Outsourcing sucks. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again.

About 14 months ago, my company – a large corporation of some 90000+ employees – started to outsource tasks in the IT department (where I work, naturally) to a city in Eastern Europe. The guys who were hired there are nice, and we all get along well with them and like them. They are also of some help now and then. But some of their work methods really leave a lot to desire.

Case in point: On Friday, they were supposed to add a configuration to an internal SMTP Relay server. Simple stuff really. They had asked for a change window for 16:00 – 17:00. Fine.

Today, a co worker relates what all went wrong.

They started at 15:30. From 15:35 to 16:15, the server was basically down because they forgot to run postmap over the new hash list, and postfix began to refuse starting smtpd processes. Fortunately, it was noticed “quickly”, and wasn’t down the whole weekend. Postfix dumped dozens of warnings and errors into the logfile, why didn’t they just check it? Why didn’t they do a manual test after adding the new configuration?

And on top of it all, the change window was not even approved.

I mean, isn’t that what every geek learns from years of fiddling? Check the log. Test your config. No matter how sure you are you did everything correctly, you will have a typo somewhere.

So the end result is I have 30 minutes or more of calls and emails and trying to reconstruct what actually happened, instead of doing the change in 5 minutes myself.

Outsourcing, the greatest idiocy IT companies ever came up with.

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