octopus mud wrestling - A situation where multiple conflicting problems and solutions come together to prevent anyone from accomplishing anything useful. Every possible step toward a solution causes two other problems that further complicate things. Sometimes this means that something can't be fixed at all and a forklift upgrade is required. Sometimes attempts to fix everything cause an outage to occur, ruining everybody's day. So called because everything is dirty, messy, confusing, constantly changing and nobody will have any idea what's actually going on until it's over.
It's been nearly a month since I've last had time to post anything here. Earlier I'd expressed hope that things would slow down and I'd have some compute cycles free to get my breath back, maybe go for a walk and do something fun. Unfortunately, as so often happens these days, that was wishful thinking. I wish that I had a lot of good news to write about, but unfortunately I don't. Just a little. If this post is going to be too much for you in your personal situation, close the tab. Seriously. If you've got your own ten …
Leaning Tower of Hangout - noun phrase - The covid-19 quarantine phenomenon in which one discovers a stack of hangouts on one's work calendar, all for the exact same time, all flagged as required, all scheduled while you were asleep the night before.
ref, Towers of Hanoi.
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.
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.
quantum documentation inconsistency principle - An axiom of corporate life in which there will always be more than one piece of documentation for something, all of the documentation will be measurably contradictory, and none of the procedures will work anymore. See also clandestine institutional knowledge.
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 …
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).
I'm writing this article well before the year 2020.ev starts, mostly due to the fact that Twitter's search function is possibly the worst I've ever seen and this is probably my last chance to find the post in question to refer back to.
Late in November of 2019.ev a meme was going around birbsite, "Please quote this tweet with a thing that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos." Due to the fact that I was really busy at work at the time I didn't have …
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not reflect my current employer, or any of my clients at present. I've pulled details from my work history dating back about 20 years and stitched them into a more-or-less coherent narrative without being specific about any one company or client because, as unfashionable as it may be, I take my NDAs seriously. If you want to get into an IT genitalia measuring contest please close this tab, I don't care and have no interest.
Time was, back in the days of the home 8-bit computers, we were very limited in what we …