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Why Your Sysadmin Hates You 572

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-wouldn't-like-me-when-I'm-angry dept.
jfruh writes "We've learned many lessons in the fallout from Edward Snowden's whistleblowing and flight to Hong Kong, but here's an important one: Never make your sysadmin mad. Even if your organization isn't running a secret, civil-rights violating surveillance program, you're probably managing to annoy your admins in a number of more pedestrian ways that might still have blowback for you. Learn to stay on their good side by going along with their reasonable requests and being specific with your complaints."
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Why Your Sysadmin Hates You

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  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by DarkRat (1302849) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @03:58AM (#44058241)
    So... it has come to this...
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:06AM (#44058267) Homepage

      It has.
      Managers have to be forced by pressure of fear (a.k.a. "terrorized") into going along with reasonable request by employees.
      It is a sad day indeed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Those poor, poor managers ... someone should hug and cuddle them!

        Shanti, shanti my friends!

        • Re: So... (Score:4, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 20, 2013 @05:02AM (#44058467)

          My manager is allergic to human contact, you insensitive clod!

          • Re: So... (Score:5, Funny)

            by jefe7777 (411081) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @08:33AM (#44059391) Journal

            manager: "Sysadmins hate us for our freedoms!"

            sysadmin: "I'm standing right here John."

            manager: "The global caliphate of sysadmins threaten our children!"

            sysadmin: "I'm still standing right here John."

            manager: "Sysadmins will kill all our children."

            (sysadmin pulls out cell phone, and initiates an scp of a transaction dump, showing all the embezzlement, hookers and blow, said manager has been prodigiously enjoying.)

      • by crutchy (1949900)

        if TFA has any effect at all (probably wont) it will be the exact opposite of its intent

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Managers have to be forced by pressure of fear (a.k.a. "terrorized") into going along with reasonable request by employees.

        I generally prefer to hire professionals and behave like one myself. Then I don't have to worry about all this kiddy-playground shit.

        • That works if you're only supporting technical staff. It's not much good when you're running a Helldesk in a non-IT-focused sector. The rest of the organisation may be the best in the world at whatever they are hired to do, but that doesn't mean they can work out which way up a DVD goes.

          • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:47AM (#44058415)
            I worked one of those places. They had a lease on the copiers and the lease included things like toner and such, with a number on every copier to the office manager, and directions to call if there was a problem, low toner, out of paper, etc. But the "experts" at marketing would fill it up with paper, getting lots of jams, and change the toner themselves, breaking the printer and toner cartridge (yes, I know that's hard to do, but they managed), and calling the IT department when things went bad. We'd call the office manager. So many people there had the idea that if it had an electric cord, IT was in charge of it, from coffee machine to light bulbs, it was all IT. Educating them made them mad, and they'd threaten to call the president on you (not CEO, but Barak). God I'm happy I don't have to deal with users anymore.
            • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

              by Shadow99_1 (86250) <{theshadow99} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday June 20, 2013 @08:02AM (#44059217)

              One place I was working for had the 'if it uses electricity it's IT' attitude, it's how I suddenly had to be support for the phone system... Not a VOIP system, but an honest to god phone system with electrical switching. They went so far as to cancel their support contract from the phone company. My reply of 'I'm not a electrician or a phone tech!' didn't do any good what so ever.

            • by JDG1980 (2438906)

              I don't mind a broad scope of support – as long as it comes with appropriate staffing levels. It's when you ask a single person to be the sysadmin, helpdesk, and facilities manager that you start to run into problems. If you hire 3 generalists who can share all these duties (even though some might be better in some areas than others), then that's fine. But trying to put half the business on the shoulders of one underpaid (and probably understandably disgruntled) employee is a recipe for trouble.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by sjames (1099)

          That's nice when available, but it's really quite shocking how many adult children are in the workforce. It would be better if we could fire the lot and replace them with actual children. At least that way there would still be hope they may grow out of it.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:01AM (#44058253)
    Because he's the BOFH, that's why.
    • by lightknight (213164) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @05:10AM (#44058491) Homepage

      Takes years of neglect and careful abandonment to make a BOFH. You have to be exposed to the worst of human behavior, on a daily basis, for years, with no possible outlet, and no compensation / consideration, before a BOFH is born. At some point, the human mind gets tired of playing defense, and goes on the offense. Voila, a BOFH is born. Granted, it does give rise to superior forms of character disorders, but then, when surrounded by people who themselves employ or adopt character disorders as offensive weapons...

      • by MouseAT (945758) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @06:16AM (#44058747)
        It's an old article, but it's still relevant today: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9137708/Opinion_The_unspoken_truth_about_managing_geeks [computerworld.com] The worst characteristics of Sysadmins tend to emerge when the organization treats them badly. The stereotypes exist for a reason. The conditions that create them? Always the same.
      • by captbob2002 (411323) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @08:55AM (#44059535)

        too true. I had an tech that worked for me as both a student and as a regular employee. He had the patience of Job when working with end users. He would listen to them and work hard to understand what they were saying, what they wanted, what their problem was even when they really couldn't articulate it themselves. He went that extra mile to make folks happy....but without enabling bad behavior - he was good at nudging folks in the proper direction. He was a tenacious troubleshooter, wanted to know the root cause of a problem and how to prevent it, not just a quick fix or a work-around. I could throw anything at him, and let him run with it. And he did it all with a smile, but was not a pushover for the users.

        told you that to tell you this

        The layoff scythe swept across our college and he was mowed-down. He did find a position in the University's central IT department. It was hoped by some that his work ethic and attitude would improve central IT support...and it did for a time, but the corrosive environment, infighting, and court intrigue has ground him down. To say that he is still a damn-sight better than the rest of their staff would be damning with faint praise, but he still is. He is also more BOFH than the excellent worker I sent over there.

        Wasn't the end users that broke him, was the brain-dead management and sheer laziness and incompetence of his "colleagues" that did it.

      • by sir-gold (949031) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @10:07AM (#44060169)

        Takes years of neglect and careful abandonment to make a BOFH. You have to be exposed to the worst of human behavior, on a daily basis, for years, with no possible outlet, and no compensation / consideration, before a BOFH is born.

        If this is true, then I was already a BOFH by the time I was 14. It's truly a wonder that I didn't turn into some sort of homicidal maniac (there is always the future though...).

        [If you are curious, I grew up in a small town (2500 people) and went to a small K-12 school (80-120 students per grade). I was picked on, teased, and made to be the butt of every joke, non-stop by 90% of my "peers", from kindergarten all the way though 11th grade (it was the same group of "peers" for the whole 12 years). Even the few people who had been my friends at a young age had become my tormenters by the time we hit junior high. There is nothing worse than being tormented daily by people who know you well enough to know the very best ways to make you suffer. The recent rash of school shootings in the US proves that my childhood situation wasn't entirely unique (and shows that the problem is getting worse), the only difference in my case being a lack of easy access to weapons.
        I still get bad anxiety in social situations even now, at age 34, due to being ridiculed and rejected so often as a child. This isn't the typical "social anxiety" that many people seem to suffer from, I have no problem with large crowds or total strangers, it's only the small "friendly" social groups (workplace, bar, etc) that make me want to hide/run away, because I feel as though I will never be able to fit in or be accepted by the group.]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:14AM (#44058289)

    If a syadmin is abusing their position of power then they need to be removed. That's it. There's no petty revenge or "blowback" to consider.

    It's no different to other jobs where people hold a position of power (e.g., police officer, principal, medical doctor, judge, etc). We expect and demand that those people behave professionally and appropriately at all times (even when they don't like you). Just because a computer is involved doesn't excuse a system administrator from being held to the same professional standards.

    • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:24AM (#44058333)

      If a syadmin is abusing their position of power then they need to be removed. That's it. There's no petty revenge or "blowback" to consider.

      It's no different to other jobs where people hold a position of power (e.g., police officer, principal, medical doctor, judge, etc). We expect and demand that those people behave professionally and appropriately at all times (even when they don't like you). Just because a computer is involved doesn't excuse a system administrator from being held to the same professional standards.

      Agree 100%, but that doesn't make the point about don't make your sysadmin hate you. It would not be a good idea to make a police officer, principal, medical doctor, or judge hate you. Sure their professional ethics mean that they should put this to one side when dealing with you, and they could get in trouble if they didn't ... but I wouldn't go picking a fight with one just in case

    • by sjames (1099) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @07:42AM (#44059111) Homepage

      Sure, but by then the damage is likely done. And if the environment that pushed the sysadmin to the dark side remains in place, it will happen again and again.

      If ONE sysadmin goes bad, it's likely (but not necessarily) his fault and his breach of professionalism. If it keeps happening, then it's the employer's fault and it is the employer who has breached professionalism.

    • by richlv (778496)

      but somehow in most companies financial department is treated with extra care. somehow. maybe because they are exposed to quite a lot of sensitive, internal information.
      just because money (wages etc) is involved... ;)

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      If a syadmin is abusing their position of power then they need to be removed. That's it. There's no petty revenge or "blowback" to consider.

      It's no different to other jobs where people hold a position of power (e.g., police officer, principal, medical doctor, judge, etc). We expect and demand that those people behave professionally and appropriately at all times (even when they don't like you). Just because a computer is involved doesn't excuse a system administrator from being held to the same professional standards.

      There's a difference between abusing power and being fair to all users. If one department or individual continually makes "emergency" last minute requests that they could have made weeks or even months ago, then making everyone else wait while you service the "emergency" request is unfair. So it's not abusing power if a sysadmin team refuses to scramble around to accommodate unreasonable last minute requests. A former manager was fond of responding to those requests with "Lack of planning on your part does

  • Not related at all (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FaxeTheCat (1394763) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:14AM (#44058295)

    We've learned many lessons in the fallout from Edward Snowden's whistleblowing and flight to Hong Kong, but here's an important one: Never make your sysadmin mad.

    What a silly excuse for linking to (in itself a reasonably good) article on how to relate to sysadmins and IT support in general.

    And for those who are not sysadmins: Sysadmins do NOT reveal your company's secrets because some user bypassed the helpdesk system, or run some test code on a production system.

    However, nobody should not tolerate that their employer engage in illegal activities. I am not paid to break the law, neither are you. But that is no no way related to being a sysadmin or any other specific position. It is part of being a decent human being.

    • by Intropy (2009018) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:39AM (#44058383)

      Nu-uh. It says it right there in the summary. Snowden leaked information about PRISM because "5. You make urgent, last-minute requests." It had nothing whatsoever to do with having evidence of a massive, illegal, covert surveillance operation being conducted against the American people by its own government.

      • by Pecisk (688001)

        Sorry, there's difference between "goverment does legal stuff which I don't like" which is completely reasonable claim, and actual criminal activity by goverment which seems not to be a case. But it's politics, and we don't like politics, do we? :)

        Seriously, people, get your act together. Some parts of Patriot act maybe is anticonstitutional, and must be repealed, however acting on current set of laws (not how immoral or injust they are) is not criminal. Saying it is bad is enough for your emotional message

      • "5. You make unreasonable last-minute requests."

        Nothing wrong with a last minute request if it was unavoidable. However, if you had time to report it before, you should have done that. If you know it's not urgent, don't pretend it is, because we can tell, and we will remember your lies.

    • by stephanruby (542433) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:55AM (#44058441)

      We've learned many lessons in the fallout from Edward Snowden's whistleblowing and flight to Hong Kong, but here's an important one: Never make your sysadmin mad.

      What a silly excuse for linking to (in itself a reasonably good) article on how to relate to sysadmins and IT support in general.

      I agree. The summary seems to be trivializing NSA's illegal actions. It also seems to be ignoring the ethical dilemma that can arise when you come to find out that your own organization/company/boss/colleagues are acting criminally.

    • by Ash Vince (602485) *

      I am not paid to break the law, neither are you.

      YES! Exactly.

      I have been asked to break the law by a previous employer a few years ago. They asked me to build a back door into website that was work for hire for a directory services. My boss wanted to be able to do a data dump or their directory after the site went live. He tried various means of offering to host the site for them for free but they obviously refused as they did not trust him. Ultimately, I left, very quickly and very shortly after that. I had no notice period anyway so just found a differ

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:17AM (#44058307)

    "You waste your admin's time"

    And people hate admins when admins waste their time. Mostly by forcing them to use software or mandatory processes that simply aren't well suited to their problems.

    • by FaxeTheCat (1394763) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:21AM (#44058323)

      And people hate admins when admins waste their time. Mostly by forcing them to use software or mandatory processes that simply aren't well suited to their problems.

      That is like blaming the accountant for the accounting policies. The sysadmin implement what management decide. If you do not like it, talk to your manager.

      • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:28AM (#44058345)

        And people hate admins when admins waste their time. Mostly by forcing them to use software or mandatory processes that simply aren't well suited to their problems.

        That is like blaming the accountant for the accounting policies

        Blaming the accountant? Why not help him [theregister.co.uk] finish the inventory control sooner (drop table assets semicolon return)?

    • by malkavian (9512) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @06:41AM (#44058843) Homepage

      Forcing people to use mandatory processes? Well, whatever next? Why does turning up for work when you have a hangover from the night before have to be mandatory? Doesn't suit your problems very well?

      For every person's problem that's fixed by altering a process, it may well be that hundreds are adversely affected by that change. In an enterprise, there are often checks and processes in place to ensure that hundreds of projects and tasks can occur simultaneously, all being balanced and prioritised. What the company needs to happen will happen, when it's appropriate that it happens, in the interests of the company.

      If you have a solution, present it as a business case. Sometimes, you may find you were right. Mostly, you'll get your eyes opened to a wider picture than you normally see, and the explanation "we don't do that, because it doesn't work under the majority of circumstances we face in the big picture".

  • "It forces us to work harder than needed to find a path to get data off the dead system and onto the new system."

    That's not caused by a failure to upgrade hardware. That's caused by a failed or non-existent backup strategy.

    • by sjames (1099)

      Only sometimes. For example, a standalone system with a tape drive. The data is backed up, but rather than just doing a quick restore to a new system, you have to shoehorn that tape drive in long enough to do the restore. Or, the machine is so outdated that the new system is VERY different and requires a lot of re-configuration and tweaking rather than just being a little different.

      yes, both of those situations represent an accident waiting to happen in the event of a hardware failure. The sysadmin can't MA

  • Not just sysadmins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BetterThanCaesar (625636) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:26AM (#44058339)
    Or, you know, maybe treat all your employees and coworkers with respect.
  • From someone who's more of a user than a sysadmin: and what about unreasonable requests and lack of knowledge?

    In fact, who defines what constitutes a reasonable request, and what's an abuse of power, however slight or ambiguous that abuse may be (say, banning Facebook: sure, employees shouldn't waste company time, but what about downtime when they are between projects or tasks, and have nothing to do)?

    What about cases where the user can simply not elaborate on their problem? For all they know, Word is just

    • Time is... limited (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arrepiadd (688829) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @05:00AM (#44058455)

      But the sysadmin's time is limited. He also only works XX hours a week. And his day also only has 24 hours. If everyone sees themselves in the right to write to the sysadmin because Firefox is slow, because the password isn't working anymore, because... then the real problems can't get fixed (e.g. a screwed up backup policy left by the previous sysadmin, or a failing front end machine who needs to be transferred to new hardware).

      Sure, the user doesn't know why Word isn't working, and he thinks he can just write that guy we met last Christmas party. Turns out, that guy is the Linux guy at the company and he doesn't know either, nor does he care. Now he has to forward that email to the helpdesk himself! If the Help Desk is properly implemented, then going through it is the easiest way for the regular user. Not only it gets him to the right person, but when it does, the right person may already have all the information he needs (because the first level guy asked for a snapshot of the error Word gives).

      Indeed, sysadmins are just a cog in the machine. But so is the secretary of the assistant director of whatever. And by screwing up everything, you can't let those cogs perform at their best. You also expect the secretary will tell her boss "You have a meeting at 2 pm with person X in building Y" and not just "you have a meeting today" and wait for his questions "when? where? with whom?" (or the same in reverse when he asks her to put something in the agenda)

      • I didn't mean going around Helpdesk, like you make it out to be, I meant the part about being specific in my requests. How could I be specific if all I can see, as an average office worker, that whenever I try to print to PDF, Word pops up the red X and spits out 123 screens of code on the level of the Voynich Manuscript, completely unreadable to the uninitiated.
        Conversely, the secretary does have all the necessary information at her disposal, she just has to present it, and the reverse also applies when th

    • They are there to make sure the accountants, marketeers, and others who can make money for the company can do their jobs.

      How exactly do accountants and marketeers make money for the company? Marketeers arguably have an impact on sales even if they do not make them, and they can be an important differentiating factor in a company. But accountants surely are part of the plumbing, just like IT. And more so than accounting, IT can also be a differentiator even in non-tech firms.

    • by rusty0101 (565565) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @05:31AM (#44058563) Homepage Journal

      If there is someone in your company, who is in a position that management can not show is making the company money, then the problem is that said person should not be in the company, or optionally you have incompetent managment.

      You may think that most IT staff in a non-technological company is not making money, but someone along the line did something you are unable to. They looked at the ability of each individual that you think is 'making money' for the company, and evaluated whether that person would be able to make more than the cost of the additional support person if a support person was hired, and what the expected return on investment in that person would be before they even opened that position for a manager.

      _Every_ person working at a company is expected to contribute to the company's botom line. If they are in a position that doesn't contribute in some way or another, they don't belong.

      And if you continue to treat your IT staff as if they don't belong to the company, because you are incompetent enough that you don't understand how vital your IT department is to your company, you are contributing to the sense that your IT staff doesn't belong, and you should expect that your IT staff will recognize that, and treat you like the enemy of your company that you are treating them as. And if you are in upper management and are treating your IT staff this way, you should expect no loyalty from anyone in your IT staff.

      And in your example, the user does know more than 'Word is just not working right.' they know that when they attempt to print a PDF, Word does something unexpected. (put up a dialog with strange content, closes, makes the screen start doing odd things...) In most cases the fact that the user can only say 'Word is not working right' means that an IT tech has to come to the desk the user is at, or possibly gain remote access through an internally approved remote desktop support platform, and find out exactly what the user is doing that causes the problem to happen.

      As for Facebook or other social sites, it's very rare that your IT department has specified those decisions. Almost everyone in your IT department knows full well that social websites, news sites, and e-mail sites on the web are almost invariable safer for your computer than the internal e-mail system and very likely the intranet environment that you have in house. In almost every case, the reason that your corporate policies marke these resources off limits has to do with the perception of the people making policy with respect to what they expect that employees will be doing on these sites, and how that will affect performance. In some companies there may be liability issues as well related to the possibility that internal information may end up becoming generally available on the internet, which can open the company to liability for privacy issues through insider trading issues and worse.

  • Think of a sysadmin as a airplane pilot and stewardess as a helpdesk.
    When you're on your flight do you bug a pilot as often as you bug stewardesses? Thought so...
  • At one job I spent a lot of time trying to circumvent the helpdesk. Did you know that if network policy forbids you to have automated login after a reboot, you can still do it? Just make a script that sets the correct registry keys, and use the feature where you can run scripts on computer shutdown. The network won't have time to overwrite the registry again. Even the power saving settings of the computer were "administrator only", and we had hundreds of PCs displaying flashy screensavers all night long
  • by SharpFang (651121) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @05:36AM (#44058585) Homepage Journal

    1. You bypass the help desk system, 2. You're vague.

    Both are acceptable providing you schedule your problem as lowest priority. If you submit a ticket, you expect the admin to start working in the earnest, soon. If you signal a problem: "My machine sucks, probably not enough RAM and generally old" you signal the admin to consider you in the next round of purchases. If you say "Wifi reach is dodgy", they will adjust the layout of access points with the next upgrade. "My ethernet cable is loose" - next time they do something in your room, they will replace the plug. It's preferable to a full-blown ticket.

    3. You abuse your rights, 4. You do not upgrade.

    You want to run obsolete system as root? Be my guest. I may even serve you some advices for free. Still, if I shrug and say "I don't know, you're on your own" you're on your own. I can always get you an upgraded system with limited privileges if you grow tired of trying to fix it yourself.

    5. You make urgent, last-minute requests

    Scheduled. Expect answer within three workdays.

    6. You waste your admin's time

    Scheduled. Expect answer within three workdays.

    7. You test code on production systems:

    You broke it, you take the flak. I can fix it for you if you ask really nice.

    8. You make personal requests:

    Reward appropriately. Don't expect the admin to do your private work for free.

    9. You take your admin for granted:

    More importantly - if everything works, don't find work for "slacking" admins. If you see an admin who is constantly busy, he's a poor admin, fixing everything constantly. A good admin slacks all day while all their work is done automatically.

  • by Molt (116343) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @06:03AM (#44058695)

    The only time I had a sysadmin hate me it was more due to me documenting their dangerous incompetence.

    After a security hole was found in our multi-million daily users web application I was given a project to look into other potential security issues with the application. After trying SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other fun stuff I started to poke into the application server it was running on, and a quick read through the documentation told me how to get diagnostic information from the system- unless it's been disabled as part of the standard installation process. I try it on my dev server, and get the info- not a problem. I try it on the test server and it's the same. I then try the staging server, which should be a copy of the live service, and start to get scared.

    After a quick chat with my manager as I wanted to be covered should the system flag me as an attacker I try it on the live service from an external IP address, again the diagnostics appear. I now had our database schema, the network architecture of the live service, and a lot of configuration details. My manager, who'd been watching over my shoulder as they'd become curious now, suggested we test this properly. I used my non-work mobile and called the sysadmin and, using only the details on screen, convinced him I was a database admin from elsewhere in the company working off-site. He was very helpful, I soon had a nicely unofficial SSH tunnel into the network set up for me, a temporary user account on all of the live servers, and root access to the live database with all of our customer details.

    Oddly enough the sysadmin didn't think it fair that we'd 'tricked' him, and said that no one would normally see that information and think to do what I'd just done.

    Most sysadmins I've worked with have been very good, and the in-department one I'm working with at the moment is absolutely amazing. It's not the case with all sysadmins though, some of them don't need users running random software as root to make things go stupid.

    • by malkavian (9512)

      So, who in the company was the "head of information security"? This is a role that not many think to introduce, and without it, sysadmins who excel in some areas may miss some of the hardening aspects. Hell, if you've got a 'regular' sysadmin who just installs database engines on boxes as well, you don't even have a DBA. That's two corporate strikes on good business practice (the problem goes deeper than the sysadmin; if there was only one full stop, then I'm wondering just how much he was running round

  • by fisted (2295862) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @06:17AM (#44058749)
    I /am/ the sysadmin. I always knew i was bound to hate myself.
  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @07:36AM (#44059087) Journal
    If you are a sysadmin who hates his job and/or employer and you are worth your salt, you find a new job, leave, and let all the people you know why you left. Leave little notes on the system and in the documentation that lets your successor know why you left. You don't do petty, unethical, and possibly criminal things. People who do that shit are the reason IT people have a bad reputation. Grow the fuck up, assholes. Either suck it and do your job or find a new job, quit, and leave them without stealing or destroying data or creating more problems for them and the person or people who will be replacing you.
  • My problem is not just SysAdmins, but the entire IT department.

    I'm a software developer (actually, supervisor of a software development team) at a large multinational that isn't explicitly a software development company. Most people on our network require access to deal with Microsoft Office, our SAP system and a few random databases of stuff with web front ends. Because this is what 'most' employees need, our IT can be strongly against requests that go outside of this.

    For doing my job (writing software), I require a Windows system with Administrator rights. This would not be allowed on our corporate network due to policy rules (okay, I get this) so I am a part of a separate network for doing this. However, in order to read my email, I ALSO have to have a computer on our corporate network. One extra box sitting on my desk purely for reading and replying to email. I could use our webmail, but it's pretty cumbersome. When I asked if they could set up IMAP access so I could get rid of the pointless extra box on my desk, the answer was that IMAP is a security hole and for policy reasons, they won't do so.

    A part of my job is writing software for mobile devices. In order to test on real devices, I need wireless access. Policy states that no wireless device can be set up other than by IT. IT refuses to touch anything on my separate network; but STILL enforced the policy that if I set up wireless, I'd be getting a very stern talking to by the HR department. Eventually it got sorted, but not before management stepped in due to project delays caused by me and my team only being able to do real device testing AT HOME...

    When I decided that my team needed better mouses and keyboards since I myself was noticing some hand strain, I put an order in to our system. Management approved the purchase and it was all fine. IT then blocked it saying that they supply our standard equipment from Dell and we shouldn't be ordering IT equipment separately. It was only after several days of arguing back and forth that they let the purchase order go through on grounds that since it's for my 'separate network' it's not counted as "IT equipment". That also means though that my development PC has a nice mouse and keyboard; but the one I use for email still has a really crappy thing supplied by our IT department and can never change.

    I don't have so much to truly complain about, since I do get what I want/need eventually, but from my point of view, they do get in the way of us doing our jobs far more than they help. And I do understand their reasoning - we're a special case and they do a fine job for the other 99% of the company who don't have our requirements. I just wish they'd be a bit more open to working with us instead of actively fighting against us at every turn.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      When I decided that my team needed better mouses and keyboards since I myself was noticing some hand strain, I put an order in to our system. Management approved the purchase and it was all fine. IT then blocked it saying that they supply our standard equipment from Dell and we shouldn't be ordering IT equipment separately

      Sounds like IT is 100% right on this one. When you needed computer-related gear, why didn't you talk to IT at the start? Why are you doing separate purchases of equipment? There's a mil

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Thursday June 20, 2013 @08:53AM (#44059517) Homepage

    Disgruntled sysadmins may do many things, many of them poorly thought out or likely to result in bad consequences. But they don't hole up in a hotel room in Hong Kong and publish dirt on the NSA spying program because their users are annoying.

    More to the point, if someone is willing to throw the rest of their life away on whistleblowing, then their motivation goes way beyond poor job satisfaction, and a less frustrating work environment is not going to dissuade them.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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