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Even Dirtier IT Jobs

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the summon-mike-rowe dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 175

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Dan Tynan offers up 7 'even dirtier IT jobs' in a follow-up of last year's 7 dirtiest jobs in IT. Number four? Zombie console monkey. 'Wanted: Individuals with low self-esteem and high boredom threshold willing to spend long hours poring over server logs and watching blinking lights on a network console.'"

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dirtiest of all: (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476265)

cmdrtaco's toilet slave.

Re:dirtiest of all: (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476787)

cmdrtaco's toilet slave.

Oh, c'mon, mods. It's a joke. Laugh!

Would this qualify? (5, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477205)

Dirty IT job No. 5: Fearless malware hunter
Wanted: Go-getter with inquisitive nature and a high tolerance for gore, sleaze, and the baser instincts of humanity.

Hunting malware means crawling the deepest, darkest, nastiest corners of the Web, because that's where the bad stuff usually congregates -- such as drive-by installs on porn and warez sites, says Patrick Morganelli, senior vice president of technology for anti-malware vendor Enigma Software.

"Due to the nature of the sites we need to monitor, one of our first questions in any job interview here is, 'Would you mind viewing the most offensive pornography you've ever seen in your life?' Because that's what a lot of malware research entails."

Even employees not actively involved in malware research can encounter deep nastiness, he says. One time an employee merely passed by a support technician's display while the tech was remotely logged in to a customer's PC. What the employee saw on the tech's screen was so disturbing that he quit shortly thereafter.

Sounds a lot like something like this. [penny-arcade.com]

Re: Would this qualify? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477667)

    Funny that. I knew a porn company who someone had put the word "Nintendo" in the meta tags. They did receive a C&D from Nintendo. :)

    If I hadn't seen it myself, I would have assumed it was just written for the comic.

Re: Would this qualify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478403)

'Would you mind viewing the most offensive pornography you've ever seen in your life?'

Should make Take your kids to work day [daughtersa...towork.org] later this month, pretty interesting...

Re:dirtiest of all: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478261)

I'm cmdrtaco's toilet slave assistant, you insensitive clod!

already slashdotted (1)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476275)

It's already slashdotted, and i'm apparently the first poster...

Re:already slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476699)

and even after all that, still its /.ed ouch. Well, we could set up /. insurance, and that would be the dirtiest IT job ever, keeping that site up.

Not slashdotted (3, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477009)

Your employer is blocking your access to this information to stop you trading up.

Based on how fast that burned (5, Funny)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476291)

Website maintainer after being /.ed would be #8

Re:Based on how fast that burned (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476523)

One-page link. [infoworld.com]

Re:Based on how fast that burned (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478581)

Oh Thank God, I was just looking for that... 8 page article is fail.

Re:Based on how fast that burned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476525)

A fireman isn't an IT job, though.

One word: GroundWork (1)

Anonymous Cowdog (154277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476327)

Staring at a console? Ewww. Ever heard of GroundWork?

ironic... (5, Interesting)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476337)

...or Quantum mechanics at work. By publishing this story we can't now read it.

Why can't it become routine to (also) link to a cached copy?

If the /. editors won't implement it, why not a user with a bot looking for fresh stories and doing a ~1st post linking to cached copy?

Re:ironic... (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476781)

I'm tempted to do that, but I bet it would get me IP banned.

Re:ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478367)

Just get someone in the UK to do it. That way if they get IP banned they can just reboot their router.

Re:ironic... (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477063)

Why can't it become routine to (also) link to a cached copy?

Are you suggesting the editors should read what they post?

You must be new here.

Re:ironic... (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477189)

Or a Firefox plugin? I'd do it myself, but I have work to do.

Re:ironic... (4, Informative)

twokay (979515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477271)

Or just link to the printable [infoworld.com] version of the article in question (where possible), to save the 8 extra hits to their server to read the whole thing. Although... maybe that's their problem.

Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them. (5, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476381)

When you look into your children's eyes and wonder what will they wear, eat, buy their books and toys from, somehow you feel you can do less-than-dreamlike jobs.

It's not pretty, but it beats being unemployed - and being responsible for a family.

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476413)

And, perhaps, fulfillment can come from sources other than work...

What are you, a Communist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476971)

N/T

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (1)

Heather D (1279828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477403)

And, perhaps, fulfillment can come from sources other than work...

It had better. Most jobs get tedious in a few months at most. And thats for the better ones.

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (5, Funny)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476453)

When you look into your children's eyes and wonder what will they wear, eat, buy their books and toys from, somehow you feel you can do less-than-dreamlike jobs.

I have two boys and couldn't disagree more; I just beat them and gamble away my wages.

=Smidge=

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476595)

When you look into your children's eyes and wonder what will they wear, eat, buy their books and toys from, somehow you feel you can do less-than-dreamlike jobs.

I have two boys and couldn't disagree more; I just beat them and gamble away my wages.

=Smidge=

I don't want to call you a bad parent or anything, but the way you're wasting your kids' potential is appalling.

Those kids could be out hustling on the street or working in an illegal textile mill and providing you money to gamble with. Instead, you waste time and energy beating them when the factory foreman could be doing it and paying you for the privilege.

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476761)

When you look into your children's eyes and wonder what will they wear, eat, buy their books and toys from, somehow you feel you can do less-than-dreamlike jobs.

I have two boys and couldn't disagree more; I just beat them and gamble away my wages.

=Smidge=

I don't want to call you a bad parent or anything, but the way you're wasting your kids' potential is appalling.

Those kids could be out hustling on the street or working in an illegal textile mill and providing you money to gamble with. Instead, you waste time and energy beating them when the factory foreman could be doing it and paying you for the privilege.

Exactly, no one wants a child prostitute that's already beaten!

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (4, Funny)

da' WINS pimp (213867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477101)

Exploitation begins at home. - Unnumbered Ferengi Rule of Acquisition

 

you could always sell their organs (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477239)

assuming you didn't have them as replacement organ farms in the first place

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476693)

And people ask me why I won't have kids...

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478117)

Because life is all about you?

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476695)

fuck that! Back Obama is going to change everything! He's going to pay our car loans and mortgages!

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27477065)

Moral of the story: don't ever have children!

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (3, Informative)

iamacat (583406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477071)

So are you saying that your only alternative to naked, starving and illiterate kids is a night shift job as bestiality porn site QA engineer? I think most people have more pleasant, even though lower-paying choices. I just looked at my kid's eyes and I think, if it comes to that, she needs a sane dad more than XBOX360 or a 4 bedroom house.

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (2, Insightful)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477367)

a night shift job as bestiality porn site QA engineer?

I don't see any problems with that job.... Why so dismissive? It's not as if you're the person blowing the horse or being taken from behind by a donkey. I'd object to that, but doing some QA on perverted stuff? Pffffff....

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (4, Insightful)

phulegart (997083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478885)

So, when your choice is making a living wage as the night buy doing QC for a porn site, or working at McDonalds or the corner Gas Station... you say hell yeah Fast Food because it will keep you saner?

So, when it is a choice between your kids eating and not eating, not whether or not they get an XBox, how tasty does that porn based job look now?

My current boss is a shit. I'm paid $8.25/hr to repair laptops all day long. Not just replacing boards, but replacing power adapter ports and more when necessary, as well as software issues. I'm in the US of A. Sure, being the QC for a disgusting porn site would be crap WORK compared to what I do now (satisfying work, crap wage)... but I've walked a path few choose to walk. I've seen the choice of "DO work that keeps you sane and go homeless due to lack of money" and I embraced it. I lived in a van for more than a year. I'm going back to living in it. I don't get paid enough to support living, and I don't have the schedule that allows for another job, there are no third shift jobs here, and I can't find another job. I'm not the spouse of a Marine, which is what 95% of the jobs in town are geared for, since this town is a support system for two Marine bases.

So step down from the pedestal you are on. it isn't the difference between nice and extravagant gifts that we are talking about. It isn't about an XBox or a 4 bedroom house over a 3 bedroom house... it is the choice between homelessness and a two bedroom apartment for a family of 5 (mom and dad in one, all three kids in the other). if you really think it is all about having the money to afford a new console, or making due for one more year with the old one, it is time you woke up. Some of us have to make due with $16k a year. Some of us who work those jobs that fit into your quote "I think most people have more pleasant, even though lower-paying choices." don't make a fraction of what is needed to survive... not thrive, just survive.

And do you really think working as a dish dog at Applebys or Outback or Longhorn or TGIF or any of those places is really a "more pleasant" lower paying job? How about working fast food? Again, is that more pleasant? What is your frame of reference as to Lower-paying and Higher-paying? What pay range caps the "Lower-paying" scale?

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27477139)

This hypnotic voodoo you describe is the reason I don't have kids.

But I'm willing to adopt any desperate 17 year old girls down on their luck.

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (2, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477865)

It's not pretty, but it beats being unemployed - and being responsible for a family.

A statement which further reinforces my view that having children signals the end of happy life, and the beginning of some kind of badgered and miserable existence, regurgitating the dregs of ones own aspirations into the insatiable beaks of thankless offspring.

And to think. People bring this on themselves.

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478417)

that, or it's further proof that you just can't get laid, and this is your excuse.

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478419)

Good thing for you, your parents did not think like that, eh.

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478711)

That's a ridiculous argument, akin to the "well how would you feel if you parents had an abortion" nonsense. If my parents had decided not to have kids, I wouldn't be around to regret it, so I wouldn't feel any worse off.

Re:Bad jobs? Maybe. But some people will take them (3, Informative)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478705)

And paradoxically, it seems to be difficult to get a job when you're unemployed. When I didn't have a job I felt like I was begging for a chance, so I got a job at an cable company/ISP helpdesk. Five months later I got a job as an embedded software engineer (what I was looking for).

It was a pretty lousy job, when I came home I felt completely empty. You get verbal abuse, everything from people who don't know the first thing about computers, all the way to undisguisable idiots. Still, I can advise everyone to do it for a while. You get a lot of people skills, and you get a lot of direct feedback from people struggling with technology. This is invaluable when you start developing these things yourself, as your mental image of the end-user is is less self-centered. It has helped me staying very alert about intuitivity and consistent mental models.

PS: the verbal abuse was sporadic. People call for help, and most of them seem to be aware that yelling first and then asking "can you help me?" isn't very productive. If you really want to thicken your skin, get a job at the payments helpdesk, not the technical one. If you can help them, you also receive a lot of gratitude.

BRAIIINS... need more BRAIIIINS!!! (4, Funny)

spookymonster (238226) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476405)

Puts a whole new twist on the old zombie mantra:

Zombie: Braiiiins! Need more BRAIINS!!!
Employer: Yes, you do... your work experience is attrocious!

A PHD in Google's TISP program (4, Funny)

shoppa (464619) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476433)

My nomination: A PHD (Plumbing Hardware Dispatcher) in Google's TiSP Program [google.com] .

been there done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476451)

Ive had a job like that before. I worked as a consultant on wall street and i have to tell you it was by far the most boring job in the universe, if i ever do something like that again i will pay let me say it again pay someone to shoot me, thats how booooooring that position was.

Re:been there done that (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476931)

What you should do is pay someone less clever than you to do the job for you - your 'technical analyst'. Let them make the grunt stuff up, and you present, gather accolades, and crank up your WoW armies in your spare time. Obviously, they will be paid less, but this could be an offshoring or out-of-work PhD opportunity.

Just don't get caught. And don't let them figure out how to get your job out from underneath you. Energetic types have a way of beating you at your own game.

Or, as an alternative, you could consider going into meaningful employement. Wall St is pretty much in the crapper right now. You shoudl be able to get by on your bonu---wait, you're a consultant. You spent your obscenely inflated income already on fast cars and alternative energy schemes. Wow, suxs 2 b u.

Disconnect/reconnect specialist (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476455)

Dirty IT job No. 7: Disconnect/reconnect specialist Wanted: Able-bodied individuals with affinity for adapters, plugs, prongs, and dongles; willing to crawl under desks and squeeze into tight spaces that have never seen daylight. Strong stomach required. Disconnect machines from one site, reconnect them at another. It sounded so simple Garth Callaghan couldn't quite believe someone would pay his company, 127tech, to do it. Now he employs three full-time employees and 30 contractors, who spend half their time unplugging and replugging machines for commercial movers in Richmond, Va.

Doesn't sound difficult, until you've got someone with a B.S. in Computer and Information Technology who reattaches the cables running down the front of the desk (why are there holes in the back?), thinking it's a job well done.

Re:Disconnect/reconnect specialist (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476589)

That job would literally probably kill me. I'm allergic to dust mites. Trust me, there is a market for people to crawl under desks and plug/unplug things (which was always my least favorite aspect of MIS work, not least because I'm two meters tall. Where's my #$%@#%^ trunk monkey?)

Re:Disconnect/reconnect specialist (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476725)

With more and more new holes to plug crap into that look more and more similar, it's not even a trivial job either. You don't want to know what I've found plugged into what socket. USB in Firewire is easy. But analog VGA in a 9 pin serial is quite a feat.

Excuse me now, I have to try to pry that RJ45 from a RJ11 jack.

Re:Disconnect/reconnect specialist (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477281)

Excuse me now, I have to try to pry that RJ45 from a RJ11 jack.
If someone has really managed to get a RJ45 into a RJ11 jack I doubt the jack is still in a usable state anyway.

Re:Disconnect/reconnect specialist (1)

tenton (181778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477973)

If someone has really managed to get a RJ45 into a RJ11 jack I doubt the jack is still in a usable state anyway.

This is likely the case. GP, may I suggest cutting the cable instead of trying to pry it out?

Re:Disconnect/reconnect specialist (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478377)

You're joking right? Connectors have been next to impossible to plug into the wrong port for a while, and the few that still are (audio) are colour coded.

I Earned a CS Degree For This? (2)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476465)

I had to ask myself this question the last time I was crawling through an underground crawlspace below a very old building so I could run drainage tubing from our new server room.

That was pretty dirty.

More vampiric, actually. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476513)

Check it out:
http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&ei=VR3aSdvvDYmI_Qa74ri2DQ&resnum=1&q=richmond%20it%20crowd&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

"wait for it... double blink.... and then it does that... is that a good thing? I don't know.... so I just look away"

The ultimate zombie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476519)

I used to work for a company that developed Data Processing applications. There were dozens of them, all of them did basically the same thing, but were written completely different and shared very little code(yep).

The company paid a few select people to sit and stare at the screens to make sure the application did not disappear while running, or have an error. If either of those situations occurred, they just click the shortcut on the desktop to start it up again. I guess for $14/hr it is not a horrible job...but I always felt bad for the people that had to do that.

Finally (4, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476607)

Zombie console monkey...

Finally, a job that really COULD be replaced with a shell script.

Re:Finally (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27477411)

Coworker: "Hey, I checked ps and your new monitor script has zombie status for some reason"

Me: "That means it's working!"

Pointless exercise (4, Funny)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476619)

Next time: the world's seven wettest oceans!

Re:Pointless exercise (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477643)

That's actually possible(and maybe even usefull). The goal would be to locate the oceans(seas is the more likely goal) containing the highest amount of pure(devoid of any kind of salt) water. And I bet that there have been countless of studies who have investigated this.

And yes, I like being pedantic.

Re:Pointless exercise (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478371)

And yes, I like being pedantic

No, if you were pedantic, you would note that there are only five oceans, not seven. the point gp was making is that all of the jobs are dirty.

poring vs pouring (0, Offtopic)

ChrisCampbell47 (181542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476641)

For those who think "poring" in the summary is a typo, you're not as smart as you think you are.

http://www.google.com/search?q=poring+pouring [google.com]

Re:poring vs pouring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27476697)

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&um=1&sa=1&q=poring&btnG=Search+Images&aq=f&oq=

What do cute pink blobs have to do with IT jobs?

Re:poring vs pouring (2, Funny)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476715)

For those who think "poring" in the summary is a typo, you're not as smart as you think you are.

http://www.google.com/search?q=poring+pouring [google.com]

So am I the only one pouring things into my logging servers in attempts to stop the blinking lights before my boss notices and forces me to stay late?

Re:poring vs pouring (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477725)

For those who think "poring" in the summary is a typo, you're not as smart as you think you are.

Since at this stage not one person other than you has mentioned it, maybe you're not as smart as you think you are.

Data Miner? (2, Interesting)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476665)

Zombie console monkey. 'Wanted: Individuals with low self-esteem and high boredom threshold willing to spend long hours poring over server logs and watching blinking lights on a network console.'"

Data miner?

Sounds awfully like data mining except for the blinking lights on the console but rather the status output of your data mining software.

"Dirty" jobs? (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476753)

At least data "mining" conjures up an image of dirt or dirtiness, even if only figuratively. Frankly, I don't see what's "dirty" about poring over server logs unless it somehow involves finding pr0n.

Running Infoworld's web server (2, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476737)

Taken "offline for maintenance", i.e. applying a plunger to it after it got Slashdotted.

This is what they get for spreading a story over eight pages.

Dirty Jobs (5, Insightful)

reidiq (1434945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476783)

If I see this on Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, I'll give it a reason to be dirty.

Re:Dirty Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478623)

If Mike Rowe ever considers these true 'dirty jobs' then it is because he is finally out of material.

One man's dirt, is another man's treasure . . . (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27476803)

Well, I can't RTFA, because it's probably slashdotted, but I have done some stuff in my career, which would make a lots of folks hurl. Like, looking at Unix kernel dumps caused by bugs in the TCP/IP stack or network device drivers . . . or deadlocks (register four has the PID of the process holding the lock, unless the code grabbed the lock on an interrupt).

At any rate, a lot of folks would abhor doing such stuff. I found it challenging, but fun. Some of the folks that I worked with would have rather just looked at blinking lights the whole day.

I did this (4, Interesting)

zaren (204877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477021)

For a month or so, I did this as a temp job. My job consisted of manually logging into a server every two hours and manually running a command to gather log files, and then another to send those files to a second server. I honestly have no idea what kind of system I was logging into, I just know that I was told they were unable to automate the process, so there needed to be a warm body to run the commands. For that, I got to sit in a windowless basement data closet with no access to TV, radio, or open Internet. At least it was a paycheck, and I got to catch up on some reading, writing, and sleep.

Re:I did this (5, Funny)

KeithJM (1024071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477263)

I got to sit in a windowless basement data closet. At least it was a paycheck

But did anyone take your stapler?

Re:I did this (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477607)

Yes, but at least they gave him a can of bug spray.

Re:I did this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478563)

LOL

Modder parent upto +14153 ("Office Space")

Re:I did this (4, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477341)

I honestly have no idea what kind of system I was logging into, I just know that I was told they were unable to automate the process, so there needed to be a warm body to run the commands.

I did something remarkably similar in the early 90s, until I wrote a nice semi-automated procomm script. As I recall I got it down to selecting a different "dialup number" for each file, hitting enter, and waiting for it to complete the rather elaborate process as I watched, and then started the next one. Or maybe it was Telix. Although it was cool to program, it actually de-evolved my job from lots of typing to literally, "alt-d, scroll down to the next one, hit enter, wait". Anyway after several months, I was rather tired of it all, got a new job, and informed my literally astounded cow orkers about my script (astounded like, mouth hanging open). Boss offered me a better job and more money, but new boss was already expecting me, new job looked like more fun anyway, etc.

It was a VERY large mainframe oriented company, and despite it being the mid 90s, they still did not institutionally understand it was possible to "program" one of those little PC things. Seriously!

Re:I did this (2, Funny)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478397)

I'm not surprised, most people do not understand the power of a computer. I got a temp job in late 90's that consisted of endlessly copying and pasting things. So, I wrote a script and the script finished several weeks worth of work in just 30 minutes.

Re:I did this (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477577)

I just know that I was told they were unable to automate the process And you couldn't figure out how to prove them wrong? Change the login init on the remote machine to run a script which issues the desired commands instead of bringing up a shell. I'm not sure about logging in, but I suspect this can be done by minicom called from a cron job. Not really my area of expertise, has anyone else actually completely automated a task like this?

Re:I did this (2, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478095)

I suspect this can be done by minicom called from a cron job.

You also suspect the system has cron. Why? ;-)

Re:I did this (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478217)

Well, if he's on slashdot, then he must be running Linux! (Yes, I am typing this into firefox running in WindowsXP as we speak.) Yeah, with Windows there is a task scheduler and HyperTerminal to automate calling out, and startup tasks and a primitive scripting language to automate things on the remote end. More difficult, but I think it could be done under Windows as well. I just assumed the Unix/Linux terminology would be easier for most people to understand. Almost anything can be automated, the question is whether or not it is worth the effort to automate it.

Re:I did this (4, Insightful)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478223)

You'd be surprised how much you don't care about automating yourself out of a paycheck.

Re:I did this (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478313)

You'd be surprised how grateful most companies are when you implement a system that saves them a significant amount of money! Why, in some cases, they will even give you an extra week of severance pay!

Re:I did this (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478851)

I suspect this can be done by minicom called from a cron job. Not really my area of expertise, has anyone else actually completely automated a task like this?

No no no, not "suspect" you mean "expect".

http://expect.nist.gov/ [nist.gov]

Actually, "suspect" is a pretty good Infocom text adventure.

Re:I did this (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477661)

So did you burn the place down?

Re:I did this (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477807)

My job consisted of manually logging into a server every two hours and manually running a command to gather log files, and then another to send those files to a second server. I honestly have no idea what kind of system I was logging into, I just know that I was told they were unable to automate the process, so there needed to be a warm body to run the commands.

hmmm.... It seems like cron and a simple shell script (or the Windows equivalent of those tools) could do those things very easily.

Re:I did this (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477873)

You think you have it tough? Try a job where you have to live in a bunker and enter "4 8 15 16 23 42" into an old Apple II every 108 minutes.

You young punks have it easy. Now stay off of my lawn!

dirty IT jobs?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27477105)

I work for a sheriffs dept. Inside the jail. You cant get much dirtier then this place.

Article text (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27477193)

Hey, we can't all have careers at Google. Sometimes when you work in IT, you have to hold your nose and hope for the best.

Last year we named "The 7 dirtiest jobs in IT [infoworld.com] [1]," but we barely scratched the topic's grime-caked surface. In the world of technology, there's plenty of dirt to go around.

You may be ordered to crawl into the nastiest corners of your office -- or to explore the nastiest corners of the Web. You may be required to stare zombie-like at a network monitoring console, waiting (possibly hoping) for the alarms to go off, or be chained to an endless series of spreadsheets and Word docs, looking for minute differences in data. You may end up berated, belittled, or sobbed at for circumstances that have nothing to do with you.

And at some point in your IT career, you will probably be asked to spy on your fellow employees -- or even your boss -- and fearlessly report what you find.

[ Have your own tale of dirty duty in IT? Share it in our forum [infoworld.com] [2]. ]

These seven jobs are not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. But they're out there; in these dark economic times, you might consider yourself lucky to have one of them.

Dirty IT job No. 7: Disconnect/reconnect specialist
Wanted: Able-bodied individuals with affinity for adapters, plugs, prongs, and dongles; willing to crawl under desks and squeeze into tight spaces that have never seen daylight. Strong stomach required.

Disconnect machines from one site, reconnect them at another. It sounded so simple Garth Callaghan couldn't quite believe someone would pay his company, 127tech [127tech.com] [3], to do it. Now he employs three full-time employees and 30 contractors, who spend half their time unplugging and replugging machines for commercial movers in Richmond, Va.

But don't think they don't earn their money.

Most businesses have been in the same location for a long time, says Callaghan, and many of their employees haven't budged from their desks in 5 or 10 years. That can make for a rather mucky experience.

Occupational hazards include dust bunnies the size of basketballs, displays coated in soot, keyboards with enough food lodged in them to feed a small third-world country or, in one recent case, caked with a viscous layer of cosmetics.

In the three years his company has been in business, Callaghan and his crew have probably unplugged and replugged 10,000 workstations. But one in particular stands out.

<!-- pagebreak -->

"One day a couple of years ago, one of my crew members was struggling to get some cables loose from between a workstation and a wall," he says. "I said, 'Don't worry, I'm the owner of the company, I'll take responsibility if the cable breaks.' I grabbed the cable and started to shimmy it up. It wouldn't budge. Finally I yanked really hard. Out popped a bottle of Italian salad dressing, three-quarters empty. It had leaked all over the wall, the desk, and the computer. When I looked at the label I saw it was two years past its expiration date."

Callaghan says that while the experience did not put him off Italian dressing, it will be burned in his memory forever.

"My entire crew has to shower down after our job," he adds. "It's not quite 'Silkwood,' but sometimes it feels that way."

Dirty IT job No. 6: Data crisis counselor
Wanted: Empathetic individual able to withstand long bouts of unwarranted abuse; soothing phone manner and low blood pressure essential.

When disaster strikes and critical data goes down the memory hole, it can generate a gamut of unpleasant emotions -- tears, depression, guilt, hopelessness, and rage.

[ For more on the grimy side of IT, see the original 7 dirtiest jobs in IT [infoworld.com] [4]. ]

It's Kelly Chessen's job to listen to it all. As a crisis counselor for data recovery firm DriveSavers [drivesaver...covery.com] [5], she's gotten calls from sobbing adults who've lost images or videos of their recently deceased parents. She's talked to dentists who were frantic because their systems went down and they have no idea what services their patients needed. She's logged hours with IT managers who lost entire Microsoft Exchange servers because they thought they knew how to implement RAID 5 but really didn't. Now their servers were dead, the backups were missing, and their jobs were on the line.

"I would talk to one IT guy one day and another IT guy from the same company the next day because the first guy had been fired," adds Chessen, whose job title really is Data Crisis Counselor.

Though she has an undergraduate degree in psychology, it was Chessen's five years on a suicide prevention line that best prepared her for her current position, which she was offered after a chance encounter with the president of the company. (No, he was not one of her callers, she hastens to note.)

<!-- pagebreak -->

Chessen says the worst call she ever received was from a small-business owner whose building had burned to the ground, taking all his computers with it. "He yelled at me for 30 minutes straight," says Chessen. "I didn't burn down his business. But after 5 or 10 minutes of yelling, it's hard not to take it personally."

It's a job your average IT person would be wholly unsuited for, agrees Chessen.

"Not everybody can do what I do for living," she says. "You need the skills, the background, and the patience. It's a dirty job, but it's also very rewarding, because we have a solution. In almost every case, we can get their data back for them, sometimes as quickly as 24 hours."

And on those rare instances when DriveSavers can't recover someone's data because the drives are simply too far gone? "I do grief counseling," she says.

Dirty IT job No. 5: Fearless malware hunter
Wanted: Go-getter with inquisitive nature and a high tolerance for gore, sleaze, and the baser instincts of humanity.

Hunting malware means crawling the deepest, darkest, nastiest corners of the Web, because that's where the bad stuff usually congregates -- such as drive-by installs on porn and warez sites, says Patrick Morganelli, senior vice president of technology for anti-malware vendor Enigma Software [enigmasoftware.com] [6].

"Due to the nature of the sites we need to monitor, one of our first questions in any job interview here is, 'Would you mind viewing the most offensive pornography you've ever seen in your life?' Because that's what a lot of malware research entails."

[ Hackers aren't always so hard to track down. See "Stupid hacker tricks, part two: The folly of youth [infoworld.com] [7]." ]

Even employees not actively involved in malware research can encounter deep nastiness, he says. One time an employee merely passed by a support technician's display while the tech was remotely logged in to a customer's PC. What the employee saw on the tech's screen was so disturbing that he quit shortly thereafter.

"It can definitely wear on people," Morganelli says. "The amount of filth you need to go through on a daily basis just to do your job can be pretty trying, and much of it is extremely disturbing -- bestiality and worse. But there's no way to fight this stuff unless you go out and actively collect it."

Andrew Brandt, a malware researcher and blogger [webroot.com] [8] for security software vendor Webroot [webroot.com] [9] (and InfoWorld chronicler of IT admin gaffes [infoworld.com] [10], stupid hacker tricks [infoworld.com] [11], and colossal QA oversights [infoworld.com] [12]), says he was warned before he took the job that he'd see porn that would turn his stomach. But he says he sees less malware distributed via porn sites and more via fake BitTorrents and game cheats sites.

<!-- pagebreak -->

"I would describe my job as rubbing a white glove on the filthy underbelly of the Net and seeing what comes off," says Brandt. "Every day I work with malware that does everything you don't want it to do -- like steal your bank account information, break your computer, or barrage you with ads -- and I do it 20, 30, 40 times a day.

"The dirtiest thing about my job is not that the malware is incredibly difficult to research or fix; it's that once the bad guys latch onto some trick they use it over and over and over. I start to crave the little differences that crop up. Still, every day I learn something new -- even if it's just 'oh my god, this is the hundredth time I've seen the exact same exploit'."

Dirty IT job No. 4: Zombie console monkey
Wanted: Individuals with low self-esteem and high boredom threshold willing to spend long hours poring over server logs and watching blinking lights on a network console.

This job title combines two of the most onerous yet often necessary tasks ever assigned to an IT grunt: analyzing system logs and monitoring network operations, says Lawrence Imeish, a principal consultant for IT services provider Dimension Data [dimensiondata.com] [13].

[ Drone-like conditions can make for colossal testing oversights [infoworld.com] [14]. ]

"Doing log file analysis and correlation has to be the most tedious, mundane, perpetually boring job in of all IT," he says. But because logs maintain detailed records of all activity that takes place on a system, they're vital tools for debugging and error detection, he adds.

"Meanwhile, network operations centers usually have a person whose job is to stare at screens waiting for green lights to turn red, signifying a problem with some system," he says. "There are useful messages in all those blips and flashing lights, though, and many of them can go a long way toward preventing problems before they occur."

As companies trim body counts, they often combine these positions into what Imeish calls the Zombie Console Monkey. The utter lack of human interaction combined with little to no exposure to the sun means Zombies have been known to become almost transparent over time, he adds.

These days, mature IT organizations use event correlation software and network monitoring apps that can identify anomalies and notify the necessary parties if the network fails. Even then, says Imeish, some companies feel more comfortable with a human being sitting there and watching the dials, just in case.

<!-- pagebreak -->

"It's an entry-level job with not a lot of thought involved. Creative thinking? Forget about it. Your job is to follow a script, written down in a manual, for anything that might happen. That's why we call them 'zombies' -- no brains are required."

Dirty IT job No. 3: Data cleansing drone
Wanted: Detailed-oriented individual to pore over endless amounts of repetitive data looking for errors. Requires high tolerance for mindless drudgery; clinical diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder a plus.

Data is a harsh mistress. The same name spelled two different ways or slight variations in addresses can wreak havoc with your inventory, screw up your billing, break the supply chain, make customer service a living hell, and cause the suits to make bad decisions. That's why thousands of organizations hire drones to comb through company files looking for inaccuracies, inconsistencies, discrepancies, duplicates, and other data glitches.

[ Beware the perils of dirty data [infoworld.com] [15]. ]

"We call it the 'Monk factor,'" says Stefanos Damiankis, CEO of Netrics [netrics.com] [16], a maker of data matching software. "Like the detective in the 'Monk' TV show, every organization has obsessive-compulsive guys who pore over the data and try to make it perfect."

Forget perfect data. Getting the data to where it's usable is hard enough, he says. "The job is dirty because the data is relentless. You're just sitting there looking at the same things over and over. It's mind-numbing, and the tools available to do the job are typically antiquated."

Even if the data is consistent across all fields, organizations still need people to figure out what it really means, says Leonard Dubois, senior vice president of marketing and sales support for Harte-Hankes Trillium Software [trilliumsoftware.com] [17], maker of data quality solutions.

"In large organizations there are hundreds of people poring over Excel spreadsheets and Word documents trying to determine what the business meaning of a specific term -- like 'customer' -- might be," says Dubois. "And every silo in the organization might have a different definition. If I order a book from Amazon for my wife, who's the customer? To the billing department, it's me. To marketing, it's my wife. To shipping, it's the address where the book got sent."

The data drone has to go in and figure out which definition is the correct one for each group -- an expensive and time-consuming process. Data quality software like Netrics' or Trillium's can automate many of these tasks, detect errors, and reduce guesswork. More often than not, though, you still end up with outliers that have to be handled by humans.

<!-- pagebreak -->

"They call it data cleansing for a reason," Dubois adds. "It's a tedious process to go through data files and figure out the meanings of each term."

Dirty IT Job No. 2: IT mortician
Wanted: Morbidly minded individual sought to gather up dead or discarded electronic equipment and perform last rites; excavation and embalming experience preferred.

In every organization there's always somebody who has to go in and deal with the dead parts of IT -- whether they're reclaiming infrastructure from companies that are no longer in business or simply disposing of machines that are too old to use, even if they're not quite dead yet.

As with disconnect/reconnect specialist, the job can be literally dirty, says Dimension Data's Lawrence Imeish. "This stuff can be pretty disgusting," he says. "You're dealing with years of dust, grime, and neglect. A guy gets back from one of these jobs, you'd think he worked in a coal mine."

Sooner or later, someone will demand you take possession of their "extremely valuable collections of IBM AT look-alikes, Pentium-1 knockoffs, and 'does 386 sound familiar?' artifacts from the Mesozoic era," says Bill Horne, a systems architect with William Warren Consulting [william-warren.com] [18].

Horne says he patiently explains that the best resting place for such systems is a local charity that will take them off the company's hands without charging a recycling fee, but most clients remain unconvinced.

"You'll be rewarded with angry demands to remove them that very minute, no matter what you thought your plans were for that day," he says. "The rear surfaces of at least one machine will be razor-sharp, and that's the machine you will make the mistake of grabbing as it starts to fall off the shelf where it was balanced precariously for centuries."

Worse, every machine will have at least one virus on it, and the software will be unsalvageable. "The best you'll be able to do is get a couple of 'free' Windows ME serial numbers," says Horne. "But you'll have to resign yourself to your fate, put bandages on your hands, wipe the blood off the face plates, flatten the hard drives, and deliver them to the Disabled Veterans' collection point."

<!-- pagebreak -->

Dirty IT job No. 1: Espionage engineer
Wanted: Network sleuth willing to secretly read employee e-mail, shadow coworkers across the Web, and unmask corporate spies; ability to keep secrets a must.

Work in IT long enough, and one day you may be asked to monitor your fellow employees' e-mail, scan their browser histories, or rifle their hard drives looking for evidence they've broken the rules. It's just a fact of doing business, says Roger A. Grimes, a senior security consultant and proprietor of InfoWorld's Security Adviser blog [infoworld.com] [19].

[ Your boss is but one of the Top 10 reasons to be paranoid [infoworld.com] [20] on the Net. ]

"I'd say it happens in 100 percent of large and midsize organizations, less often in smaller ones," he contends. He estimates that half the time employees who are investigated ended up being fired. Only about one in four prove innocent.

The biggest single issue Grimes is asked to investigate? Sex between two employees. "That accounts for 50 to 75 percent of the requests," he says. No. 2 on the list is corporate espionage, usually in the form of soon-to-be-former employees absconding with proprietary company data.

At one company, Grimes discovered that nearly half of the network Web traffic was porn-related. When he informed the CEO, he was gently dissuaded. "'We don't want to be the Internet police,' he told me."

Grimes immediately looked at the CEO's hard drive, where he found a generously endowed cache of gay porn, as well as evidence the executive had booked a session with a male prostitute on a business trip to Miami. At the time, the CEO was days away from getting married.

Two weeks later, the CEO called him into his office. "He said a couple of teenage boys had broken into his home and surfed gay porn on his computer, and now he wanted to know how to get rid of what they left behind," Grimes said.

Shouldn't the chief executive call the police? Grimes asked. No. He just wanted to know how to clear his cache. A few weeks later, the marriage was officially over.

The CEO was hardly the only one in that company caught with his hands in the, umm, cookie jar.

"I could prove a large percentage of senior management did no actual work at all," says Grimes. "These guys were making several hundred thousands dollars a year, and all they did all day long was surf porn."

But being an IT spy is not all fun and games. Grimes says he's been approached by spouses of executives seeking evidence their significant other had been cheating. He has to tell them no, he can't legally do that. Over the years he's also investigated dozens of employees charged with viewing child pornography at work.

<!-- pagebreak -->

"I try hard to not find images on people's computers," he adds. "There are some things you simply can't unsee. It's an emotionally difficult thing to be involved with."

Sometimes, however, it's hard to avoid.

"One time I was asked to clean off the computer of an executive who was leaving the company," says Grimes. "She was in her sixties, with gray hair. Going through her hard drive I found pictures of her in leather bondage with another executive at the same company. I just deleted them. But I never could look at her the same way after that."

Re:Article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478517)

so you posted the entire article -- except a link to the original, the name of the author, and the author's bio. WTF?

I understand, infoworld is very very slow today. but come on. show some respect for the hard work the author and the site's editors put into this story. credit and link love would be a start.

and yes, I'm the author.

dt

I'm boycotting this article (4, Insightful)

nysus (162232) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477255)

Websites that make you browse to a new page to they can bump their page views to advertisers can rot in hell.

I'll raise yer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27477465)

These don't even scratch the surface of dirty IT jobs..

One place I worked, was an old office building where the local servers were in the basement. This proved to be less than ideal when the sewage line became blocked and backed up. The basement flooded with a nice concoction of human processed cappucino and designer sandwiches, from the innards of our trendy young dot-comites. It was some while before the flooding was discovered. As sysadmins our job was to don the biohazard outfits and save the servers and disk arrays. I should add that it was summer.

Truly Dirty IT Job (5, Interesting)

Chagatai (524580) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477537)

Sorry, but most of these jobs are not that, "dirty," compared to my last job. I did systems administration work for a meatpacker. This meant that several times a year I would go to feedlots and slaughterhouses to help out with the systems. There is nothing like working in a place where you can be walking on guts and dung as you go up and down to the computer rooms. (And by, "rooms," I mean, "modified coat closet with an air conditioner sticking in a hole cut in the wall.") Some of my favorites:

-One abattoir had the intake for the server room on the roof... directly under the exhaust tower for rendering. Even when we moved the equipment into the new offices, I turned on the disk array and got a face full of rendered pork from the fans.

-One place in Texas was a nightmare. Imagine extension cords stapled to the wall for systems, where they were wired so the pronged end was the, "hot," side. Yep, it could double as a cattle prod if needed.

-Communicating with the people at these places was impossible. One night crew person sounded exactly like Boomhauer. It was always fun trying to understand her.

-Other people didn't like the fact that we in IT were generally smarter than them. I got one woman who liked making up big words to sound more intelligent than she was. On one occasion, she said that her screen was, "tricating." I had to ask her a few times to repeat the word to understand it. After I found out that she meant that the column size for her green screen console was wrong, causing the lines to wrap improperly, I told her I had never heard of that word before. "Oh, you're young," she said, "that's why you don't know it." Yeah, neither did Merriam and Webster, and they're pretty old, too.

-Another plant in the south had an adjacent, "smoking room," in someone's office, so the fans were sucking in both slaughterhouse smell and nicotine. Lovely.

-And it was always fun walking on the floors when we had to check out the equipment, since we in IT stuck out like sore thumbs. I remember going to check an electronic scale once and watching these workers with sharp knives cutting things and staring at me. I was thinking, "Why don't you look down at what you're doing with that sharp blade instead of me? You know, that piece of meat that has... an... eyeball looking back at me... oh, boy...."

ECP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27477639)

We had one client we referred to as "ECP". It was definitely the dirtiest job in IT. If you can figure out what it stands for, you'll know why we had to call it that and why it was the dirtiest job in IT to maintain that website.

Here's a hint: Extreme. Close-up.

Dirtiest of all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27477663)

I do 45 minutes of work a day, then read slashdot the rest of the 7 1/4 hours.

Fearless malware hunter (1)

BunnyClaws (753889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27477789)

I did this for several years. I think this one should have been the #1 on the list. There are some things that just cannot be unseen.

Wimps (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478069)

That "Disconnect/Recconect Specialist" in TFA is a wuss. I've worked in a lab building built entirely on a raised floor. Not just the lab, but the offices and everything. This wasn't actually an IT job, much of the cabling being instrumentation. But we had employees with no concept of modern day sanitation. Have some lunch leftovers? There's a hole in the floor and its closer than the garbage can. It'll do. So now we've got rats. Or. more aptly RATS. And rats don't live forever either. And when they die, other rats ....... There were also a few instances in which I believe someone couldn't make it to the men's room it time.

Fp d0lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27478277)

and so7d in the

Oil rig and off shore comunications (1)

ouachiski (835136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478551)

I work in a shop cleaning repairing and checking out communications systems for oil rigs and boats. Some of the crap that comes back is ridiculous. Thick layers of crude oil and deisel, the rotten smell of crew boats and the occasional dead rodent make the day go by. But hey, I get to play with robots to so it makes it all good.

108 Minutes (2, Funny)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478855)

Save the world they said... Tropical Island I was told....

management (1)

damonlab (931917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27478859)

"I could prove a large percentage of senior management did no actual work at all" This is news?
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