I have been a programer for close to 20 years now. I've recently taken a contracting assignment in which I have run into behavior that I'm trying to determine is either intentional or , through ignorance, sure looks like.
I'm working for a medium size company with a limited IT staff. Over the last several months of the project, I have been dealing with very interesting circumstances the likes I've never seen before.
The issue is the person at this company who handles the networking is constantly tweaking the network environment during the day and as a result the environment is very unstable. What he is actually doing, I don't know because they won't let me know.
Some of the issues I have run into. 5 times the local web server on my development system and Visual Studio project I can no longer connect to. Without getting to many details, in most cases I found permissions turned off, services changed, ports being blocked, IIS settings changed, etc. Sometimes I'll be in Query Analyzer and all of sudden get ODBC errors. And can no longer log into the database even with the sa account.
Or I'll try to create a project in VSS and can't connect to the server from my client desktop. One time, I was researching a problem on this very site and later that day the site was blocked from our firewall. Then all of the other websites including MSDN were blocked.
As you can imagine, we've had some heated discussions. My problem with this situation is I don't have time to track down what has been changed every day and do my job.
I've talked to management and explained I've never seen a network or a set of issues at the pace they occur.
Now I know no environment is not perfect, but one shouldn't come in on a Monday morning and find you can't connect to your development server and then the network guy comes in and says I'll have a look at it and all of sudden you can connect to the server.
This isn't once or twice a month. This is everyday 3 or 4 things go on. I've observed from a doorway this guy poking around in ISA and other network programs during business hours.
The problem is the other people at the company are not technical. So, trying to explain to them, these issues are normal doesn't go very far. However, many of them are irritated with these things too.
For months we dealt with terrible network performance and the problems were blamed on our website. I finally took it upon myself to set up a copy of the website on my development system and then install a NIC card and connect to and showed a manager it's not the code. Sure enough, eventually the problem was fixed once I escalated the issue to management in IT several levels higher.
During this project, the codebase of my development system was changed over the weekend several times. One time severly. The Sourcesafe was corrupt, etc. When I check the logs of the development system, I find several hours of logs are constantly removed during late night hours. There are no entries after these episodes.
I've tried to be nice about all these things even suggesting and offering my help. When your a contractor, however; you have to dance a lot more delicately around workplace/political issues.
I've gotten to the point, where I mocked up a development database at home and set up my website at home and work after hours to keep on schedule because of this nonsense.
I have been instructed to find tangible evidence of malfeasance before they can do something.
General ? to the community, have you ever had such a problem with a person like this and how did you go about working towards a positive solution. And I have tried to non-chalantly talk this person about these problems.