So one of our clients called because our software was running slow. Not just a little slow, I mean really fucking slow, like 10 minutes to launch the application and bring something up.
So I connect and look. It is running fine on the server and the interface machine. I check all the DBs and such and everything is cool. I call the IT woman (who shall be known as Dumbass for the purposes of this thread) but she wasn’t in so I spoke with a manager and said “Hey, it isn’t our software, you’ve got a network problem, call your IT”.
So I go into work today and Dumbass had called again this morning. She swore up and down that it was not a network issue. The person who took the case this morning had just upped the case to our development support team and I got to take over the case, which means I have to deal with Dumbass. I spoke to Dumbass and explained that it was sent up to one of our senior developers, he was looking at it but that it still appeared to be a network issue. Dumbass went off, started yelling that it is not the network. I explained that our senior developer was still checking but that she might want to run some diagnoistics. She did not like that suggestion.
So, the senior developer calls and suggested that the client restart the switches on the network. Dumbass really didn’t like that idea. Once again she swore that it was not a network issue. I got a little testy and explained once again that THE SENIOR FUCKING DEVELOPER WHO WROTE THE GODDAMNED SOFTWARE thinks it is a network issue and wants the switches restarted. She finally said that she would restart the switches.
A couple hours pass. I left numerous message asking what happened after they restarted the switches. The developer called a couple times asking what happened after they restarted the switches. No response.
About three hours later DUMBASS calls back and states that when they restarted the switches their GOADDAMNED GIGABIT ETHERNET INTERFACE STOPPED WORKING! She had to replace their gigabit ethernet interface with a 10/100 ethernet interface but things now seemed to be running ok. DUMBASS then continues on that it ins’t running as fast as it should (Gee, DUMBASS, you switched out gigabit for 10/100 megabit. Of course it is going to be a bit slower) and DUMBASS *still * doesn’t think the slowness is a network issue and insists that the case remain open.
I am not sure who the fucking DUMBASS bitch slept with to get her fucking job* but if she calls again tomorrow bitching about the software and says it is not a network issue I am going to reach through the phone, grab her fucking vocal chords and PULL until her uterus pops out so I can tie the fucking thing in knots so she can NEVER FUCKING BREED.
*This is not meant to imply that female ITs are less competent than male ITs or that they have to sleep with someone to get a job in IT. Some of the best IT folks I’ve met have been women.
I like it even better when client IT does things like switch out firewalls without mentioning it to any of the users or management, who would otherwise remind them of all the VPNs they’ve got set up with the company that handles all that Very Important Data Processing for them.
Then again, they mostly hate my guts, since we’re technically a firm that they outsource to, but that should have gone away back when they sent payroll to ADP. Idiots.
Ehm - I happen to hold a somewhat senior post in the engineering group for a goodly-sized corporate network, and we wouldn’t dream of rebooting switches because a program developer - even a senior fucking one - told us their application misfired due to a network problem. He’d better be able to come up with a clear description of what he suspected happening on the network (latency ? dropped frames ? physical errors ? insufficient bandwidth ?) and why he suspects a switch reset - of all things - would be the solution.
Plenty of software companies yell “it’s the network” as their reflexive first line of defense (I’m looking at you, SAP), and it’s freaking annoying. There’s plenty of things that can go wrong, and sometimes it is the network. But expecting a customer to reset their equipment on a supplier’s say-so ? Wouldn’t happen in my organization, thank be to Og.
Give me some indications that it is the network. Tell me what to look for in a trace. Give me some sort of hint that you know what error condition can trigger what behaviour and why you suspect it’s relevant to the current issue, and I’ll work with you. If you want to tell me that my switches need a reboot, you’d better demonstrate some network knowledge. If not, I’ll feel free to file your request as I do other unsolicited advice.
Well, Spiny, the program wasn’t mis-firing, it was running slow on workstations. This was clearly, from about 10 minutes into the case, a network issue. The program was running fine on the server and an interface machine. It just ran extremely slow on the workstations. The program did not have a problem. The databases did not have a problem. I spent close to two fucking hours going through our software with a fine tooth comb and everything was fucking perfect. So did the fucking senior developer. Guess what? If the software is perfect then that leaves the network. If there is a speed problem with our software, and it does happen from time to time with jacked up databases and some issues with temp files, it will run like crap on the server. It was running like a champ on the server and a seperate interface machine that has 8 serial interfaces on it that hit the CPU pretty damned hard.
As far as troubleshooting the actual network issue, it ain’t our fucking job. We will, because we are a nice bunch of people, assist with network issues BUT TROUBLESHOOTING NETWORKS AIN’T MY FUCKING JOB. Now, if Dumabass hadn’t been such a bitch, I would have worked on it with her. So would my coworkers. Instead, she totally ruled out the idea of it being a network issue. Most of the time when there is a network issue it is really fucking clear, like ‘Unable to open file…’, we wil do some basic troubleshooting and then we nicely refer them to their IT department if that doesn’t fix it. Fixing their network ain’t my job, we don’t get paid fo it. If the IT has any questions we are more than willing to offer suggestions on what to check.
In the three years that I have worked for this company I can remember one other instance where we suggested restarting switches. We don’t run around blaming shit on the network unless all other options have been exhausted. And, holycrap, it was the fucking network. Every other IT at the company Dumbass works for would have listened to my original suggestion and checked things instead of shrilly screaming ‘IT ISN’T OUR NETWORK’. I know, I deal with them often enough. The other IT folk at the company actually listen. And guess what? They would have found the fucking problem themselves.
On the bright side, there was a discussion about this case with the client today at which point they were given the bill for the time the developer spent looking at the issue. Hopefully it will come out of DUMBASSes paycheck.
Not a problem, I understand. (You do realize this is the PIT don’t you? That statement is entirely too civilized. You at least need to get a good *fuck off * in there).
Our company is very different than a lot of other software companies. We a pretty small, we have under 20 people in the support department. Most of the people in the support department are really good at their jobs (I’ve been doing this for 12 years and used to work in network operations on the largest private network in the world, AOL*). Being small is nice, we have a good relationship with the development folks. We can ask the guys and gals who actually wrote the program what the hell is going on when we get some odd problem. For a while the senior dev, the guy who ended up looking into this problem, wanted to give us the source code (the idea got nixed). I can still go to my boss and get a look at the code to see what is going on. Being small also has the advantage that when we escalate something it goes right to the developers. Our second level support is the people who wrote the code. Being small does have some disadvantages, some minor problems take a while to get fixed but big problems get taken care of pretty fast. Being small also has the advantage that if you try and bullshit a client, it comes back at you real quick. If you are wrong about something you are informed of it right away. That discourages bullshitting people.
*Hate AOL for the client. Hate AOL for the customer service. But, damned, when I worked in the NOC AOL had the biggest, baddest network in the world. I was there when AOL broke a million users online at once. The network was a thing of beauty.