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The problem with working for "Regular" companies, a cynical view from a
to read "The problem with working for Dot.Coms"
This is the other side of the coin to my "The problem
with Dot.Com companies." I no longer work for either, I'm now
a consulltant. These are some of my observations while working at
a "regular/real" company. The point here is that Dot.Coms aren't
the only companies making bad and stupid decisions.
Current assignment: A
large US fortune 50 company. The company is a major US Federal
contractor specializing in computer consulting and services (It's pretty
funny that they had to hire outside computer consultants). The company
has approximately 70,000 employess and offices around the world.
The company has been in business for over 35 years, trades on the New York
Stock Exchange and had revenue of $4 Billion US dollars in year 2000 (this
is a really big company). Their problems:
The company is run by ex-US government and ex-military employees,
and is run just like a bureaucratic government agency.
They will not pay any of their technical workers more than
Their last UNIX administrator left about 2 years ago,
everything has been held together by bandaids since then.
They have been unable to hire any UNIX people because
they refuse to pay the current market salaries.
They are running unpatched RedHat 5.0 and Solaris 2.5.1 machines
that are directly connected to the Internet. Most of their machines
have been compromised for years.
Their "security guru" continually test his warez on the production
systems and crashes them.
Their "security guru" test DOS attacks on the production
systems and everyone wonders why nothing is working.
Their primary DNS server is a beat up Compac desktop
75Mhz Pentium system (missing some parts of it's case) running Redhat 5.0
and is horribly overloaded.
They have 10mpbs shared hubs daisy chained into other 10mbps
shared hubs and wonder why their network is so slow.
They route ALL corporate Internet traffic thru a single
router in Virginia. So if an employee in England emails another employee
in Germany, the email goes to Virginia in the USA and then back to Germany.
Most of the mission critical systems don't have backup systems.
For instance, if the Internet router goes down, the company will lose ALL Internet
connectivity until a new router can be purchased.
None of the machines are backed up to tape. If a disk
fails, that data is gone forever.
The mission critical systems are plugged into power stripes
which are daisy changed into other power strips. Last week, someone
plugged in a new computer and blew the circuit breaker which killed the
primary and secondary DNS servers, primary and secondary Radius servers,
and the firewall.
The Internet firewall machine (a Sun E3000) has been reporting
that it has a burned out memory SIMM for over 6 months. The machine
is not on a maintenance contract, there is no backup system, and no one
has tried to buy a replacement memory SIMM (the SIMM only cost about
$100.00) The machine lockes up regularly and everyone wonders why...
They don't have any network management systems except for
the freeware MRTG which is running on an old Sparc1000/Solaris 2.5.1 machine
with 6G of disk space (2 500M disk and 5 1G disk). The disk continually
fill up and ALL network monitoring stops at that point. (The machine
is monitoring about 200 routers and all email servers. It is also
the master syslog server, a web server, and the master email config server).
Even though everyone has to wear badges and there are security
guards in the building, 12 notebook computers were stolen off of people's
desk last week.
Hey SA's out there, do
any of you have something else to add? If so, drop me an e-mail at
Copyright © 1993-2001 by Robert Barnes
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