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.

Neologism: Tumbleweed mode

Jan 10 2020

tumbleweed mode - noun phrase - The phenomenon in which all official support forums for something are either abandoned (no activity for a protected period of time), or any posts that aren't lowball questions (such as "Where's the FAQ?" or replies to release announcements) are utterly ignored (meaning, actual technical support questions).

Neologism: Evolving situation

Dec 29 2019

evolving situation - noun phrase - A situation where, if all hell hasn't broken loose yet it's well on its way.

Neologism: Entropic debugging

Nov 11 2019

entropic debugging - noun phrase - The phenomenon in which one can spend weeks on end debugging something using a multitude of techniques, give up in frustration and/or disgust for a couple of days, come back to the project and discover that somehow the bugs have magickally fixed themselves (as verified by diffs and file hashes if one cares to check).  The phenomenon is so named due to the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy can never decrease, only increase in an isolated system.  In other words, as entropy increases overall in the universe it somehow wiped out the bugs in question.  See also kinetic pattern baldness.

Neologism - Wires

Oct 27 2019

wires - noun - Person to person backchannels.

"I had to pull some wires to get that expense report fixed before the boss saw it."

Neologism: Basketball mode

Aug 31 2019

basketball mode - noun phrase - When a service or application crashes and restarts itself over and over, i.e., bouncing like a basketball every few seconds.  Considered an outage.