Archive for September, 2010

How to not be an IT manager

Monday, September 27th, 2010

When one of your people leaves the company / institution for another job, and that person was doing programming work that a second person in your group had expressed interest in, it is generally a poor management decision to retain the first person as a consultant (at, of course, highly inflated consultant rates) instead of moving the second person into the slot (even temporarily) to fill the need.  When someone leaves a company, the separation should be complete, signing a consulting deal with the newly departed simply rewards those who leave by giving them (in effect) a doubled salary and punishes those who stay by not allowing them the career growth they have ben requesting for the past 8 months plus.

Very poor decision.

Something new…

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I’m not really sure how to put this, so I’ll just lay it out straight.  You know how most organizations that sell computer hardware or software also sell support?  Well, this is for a reason.  When you’re about to buy $350,000 worth of hardware from one company, please don’t start talking about cutting out the $90,000 in support costs, purchasing no support, to throw that money at additional hardware since you already have support for some other hardware platform from some other company.  Even if both hardware platforms do roughly the same thing.  Just…  don’t go there.  Please.  The people that have to make things go want to have the support in place.  Really.

Jack of All Trades…

Friday, September 17th, 2010

… is actually Master of most.  Unfortunately.  I am a systems administrator.  Let’s look at what I’ve done today…

– Discussed the pending breakdown of compute environments in another organization, trying to figure out how to mitigate said breakdown

– Buttered up a couple of sales people, playing the make-nice-nice game

– Replaced the staple pack in the copier

– Tracked down a missing shipment – well, started trying to, anyway

– Planned out a few projects on the whiteboard, but haven’t gotten clearance to initiate them yet

– Sent miscellaneous emails

Notice, nowhere in here do you see anything that deals directly with hands-on-keyboard sysadmin things.  What I wouldn’t give to be allowed to be the sysadmin I was hired to be.

A Nightmare Before Friday

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I’ve just discovered a problem.  Specifically, something that I feel is a very major breach of basic security practices, leading to a situation where significantly confidential systems information is available publically on the internet to anyone, without need for any identification.  A fairly major security vulnerability, potentially a violation of not just my workplace policies, but of certain statutes that carry significant consequences if violated.

My nightmare is thus – the individual responsible for this violation is the “fair-haired golden boy” of the group, and nigh untouchable.  I have raised several issues of similar, if much lesser, import previously with both my supervisor and my boss, and have been told in no uncertain terms to “just leave well enough alone” (not an exact quote, of course).

What would you do?