Tunnel Rat posted on July 20, 2008 16:34

I once worked at a place that was a converted nightclub.

Green concrete floors. Disco ball. Speakers hanging from the rafters. A bar that served as a break room and kitchen, even stocked with booze.

A stage that had been turned into two large offices with four workstations in each one. The sys admin worked in a DJ booth upstairs, and it overlooked the cubicles that had been built on what used to be the dance floor. He kept a few tropical fish tanks in his office. I called him Fishboy.

Very hip. Trendy. Dot-com chic. Young staff. Casual attire – t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. A half-mile walk to the beach.

Wow, how cool, you might be thinking.

Yeah, cool -- if you like working without specs, version control, a stable network, a QA environment, and some of the other luxuries found in a decent IT shop.

When I first started, I shared an office with two other developers. It took me a few hours to realize that I couldn’t run a local web server, because I didn’t have local admin rights to my own workstation.

“Uh-uh, the network guy (Fishboy) doesn’t allow it,” one of the other guys said. “Said people will load stuff on their system and shit, so he just locks them down.

“Did you guys tell him that you need to run local web site to properly develop in .NET?” I asked.

They shrugged. “Uh, we’ve been asking for a long time. But he’s the owner’s brother. Enough said.”

Nice. The owner’s brother ran the network, and didn’t care what the developers wanted. I’d have to try to persuade him.

“And what’s the deal with SourceSafe? You guys don’t use version control?” I asked.

“We used to code everything in PHP. You don’t need version control with that. I just made copies of my source files.”


“But since you’re doing everything in .NET, you can use SourceSafe, right?”

“Yeah. But Fishboy won’t let us set up the archives database on the network. Says it would take up too much disk space,” one of the guys told me.

Man, this was going to be weird….

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