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IT is freaking complicated

Discussion in 'Random Nonsense' started by booman, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I've been working in IT for only 6 years and have been tinkering with computers as a hobbyist for about 15 years. After doing IT at 4 different companies I've noticed...

    EVERYTHING IS EXTREMELY COMPLICATED!

    Most users and gamers just have one computer at work and one computer at home. Then they have a smartphone and maybe a console. Those alone can be complicated with many elements:
    • Accounts
    • Installations
    • Setup
    • Configurations
    • Security Settings
    • Updates/Patches
    • Backup/Restore
    • Drivers/Firmware
    • Connectivity
    Now imagine working in a company where you have 50-1000 people with:
    • Desktops - PC/Mac/Linux
    • Laptops - PC/Mac/Linux
    • Printers
    • Phones Desk/Cell
    • Internal Servers - Win, Mac, Linux
    • Web Server - Win, Mac, Linux
    • Hosting Services, VM's
    • Networking/Firewall
    • Security - Software, Updates, Server
    • Accounts - Local/Web
    • Shares, Permissions, Groups
    • VPN Connections
    • Applications - Internal, External
    • Licenses
    • A/V - Conferencing
    • Screen-sharing - Skype, GoToMeeting, WebEx, Logmein
    • and much, much, much more...
    Now combine the two and calculate how many items you have to support on any given day...
    WOW! Just Wow!

    Interacting, configuring and troubleshooting all of these elements has become extremely complicated.
    There are so many services that sync together like Active Directory and Office 365. I rarely see a system that is simple because each one is setup in a way that it will work for any industry with any different need. Specially phone systems.
    There are hundreds of settings in Phone servers and its usually only setup once and none of the other settings are needed. Crazy huh? That is just one example. VMware is like this too... so many settings because they have to compensate for any need.

    If you ask any IT person if they feel understaffed, their answer will always be: Yes
  2. Gizmo

    Gizmo Chief Site Administrator Staff Member

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    This is why smart admins try to standardize their rollout as much as they can; there's just way too much to keep track of. Even then you need tools like Ansible, Chef, or Puppet to help keep track of and manage everything.
  3. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Our Edinburgh brand is using Puppet for our Linux builds.... cool!

    We are trying to unify everything with our other sites but its very difficult since we all do things differently.
  4. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    I knew it must be complicated, but I didn't really have a clue about HOW complicated. Whew, I'm fully in the amateur lane with just one machine to handle. And I need help from the more qualified often enough. The embarrassment!
  5. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Honestly, it IS complicated, but we handle it one job at a time. sometimes we multi-task, but in my world multi-tasking gets out of hand. so I try to do one thing at a time....

    A few items that help:
    • Take Notes
    • Documentation
    • Step-by-step guides
    • Use Google
    • Have fun
    • Don't work overtime (unless you have to)
  6. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    I recently read that multi-tasking is something no one does well. I have an old friend who insists that she is good at it. I go along with her fantasy, why rattle her cage?
  7. Gizmo

    Gizmo Chief Site Administrator Staff Member

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    Depends on your definition of multi-tasking. Anyone who has walked and chewed gum at the same time is technically multi-tasking, or more precisely multi-processing, of which multi-tasking is a subset.

    The common use of the term though, meaning 'working on more than one task at the same time' most people are not good at.

    IMO it really comes down to how much spare brain horsepower you have available. I routinely handle 3 or 4 tasks at the same time, but none of them gets my full attention, which means that they typically either aren't done to the level I would like for them to be done or else they aren't done as quickly as they would be otherwise. In most cases, this is acceptable, and IN THOSE CASES, I do gain a net advantage. But if it is a task that requires my undivided attention (doing a new network design, as an example) then I have to explain to my management that this task will require something else to be left undone until it is complete.

    And that's really what multi-tasking comes down to; what level of performance of the given task set is acceptable? Am I confident I can achieve the desired performance goals within the parameters established for the completion of the task set?

    It's also known as 'time management'. Where a lot of people get into trouble is they think that multi-tasking means they can do more in the same amount of time. In limited circumstances that MAY be true, but in MOST cases it is NOT TRUE.

    If task A takes 5 minutes, task B takes 10 minutes, and task C takes 15 minutes, that entire task set is going to take about 30 minutes to complete, assuming you are competent with your time management. This will be true REGARDLESS of whether you do the tasks in parallel or series. What changes when you do the tasks in parallel is that tasks A, B, and C will now complete at approximately the same time, instead of coming out one after the other. Again, this all assumes you are competent with your time management. And by 'competent' I mean that you recognize where you can truly gain an advantage by doing tasks in parallel and where you can't.

    In some situations completing the tasks serially may be desirable, in other situations completing them all together may be desirable, in still others it really doesn't matter as long as they get completed in a reasonable timeframe.

    Point is, although our management culture prizes the ability to 'multi-task', the fact is that in FEW situations does doing tasks in parallel increase efficiency, and in MOST it DECREASES efficiency (interesting article in Psychology Today about this).
  8. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    My multi-tasking isn't really doing things at the same time. Its time-management just as Gizmo stated. In my case its really the computers doing the tasks for me. Most of the time its a project that requires a few clicks and then allow it to process while I do something else. Then I come back to it for another few clicks and while it processes do something else.
    I wouldn't get anything done if I sat there and watched a computer image or an application install. That is bad time-management...
    I also get interrupted with calls, emails and instant messages. I stop what I'm currently doing and respond to them, then go back to what I was doing.

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