Andy Rooney died earlier this month at the ripe old age of 93 and he left a legacy of curmudgeonly commentary that dates back to the late 1970s. Rooney often sweated the small stuff and he would have liked IT Ops — if he knew what it was.
Every week in the Few Minutes with Andy Rooney segment on 60 Minutes, Rooney would give his unique view on the world. If he ever encountered IT Ops, chances are the man would have needed more than 3 minutes. He used to often open many of his early commentaries with the phrase, “Did you ever notice?…”
If he did one on IT Ops, it might start like this:
Did you ever notice the server room? It’s this big room filled with boxes and wires and stuff. Nobody knows what it’s for except for a small circle of geeks whose job it is to keep these incomprehensible boxes running for us.
They sit around all day making sure the boxes work, and if they don’t, they take action. What that action is I have no idea in the least, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either. For that matter, how the heck do they even know something went wrong in the first place?
Do you suppose they have some sort of special geek super power where they sense when something is wrong with their boxes? I was curious about this, and I actually have a friend who works in IT so I asked him.
You know what he told me? They have this special software — I have no idea what that is — that watches over the boxes and if something goes wrong — they get a message. It’s called monitoring software. There’s really nothing magical about it, but it would be a lot more fun if there were, don’t you think?
I imagine it must be boring watching boxes and waiting for messages about what went wrong, but that’s what these guys do and they get paid for it too.
If I don’t understand what they do, you can be sure neither do the executives upstairs, but my friend tells me they certainly notice when the boxes stop working. Then the server room becomes a very popular place.
Most times though, most of us don’t know it’s there and that’s the way it’s supposed to be, at least that’s what my friend tells me.
I’m not much of a fan of computers. I still like the clickety clack of typewriters and that’s what I still use to write my commentary every week, but I understand that most people have to use computers these days, and it should be comforting on some level to know that there are people out there watching those boxes for you and making sure they work — even if I still have no idea why.