July 19, 2008

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“Rogue” SF Network Admin

If you’re in the tech industry, you have probably heard about the story of a “Rogue” network administrator in San Francisco locking everyone out, or some variation thereof. Well, today a new piece came out: “Why San Francisco’s network admin went rogue". After reading through this, the situation makes a lot more sense. In fact, I sympathize with a lot of the sentiments.

Around my office, it is no secret that the computers, servers, & network are “My Toys”. Granted, I am the IT Dept of One, but I can understand a lot of what was conveyed in the article. I setup the network, the servers, etc. I don’t want other people to have more access then they need to go mucking about the insides of the network. I don’t “hide” the configuration or refuse to write settings to flash, or anything crazy like that, but less is documented than probably should be. That is more of me being lazy and less of me trying to hide stuff. Also in my defense, I’ve got a small network & the passwords are stored in a location accessible by one other (in case I get hit by a bus).

For a short time, I did IT work in a medium sized company. There was an admin there that kept things under wraps as much as possible. For the longest time I had next to no powers which made my job rather difficult. Though from his side, he didn’t know me and I would probably have done the same thing.

Serious IT people have seen what the “less skilled” can and have done to desktop machines, networks, servers, etc. Hundreds of times over, we’ve watched someone completely cluster f*ck something. Of course it comes back to us having to fix it, or take the blame for something being down. After a while I think it jades all IT people into not trusting anyone else with anything IT related.