Shaking the Money Tree

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715079

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Shaking the Money Tree

  • Someguy

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2207

    Maybe it's a question of how large your company is. In the small companies I've seen, developers are expected to administrate. Admins are seen as unnecesary overhead. The same with admin tools. They're expensive and management tends to say, "Can't you just do it yourself?" The larger the company, the more the admins tend to become fixtures. Developers come and go. Since the focus goes to admins, tools that make administration efficient are better received.

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  • David Fulton-420388

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 229

    I am relatively new to IT, so my opinion is more from other areas and you may want to take it with a grain of salt. However, I think that IT development falls in the "generator" (my term) category and IT admin falls into the "maintainor" (my term) category.

    "Generators" include people/groups who's work product has a quantifiable value. They include people such as salesreps, attorneys and developers. Their work product either directly generates revenue for the company, or is essential to the business. For example, software developers might deliver a product that a client is purchasing, or one that will improve a group's ability to perform their jobs. They are high-profile and often risk takers.

    "Maintainors" include people/groups who's work product has a value that is not easily quantifiable. They are the grunts who perform a myriad of tasks, some of which might be mundane. Their work product is essential to continued business operations, but it is difficult to measure that value. They tend to be low-profile.

    In my experience, companies generally invest the most resources (tools, salaries, etc.) in the high-profile, risk taking, "generators" who's contribution to the bottom line is easily quantifiable.

    For what it's worth.

    Best regards,

    Dave Fulton

  • Charles Kincaid

    SSChampion

    Points: 13593

    I also see the "size matters" analysis. In the large company I worked for we had an IT department. They kept the internal network running, exchange, backups, and the like. I've worked for smaller companies where there were no departments at all. The VP would answer the phone and take supplies orders from customers.

    It seems easier for management to spend money on production assistance rather than management assistance. In the first case they can see that this should allow for more work to get done. If the administrations can be eased by a tool then we would need less of an administrator.

    Sort of comes down to are you a profit center or an expense centre? (spelled both ways on purpose) This is not restricted to IT. Working as a consultant, or vendor, you wind up working in other peoples spaces. Typically they stick us in the conference room to work. We are all huddled in the corner working. Then they decide that that they have to go ahead with the meeting and so hold the session around us. We have the confidentiality agreements in place, right? So I'm not violating that. It's a broad spectrum observation from the fly on the wall.

    ATBCharles Kincaid

  • GSquared

    SSC Guru

    Points: 260824

    David Fulton (6/5/2009)


    I am relatively new to IT, so my opinion is more from other areas and you may want to take it with a grain of salt. However, I think that IT development falls in the "generator" (my term) category and IT admin falls into the "maintainor" (my term) category.

    "Generators" include people/groups who's work product has a quantifiable value. They include people such as salesreps, attorneys and developers. Their work product either directly generates revenue for the company, or is essential to the business. For example, software developers might deliver a product that a client is purchasing, or one that will improve a group's ability to perform their jobs. They are high-profile and often risk takers.

    "Maintainors" include people/groups who's work product has a value that is not easily quantifiable. They are the grunts who perform a myriad of tasks, some of which might be mundane. Their work product is essential to continued business operations, but it is difficult to measure that value. They tend to be low-profile.

    In my experience, companies generally invest the most resources (tools, salaries, etc.) in the high-profile, risk taking, "generators" who's contribution to the bottom line is easily quantifiable.

    For what it's worth.

    Best regards,

    Dave Fulton

    That's a really good way of expressing it.

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  • GSquared

    SSC Guru

    Points: 260824

    The tendency I see, regardless of the size of the company, is that devs are more visible and their tools do have a more immediate and visible return-on-investment, while admins are sort of the janitors of the IT world. Nobody notices they're there, till the toilets back up.

    How many homeowners buy a plunger till that occurs at least once? "Well, honey, we just bought our new dream home, and we need to shop for furniture, decorations, and a plunger." Just not seeing that. Same thing for small businesses and their IT admin, both personnel and tools.

    A larger, better established business, with a janitorial staff, might have things like pipe-snakes, workshops, even welding torches. Same for IT.

    - Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
    Property of The Thread

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  • doohickeyjones

    SSC Rookie

    Points: 34

    Someguy (6/5/2009)


    Maybe it's a question of how large your company is. In the small companies I've seen, developers are expected to administrate.

    That's how it is for me. Often, of course, the non technical staff and management don't even understand that there is even a difference between 'Development' and 'Administrative'. They assume anyone in IT can do anything with 'computers'.

    Where I am at, I am the network admin, database admin, domain admin, database developer, PC Tech, etc...

    I am lucky, at least, in that I can usually buy whatever tools I want. The tradeoff to them not understanding the complexities or differences between duties and systems is that they also don't question what I need a tool for and say, "You can just do that yourself", or "That is for software development, and we sell office chairs".

    Maybe someday I'll end up back in a shop large enough to draw lines between Admin and Development...but I seem to always land in places where the distinction is only in the mind of the very few people actually performing the functions.

  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104200

    GSquared (6/5/2009)


    The tendency I see, regardless of the size of the company, is that devs are more visible and their tools do have a more immediate and visible return-on-investment, while admins are sort of the janitors of the IT world. Nobody notices they're there, till the toilets back up.

    quote]

    I think I've just been insulted, but I'm not sure....................:-)

    george (admin thru and thru)

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  • andrew_stevenson

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 117

    Could also be historic. Coming originally from a mainframe & unix background before the MS revolution, us Admins used to write our own tools, scripts, programs. I also used to write tools for the developers to help with compiling their code and version control etc.

  • David Fulton-420388

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 229

    GSquared (6/5/2009)


    ... while admins are sort of the janitors of the IT world. Nobody notices they're there, till the toilets back up.

    This is compounded by the fact that when the toilets do back up, management often assumes that it happened because the admins dropped the ball.

    Best regards,

    Dave Fulton

  • katedgrt

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1197

    andrew_stevenson (6/5/2009)


    Could also be historic. Coming originally from a mainframe & unix background before the MS revolution, us Admins used to write our own tools, scripts, programs. I also used to write tools for the developers to help with compiling their code and version control etc.

    This is an excellent point. Developers, especially fresh ones (in my experience), are always hot for the new tools; while administrators, especially experienced ones, are more apt to want to know the down and dirty details of how to do something. Another point might be that it is harder to design a friendly tool that provides the level of detailed understanding of a system required for competent administration; by the time you master all the various aspects of a new tool you might as well have just gone to the root system and written a script to provide you exactly what you needed in the first place. In SQL Server, as in most dbms's, there already exists a variety of ways to look at the state of the system, whether that's SSMS, the config tools provided, dm views, powershell scripting, profiler, whatever. Being a data architect/SQL developer, I've only seen a few demos of admin tools, but I've seen nothing that really adds the ease and value I would expect for the kind of investment required. Plus most of them add at least some overhead to the system, which is undesirable in the mid-sized environments I've been working in lately where the SQL capacity is usually pushed to avoid incurring additional licensing fees.

    Discuss ๐Ÿ˜€

    ๐Ÿ˜Ž Kate The Great :w00t:
    If you don't have time to do it right the first time, where will you find time to do it again?

  • David Fulton-420388

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 229

    GSquared (6/5/2009)


    David Fulton (6/5/2009)


    In my experience, companies generally invest the most resources (tools, salaries, etc.) in the high-profile, risk taking, "generators" who's contribution to the bottom line is easily quantifiable.

    For what it's worth.

    Best regards,

    Dave Fulton

    That's a really good way of expressing it.

    Thanks!

    Dave

  • katedgrt

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1197

    katedgrt (6/5/2009)


    andrew_stevenson (6/5/2009)


    Could also be historic. Coming originally from a mainframe & unix background before the MS revolution, us Admins used to write our own tools, scripts, programs. I also used to write tools for the developers to help with compiling their code and version control etc.

    .... Plus most of them add at least some overhead to the system, which is undesirable in the mid-sized environments I've been working in lately where the SQL capacity is usually pushed to avoid incurring additional licensing fees....

    Which also goes back to the size of the enterprise equation, where an admin with 30 servers might not have time to do the detailed work himself that an admin with 3 servers can.

    ๐Ÿ˜Ž Kate The Great :w00t:
    If you don't have time to do it right the first time, where will you find time to do it again?

  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104200

    David Fulton (6/5/2009)


    GSquared (6/5/2009)


    ... while admins are sort of the janitors of the IT world. Nobody notices they're there, till the toilets back up.

    This is compounded by the fact that when the toilets do back up, management often assumes that it happened because the admins dropped the ball.

    Best regards,

    Dave Fulton

    ......when we all know its devs who are not toilet trained. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104200

    treating the subject with the seriousness it deserves..........

    tools for developers are seen as a way of improving quality, accuracy and productivity.

    tools for admins managers are interested if it is seen as a possible way to improve productivity only, and therefore get more done with less and so reduce admin headcount longer term. (In management speak they call it releasing you to do more interesting project work)

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