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Trouble at the 9th layer.

I've been a developer the early 1970s. I've found that there is an
unwritten pecking rule in many companies. Raytheon was certainly the
most pronounced. In general at Raytheon Data Systems in the late 70s and
early 80s, there was engineering, and within engineering there was a
pecking order where the hardware people were above the software people.
The next level was the IT programmers, then there was the 'computer
operators'.  Basically, my experience at other companies the various
groups had more respect for each other, but still the pecking order
existed. Some developers wanted full control of all the hardware in
engineering  including the servers.
These hidden rules exist primarily in the minds of the players.
Developers tend not to like to be in a box.

At Raytheon in the late 90s, I was hired as a contractor by HP to write
device drivers for HP-UX. In Bedford, the 3 HP guys had root privs on
our workstations as well as some systems in the classified lab. But, in
Sudbury, I needed to write a fibre optic device driver, and the IT
people refused to give me root privs even though the systems were all in
an engineering lab and the machine I was using was owned by HP. After 6
weeks, they relented, but with the stipulation that I needed a Raytheon
employee to sit next to me and watch all my keystrokes while I was
logged in as root. They finally moved the fibre card down to Bedford.

On 11/29/2009 12:01 AM, Rich Braun wrote:
> Dan Ritter <dsr-mzpnVDyJpH4k7aNtvndDlA at> suggested this warning about dev root:=

>  =20
>>   Attempting to violate this policy once will result in a
>>   warning. A second attempt will probably be considered grounds
>>   for termination of employment.
>>   If you think you need expanded privileges on any machine,
>>   please contact the sysadmin staff ...
>>    =20
> Heh.  I am the guy in charge of the dev servers where I work.  If I sen=
t that
> out, the devs would instantaneously go over my head and I'd get a CTO o=
r VP
> directive that so-and-so gets root, period, on all dev boxes (and I've =
> gotten that directive for two of the devs on all /production/ boxes).
> I try to bend over backwards and give the devs what they need--quickly-=
> this is a battle I have not figure out how to win, at least in a small =
> (IT organization of about 25-30 with 6 to 10 developers).
> But maybe it's a battle I should try again soon because most of the lon=
> hires have disappeared--a lot of this office politics depends on longev=
> and now only one of the developers has been there longer than me.
> ISO 7-layer model: 8th layer =3D finance, 9th layer =3D politics.
>  =20

Jerry Feldman <gaf-mNDKBlG2WHs at>
Boston Linux and Unix
PGP key id: 537C5846
PGP Key fingerprint: 3D1B 8377 A3C0 A5F2 ECBB  CA3B 4607 4319 537C 5846

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