers are the only asset you have. One of the top 3 gigs I've had in my whole career was working with a contracting shop.

The problem is that a bad MSP/contractor/bodyshop can exist and thrive given the 4:1 (candidate:job) ratio. While mistreatment can happen anywhere, it is even more amplified in places where the employer already has an advantage in 1:1(or an ultra-rare 1:4 independent of industry and skill level) times. The incentives just seem to not be in the favor of good indirect employment happening on any decent scale.

Good contractors are rare birds.
 
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