Good Stories

The IT horror stories. Many of us have them. The mistakes, the trials, and frustrations, these seem to be the stories we collect. Many of us have a story of deleting data, forgetting a backup, making a security mistake or some other item that perhaps should have terminated our employment. Or maybe it did. In any case, I’m sure most of you have a tale about some mistake.

However, I think we don’t talk enough about the wins we have. The good things we do that actually help people, they appreciate, that get us kudos or even rewards. Maybe there’s something that garnered some unsolicited praise for your efforts. I’m wondering this week, what are your good stories in IT. ?

I hear about good stories all the time from my wife. Her horse training efforts produce immediate effects, some of which are very powerful and moving for her clients. I hear about great things my brother does in medicine. Certainly I also get many very kind words from plenty of you about the help SQLServerCentral provides. But I haven’t had a lot of stories as a developer or DBA. Many of substantial upgrades or improvements I’ve made to applications were tempered with complaints about us “changing something.” At times, it’s felt like a no win situation.

Perhaps my best story is from my time with a large sales organization. We had a demo system that provisioned a set of virtual machines to showcase our products. The complexity came from the fact that each demo environment was 6-8 machines, networked together in a VLAN that allowed them to be identical for each salesperson, yet isolated to prevent network issues. This was in 2001, when tools for managing virtual machines were rudimentary, and things like runbooks didn’t exist.

I helped our administration team go from an Excel spreadsheet, with incredibly complex (and unreliable) macros to an web application. The application allowed them to easily track which environments were provisioned for which salesman, making the entire process much simpler, and more importantly, a multi-user system any administrator could access to provision or teardown demo environments. This wasn’t a large piece of software, and not widely used, but it made work much easier for a few people that were struggling with the constant and ever changing demands of busy salespeople.

What’s your best story? Let us know today.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 3.2MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and LibSyn.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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2 Responses to Good Stories

  1. I automated the creation and loading of files for tracing patients NHS numbers. No one had bothered to ask for it to be automated because they felt that it was a simple, if uninteresting, piece of work and that it would be complicated to automate as it had to wait for a remote system to return the file by secure FTP. No one realised how much they hated that piece of work until I automated it away.

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