Neologism: Code Puce

Jul 13 2020

code puce - noun phrase - An IT or ops situation in which the software installed in production is one version and the management system expects a different version.  This results in a situation in which everything is running more or less smoothly, and at the same time everything in the monitoring system is going bonkers.  Compare with code red, code blue, and so forth.

Neologism: Cave diving

Apr 22 2020

cave diving - noun phrase - The act of tunneling through multiple VPNs, bastion hosts, and chokepoints to access some network assets, usually production infrastructure in a more restricted network.  Less hazardous than but just as easy to screw up as real life cave diving.

Neologism: Software installation roulette

Apr 12 2020

software installation roulette - The practice of piping the output of a web browser or other HTTP tool directly through a system shell, usually as root to install something important.  The danger is that you don't know if the shell script has anything nefarious in it (such as rm -rf / or the installation of a rootkit) and by the time you find out it's far too late.

For example: sudo bash -c "$(wget -q -O- https://totally.legit.example.com/install.sh)"

Neologism: Discourse analysis

Apr 12 2020

discourse analysis - verb phrase -The act of accusing someone of being a terrorist/communist/infiltrator/whatever because the analyst never learned that you can disagree with someone without wanting to see them utterly annihilated.

Neologism: 90/10 rule

Feb 28 2020

90/10 rule - phenomenon - When 90% of all the stuff management tells you to deploy is monitoring and orchestration software.  The remaining 10% is actual make-us-money software.

Neologism: Smoke and mirrors system administration

Feb 28 2020

smoke and mirrors system administration - noun phrase - When you bring a problem to your support team and they go silent for hours to days at a time.  No amount of poking and prodding is sufficient to get anyone on the team to respond to your requests for status updates.  When they finally get back to you they say that nothing's wrong and you must have made a mistake.  Your thing is now unbroken.  They never tell you (or anyone, for that matter) what they fixed or how they fixed it.

Neologism: Quantum veracity

Jan 19 2020

quantum veracity - When you're not sure if somebody's full of shit or not, so you act polite until you can find out one way or the other, while simultaneously leaving yourself an escape route.

Neologism: Clandestine institutional knowledge

Jan 14 2020

clandestine institutional knowledge - The phenomenon in which everybody knows the documentation is wrong and people are so pissed off at said documentation that they don't ever bother to try to fix it.  Instead new hires have to play Indiana Jones to find the two people left in the organization who have any working knowledge of the thing and beg to be trained up so they can actually do their jobs.  Normally, the newly trained individual doesn't bother to update the documentation, either.

footnote: Most of the time, nobody has the access to update the documentation anymore, which is why nobody ever bothers to fix it.