Sunday, November 8, 2009

Houston, we have a problem

This cartoon (2009), was the reaction of a weird response from our service desk while we were doing a database upgrade on the weekend. My job was to do the final test on production. But, my VPN didn’t work anymore. When I reported the problem to our internal helpdesk, they responded by clarifying that they do not provide any support over the weekend. Although I could test anyway, I had no possibility to join the conversations between DevOps, Developers and the IT-Manager. Somehow I still managed to get them send me their news and instructions to my private email account, but still I received only half the information and I wondered what the company does if hell breaks loose? Do we still stick to office hours in such cases?

 But, I learnt, that I am not alone. The Swiss armed forces had a similar issue 2014 when a Boeing 767 flying from Addis Abeba (Ethiopia) to Rome was hijacked over Italian airspace and diverted to Switzerland [1]. The plane was escorted by an Italian and French fighter jet until the passenger plane landed safely at the Swiss airport Geneva. And where were the Swiss F/A-18 Hornets? Oh, their pilots work only from 8am to 5pm with a 30-minute lunch-break. This incident was broadly discussed in public and a lot of jokes made the rounds. But, in contrary to my case, the Swiss armed forces had learnt from this embarrassing incident and now provides a 24/7 service [2].




Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Declining Confidence

Let's assume someone has a brain fart and suggests to convert all bugs into tasks, only to get rid of the bug backlog. Gone are all the bugs in a second. All of a sudden you produce bug-free software. What a great achievement.

Another product manager cleaned his backlog by converting all bugs into tasks only for time sitting in a meeting with the release manager. He had less to explain then. When the meeting was over, he moved the tasks back to bugs. Believe it or not, this really happened and this scenario reminded me to “Patriot Games” with Harrison Ford playing a former CIA agent. One scene was about a terrorist training camp in the desert. The chiefs knew the exact times when an American espionage satellite flew over their area. They hid their weapons and anything that seemed suspicious; then they holed up in their tents until the danger had passed.