Author Topic: Employed as Electronics Engineer but stalled by IT Dept?  (Read 2430 times)

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Online bd139

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Re: Employed as Electronics Engineer but stalled by IT Dept?
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2018, 01:49:04 pm »
You’re hired  :-+

Online dmills

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Re: Employed as Electronics Engineer but stalled by IT Dept?
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2018, 03:28:03 pm »
That dirty network is the key, and actually in our shop it very seldom has an issue (Apart from the odd drive failure, and occasionally some clown writing an ARP client that gets it wrong and replies to EVERY ARP packet, who me, working on some custom TCP-IP stuff in an FPGA?), mind you there are basically 6 people who use it and we all sit within thrown object range of each other which concentrates the mind. That FPGA thing nearly got me nerfed to death.

The general office network on the other hand is the biggest, flakiest POS I have ever run across, I mean the CRM system, basically just a database in a server room somewhere right? Well apart from the inability to connect to the thing over the VPN (Just slightly important to the sales guys, they tell me) apparently someone had forgotten to renew a X.509 cert, you would think this would be a 15 minute job, not three frigging days....

On that subject do NOT get me started on the VPN, flaky, unreliable and SLOW, compare and contrast with ssh into our private dev server on the dirty network, damn near instant, key exchange happens, up comes a shell and away you go (No passwords, they are inferior to public key for authentication). I also caught the VPN installer fucking around with my very carefully set up routing tables, and installing suid binaries without asking.
Why does a VPN even need some externally validated cert? It is private, we control both ends, we should just be able to generate a key pair for each user and distribute the appropriate bits, why the hell does a VPN need a cert issued by a CA?

Regards, Dan.

Offline Jr460

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Re: Employed as Electronics Engineer but stalled by IT Dept?
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2018, 03:37:13 pm »
Wow, just wow.

EE background and that got me into CAD systems long ago and more and more general IT.   Some of my first jobs in IT were in support of engineering departments.

This is what I've gathered over the years.

 <I had something much longer typed up....   >

Both the engineers and IT are doing things wrong.  Both sides can be massive jerks.

Offline Tandy

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Re: Employed as Electronics Engineer but stalled by IT Dept?
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2018, 03:59:57 pm »
If the office network has poor reliability then someone is doing something wrong. Sadly it is quite difficult to get good IT staff that understand what is critical to the business, but then a lot of them are employed by management who see IT as a cost rather than as a crucial part of their business. They therefore hire a MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) and a couple of spotty kids that are experts at Grand Theft Auto and expect them to run critical systems.

The problem is the transition from a startup mentality to an established business that is growing. When a business is small and new everybody chips in and does what they can, the founder is probably doing things like the accounts, while one of the software developers is managing the mail server and salesperson is running the customer database. As a business grows these things no longer make sense though. A sales person shouldn't be messing with backing up a database, or copying stuff onto a new laptop, they should be out there selling. Similarly the lead software developer shouldn't be wasting time managing the mail server. There comes a point where these responsibilities need to be given to other people and they become their primary responsibility, not just a sideline.

If you hire bad accountants and bad IT staff then you are going to get what you hired.

My tenure as an IT manager was with a company that had a huge legacy from their startup time as well as having disparate systems from acquiring other young companies when I arrived. There would be a DNS server running on a Sun system sat on someones desk in Scotland that was also used for compiling the Solaris build of a product. But when their system crashed everyone lost access to everything. If that system was up and running while other systems were booting in Sweden they would fail to boot as they could not validate licences. Files were being shared using windows file sharing from individual PCs on the network with no backups. So you had this crazy situation where when the office was moved various people's computers all had to started in a particular sequence otherwise nothing worked. Things grew organically during their fast growth but it just doesn't scale, there comes a point where things have to be properly designed. The sooner you do that the less work you have later on, be it in your accounting practices or your IT systems.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 04:05:52 pm by Tandy »
For more info on Tandy try these links Tandy History EEVBlog Thread & Official Tandy Website

Offline hendorog

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Re: Employed as Electronics Engineer but stalled by IT Dept?
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2018, 07:11:09 pm »
Networking chaps quickly build themselves an ivory tower. As a senior developer/system architect, I can not believe some of the arguments I have had with various networking people needing production servers up and having given months of warning, suffering from VLAN issues and lack of allocated IPs and the like. At no point have I found them to be service or customer minded. Everything works or fails ultimately in modern IT by the network and as such, they see themselves as untouchable.

So reading this thread at least has helped me understand it is not just the company I worked for until recently that had these problems.

Your experience exactly mirrors mine. I believe this behaviour is inevitable and is due to the environment they are put into. bd189 has alluded to that pressure of taking responsibility for the entire company.

I knew when I posted here about DevOps it wouldn't be well received. It is not well understood how to do these things properly.

But businesses will eventually start to fail because of their inability to deliver IT solutions, and the others will have to seek out better ways to operate.

Basically code for we have no project management, no design, no release plan but we can release loads of slightly broken shit quickly (But without release notes), it is the antithesis of good engineering.

Doing the same thing you do now, but in much smaller chunks, is the guts of it.

So someone at your organisation must have decided the process you used to follow was so poor, that they threw the good stuff out with the bad.

For example, Ops required us to hand them the code to them 1 month before it was planned to be released.

So they could, well, shine it, I guess? They never looked at it until the day before. But sure, that way is better. Whats a month anyway, the project is already 6 months late. But we have a project plan, a signed off design, and a release plan so that's OK. Just having those things doesn't make a project work.


Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Employed as Electronics Engineer but stalled by IT Dept?
« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2018, 03:29:17 am »
I'm quite glad that:
1. At home, I do my own IT.  It's a mess, my mess, and no one else touches it.  That includes MAC filtering and all that.
2. At my primary customer, they have quite good corporate IT.  They have quite good employees in general; everyone is either given only the access they need, or trusted to not do retarded things with their admin access.  I don't know of any clusters that have happened... but I'm in engineering, not IT, so I might not know.  Issues are dealt with promptly, machines are kept up-to-date, network uptime is very good.

We're probably quite privileged to be a profitable and "fast moving*" company, that can't afford to make stupid decisions that grind everyone to a halt, or cheap out on IT to much the same end.

*Not in the management wank sense, but in that the market sector isn't one where you can slouch around and sponge off of existing customers.  Rather, business is a constant process of acquiring new customers, while reducing costs for existing ones.

Seven Transistor Labs, LLC
Electronic design, from concept to prototype.
Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Employed as Electronics Engineer but stalled by IT Dept?
« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2018, 04:20:12 am »
In the job before the one I mentioned earlier, management was paranoid about IP, to the extent that they wouldn't let us see circuit diagrams of the stuff we were building.
(A bit difficult to fault find when as often happened, the product didn't work)

This company had a bunch of IT guys who the customers could ring up & consult with at any time.
They would also travel to them to sort things out if need be.

Sound good?

The problem was, the Software was rock solid, & most problems were either electronic or mechanical!
The Software was definitely " the jewel in the crown", but although they "talked good security", was much more vulnerable than the hardware, which was really all "public domain".

They did make a fuss about the possibility of "hackers" getting into the internal network, but neglected the real possibility of someone breaking in & placing a miniature surveillance camera where it could see staff using passwords, then repeating the same visit to steal software .
The physical security was such that you could break in with a "sharp fingernail".

There was also the issue of the laptop that disappeared. :palm:

Of course, management were unlikely to think that hard---- it might make their heads hurt!

Not IT or security related, but capable of quite devastating results if things went bad, was the fact that the whole electronics production facility was powered from a series of "daisy chained" power boards!

The best case would be if the OH&S people dropped by & shut them down, the worst is obvious.
After I left,I dropped back one day.
Still the same setup, but now they had, for some reason, set up a CCTV watching the electronics area.
No idea why---scared someone would steal a few feet of solder?

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