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266 comments

God forbid... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921712)

...that IT folks do the job they're paid to do without stealing!

Re:God forbid... (1, Troll)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921808)

But it's not stealing. It's copyright infringment!!! Well, at least as long as it's not a GPLed piece of software because then it's stealing!!!

Re:God forbid... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921830)

I'm pretty sure bandwidth, equipment, and credit card numbers don't fall under the GPL in most cases.

Re:God forbid... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34921896)

Sure they might do that.. If they were well paid and treated with respect instead of treated like a replaceable nameless cog in a giant machine.

Silly... i know... But hey.. If you want respect and loyality from the worker... You have to show them some yourself.

The workers are learning the lesson business is teaching them. Get whatever you can by any means. The only thing that matters is the bottom line.

Re:God forbid... (1)

berwiki (989827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922390)

nice, I wish I could mod you +6 Insightful.

Re:God forbid... (1, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922446)

If you want respect and loyality from the worker... You have to show them some yourself

And, if it's "Burnie" or "French Fry" or "Pizzaface" who is promoting that line, then the first thing you do is go nuclear on him, go for his nuts, get him fired and sent out on the street to make him grovel and beg and let him learn what "respect" really is.

That would exactly explain why I am homeless. Because "Burnie"/"French Fry"/"Pizzaface" began to ask for a little loyality and respect from the management--and we can't have that. From the other employees, sure, but from "Burnie"/"French Fry"/"Pizzaface" we don't have to put up with that crap! I want him fired!

Re:God forbid... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923120)

The workers are learning the lesson business is teaching them. Get whatever you can by any means. The only thing that matters is the bottom line.

It's not just business that teaches that lesson. Anyone who's been reading /. for long has read the claims here that profit is the only legitimate business goal. Some have even claimed that corporate management can be sued for doing things that interfere with making a profit. I've occasionally that they cite cases where such prosecution has happened, and gotten no reply, but people keep saying such things, and asserting that this is how a business should behave.

The idea that it's proper to do anything you like for personal profit, even if it seriously damages other people, is a very widespread attitude in our society. The psychologists' name for this behavior is "psychotic", of course. And it's not just concentrated in corporate management; it's a very common attitude.

Re:God forbid... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923124)

You treat me like something you can squeeze work from and throw away when there's nothing left, so I treat you like something I can squeeze money from and throw away when there's nothing left.

The prisoner's dilemma optimal solution applies. I cooperate and adapt. You cooperate, so will I. You defect, so will I.

Re:God forbid... (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922224)

Hey, no where in my contract with the company did I sign "I will not set up a porn server on the network".

Re:God forbid... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922336)

I'm pretty sure that would fall under misuse (or personal use) of company assets...

Re:God forbid... (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923026)

I think the CEO shoulda just asked for a cut.

Re:God forbid... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923134)

I'm pretty sure [running a porn server] would fall under misuse (or personal use) of company assets...

Only if you take all the profits yourself, and don't share them with management.

Re:God forbid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922382)

and God forbid that management actually have sufficient expertise and pay enough attention not to get pwned.
Newsflash: The reason that an IT manager gets paid between 2x and 10x as much as the worker bees.....IS THE EXPECTATION THAT THEY ARE PROVIDING SOME @#$%^!ING VALUE ADDED.
Not for their superior facebook and porn surfing skills.

Re:God forbid... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923150)

I've been wondering for the longest time why managers (and people who consider themselves that) expect (and often get) bigger salaries.

First it was the superior knowledge and their managing skills. That was debunked quickly when I was in a team with a manager somewhere in the Middle East (which had nothing whatsoever to do with the project) and we had to manage ourselves, without any drawbacks. If anything, work went more smoothly.

Then it was the increased risk. Which was recently debunked with the bailouts.

So, what are they good for?

sigh (-1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921714)

The BSA has a reputation as a extortion racket. What a great business model, sue your own customers! Only in tech.

Once again, an anti-anti-piracy screed misunderstands what a "customer" is. A "customer" buys something. The guy who sneaks into your bookstore with a portable scanner and makes a copy of a book and leaves without buying anything isn't a "customer."

Re:sigh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34921856)

and once again the neo-fascists forget about innoncent companies who have had their offices raided and lost days of productivity

Re:sigh (3, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921860)

The guy who sneaks into your bookstore with a portable scanner and makes a copy of a book and leaves without buying anything isn't a "customer."

No, that's what we call "a potential customer".

Re:sigh (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923042)

Literally loled on that one. Good job.

Re:sigh (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921874)

Yeah, that's true for situations where the only copies of the software being run are pirated. And you're right that many a pirate mislabels himself a customer without understanding that, as they're doing squat to support the company that makes the software they pirate, said company has no incentive to play nice.

But the situation with the BSA threatening to sue isn't usually that black and white. Far more often you have a situation where a company is running legitimate copies of BSA software on their machines, but also running "extra" copies. So you have ITExampleCorp that has 500 legit copies of XP running on 1500 machines, or something to that effect.

Suing ExampleCorp in that instance is, in fact, suing your customer. Of course, what the BSA prefers to do is to instead demand that ExampleCorp buy licences from them to cover the other thousand boxes, using the threat of a lawsuit to make them comply.

I'm not strictly disagreeing with you, but I do think you're conflating two different forms of piracy.

Re:sigh (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921978)

Suing ExampleCorp in that instance is, in fact, suing your customer. Of course, what the BSA prefers to do is to instead demand that ExampleCorp buy licences from them to cover the other thousand boxes, using the threat of a lawsuit to make them comply.

You're not suggesting that this is an unreasonable course of action are you?

If you're audited, and found to have 500 legal copies of the software running on 1500 systems, demanding that the person who is in violation of the license terms pay for the other 1000 copies they're using seems pretty reasonable to me.

Re:sigh (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922044)

Yeah, I wasn't coming down on either side of the argument there - I wasn't condoning or condemning the BSA's actions in that hypothetical case, just stating that that's their standard MO.

Re:sigh (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922076)

Fair enough. I just had to ask because TFA describes them as an "extortion racket," and it strikes me that if that's what they do, it doesn't seem all that unreasonable.

I can understand why the BSA would be antithetical to FOSS types, but what you described doesn't sound like particularly vicious tactics.

Re:sigh (4, Insightful)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922326)

No, FOSS types love the BSA. Not only are they "vigorous" in promoting license compliance, but they're a walking billboard for the pitfalls of closed source/proprietary software.

Re:sigh (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923014)

You're right, FOSS types never sue anyone for violating a license. Except when they do. [bing.com]

Violating a license from a developer, whether that license comes with a dollar tag or not, is not something responsible IT folks should encourage.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922954)

Fair enough. I just had to ask because TFA describes them as an "extortion racket," and it strikes me that if that's what they do, it doesn't seem all that unreasonable.

It isn't fair to call them an "extortion racket."

"Gestapo" is a much better better epithet.

Re:sigh (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923202)

The thing is that history suggests that they will sock a company with HUGE fines if they find that they can only prove they bought 1450 copies when they're running 1500. They are not interested in the idea that it was an innocent mistake or that the paperwork might be lost in the shuffle. They will demand far more than the cost of the 50 copies.

The entire air around them reads like "that's some nice software you got there. It'd be a real shame if some of it weren't licensed..."

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922008)

Or, better yet, PCs get recycled to other employees in different job roles, and ExampleCorp doesn't fully wipe the PC before transferring it. Or they delete the software, but the BSA goons run an undelete utility and claim infringement because the bits were still on the hard drive.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922786)

Or, better yet, PCs get recycled to other employees in different job roles, and ExampleCorp doesn't fully wipe the PC before transferring it.

You mean like what happened to Ernie Ball, who are now entirely OSS based?

Re:sigh (5, Informative)

maugle (1369813) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922070)

Don't forget the ITExampleCorp that has 1500 legit copies of XP running on 1500 machines, but when the BSA come a-knockin' can't definitively prove that each machine has a valid license. Say, the machines started out OK, but over the course of business they got wiped, reinstalled, cloned, moved, repurposed, etc... There may still be 1500 licenses and 1500 machines, but that won't cut it when dealing with the BSA. In the end, ITExampleCorp is coerced into shelling out even more money to appease the BSA and be deemed "legit", even though they did nothing wrong.

So, yeah, suing a customer.

Re:sigh (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923036)

If you can't find your licenses, call your VAR. They'll have them on file somewhere; if they don't, time to pick a new VAR (and sue the old one for all the damages the BSA hit you with; it should be a certainty that you still have records of your original purchase from them).

Re:sigh (2)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923022)

So you have ITExampleCorp that has 500 legit copies of XP running on 1500 machines, or something to that effect.

Suing ExampleCorp in that instance is, in fact, suing your customer. Of course, what the BSA prefers to do is to instead demand that ExampleCorp buy licences from them to cover the other thousand boxes, using the threat of a lawsuit to make them comply.

Which, of course, often comes back to bad management.

IT guy: "Hey, we're running 1500 computers on 500 legit copies of XP. We need to fix this, immediately."
Manager: "It's working, right?"
IT guy: "Yes, but, it's illegal. We're going to need to plop down a significant chunk of change to become compliant."
Manager: "There's no budget for that, and I'm not asking MY boss for extra funds for it. Just ignore it."
IT guy: "Er, ok, but I want it officially noted I object to this."
Manager: "Stupid un-manageable dork."
BSA: "Boogity boogity boo!"
Manager's Boss: "Why is your department running illegal copies of Windows XP?"
Manager: "It's them damn nerds down in IT, you can't trust'm!"
Manager's Boss: "Ah, good to hear. Here's your bonus. Mine's bigger."
Manager: "About the um... YP thing the eggheads were complaining about? We need to budget some money to fix it, I guess."
Manager's Boss: "... It's working, right?"

Repeat ad nauseum.

Re:sigh (1)

Ilex (261136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921888)

Once again, an anti-anti-piracy screed misunderstands what a "customer" is. A "customer" buys something. The guy who sneaks into your bookstore with a portable scanner and makes a copy of a book and leaves without buying anything isn't a "customer."

Playing devils advocate. What if they buy the book scan and OCR the text then upload the text for everybody to share. Are they still a customer? Do you still sue?

Re:sigh (2)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922006)

They're still a "customer" of Barnes & Noble, or Amazon, or wherever they bought the book. They're also still a pirate violating the author's copyright. And for the violation of the copyright, yes, the person whose rights are being violated should still sue.

Re:sigh (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923136)

If only the BSA did that. They're more into socking small to medium sized businesses with huge bills when they can only prove that they bought 990 out of the 1000 licenses they need in theory (even if the vendor told them 950 was sufficient for their use).

Re:sigh (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923172)

There are few "full black" sheep that have no licenses whatsoever. Usually the BSA crashes into a company on a more or less reliable source (disgruntled employee) who may even have a case where a company failed to keep up with the sometimes rather obscure licensing requirements and schemes of various companies. Quite frankly, if you want to get a company in trouble today, don't send the IRS anymore. Send the BSA. The chance that they somehow, somewhere, some way forgot or overlooked something is WAY higher, their licensing crap is way less transparent than the tax laws ever were.

One Word AGAIN: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34921762)

Windows [microsoft.com] !

Yours In Osh,
Kilgore Trout

Time to look for greener pastures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34921820)

Slashdot has turned into a run-of-the-mill lame blog, complete with sarcasm in place of an actual argument. I guess it's time I either took up reading people's random crappy blogs from the web, or found a new site.

Re:Time to look for greener pastures (3, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921898)

Slashdot has always been that way. You (or we I guess) just got older. And blogs got more common too, so blogger opinion pieces went from being on a few sites to being absolutely everywhere.

It isn't that the site has changed, it's that your memories of slashdot a decade ago are rose-tinted.

Re:Time to look for greener pastures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922570)

I'll have you know, that I have been visiting slashdot since 1997 back in the "Chips and Dips" version. That was back when CmdTaco would personally stop by each member's house to give us a custom ID badge with our number on it. Then he personally invited us all to a meeting on how to troll and we had Goatse give a speech about GNAA. He's good like that.

Who's ultimately to blame? (2)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921832)

I blame God for this. It's clear who fucked up in all cases. If this were a perfect universe, I might let him slide, but NO MORE!!1!

The "Bad" the original article refers to is _bad_ (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921838)

Chase links, please. Anybody doesn't blame the admin that article refers to is insane.

Re:The "Bad" the original article refers to is _ba (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922784)

I have a little sympathy for "Sally". What she did was wrong and I don't condone it, but the article (clearly written from a management perspective), is rather cavalier about the company just essentially eliminating their IT department. Cost cutting is as cost cutting does, and I don't know the whole story (it may have really been a necessary measure), but the whole thing is treated kinda like "Oh well she was just a little upset because she was being let go." As opposed to "She was rightfully pretty damned pissed that the company was terminating her after 8 years of what appeared to be service they were extremely happy with, to save a few bucks, and they weren't even bothering to be upfront about it."

As it turns out she was probably a thief, or very very careless, but clearly no one knew that when the decision was made. All in all I'd say a better "lesson learned" from that one is "be upfront with your employees about major changes in their careers due to company action, and help them in every reasonable way to adjust to the changes you caused." Not: " Watch your evil employees like hawks when you're about to screw them to make sure they don't screw you first."

Re:The "Bad" the original article refers to is _ba (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34923140)

When I was let go from one large company I never left logic bombs in things I wrote... no... the applications would simply stop working after a few months because applications aren't written in their obsolete macro tool of choice, so nobody else knows how to fix them should simple formatting changes occur in the input data.

As it was, I was amazed that they were still using such an obsolete tool, (there have been new versions of it, but they were using the old version so they wouldn't have to license the new one, and so all old versions of scripts would continue to work.)

Re:The "Bad" the original article refers to is _ba (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923220)

Sally gets no sympathy for her response just as her management gets no sympathy for what produced it. But yeah, if it was just hers I might not have posted. Other cases presented (as real, bs-meters didn't twitch) ... flat criminals, given no-oversight keys to core business systems.

So I also don't agree with your summary of the takeaway. You've got an organization that large, you're obligated to protect it. You're admin'ing a large server, do you turn off security because having it on is insulting? Not keep logs, or just never check them? They're talking about sensible basics.

Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921852)

If you do your job correctly, then everything runs smoothly and you don't get any attention (or credit) at all. But as soon as something goes wrong, it's obviously because YOU FUCKED UP, and you get LOTS of attention! Other than money, can anyone cite an upside to working in IT?

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921866)

Protip: every job is like that. IT pays well, but attracts a lot of folks who seem to have an unwarranted sense of self importance.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922180)

(falling down laughing) Talked to anyone in Management lately?

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922230)

sales isnt like that. you get credit even if you did a bad job.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922516)

In general, the sales staff is paid on commission. If they don't bring in the cash, they don't get paid.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922736)

And a large amount of them have very "creative" ways to bring in the cash.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923050)

Protip: every job is like that.

Be a cop. If you do your job perfectly and nothing happens, no one cares. But if you do your job even averagely and something interesting happens, you'll likely get a commendation for doing your job. And if you screw up and manage to shoot an innocent person (or beat someone because they mouthed off), everyone else in your organization, including management, won't point the finger at you and sell you out like IT. They start throwing around words like "justified" and "resisting arrest" and "danger to himself and others" even if you tase some kid just for asking questions and saying "don't tase me bro."

The great thing about your absolute assertions is that I only need prove one wrong to show your statement is 100% invalid. There are plenty of jobs out there where just doing your job will earn you accolades and not doing your job will get people to defend you, rather than hang you out to dry. IT may be a bit overpaid for an office admin position, but that's how most people see it. If you file everything perfectly, you'll get ignored. But file one thing wrong, and you'll get in trouble. IT is a high paid secretarial-level position. It's a waste of money, an expense that will never earn anything for the company, and they wish they could just replace you with a computer or something. But there are hundreds of other types of jobs out there, and they treat people much differently in them.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921872)

If you do your job correctly, then everything runs smoothly and you don't get any attention (or credit) at all. But as soon as something goes wrong, it's obviously because YOU FUCKED UP, and you get LOTS of attention! Other than money, can anyone cite an upside to working in IT?

The same as every other department. The only difference between IT and accounting is the self-pity in IT.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922792)

The same as every other department. The only difference between IT and accounting is the self-pity in IT.

...and the ratio of women to men.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (4, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921894)

...the fact that you can read and/or modify anyone's email at whim can be used to create an underlying fear in your co-workers?

I dunno... I got into the biz for the beer and the chicks. It's evident that I was lied to, but hey - at least I can still play with the neat tech toys as they arrive...

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922232)

Wait, you get neat tech toys arriving? Most of us are still making do with 6yo systems, and scraps..

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922428)

My workstation is 5y old you insensitive clod!

(and much less comfortable than my home pc to work on)

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (2)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921958)

That is simple: programming is my passion. Some people have music, some people have numbers, but for me, I feel like a zen master when I program. I have tried doing other things with my life, but it comes back to programming. I wish I could explain it, but I could care less about recognition, as it is not about that. Life is about doing what you love, and I love programming. Simple

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922436)

To many people, like is about recognition. many, many people.
So you actually are lucky. Being happy with what you have and of what you do, it's a blessing

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34921970)

Other than money, can anyone cite an upside to working in IT?

Rubbing elbows with people who are very knowledgeable about Indian food. Working in IT got me in contact with people who lead me on this journey of loving Indian food.

Murg Saag Wala, basmatti rice and fresh naan is the gateway to nirvana.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34921990)

Other than money, can anyone cite any upside for working?
Given the option, I prefer to be independently wealthy.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922050)

Why would anybody want to work in INDUSTRY? If you do your job correctly, then everything runs smoothly, and you don't get any attention (or credit) at all. But as soon as something goes wrong, it's obviously because YOU FUCKED UP, and you get LOTS of attention! Other than money, can anyone cite an upside to working in INDUSTRY?

This statement remains equally true when replacing "INDUSTRY" with any line of work you care to name.

Why does this appear to be a revelation to you?

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922140)

It's not as true with Industry as it is in IT. Exceptional Industry activity shows a direct increased productivity. Either more stuff gets produced, or waste is minimized, etc etc.

Exceptional IT work basically means you are as un-noticable as possible. Nothing ever goes wrong, things never seem slow. Ideally you wouldn't even have to see them, they could probably fix your problem remotely in minutes.

There are far more tangible stuff in Industry that you can see instead of IT. When IT does well, everyone else's productivity goes up. IT is only an expense, unless you are a software company IT doesn't make you any money. Your industry professionals do.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922258)

Why would anybody want to work in SALES? If you do your job correctly, then everything runs smoothly, and you don't get any attention (or credit) at all. But as soon as something goes wrong, it's obviously because YOU FUCKED UP, and you get LOTS of attention! Other than money, can anyone cite an upside to working in INDUSTRY?

This statement remains equally true when replacing "INDUSTRY" with any line of work you care to name.

Why does this appear to be a revelation to you?

Doesn't work so well now, does it?
Capta is "caring".

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922072)

Other than money, can anyone cite an upside to working in IT?

Holy cow, did you even read TFA? The upside to working in IT is that you get to sell your own company pirated software, running a giant porn server from the company network, and stealing customer credit card numbers! Why WOULDN'T you work in IT?

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922102)

It's not my job to run the train, the whistle I can't blow.

It's not for me to say how far the train's allowed to go.

I'm not allowed to blow off steam, nor even clang the bell.

But let the damn thing jump the tracks....and see who catches hell!

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922198)

If you do your job correctly, then everything runs smoothly and you don't get any attention (or credit) at all. But as soon as something goes wrong, it's obviously because YOU FUCKED UP, and you get LOTS of attention! Other than money, can anyone cite an upside to working in IT?

Like they say, you can always spot the extrovert in the IT department. He's the guy who stares at your shoes when he talks to you.

The thing I like most about IT is that I get to play with cool toys, solve neat problems, and beyond giving me money every couple of weeks, the better I do, the less attention anyone pays to me. The less attention I'm paid, the less bullshit I have to put up with, and the more time I have left to play with cool toys and solve neat problems.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922202)

Sometimes it actually feels good to provide a smoothly running system to customers.

It isn't all bad stuff...

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922228)

Because its funny ! and Awsome to work with computers and High Tech
Users and Managers are the downside for which you get paid.-

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922416)

not sure if money is all that good in IT anymore

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922562)

The mythical Bastard Operator from Hell [wikipedia.org] is the reason. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922746)

yep, the only way to win is get everything running smoothly, then have planned "disasters" act all dramatic, run around, blame a bunch of people for bad IT practices, then have a giant "save the day" ending. more acting and opera than actual IT, but you will always look the hero, they will listen to you more about best IT practices, and it will seem like your doing something. do this after a particualry demanding user makes you change something you warned would blow up the who network. like the litebulb in the the server room or the vanity of their login name.....

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922756)

Yes we know, everyone who does that knows. I personally like to take many days off a few at a time, and when something bad happens (idiot user) I don't answer the phone until they get real desperate. Trust me, I've tried to keep everything working well, and it's true, when nothing happens, you're viewed as someone lazy or useless or get passed for raises.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922816)

If you do your job correctly, then everything runs smoothly and you don't get any attention (or credit) at all. But as soon as something goes wrong, it's obviously because YOU FUCKED UP, and you get LOTS of attention! Other than money, can anyone cite an upside to working in IT?

If you can't answer that question yourself, and your circumstances allow, perhaps you should look into a career change.

Every job has it's downs. That's why it's a job not a hobby, and people get paid to do it. But if you can't find ANYTHING you like about your job a career change before it's too late might be the answer. Once you've got a family, the idea of changing and leaving your family without an income (esp. if you're the only bread winner) becomes less feasible.

Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922932)

You get to play with cool new gear and you get respect from the guys that remember when systems were down for two or three days at a time before you started.

Like that's ever going to change... (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921858)

No, seriously. It won't. If you think Management is going to own up to a fault (especially a massive one) of their making, and risk losing job, career, etc? Heh... good luck with working under that assumption.

The best counter you can have against such a manager (especially one who consistently screws up) is to make sure you get a paper trail and project management chart all set - and get his signature on it! Then, be double-plus careful to note all changes and deviations, again with supporting evidence. It won't prevent an asshat from blaming you and/or your team anyway, but it will make fixing that blame much harder to do.

Re:Like that's ever going to change... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922904)

Just be careful that the screw up manager doesn't realize what you are doing, and replace you on his schedule for someone that isn't going to create a problem for him later. Honestly, if you have a boss that is going to sink you, you are doomed at that job anyway. The only hope at that employer is if you are just cya'ing yourself until you can either get transferred to another department, or the manager leaves the company. Think carefully about whether those are realistic possibilities or not.

I am soooo glad I work for one of those mythical good managers.

Re:Like that's ever going to change... (2)

segedunum (883035) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923034)

The best counter you can have against such a manager (especially one who consistently screws up) is to make sure you get a paper trail and project management chart all set - and get his signature on it!

Heh. Many managers become very skilled at trying to avoid being nailed down by paper trails. One of the tactics is to try and get things done by phone where it's your word against theirs and they try and convince you that certain things have been agreed when you know fine well they haven't. I've had experience of this recently, and I've become equally adept at not answering the phone to her and only agreeing things via a collaboration system that copies in all interested parties (that's where e-mail is good)! She tries to avoid replying to it and gets visibly frustrated, but she can't get away from it.

Some IT Managers are Quick to... (3, Informative)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921932)

...throw employees under the bus. My boss told me I had X number of days to get a project done (X = I don't remember the days). The code needs to go through a senior developer before it hits QA. Here is the kicker: I was given this project because a senior developer did not have time to get it done. Now you may be thinking, "Well if the senior developer did not have enough time to do it, wouldn't that mean that he would not have time to go through the code?" If that is your question, the answer is, you are correct. The senior developer did not have time to look this over. What happened was that this sat at the senior developer for about 3 days with my boss yelling and getting snarky at me. I told him where the code was. No changes were required for the code. What happened was that this manager was looking to get rid of me (there are reasons that there is no need to bring up, but let me just say he pulled me into some office politics and I had never been in the situation and did not know how to handle it). and since this was a new manager, he thought he needed to fire somebody so that everybody knew who was boss (I seriously had confirmation of this with people I have kept in touch with from the company). Also, the senior developer the boss really liked. Even though the senior developer took 3 days and found nothing, I got fired from it.

What does this have to do with anything? My boss really liked the other person and did not want to tell people in a business meeting that the project was late due to him taking too long. I got thrown under the bus since according to my boss, "if it was going to take that long for the senior developer, I should have gotten my portion done in 4 days instead of the 7 I took".

Some IT managers will blame everything on the "worker bees" (even if it was the manager himself who pulled in an unrealistic due date when he personally knew how busy the senior developer was). He knew that the senior developer could not get the project done in time and needed a scape goat or whatever it is called, so it was all pinned on me. I will not say all of them, because I have had some incredible IT managers as well.

Re:Some IT Managers are Quick to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922478)

...throw employees under the bus. Some IT managers will blame everything on the "worker bees" (even if it was the manager himself who pulled in an unrealistic due date when he personally knew how busy the senior developer was). He knew that the senior developer could not get the project done in time and needed a scape goat or whatever it is called, so it was all pinned on me. I will not say all of them, because I have had some incredible IT managers as well.

First job I had with IT after getting my cert was in a situation like this...only with the help desk. Was actually doing the job of three people...while the programmers felt there were more special than anyone else...so I would get reamed out for not meeting their deadlines or mine for that matter. I was not happy and looking for a way out as fast as possible. Fortunately...I went to the department meeting and heard this from the manager..."Make sure we have no illegal software anywhere in the building. This sh!t cost the company $250K last year & I don't want it to happen again this year...especially with this upcoming merger". Working with the techs/contractors...they all had pirated stuff on their systems except for me running off of the Solaris box for the help desk. (Thank God I knew enough to run the help desk software...but nothing which wasn't M$. No matter what they tell you...ignorance is bliss in this situation.)

They let me go a week or so later...since the low man on the totem pole isn't needed. Remembering the meeting...I called BSA and spilled names/servers/systems/software with all the stuff my co-workers were using. Not sure how it all turned out...but I had a better paying job with a better manager and a company three days later. Would've been at this company to this day...if the World Trade Towers hadn't come down in 2001.

The problem with too many companies...you have too many people who have no business being a manager. Too bad kissing a$$ and fluffing your manager's d!ck is about the only thing it takes to become a manager in too many places. Even then...they have to keep kissing and fluffing to keep their job...since they have no idea on how to be even a bad or mediocre manager.

Re:Some IT Managers are Quick to... (4, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922702)

I see this happen all of the time. It really comes down to the fact that IT workers in the U.S. have no power and virtually little recourse of any kind. IT could benefit from unionizing but there is such a pervasive culture of fear that it would never happen. Unions can prevent petty situations like the story above by setting hard and fast contractual rules with the force of law not some arbitrary HR policy. We are treated at best as an expendable asset and at worst, an intangible liability. I am in the process of starting my own business and if and when I get big enough, I plan to start a new trend in which the "throwing under the bus" mentality will not be tolerated!

Re:Some IT Managers are Quick to... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922934)

The primary fear of unionizing IT in the US is not a fear of management, but a fear that the union turn out like every other union in the US.

Re:Some IT Managers are Quick to... (2)

Comrade Ogilvy (1719488) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922722)

I have seen those tricks played firsthand.

Some managers prefer to rule by fear. Unrealistic schedules allow them to arbitrarily assign blame; because everyone is behind schedule on paper, no one can effectively defend themselves to charges of slacking.

You know the old saying (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921936)

For want of a nail...

This is a fundamental flaw (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34921952)

This is a fundamental flaw of top-down command and control, probably helped by a cover up culture.

Sign of Bad Management (0)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922034)

Ultimately, it's the manager who is in charge of their "worker bees". If their employees aren't up to par and you've tried to help them improve and they can't or wont, shit can them. It's quite simple really. If you aren't getting rid of the bad eggs for your team, guess where the problem lies? Hint, it's actually not the bad egg anymore, it's the person in charge.

Lack of communications (3, Insightful)

thewiz (24994) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922100)

There are a few things I've seen in work places that really contribute to the bashing:
1. Suits who won't talk to IT staff
2. IT staff that won't talk to suits
3. Both sides bitch about the other behind closed doors and the grapevine still passes the scuttlebutt
4. Both sides having a superiority complex

I'd encourage the IT staffs to go and talk with your management. You'll be glad you did.

hmmm... (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922112)

IT leadership in my company turns over about every 6 months to a year.

For i until Bankrupt = 'yes'
          Huge problem happens...
          IT leadership is canned...
          New guy/girl comes in...
          BIG CHANGE!!!
          MASSIVE HIRING!!!
          BIG PROJECTS!!!
          Bill comes...
          VPs panic... there are charts and graphs depicting the panic in graphic detail...
          IT leadership is canned...
          Change canceled...
          Layoffs...
          Projects canceled...
          New IT leadership declares the "Restructuring" was a "Massive success"
Next i

Nothing new... (4, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922340)

This is nothing new. Any industry is exactly the same. Blame it on whatever you like.

I used to work in IT - management would screw over the staff at a moments notice for no readily apparent reason.
I now work in Healthcare - where managed screw over the staff at a moments notice for no readily apparent reason.

It's called Capitalism.

Re:Nothing new... (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922648)

It's called human nature - unless you think there is some sort of human organization where there aren't people in charge.

Note to Carla Schroder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922392)

You know, as techies it really is part of our job to learn how to explain things understandably to laypeople. And do it without techie terms, so you can forbid joe redneck officefodder to use terms like "cpu", which he'll think means the computer case and the magic inside. To him, that's accurate enough. But to us techies, it's not. It's in fact so wrong as to be painfully reminiscent of carco culting. So don't use those terms, and talk in language laypeople understand.

In the same vein it is the brass' job to explain in terms laypeople, like us techies, will understand what they're up to. That's part of leadership that's part and parcel of good management. That also means getting rid of the entire middle layer of buzzword-salad spouting cattle. We need good managers. We should demand that from our brass. And they ought to deliver, too.

Related programmer joke... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922474)

Reminds me of the programmer joke:

A man flying in a hot air balloon suddenly realizes he’s lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts to get directions, "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"

The man below says: "Yes. You're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field."

"You must work in Information Technology," says the balloonist.

"I do" replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but It's of no use to anyone."

The man below replies, "You must work in management."

"I do," replies the balloonist, "But how'd you know?"*

"Well", says the man, "you don’t know where you are or where you’re going, but you expect me to be able to help. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault."

Mod parent up... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922640)

...like a hot air balloon.

Seriously, that was the best thing in this thread so far.

I read both articles. (0)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922522)

It is interesting to me that Carla shows all the arrogance, cockiness, self-righteousness, and dismissiveness that is mentioned in the article. She defends most of those mentioned in the CW article, with the sole exception of "Sally" with whom she wistfully sympathizes to the point of sounding regretful.

No wonder she doesn't like the first article. She is the exact same kind of person who does the things mentioned in the first article.

Re:I read both articles. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922890)

From the article:

"It starts off with a tale of ultimate horror: not only is your trusted systems administrator selling you pirated software and incurring the wrath of the BSA (Business Software Alliance), he is running a giant porn server from the company network and stealing customer credit card numbers."

"...Do I really need to spell out the problems with these scenarios? The BSA has a reputation as a extortion racket. What a great business model, sue your own customers! Only in tech. The giant porn server would have been spotted by any junior admin with an elementary knowledge of network monitoring."

---------------------

I have no idea how the author managed to interpret that scenario as somehow being the fault of the BSA (he totally deserved to incur their wrath) and a lack of monitoring by management (which is the implication of the article) - the author said it herself, a "junior admin" could have spotted a porn server on the network; but most IT management staff are not admins. I have worked in infrastructure at two different FTSE 100 companies and none of the management have ever had admin access to anything. They rely on the technical staff to do the job they are contracted to do and report to them with honesty.

Even if you disagree with my opinion as stated above - none of the authors excuses change the fact that all the scenarios listed in the article are valid examples of trusted employees gone bad. It doesn't matter whether it's IT, HR or Finance, if you entrusted with company resources and staff information you cannot betray that trust(unless you are are a whistleblower). How anyone could look at the scenarios in TFA and say "this is all clearly the fault of management" is beyond me. Her attack on management is seemingly an attempt to absolve the perpetrators of all blame and reduce any notion of personal responsibility.

Every persistent problem is a management problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922646)

Every problem that persists in any organization (not just IT) is a management problem. If the problem is with a manager, it's a management problem one level higher.

IT Management has no idea so that why they blam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922668)

IT Management has no idea so that why they blame the workers I looking at you CITY of SF.

Time for a union!!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922848)

Time for a union!!!!!!!

The higher you go up the ladder... (1)

bunhed (208100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922864)

...the less oxygen there is.

Keyword seems to be "oversight" (1)

flabbergast (620919) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922872)

The keyword seems to be "oversight," or lack thereof. "Ed" was one of six workers at a $250 million retailer in Pa. "Ed" has a boss and he/she only had to look after 6 people. Six people! How do you not know what Ed is doing? And as a company that has $250 million in revenue, how are there only six people?

"Sally" had "privilege escalation" at a Fortune 500 company. Why? Because she puts out fire and was "special." She worked from home. Where was her boss in all this? Why didn't that person realize that perhaps "Sally" shouldn't have had "privilege escalation?"

In all of this, where were the managers? Aren't they supposed to manage resource? Shouldn't they be held accountable for lack of oversight?

Fireman or Pyromaniac: Both in Fire Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922958)

Management cannot tell the difference between good IT and bad IT people.

I use the Fireman/Pyromaniac analogy. As far as management is concerned, they are both in the fire business. And Firemen are treated like pyromaniacs.

A guru is a type of bully. We have to face up to this.

http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/serial.htm#Guru

IT is an easy place for these guru bullies to hide, because management has no clue. It cannot tell the firemen from the pyros.

Too many of our IT brothers and sisters baffle with bullshit. Because saying "I don't know" is political suicide.

Too many are in the IT business that should not be in it. The MSCE and Y2K really exacerbated this with an influx of quick buck artists and opportunists.

The head computer guy should be best buddies with, and lunching with the controller. Not playing video games or feeding his gizmo fetish on the company's dime.

The other problems is that we deal with reality. You can't bullshit a compiler. Either the server boots or it does not. No PR campaign, no image management, no group think, no politics, no backstabbing, no WORDS or DELUSIONS are going to change the fact the server still does not boot.

The IT guy gets to bear a lot of bad news.

Another problem is time and budget pressure. Tends to fray tempers. No time, no money and the server won't boot. Denial is not a management option at this point.

Put on a helmet. It's gonna get worse.

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