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The Rise and Rise of IT Administrators 686

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the thorn-in-the-side dept.
maffstephens writes "Have you noticed how difficult it's become to develop software? Not because software is more complex, but because there seems to be an army of administrators standing in your way - sys admins, network admins, database admins, runtime admins - the list is endless. They should be there to help us, to make our lives easier, but the reality is often very different. This thought-provoking article from Software Reality is all about the emerging culture of spiteful, dog-in-the-manger prevention amongst corporate IT administrators. Software development has become so inefficient as a result, it's no wonder so many companies are outsourcing."
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The Rise and Rise of IT Administrators

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2003 @01:34PM (#7648262)
    int i;
    for (i = 0; i < ADMIN_LIST_SIZE; ++i) {
    delete admins[i];
    }
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2003 @01:39PM (#7648312)
    We Need Less Planning and More Coding

    Sounds like how they wrote Windows ME.

  • by DrEldarion (114072) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @01:43PM (#7648343)
    The computer tech at my high school was so incredibly incompetent. We eventually found out why - he had a degree in ART.
  • by Sevn (12012) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @01:57PM (#7648450) Homepage Journal
    No truer words have been said.

    They need to wake up and understand that us developers are the true brains behind the enterprise. We walk on water. We are GODS I tell you. I can't count the number of times I've had to yell at my sysadmins for making the coffee too strong, not popping grapes in my mouth fast enough, or moving the hand-fans too slowly. The fuckers. It's as if they don't understand that their purpose in life is to serve me. That the entire company exists not as a profit generating entity, but as my personal support system. Heaven forbid I do something smart like suggest or create a decent PROJECT LIFE CYCLE to avoid conflicts with other departments. I'd much rather whine on slashdot. Now I have to go. My 3 o'clock rubdown is coming up and I need at least another 2 hours of slashdot reading time before that. I mean christ, what do they pay me for.
  • by paranoic (126081) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @01:58PM (#7648465)
    Sorry, you don't get all three: cheaper, faster and better.

    You only get to pick 2.

  • by Harald Paulsen (621759) * on Saturday December 06, 2003 @02:00PM (#7648477) Homepage
    The biggest problems with being self-employed is that the manager is an idiot and the employees are lazy shitheads that don't do any work.

    On the positive side: good chance of being employee-of-the-year.

  • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @02:10PM (#7648554) Homepage
    No. The original poster is correct. IT's responsibility is to the shareholders of the corporation for which they work (or the stakeholders of the organization if it isn't a publicly held company, etc.)

    If helping the users helps the bottom line, then you're right. If the users want to do dev work on a production system and threaten the revenue stream, then chopping of the user's genitals and hanging them on the door as a warning to others is the correct thing to do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2003 @02:18PM (#7648603)
    Same story in the UK - one of the biggest IT suppliers to schools is a company called RM [rm.com].

    Basically, in many schools the IT admin staff are mindless glove puppets of RM and can only do what RM say. There's not a lot of point in hiring someone who knows what they're doing when they will charge twice the amount but not be allowed to do any more than reboot or reimage.

    Oh yes, and the typical RM contract prohibits any other company's equipment being connected to the network. If that's not abusing your position I don't know what is.

  • by ayden (126539) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @02:52PM (#7648840) Homepage Journal
    Solution? Developer network off the main network. If they blow it up, it's their fault and they fix it. Sounds good in theory. I think programs like Ghost will play a big role in this type of setup.

    Yeah, we do that, but we in IT still end up supporting the people who can't be bothered to figure out who actually runs the development network. The development network is behind a firewall and we don't allow pings through (MS-Blaster and Lovesan containment). They run everything on their side of the firewall, DNS, domain controllers, AntiVirus (more frequently disabled or not installed), security patches (NEVER!) etc.

    Just before Thanksgiving, I got a call from one developer saying he couldn't reach the FTP server. My call back went something like this:

    IT: Can you describe the problem?

    DEV: I can't reach the corporate external FTP server. I can't ping it, either.

    IT: Pings are disabled between subnets and VLANS for antivirus reasons. How exactly are you trying to get to the FTP server?

    DEV: I go into Internet Explorer and type FTP in the location bar.

    IT: Can you get to the FTP server from the command line?

    DEV: You mean with ping?

    IT: No, by using FTP. Ping is blocked by the firewall and on the routers.

    DEV: Uhh.....

    IT: Open a command prompt. Type nslookup ...

    DEV: You mean ping?

    IT: No, type nslookup ftp.

    DEV: It came back with Non-existent domain.

    IT: Right. What does it say is your DNS server?

    DEV: Develop. It's our Primary Domain Controller.

    IT: Let's try using the IP address type ftp xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx.

    DEV: Hey, I got a login prompt. Let me try this in Internet Explorer. OK it works.

    IT: Do you know who administers the PDC/DNS server you're connected to?

    DEV: I think IT does.

    IT: No, we don't. It's part of the development network. You have a name resolution problem. Try contacting the system's administrator and have them correct the name resolution problem.

    DEV: But shouldn't I be able to ping the FTP server?

    IT: (Stunned silence) ... No, pings are blocked between subnets, VLANS and from behind firewalls to block MS-Blaster and Lovesan. Even when if you could resolve the FTP server name, ping will not work...
  • by BillsPetMonkey (654200) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @03:41PM (#7649197)
    People like you are absolutely the reason the BOFH stereotype exists. I'm really reeally glad I don't have to work with you.
  • by Pedersen (46721) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @08:39PM (#7650881) Homepage
    They can't get through their heads that developers generally know more about the systems they develop on than them.


    He said to the SA who has had to explain how the new operator works in C++ to a C++ developer, and has had to explain how to set an environment variable in Windows NT to another C++ developer. Would you like me to continue?

  • by xdroop (4039) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @09:22PM (#7651059) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, you don't get all three: cheaper, faster and better.

    You only get to pick 2.

    Actually, you pick two -- but you tell us which one you really want. We try for the second one.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.

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