Saturday, 27 September 2008

IT Certainty Principle: Part Two

In the previous post, I introduced you to what can only be termed the ultimate law of the IT Certainty Principle:

For any piece of IT work, the chance of implementing that work is inversely proportional to the amount of effort involved.

This is, essentially, a law that defines the likelihood of a project being shelved. However, there are a series of other laws that you need to get through before this ultimate law can define the final fate of the project.

The penultimate of these
is one that I see all too often on projects and jobs that have the dreaded 'NOW' deadline:

For any piece of IT work, the closer the deadline and the higher the priority of the work, the greater the occurrence of system issues and general interruptions.

You all know what I mean by this!

You either have a project that is closing in on the deadline with lots still to do, or you have just been handed a piece of work that needs to be done 'NOW'. All of a sudden, your computer - which was running fine up to this point - starts behaving like an insolent child, doing everything at hyper-slow speed and even chucking a few programme crashes into the mix.

Then, in the middle of all this, you get bombarded by telephone calls from individuals who decide that they must have your assistance at that very second, and then proceed to keep you on the phone for an inordinate amount of time whilst telling you about all the details they are putting into an email to you: you'd be amazed how many people do that!!

In the very worst of circumstances, it is the servers that decide enough is enough and give up the ghost whilst you are in the middle of doing something critical.

It is exactly this last point that happened earlier this week.

We had spent innumerable hours transferring data from a series of text files into an Oracle database when the server we were using screamed out "I QUIT!" and promptly seized up - admittedly, something I've been feeling like doing myself for the past couple of weeks!!

Unfortunately, this was the only local machine with the setup required. The only other machine with a similar setup was in another office fifteen miles away and there were no spare machines available to duplicate the setup locally ... cue fourteen hours of data transfer.

Of course, there is the odd project that bucks the trend, they just tend not to come my way!!

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