While teaching my kids life's various lessons, I've always thought it was more effective if I could relate a real-life experience to what I was trying to teach them. As luck would have it, the IT industry has afforded me a good many opportunities to pass on valuable lessons to my children.
One key example came up a few years ago after my son had gotten in trouble at school for lying. It was a he-said-I-said situation, and he ended up getting punished for something another boy had done because the teacher believed the other student and not him.
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Several years earlier, while I was still a mainframe operator, a manager called me at home one morning and told me that I had to come in that afternoon for a mandatory meeting -- and not to speak to any other employees before coming in. I had no idea what the meeting could be about.
The only major problem we'd had recently was an issue that had happened on my day off, and all I could assume was that they were hoping I could provide some insight on it. A couple of days earlier, the main production region for our largest client was brought down in the middle of the day. With no warning their entire workday came crashing to a halt. It ended up being a simple issue to recover, but the unexpected crash resulted in at least $250,000 in penalties and a political nightmare for our upper management. From what I had heard, they still had no idea how or why the region was brought down, although the client was screaming for blood.
As soon as I walked into the conference room that afternoon, I discovered that they had indeed found out not only how the region was brought down, but who they thought did it: me. In the hours following the fiasco, the support teams had looked at the logs and found where I had logged in, issued a command that would bring down the region, then immediately logged out. The managers were insisting that I tell them why I did it. Since the incident occurred on my day off, my mind was racing to figure out what had happened, and I asked that they show me the logs. They told me that they'd be crazy to give access to someone who had brought down our largest client, but they did admit that they thought it was completely out of character for me. They finally agreed and allowed me to log into the system with someone standing over my shoulder.