Archive | Worklife

Work/Life balance, and career-related posts

Sit Stand Desk Setup

I work from home these days. Therefore it’s important that I have a decent desk setup. My previous setup was pretty crappy, but I only worked from home part-time. I’ve been using a standing desk at home, and wanted to move to a sit/stand model for full-time use. Here’s what I did. Desk & Monitor […]

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War Stories: Closing out Projects

We put a lot of energy into new projects. We argue about the design, we plan the cutover, we execute it…and then we move on. But decommissioning the old system is critical part of any project. It’s not over until you’ve switched off the old system. Years ago I was involved in the buildout of a […]

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War Stories: ITIL Process vs Practice

Our irregular War Stories returns, with a story about a network I worked on with strict change control, but high technical debt. What should have been a simple fix became far more pain than it should have been. Lesson learned: next time just leave things alone. I’m sure the ITIL true believers loved their process, but did […]

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Dollar Sign

Considering On-Call Pay

Let’s say you’ve been offered a new job. $70k base salary, with up to $20k per year extra for on-call duties. Great! $90k! That’s $10k more than my salary now! Sign me up! Wait a minute. Not so fast. Years ago I received some good advice: Treat your on-call payment as a separate item. Don’t consider it as […]

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Brocade Logo

The Next Step: Brocade

I am happy to announce that I am now a Product Manager at Brocade. This is a big move for me, and one I am very excited about. I will get to work on the future of networking with a lot of smart people . Why Brocade? It’s simple really: He aha te mea nui o te ao? […]

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Musing: Generalist to Specialist and Back Again

Recently I’ve been musing on IT Generalists vs Specialists. We used to have more generalist roles, covering all parts of the stack. ITIL then pushed us towards greater specialisation. I believe that we’ve gone back to valuing the Generalist, as the person who can glue components together. Will the pendulum swing again? Generalists: Soup-to-Nuts When […]

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Reminder: Solarized for Better Terminals

I have used the “Solarized” colour scheme on my Mac for several years. This is: … a sixteen color palette…designed for use with terminal and gui applications If you spend a lot of time using the Terminal, this makes a huge difference. It gives me the right combination of colours to make sure everything is readable, […]

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What’s In My Bag (Hint: not much)

Recently @BobMcCouch posted a photo of the contents of his bags. He’s got a lot of gear, including a hammer, and a dent-puller. He assures us that it’s for lifting tiles, but I’m not so sure. Sounds to me like he’s worried about a few dings in the supermarket carpark. It all sounded a bit scary. I want […]

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Rolling out Change

We all know that “Change is Hard.” But often we, as engineers, focus on the technical aspects of that change. How do I minimise customer impact while upgrading those routers? How can I migrate customer data safely to the new system? But we can forget about the wider implications of what we’re doing. If we […]

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Headwinds, or Uphill?

As some of my readers know, I’ve done a fair bit of bike touring. Two of the challenges of bike touring are riding uphill, and riding into headwinds. Riding uphill is tough. 2,300m passes in snow, or 3,200m passes in sunshine, it’s tough going. But you put your head down, and keep turning the pedals, […]

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