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My Adventures with our H1-b's

Well, my adventures with our two H1-B's that I am training (Heckl & Jeckl) continued today. Ever since they showed up on site they have had a facination with our WebServer. Basically, we have a Home built server we have Apache 1.3 on running activestate to engine our Perl Scripts.

Heckl and Jeckl, have been stating all along we should move up to V2.0. Well, this is contrary to my ideology "If it's not broke, Why fix it!!". I only wish out H1-B's shared my sentiment. After weeks of bugging me, and basically no trouble tickets. I decided today I would let them embark on their obsession and upgrade our Server to Apache v2.0 ( It seems to be their strange obsession with Apache.org). So around 10am they trotted off to the server room to do the upgrade. Well, should take no more then 1/2 hour I figure.

10:15AM (My office Phone Rings). It's Mrs Y and she cannot access her email. We have an Email gateway from the HTTP Server. Keeps from having to use Outlook etc. I simply assure her we are doing some upgrading and the homesite will be up shortly. I put my feet back on the desk and grab me a nice hot cup of coffee.

[Several other people call inquiring about our Server being down]

11:55AM (Another Phone call). This time it's my manager and he's ticked. Apperently, a customer could not access the Productline via our Web Server. And wants to know what the hold up is.

Well by this time I decided to finish my jelly do-nut and head over to see whats going on with the "Big" upgrade. I get over there and Heckl & Jeckl are restarting the Server for (I dont know) probably the 50th time. Jeckl sees me and proudly says: "It'll be done Mighty Fastly". Well I'm scratching my head wondering why in took them 2 1/2+ to finish a job that should have only taken 30 , 1 hour Tops (and even thats a reach). So I left and allowed them to bring the site back up online.

When all was said and done. I had to head back over there and reinstall Apache (v 1.6). I saved the config files on floppy. Fortunely, it didn't take me very long to get it back up again. Finding, my copy of Activestate took the longest.
   
    We all met back at my office for a meeting and I allowed them to tell me what they did (or didn't do). Now hopefully, they will adolpt my idology "If its not broke....", and they will leave things well enough alone. Although, I doubt it.

Ho Hum

JS
Thursday, January 29, 2004

You spent 7 paragraphs telling what could possibly be the most generic IT "disaster" story I've ever read. Someone tried to do an upgrade. It didn't work. People complained. Hilarity does not ensue.

Come back when Heckyl and Jeckyl accidentally launch the missles at Pakistan when they spill their vindaloo into the flux capacitor. THAT's a story. 


Thursday, January 29, 2004

I agree with JS.

BTW, a little research would have shown that you should not, ever, upgrade to Apache 2.0.  If you are so inclined, feel free to start a new project with Apache 2.0. 

Apache 1.3 and Apache 2.0 are radically different beasts!

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, January 29, 2004

"I agree with JS."


??? but he didn't make any points.

(except maybe ;if it aint broke, dont fix it, but thats more of a truism than something that needs to be agreed with)

I mean come on...I _learnt_ the truth of that by...well...breaking things that were previously working whilst trying to fix something that wasn't broken.

<g> sounds to me as if his _fellow workers_ are moving along the path of righteousness rather nicely..

FullNameRequired
Thursday, January 29, 2004

I find it interesting that people that run typically Unix apps - apache and the like go with "the if it's not broke don't fix it."  The converse seems to be true in the Windows world.  "If it's newer, it's better, upgrade now!"

Being the sys adminly typt that likes functional things, I guess I prefer to upgrade on my own schedule only if necessary.  Course maybe it's the shoddy quality of some Windows apps that cause people to run to the new versions like crack addicts to crack.

Crusty Admin
Thursday, January 29, 2004

First, you are totally right and should have followed your gut feeling. If Apache 1.x is running fine, don't upgrade.

However, the biggest mistake has been made somewhere else. Please, don't take this as another JOS flame.

The critical mistake was made by the person that allowed inexperienced, or at least unproven, system administrators to perform a major upgrade on an important server. When going from Apache 1.x to 2.x surely one would setup a test server first and let it run for a few days to see how it works. And only after sufficient testing one would redirect traffic to the new server.

A secondary problem is that nobody should mess with an important server at 10 am. Changes should be made when the CEO is at his weekend resort and the customers are least likely to browse the company website.

Jan Derk
Thursday, January 29, 2004

You should not do this kind of unproven upgrade on a live server. This is mostly your fault because you allowed it.

B.Y.
Thursday, January 29, 2004


You let people upgrade a live server with a new version with out testing it first?

njkayaker
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Why were you letting them screw with a client-facing, user-facing, production machine anyway?  At the very least, make them run a duplicate of the main directory on port 8080 until it's working or something.

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, January 29, 2004

I hope the manager at my bank lets those eager young bucks upgrade their transaction processing system.  I mean, c'mon that thing is running Cobol, do you know how outdated that is?  Better get it on .net post haste.

Mike
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Sounds like you and your H1-B's simply aren't experienced in dealing with upgrading when it comes to production situations. As a manager, i'm suprised you'd even let them go through with the upgrade on a whim. From my experience, any type of upgrading on production systems must go through some sort of change management and thorough testing in a simulation environment.

Ian Ashley
Thursday, January 29, 2004

"I decided today I would let them embark on their obsession and upgrade our Server to Apache v2.0"

...lets talk about where the stupidity lies then...

No backup?  No initial testing?  you allowed them to upgrade your working server in the middle of the morning without a fallback plan?

If I had to decide which of you lot to fire, it would be _you_

FullNameRequired
Thursday, January 29, 2004

This is completely your own fault for allowing them to make the change.  Whatever happened to the buck stops here?

Also, I've worked with tons of Americans who would have just as stupidly wanted to do the upgrade.  This has nothing to do with culture-clash or the fact that they happen to be H1-Bs.

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, January 29, 2004

--
A secondary problem is that nobody should mess with an important server at 10 am. Changes should be made when the CEO is at his weekend resort and the customers are least likely to browse the company website.
--

I agree with this. Anyone signing off on a 10am upgrade to a production server should not complain about the skills of others.

NathanJ
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Gee guys stop the flaming. Everyone makes mistakes. And as long as one learns that's all right.

<quote>
Anyone signing off on a 10am upgrade to a production server should not complain about the skills of others.
</quote>

Could be worse: I have seen system adminstrators start server breaking upgrades at 4 pm and go home.

Jan Derk
Thursday, January 29, 2004

"I decided today I would let them embark on their obsession and upgrade our Server to Apache v2.0 ( It seems to be their strange obsession with Apache.org). So around ***** 10am  *****"

And you are a MANAGER? Jeez!!! ever heard about change control? If I were your manager, I would discipline you for your lack of responsibility and accountability.

cosmo kramer
Thursday, January 29, 2004

<quote>
A secondary problem is that nobody should mess with an important server at 10 am. Changes should be made when the CEO is at his weekend resort and the customers are least likely to browse the company website.

I agree with this. Anyone signing off on a 10am upgrade to a production server should not complain about the skills of others.
</quote>

Huh? The timing of doing these sorts of things all depends on the situation. In this case 10AM was probably not the best timing considering the business and nature of the upgrade. However, in my situation, 8AM-10AM in the beginning of the work week is the BEST time to do drastic upgrades.

Ian Ashley
Thursday, January 29, 2004

"However, in my situation, 8AM-10AM in the beginning of the work week is the BEST time to do drastic upgrades. "

We are not talking about your situation are we?

cosmo kramer
Thursday, January 29, 2004


(As far as flames go, this is pretty tame.)

Yes, every body makes mistakes. Though, it's not at all clear that the original poster thinks he made one (or more).

It's the extreme arrogance of the original poster that is so irksome.

What an astonishing way to give himself the opportunity to basically say "see, I was right".

Strange.

njkayaker
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Actually, considering that the original poster is being forced to train *his own replacements*, this was actually a good idea.

"Well, they took two hours, lost us money, and never got it working. I fixed it in 15 minutes. Why'd you want to get rid of me again?"

Sounds like it might have been the right thing to do.

Chris Tavares
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Apperently, some of you are missing my point, or I neglected to explain.

I am currently training these two bozos to take my job. They came over here from India with every A++ known to man (Allegedly), but thus far have not demonstrated squat  Except inaptability. So I just gave them the rope.

As for timing of Upgrade. I agree, But then again with Managements, No overtime policy. Well that narrows it down a bit.

As for testing Apache out before I upgrade it. I Agree. But remember these Two bozos are IT after I get the pink slip when MGMT thinks they are capable. So might as well give them enough rope now to hang themselves. Soon I won't be there and it will be thier show.

JS
Thursday, January 29, 2004

"Actually, considering that the original poster is being forced to train *his own replacements*, this was actually a good idea."

ahh....so it _wasn't_ a tale meant to illustrate the stupidity and incompetence of his fellow workers, it was a tale intended to demonstrate the way in which the OP is tricking and manipulating his fellow workers to make himself look good.

actually, it reads a lot better in that light :)

FullNameRequired
Thursday, January 29, 2004

You described yourself as an incompetent superior eating jelly donuts and drinking coffee rather than being in control. 

Tom Vu
Thursday, January 29, 2004

I've noticed that a lot of folks with too many A++s are often bright but lacking in common sense.  You can have a 4.0 simply by having persistance, a modicum of intelligence, and not much else.

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, January 29, 2004

So two Indian guys came to America to take your job?  Or are they going back to India with their knowledge?  Why not fill a job in America with American workers?

Please explain.  It doesn't make sense.  I probably have something wrong here.


Thursday, January 29, 2004

JS,

Given the situation you have been placed in, kudos for handling it mercilessly and with a sense of humor and irony.

Everyone flaming and preaching is lacking humor and completely missing the point. You're being squeezed out by cheaper and ostensibly "superior" workers. So you're stepping out of the way to give Heckle and Jeckyll the rope they need to hang themselves "mighty fastly".

May your scumsucking employer get what they deserve when these idiots are finally in control of something important with no net.

Bored Bystander
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Oh, yeah. And congratulations on allowing these nimrods to do their damage during a period of the maximal visibility, late morning. That's good.

Anything you allowed to happen that others are aghast about should be viewed as a sarcastic payback to your management happening in real time. 

Bored Bystander
Thursday, January 29, 2004

well, he didn't mention anywhere that they were replacing him. he just said he was training them. the other problem with the story, is that it sounds like any IT bungler story anywhere.


Thursday, January 29, 2004

I know I'll get shit for this, but on the whole I prefer to avoid working with "full honors" 4.0 GPA types.  I'm completely stereotyping here, and I know it, but in my experience they tend to be soulless automatons, capable of doing a well-described job, but lacking in the creativity & innovation departments. 

The really creative types skipped a few classes and didn't turn in all their homework.  At least.. in my experience.

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Bored,

The major problem here is that his post assumes we were following his "continuing story".  If you read the original post not knowing he is training his replacements (which almost everyone did, since he never mentions it here), the story comes off in a vastly different light.

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Also, I (still) don't see what the replacements being H1-Bs has to do with anything.  As I mentioned in my first post to this thread, I know a lot of Americans who would have gladly done something just as stupid simply because they want to be running the cutting edge of everything, even when doing so is ill advised. 

Since we're already stereotyping... If anything, *my* experience with H1-Bs tends to suggest they are more often at the opposite end of the spectrum, and believe in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mantra to a fault.

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, January 29, 2004

>> I am currently training these two bozos to take my job
...
>> But remember these Two bozos are IT after I get the pink slip when MGMT thinks they are capable. So might as well give them enough rope now to hang themselves. Soon I won't be there and it will be thier show.
>> JS

Unless this post is forged, how much clearer can JS's situation be?

Bored Bystander
Thursday, January 29, 2004

BB, he posted that 18 posts after the original message.


Thursday, January 29, 2004

Maybe your first post cleared things up a bit, but...

--
As for timing of Upgrade. I agree, But then again with Managements, No overtime policy. Well that narrows it down a bit.
--

If there is no overtime then you take the morning off and stay late. Very simple.

I feel like Bella now. You seem like a whiny and lazy American that feels entitled to a job.

Maybe if you spent some time on "busywork" like upgrading to apace 2.0 your bosses would feel better about keeping you around?

NathanJ
Thursday, January 29, 2004

He's been told he's being replaced by two rather incompetent guys brought especially into the country for the purpose.  And he has to train them.  In my opinion he has a right to be as lazy and whiny as he wants.  He's taking this much better than I would since I would tend to resort to violence.


Thursday, January 29, 2004

>>However, in my situation, 8AM-10AM in the beginning of the work week is the BEST time to do drastic upgrades

Agree. But make that a Sat or Sun, so you have plenty of time to fix things before people show up on Monday :-)

And like several people said above, drastic upgrades require _planning_, ie. never to be done to a live server before it's been tested and validated on test servers, with real data.

FredF
Friday, January 30, 2004

FredF, are you saying that the OP should have come in on the weekend for some unpaid overtime fighting fires not of his own making when he was already training his replacements in advance of his own layoff?

Tony Chang
Friday, January 30, 2004

So JS are we supposed to sympathize with you? what's the deal dude?

Cosmo Kramer
Friday, January 30, 2004

I would have thought the deal was pretty obvious. I sympathise with the plight of JS and consider the anecdotes useful comment on business practices.


Friday, January 30, 2004


I didn't read the original post by JS where he explains his whole predicament. I can't believe any company would just bring in two people to replace one person and tell the first person they were being laid off. There has to be more to the story.

From what I've heard so far I still say JS is being lazy and whiny. He takes no responsibility to improve the situation  so I don't feel sorry for him. In fact, he makes the situation worse by letting two newbies do a production upgrade in the middle of the day.

NathanJ
Friday, January 30, 2004

How does that make the situation worse? Seems that anything to help them makes his personal situation worse and anything to let them hang themselves while conclusively demonstrating their own incompetance makes him look better.

Hey this is the New Economy. You gotta look out for #1.

Lookout
Friday, January 30, 2004

If you remember JS claimed that his job was being taken by H1B's payed $15,000 a year.

Who does he expect to believe that?

Might be an idea if he remembered there are two of the others. Why was the server down? "Well, we wanted to do the job outside of work hours for this very reason, but JS insisted we did it at 10.am, didn't he?"

Stephen Jones
Saturday, January 31, 2004

NathanJ,

You say you doubt JS's story because a company wouldn't replace someone and also tell him he's being replaced and require him to train them.

The sad fact is that precisely this thing is and has been occurring all over the place. There are many documented cases. Search on Siemens and Mike Emmons for one well known case.

If you don't know about any of this stuff, you should learn.


Saturday, January 31, 2004

NathanJ:

A common tactic is to tell someone they are getting liad off, but make the severance pay contingent on them staying long enough to train their replacement(s).

Still, this story only makes sense if the H-1Bs are going back to India after their training.  Because unless JS was making over $100K, it's not going to be cheaper to hire two H-1B replacements who remain in the US.

T. Norman
Saturday, January 31, 2004

Norman, how do you figure?

You do know that they removed the unenforced 'requirement' that prevailing wage be paid right?

Lookout
Saturday, January 31, 2004

Maybe "H1-B" was being used in a generic sense to mean an Indian guy. They could be employees of an Indian company based in America, on an L1 visa and getting paid Indian pay-rates of maybe $15,000 each.


Monday, February 02, 2004

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