I haven’t given up blogging or anything like that.  First day at work this week (Tuesday, after the holiday), three of us were told that two of the BMI application servers are going away next week, so we were assigned to migrate a long list of in-house applications from those servers to new servers — ASAP.

If any of you work in IT, you have an idea of what this week was like:  a blur of dealing with migration scripts, configuration files, permission issues, broken references, error messages, emails, phone calls, side-by-side troubleshooting sessions, and plenty of four-letter words.  (One of my co-workers is from Brazil, so I may have unconsciously picked up some Portuguese swear words.)

If Chareva wants me to crack up once and for all so she can have me committed, she can just wait until I get home tonight and greet me at the door with “Is that the same DLL version as on the old server?  Because I’m thinking maybe we need to roll this application back to a previous build and then try making just the config changes again before migrating.”

Anyway, I’ve been getting home late, and with a fried brain.  I started a third post on character vs. chemistry but haven’t finished it.  I’ll get to it soon.

Meanwhile, we’re not stopping until everything is fixed.  That’s character, not chemistry.

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11 Responses to “Been Swamped”
  1. Jeff says:

    Ha! I can relate. I’ve been working on a project this week, and I kid you not, as two co-workers are in a processing facility to take a system live, I’m back at the office getting emails from them with new requirements that are “essential”.

    Thankfully I’m a contractor, because yeah, that’s not going to work out real well in the long run…

    I’m a contractor as well. I haven’t been anyone’s full-time employee since I was in my 20s.

  2. lobo says:

    Hmmm. Maybe it ‘s time to move up into “Management” :-)

    Never. Moving to management would mean more of what I don’t like — meetings, schedules, etc.

  3. Raz says:

    You can do it :)

  4. Jim Butler says:

    Tom,
    Good to be needed tho, no? ;)
    As I tell friends that go through hell-weeks from time to time: “Think of all the money you’re making!”

    And as another friend says: “What you’ve got is a First-world problem”…meaning you could be toting drinking water for miles…

    Jim

    Definitely nice to be needed. I keep in mind that I had a great-grandfather who lost several co-workers in a mine explosion and a grandfather who was killed when a railroad-engine boiler exploded, so I never take a “hell week” of dealing with IT issues too seriously. First-world problem indeed.

  5. Hey Tom

    I share your pain. Did a few data center migrations, and the devil is in the details.

    Virtualization makes life so much easier, converting a legacy server into a virtual image makes life sooo much easier. Look into ProxMox, an open source alternative to VmWare.

    And I’ve found out that the key to a succesful migration is a well written functional test plan. But that’s not much help if you have a bunch of hard coded IP addresses in the code ;-)

    All the best

    The systems were written by different programmers at different times, so we’re finding quite an interesting mix of methods. Some used config files, some stuck config values in a database that has to be queried when the application opens, and yes, somebody who used to work there thought it would be a good idea to hard-code server names in the application.

  6. Mary says:

    This, too, shall pass. :) Meanwhile, sleep when you can, even if it means power napping under your desk!

    The small city I work for is transitioning software for both utility billing and fund accounting during the next two quarters of the year, creating a new position in the admin office to support our Tourism Commission and bringing on a half-time staffer if we can find one for that position. Oh, did I mention that we’re also transitioning to a new city website by mid-summer and renovating our community hall and kitchen? Whew!

    Power naps for both of us, Tom!

    Yikes. You’re going to be busy for quite awhile.

    I hear the company that developed Healthcare.gov is now available to take on other projects if you decide to outsource.

  7. Kristin says:

    I’ve done years as a Unix systems admin and network admin. It nearly drove me completely crazy. These days I carefully avoid that side of the house and stick either with software development (which I’m doing now) or technical management (okay as long as the emphasis is on ‘technical’.) So I really do feel your pain…even after all these years it gives me a bit of PTSD. For some reason the pain of arguing with a program to get it to work is less frustrating and more satisfying for me. But when I’m in the throes…which I am right now with an imbedded SQL has decided it will create the table but then tell me it doesn’t exist…I remind myself that is why I am paid like an engineer.

    I wouldn’t do the server/networking stuff for a living either. I mostly do software programming, but when it came time to migrate all these old applications, it was all hands on deck.

  8. Elenor says:

    ” That’s character, not chemistry.”

    Well, we all KNOW you’re a character, Tom! Hang in there!

    We’ve made good progress since Friday, so I may be done hanging soon.

  9. lobo says:

    An oldie but a goodie….

    What’s the difference between an Oracle DBA and a terrorist?

    You can negotiate with a terrorist! :-)

    True dat.

    • Kristin says:

      One must always treat their Oracle DBA with respect and stay in their good graces. It is guaranteed you will need them to drag your sorry butt out of whatever situation you’ve gotten yourself into. Luckily in my shop the DBAs may be as exacting as usual but they are all affable as well. Makes it easier.

      We know to always be kind to them in person, no matter what we say in private.

      • Lobo says:

        Do people really slag us off behind our backs? So hard to believe! :-)

        What? Us? Never.

        Okay, I’ll admit to a recent slagging incident: The end users of a program requested that data be copied from one database to another on a regular basis so they could pick an option in a drop-down box instead of having to open a second screen to look up a code and then type the value represented by the code into the first screen. The head honcho for Oracle declared that this would be too difficult, occupy too much staff time, have too much of an impact on existing systems (b.s., b.s., b.s.) and said no. (I later learned that he’s famous for saying no.)

        Now … since IT is supposed to exist to support the core functions of the business and not the other way around, I think end-users who work in departments that actually make money for the company should get whatever the heck makes their jobs easier and more efficient, even when their requests aren’t convenient for us propeller-heads. After all, our department is nothing but an expense. We don’t bring a dime into the company. Our only value is in providing useful data to the money-making departments and finding ways to make their work more efficient. So we should be as useful and accommodating as we can be.

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