How to Care For and Feed Software Developers
Jun 10, 2009, 19:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Frye)
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"Now, I've mellowed a lot with age and experience and
interpret the machine room more and more in shades of gray.
However, business consolidation and the demand that IT deliver
value to the enterprise still rankle my enlightenment. The bean
counters treat system administrators as a cost center and, because
we don't bring in any revenue, we are forced to overtly demonstrate
our value. More often than not, the math doesn't add up for the
CFO, and dedicated system staffers are let go or are rolled into
engineering organizations. Recently, "Your local sysadmin" has
taken on a mind-numbingly literal meaning and we’re often
tasked with one thing: developer support.
"Don't get me wrong. It's important to provide all the things
that developers need: hardware changes, every possible environment
to test with, tweaks, and new boxes. Virtualization has really
helped. But we're really mixing with another sect now.
"Developers, though from the same proto-geek family tree, are
now a distinct denomination from system administrators, and we
don't always integrate well. There was a time when developers had
to be their own sysadmins and sysadmins were developers from days
of yore. Early on, both developers and system administrators had to
write code to make things work, but these days we are each used to
our own practices and short cuts. The canon has diverged, and we
are used to doing the things that define us as our own professions.
Since both groups wear the battle scars of intense flame wars gone
by, sometimes things get a little silly and sometimes things get a