The same co-worker who couldn’t do RIPE assignments asked me for information he needs to create a schematic in Visio for the logical and network layout of one customers’ servers. We don’t know much about these machines, as the guy who was responsible for them resigned without leaving much in the way of documentation.

This leaves me as the most knowledgeable about this project, and my knowledge is based on what this guy told me in a few short meetings and phone calls, the very inadequate notes he left, and the few incidents / customer requests we had since then. Of course all of this has been comitted to our documentation repository.

So this guy comes to me and begins drawing a little sketch on paper, marking all the information he needs with questionmarks.

  • name of firewall
  • reverse proxy backend system ip’s
  • and the ip of an ftp server the customer uploads data to from one server

Okay, the IP of that ftp server he can’t know. Firewall? Check our IP lists. Reverse proxy target systems? Check the server documentation.

He spent more time asking me and sketching than it would have taken him to open the relevant documentation and extracting the needed information himself. On top of that, I now have to make the effort to extract all the information, put it into a nice readable list, and so on.

It’s of course a problem to find this documentation if you haven’t looked into our documentation repository in months, and if you have the technical knowledge of an MCP. This is the same guy who earlier in the day didn’t know how to check out a repository from CVS and then asked how to set up an SSH tunnel with PuTTY. Go figure.

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