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Comment: Re:Cross training (Score 1) 225

by PPH (#46795803) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

I don't know about where you work, but where I work, people actually talk to each other

In a large organization where its not possible to talk to everyone informally. And if some dev sitting in a corner downloads his/her favorite framework, nobody will know. Until the dependency lists are compared and someone finds out that this person went off on their own.

Don't get me wrong. I have no problems with the informal processes if you work in a tiny shop (maybe a dozen developers). But you aren't likely to have a 'devops' position. It will be a part time task of one of the devs. Or the admin person who does the job for all systems (devel, test, production).

But if you are installing stuff, even on your own workstation, you are doing an admin's task. And that means understanding the impacts of your actions upon your and your group's work product. At some point, your company might be asked by a customer to adopt some sort of process standards (think SEI-CMM, ISO 9000, etc.). That will either mean a manual process you must follow to make changes to the development/test/deployment environment. Or turning that responsibility over to a person assigned to to so (that means turning your workstation admin over to them). And I imagine that if the response to this is, "I don't wanna!", the boss will quietly show you to the door.

Comment: Re:Architects (Score 1) 170

by PPH (#46795681) Attached to: The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

it was wilful cutting costs by simplifying the design by the contractor.

Was the building not built per the drawing? If this is the case, the building inspectors should have caught it and it was their error. If LeMessurier failed to specify structural details accurately or allowed the contractor to pressure him into an inadequate design, it was his (the engineer's) error.

Comment: Re:Someone call Ben Affleck (Score 1) 149

by PPH (#46794909) Attached to: Declassified Papers Hint US Uranium May Have Ended Up In Israeli Arms

Clancy touched upon the rumor that nuclear materials made it from the USA to Israel. There is also a rumor that the transfer included technology and designs and a few working warheads just to get them up and running quickly.

There is no way the Israelis would give away or lose the material you say?

The premise of Clancy's novel is highly unlikely. We don't officially acknowledge Israel's possesion of nuclear weapons. But if one was lost in hostile territory, if Israel didn't go in to recover it, we would. It wouldn't serve global politics well to find US part numbers in an Israeli bomb.

Comment: Risk (Score 1) 170

by PPH (#46794837) Attached to: The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

LeMessurier realized that a major storm could cause a blackout and render the tuned mass damper inoperable. Without the tuned mass damper, LeMessurier calculated that a storm powerful enough to take out the building hit New York every 16 years.

Sonds like he forgot to account for systematic risk. Mutiple failures caused by one underlying event having a higher probability than unrelated failures. Its a common problem with the quantitative approach to analyzing failures.

Comment: LED Grow lights (Score 1) 256

by PPH (#46787485) Attached to: Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

I've seen a number of indoor hydroponic installations. They all seem to have gone to LEDs. And these are for food production (exotic herbs, vegetables, etc.). What with the big money in pots grows, the extra investment should be a no-brainer. So much for the heat signature giving the location away to thieves or the local constables.

Yeah, I've heard the arguments that LED lighting isn't 'natural'. But some of the food farmers using these are on the cutting edge of holistic organic naturaopathic bullshit. And they don't seem to have problems with it. Stuff grown for sale to the local highscholl stoners should be a no-brainer.

Comment: Re:Cross training (Score 1) 225

by PPH (#46784573) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

Devs can do whatever they want on their local workstation. In any given week, I work on 2-3 different projects with radically different stacks.

What is the end product of this work? Source code?

If you produce source against a particular 'stack' (API, library version, framework, whatever) how do you know that the people next to you are using the same ones? And that the various modules your group produces will even build or link together? What happens if the guy in the next cubicle says, "This Dynedain guy is using the wrong version or fork of {whatever}. I'm going out to download and install the latest or the best and build my components using these. And if his stuff won't link with mine, tough." Who would stop him?

They don't have the ability to install any dependencies or configurations on stage, so if they run into problems, they need to negotiate with DevOps. QA validates on stage and has client do UAT on stage.

So, you wait until the sh*t hits the fan and then DevOps comes looking for whoever used the wrong tools or build configuration. The guy in the next cubicle says his favorite framework is better and that Dynedain guy needs to suck it up and redo all his work using the 'correct' environment. Antics ensue.

Somehow, I don't think your organization is going to score a very high SEI-CMM level. Forget ISO 9000 certification.

Comment: What's the purpose? (Score 1) 290

by PPH (#46780261) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

I assume you have various individuals/groups who have an interest in the systems you administrate. Users, developers, etc. Also regulators. Don't forget the utility of a good documentation system when the auditors come around*. So you need a process to keep them informed of the upcomming system changes. So they can ensure that their product or process isn't going to be broken by a change.

If you have relatively few of thes interested parties, the communications could be mandles manually and by you. If that community is large, the procedures need to be formalized and possibly automated. Having a CAB to represent your user community can offload the communications task from you. At the expense of some paperwork.

On the other hand, I've worked in organizations where the CAB was a make-work task for a few layers of management. People whos only other job prospects are standing by an off-ramp with a cardboard sign*.

*At one of my previous jobs, this was the acid test of the utility of our CAB. I had to fill out stacks of paperwork and await their blessing to make a change. But strangely enough, whenever the FAA came around, they were nowhere to be found. I had to walk the auditors through our systems myself.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy