by Charles Robinson in Feature Articles on 2015-08-13
Robert was proud of the system diagnostic and monitoring setup he architected, despite his manager Jim's weird insistence that it be done with XMPP. Their company was responsible for managing network infrastructure at a variety of customer sites, so each customer ran a network monitor that used an off-the-shelf Jabber client to phone home. That central XMPP server itself was Ejabberd and would communicate with all remote nodes via SSL, happily returning information that no one but Robert and his team could read. In order to prevent other nodes from talking to each other, they were only buddied with the central XMPP server. It was the "perfect" setup.
As tends to happen with people who do good work, Robert got pulled away from his XMPP system to save another project from sinking. It would continue to work well enough on its own without much hand-holding. When new nodes needed to be added to the system, that duty fell to Robert's coworker Jens. He kept complaining that it was too much work to pair the new nodes with the XMPP server, but Robert brushed it off because for someone like Jens, tying his shoes was too much work.
Jens had been mysteriously quiet about the XMPP setup duties for a while, before he randomly shouted "I just showed you up, Bobby!" one day. Robert assumed he accomplished something meaningless like topping the office high score in Tetris. "Since your XMPP system is so hard to maintain, I took the opportunity to make some improvements! No more painful setup!"