Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm as much about change as the next guy, really. I mean, apart from my crippling fear of it, change and I are on pretty good terms. Okay. I hate change.
And in I.T., change for the sake of change is never a good idea.
On Monday we had a full-blown outage due to the application of some policy settings. The changes were never communicated and 100 man-hours were wasted in just getting the systems back on speaking terms.
The changes made were part of audit remediation and needed to be made, but the part that broke everything would have been discovered with about six seconds worth of testing.
I overheard someone talking about how his group got blamed for causing the outage through pushing 12 months worth of policy updates in one evening.
He downplayed the outage by saying that the testing process for everything that got deployed would have used 1,000 man-hours.
But a planned allocation of testing resources is easier to manage than a full-blown production outage, in my opinion.
I heard that seven minutes of downtime costs the company one million dollars.
So, wait. Seven minutes of downtime costs the company one million dollars.
If we multiply that by the seven hour outage on Monday, cross reference the lost functionality against the work-arounds and index the cut-over time to resume back-up work procedures . . . Seven hours of downtime costs . . . A lot, probably.
Also, most of us skipped lunch and stressed out about it to the point of random cubicle bouncing. Not to mention the profanity and threats of violence relating to just the thought of trying to figure out what our fellow geeks had done to our computers without telling us.
I don't care if other geeks break my stuff. Seriously. Someday I'll return the favor.
But the courtesy of an email saying,"I'm doing this . . . Watch out," seems almost simple enough to be taken for granted.
In other news, Shana sent me a listing for a house yesterday and asked me to look at it.
I emailed the address on the Craig's List ad and waited.
Shana called me and told me that there was a phone number hidden in the listing for people that read the whole thing, so I called that and completely surprised the guy.
I asked to see the house and he replied, "Really? I just posted that ten minutes ago! The house isn't ready to show!"
I told him that Shana has a script that indexes the real estate listings on the Columbia, South Carolina Craig's List and rates results based on key-words, then her Mac sends a text message to her phone in the event of a 70%+ match. It sounded much better than,"My wife hits 'Refresh' a lot."
"The internet," I explained, "You are doing it right."
Right now I'm trying to arrange some kind of ignore-the-lack-of-money-behind-the-curtain loan or something while our house is still on the market.
Does anybody need a house in Houston? I don't.

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