Before I saw the light and became a purebred codemonkey, part of my role was IT support. Infrastructure stuff mainly; desktops, installs, networks. So it bothers me that at every role since, the IT guys have failed to have a PC ready for me on my first day.

Come on guys, it isn’t that hard really! There should always be a spare standard desktop somewhere (I learnt this very early on), so you just configure that one in the week before the new starter arrives, and at the same time (or earlier) you order a replacement spare PC. There is even less excuse in a large environment where standard disk images and constant hardware upgrades are the norm.

Something that is totally new to me is a genuine layered helpdesk and support environment. The local support guy sits about 3 desks away from me, but when I have a missing drive mapping, I call the 1st level helpdesk in Australia. They log a call, determine the resolution, and ‘escalate’ it to the dude that I could have hit with a well-thrown post-it dart.

We are allowed to install stuff and modify the configuration of a couple of R&D servers, but the ‘acceptance’ and ‘release’ servers are utterly locked down. Even xcopy scripts to upload static web data have to be pre-approved and run under a managed environment. I have to admit that the security guys have done this in a pretty slick way: a web interface that lists your permitted commands (in the form of scripts or batch files), the servers they are permitted on, and the assumed identity that they should run under. You just choose your script and run it via the web interface, and the result/output is reported back in the same web interface.

Still, as a guy that is used to compiling the latest Apache build on a production firewall 😯 or forcing wayward COM+ components to restart on a live internal reporting server, this is pretty restricting. I do love the fact that I get to yell at someone else if my PC doesn’t work 🙂

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