Engineering Software, Linux, and Operations. The website of Jack Neely.    

No, Mr. Faculty, You Don't Know More Than Me

  May 18, 2004   Operations

Its Faculty versus Staff here at the academic Stadium and the score is 0

    1. The Faculty is up to bat. Here comes the pitch! Strike 5? What? Again, the sound of a ball impacting a leather mitt. Staff only gets three strikes, Faculty just makes up the rules to suit them then and there.

What’s up with that? Why is it that the faculty always supposedly know more and can do things better than the trained professionals hired by them to help them. Linux, Windows, OSX, it doesn’t matter what kind of computer and what kind of software. All it matters that the the faculty think they can do a better job.

I’ve been hired to do Linux. I work with other folks hired to do Windows and Solaris. They do a darn fine job. This is our chosen career and we are the computer “professionals.”

Why do I get trouble calls from users telling me how to do my backups?

Why is there a faculty group with grants and special this and special that that want to redesign our customized Windows install using the excuse of better teaching and learning?

We put a lot of work into making what we call “kits” or customized versions of operating systems. These kits are installed just like you would any normal OS but they have modifications present to work with our authentication systems, file servers, instant messaging, distributed applications, etc. Yet, apparently, we can’t do it well enough.

Faculty think they can “fix” everything their way. They hire minions and give them a week to do the work. The minions come to us asking us every type of questions. Including those that scream “I don’t know what I’m doing!” Ask the faculty committee and they know everything and don’t want our help at all. They can do it bigger, better, and faster.

Whoa! Hello? They tell us they don’t want our help. What does that say?

Okay, next, the minions get a test machine up and running their new Windows kit. WHAM! It just got hacked. WHAM! I just blocked their IP. Now explain that to me. They don’t want our help. How fast things can be forgotten.

Taking a step back I have another question for the masses. I experience this issue a lot during my plight of administrating and running a Linux Beowulf cluster. Why do none of our users give us feed back? Okay, very few do but most do not. Even when they have serious problems users and faculty are more prone to spread rumors about how our services are unusable rather than send in a trouble call and give us any amount of feed back. How are we supposed to make things better for our customers when they don’t tell us what’s wrong.

Please, everyone would like each other a lot better if they would just try to work together.

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