Archive for April, 2006

Dilbert has left the building

Monday, April 24th, 2006

So, my favorite programmer moved away from the job here.  It’s kind of sad now because we used to talk during the day about the market and about Java and about how much he didn’t like being here.  Which is one of the reasons he left here.  The other reason is the money.  The contract rate for him as it turns out was roughly equivalent to the one that I’m getting, but while I’m pretty satisfied with it, he thought it was a pittance and wanted a minimum of 20% more. I’d take 20% more, but I’m more or less satiated with my rate.  But that’s a good thing because it means that I’m happy with what I have right now and can probably get more later on.  That’s a whole lot better than knowing I’m getting the max and feeling like I need more just to be happy!

I took him out to Peter Luger’s in Great Neck, Long Island near to where we work.  I ordered the steak for 2, which I thoroughly recommend there.  It costs a lot, but it’s a thick porterhouse, which is the New York strip on one side and the filet on the other.  We talked about the place where I work and he used to work and basically his reason for leaving came down to a question of money and a lack of programming assignments.  Most contractors I know are the same; they all want to program and be productive, which is pretty healthy overall I think.  I mean there’s not a lot of slacker contractors out there that really want to sit on their asses all day long, doing nothing but just collecting.

But it gets better!

Friday, April 14th, 2006

I walked in this morning and my ITG ticket was rejected by the duty manager at 10:00 PM.  It was rejected because there is a new process whereby all tickets need to be accompanied by a screen shot of the business user’s acceptance.  So like, I have this production problem with some data that the user doesn’t know anything about and I need an acceptance email saying, yeah please go ahead and make an update to some production data that they don’t really know about.  Oy!

But it gets better.  The duty manager decides that contractors shouldn’t even create ITG tickets, they should originate from the users.  So, now I have to call up the users and say, “Hey, can you send an email to the help desk so that they can open a ticket to fix X” where X is some highly confusing technical data that doesn’t make much sense to anyone but a programmer.  Then after I write the update scripts and check them in test, I need to get an email later from them where I take a screenshot that says, yeah, go ahead and do that thing that I opened a ticket for earlier.  I can hardly wait for the day when one of these requests goes awry and the users get afraid of creating and approving things that are opaque as the day is long.

Still wading in SOX

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

OK, so now I’ve been in SOX land for about a month–that’s Sarbanes Oxley to the uninitiated—and it still SUX.  I used to be a programmer that wrote code to support user requirements to custom systems.  Now I’m a help desk person, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Except I’m not a help desk person. 

Here is what I do all day now.  I wait for tickets to be created in ITG a product from Mercury.  It’s a pretty good product, but since its highly configurable it allows IT departments to layer enormous amounts of complexity.  So if you are an IT manager that always feels like you are out of touch with what is really going on, then this is the product for you.  If you’re a programmer trying to get anything done in a reasonable amount of time fuggetaboutit!