Long hours are a downside of IT work

This is not a complaint, but rather just sharing one of the downsides of IT work. You sometimes have to do long hours, and nothing can prevent that.

In my career there have been many times where I have had to stay after hours or the weekend to get things done. Some things unfortunately are so disruptive, that you can’t do them while people are working. You can’t ask people not to work, so of course you have to do it off-hours.

While it is nice to be able to get things done, it can be discouraging at times. Sometimes it means that you don’t get to relax on the weekend, and that makes the following week more difficult. Often it also means that these big projects uncover smaller issues, and that increases the work load as well.

I have worked at no company that has had parallel systems. I have often advocated for backup or parallel systems to be available. Every manager has not wanted to pay for what they consider wasted equipment. With a system that has a backup of everything, you can simply go to the backup and then make changes on the main system. To me, this reliability and cost savings is so obvious I don’t understand why every company doesn’t do it.

Too many companies I have worked for, have had their production system fail and they haven’t had a backup. I don’t understand this kind of thinking. Not everything can be quickly configured. Indeed, many networks and businesses have very complex setups and require specialized equipment. When those fail, it is not a matter of going down to Best Buy to pick up a replacement. In every business I have worked for, critical things had no replacement. This to me, is a terrible way to run a business.

However I don’t make the decisions, just advise on what is the most reliable, safe and cost effective way. Most companies are just holding together by a string. You wouldn’t know this unless you worked in IT.

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