Shawn Stratton Systems Architect


Recipe: Mojito

This is a slightly sweet and refreshing drink that's awesome in the summer months.

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Being direct and clear

In my new job I get requests on a daily basis.  Some are simple requests that take a minute or so to complete, some are lengthy multiple hour requests, etc.  A request by itself is perfectly normal and acceptable to me, however, it seems to some that they can make whatever request without telling me (or my group for that matter) what they actually need. These are not my favorite.

One example, someone that's not a developer sent us a request to install a specific daemon (application/http) on a specific machine type, without any rationale as to why.  My job is to decide, provision, configure, and maintain servers and daemons, my team prefers Apache HTTPD to serve static files for various reasons, as we're digging into this request we're finding out that the request is to serve static files but this person feels qualified to make a request for a Java application server (Tomcat) without any further rationale than "I need tomcat".

Another example, we got a request a few days to enable a project in our automated deployment console, the problem is that this project hasn't been configured in apache, uwsgi, php-fpm, etc at the time of the request, somehow we're supposed to magically know that this was supposed to have been done prior to this request with an unknown due date.

The point I'm getting at here is a simple one:

Know what you're asking for and if you don't try to describe it, also please don't expect us to be psychic.

In the above case instead of asking for Tomcat, ask for a webserver to host static html files.  It's my teams job to figure out what best suites your needs, configure, and manage it.  Please don't try to dictate what we need to run unless you have an actual reason for it (no, you wanting tomcat for tomcat's sake is not a good reason.)  Further, when you talk to us about asking for something make sure we have all the information at hand, it makes life a lot less difficult if we know at least the basics of your request so we don't have to hunt you down to ask questions, or worse guess.

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