Charles Robinson

Charles Robinson has done a little bit of everything in the IT world since getting an internship at age 16. He currently holds a position as an IT Security Analyst at a company in Wisconsin. He has maintained comedic writing as a hobby throughout, writing for various websites, blogs, and now The Daily WTF. When not neutralizing hackers or writing, he enjoys drinking beer, gaming, and attending heavy metal concerts.

Robot Anarchy

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Chaz had a pretty sweet gig as a software architect at a tech-based toy company. Being able to play around with computers AND toys all day wasn't terrible, but the pot got even sweeter when his company licensed a cool robotic product from a certain Danish toy company that specializes in small, colorful bricks. Chaz was happy to become the lead platform architect for this exciting new initiative.

The intended outcome was to make the robots consumer-programmable via an interface with a smartphone app. Chaz had grand ideas for how he wanted to build the app and backend from the ground up with stability, performance, and security as the main pillars. That dream was dashed by Stellan, the CFO-turned-CTO, who insisted they develop against the same in-house platform they'd been using for over a decade. Chaz argued with Stellan until he was blue in the face, but Stellan scoffed at him, "I don't care if smartphones didn't even exist when our platform was designed. The cost of building a whole new one would be astronomical. We want a quick turnaround and high profit margin on these robots!" Stellan clearly showed he was far more qualified to be a CFO than CTO.


The Ballad of Bart

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Alvin had the fortune of working with an exceptional talent while he was employed at Virtucon. Bart knew how to do everything from desktop support to software development to database administration to IT security. Not only was he proficient in all of them, he also knew them better than those with many years of experience.

Bart had been with Virtucon since the early days, racking up nearly 20 years of tenure. During this time, he 'mastered' everything and asserted himself to the point that no changes could happen without his approval. His changes were auto-approved because of course any idea he had was a good one. This led to myriad problems for fellow IT people like Alvin, who were hired after Bart.


Calculated Security

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Carl C spent some time in the late 1980's at a software firm that developed avionics and global positioning systems for military and civilian customers. In their employ, he frequently visited Schlockdeed Corp, a customer with a contract to develop a new generation of jet fighters for the US military. Due to the top secret nature of their work, security was a big deal there.

Whenever Carl entered or left the facility, he had to pass through the security office to get clearance. They would thoroughly inspect his briefcase, jacket, lunchbox, and just about everything short of a full cavity search. Despite the meticulous nature of daily inspections at Schlockdeed, some of their "security measures" bordered on the absurd.


A Mean Game of Pong

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Mark J spent some time as a contractor in the Supply & Inventory division of a Big Government Agency. He helped with the coding efforts on an antiquated requisition system, although as he would come to find, his offers to help went unappreciated.

Ameprod game console, displaying a Pong game
By Wojciech Pędzich


A Dark Cloud Looming

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Buford was a contract developer working at a mid-sized financial firm. He had just wrapped up a lengthy project and was looking for something new to sink his teeth into. Tanner, the manager in his area, tasked him with moving their implementation of Jenkins into "this great new thing they call The Cloud."

Tanner recently returned from a conference with a bunch of swag from a company called PuffyCloud. They claimed to have the easiest cloud-based implementation of Jenkins in the business. "It's pretty much just a copy-paste job according to this whitepaper they gave me. Take a look, create some user stories, and have it done by the end of the next sprint," Tanner instructed.


The Hardcode to Success

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Rodrigo was but a simple software development intern eager to prove himself. He would always volunteer for the menial tasks that nobody else wanted to do. "Nobody else" mainly consisted of Justin, Rodrigo's supervisor. Justin wasn't a big fan of doing stuff so he was glad to have an intern that was ready and willing.

Justin got a request from the network administrators to create a system status application to interface with their servers. They wanted to receive alert emails every hour on the hour if anything on the servers had a conniption. If everything was ok, maintain radio silence. To do this, a simple app would need to be created to pass system health check results to Pushbullet, which would take care of sending the alerts. Rodrigo didn't even wait for Justin to finish. "I'll do it!"


SLA-p the Salesman

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A Service-Level Agreement (SLA) is meant to ensure customer issues receive the attention they deserve based on severity. It also protects the support company from having customers breathing down their neck for frivolous issues. All of the parameters are agreed upon in writing ahead of time and both sides know the expectations. That is, until a salesman starts to meddle and mess things up, as happened at the place Dominick worked for.

Dominick was a simple remote support tech who fixed things for clients well ahead of the SLA. On the rare occasion there was a priority 1 issue - something stopping anyone in the company from doing work - they had 24 hours to fix it before large monetary penalties would start to rack up. One Friday a priority 4 issue (5 business day SLA) came in from the CFO of a new client. The ticket was assigned to Dominick, who had higher priority work to do for other clients, so he decided it could wait until the following week.

Canon ir2270

Old Lennart

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Gustav's tech support job became a whole lot easier when remote support technology took off. Instead of having to slowly describe the remedy for a problem to a computer-illiterate twit, he could connect to their PC and fix it himself. The magical application known as TeamViewer was his new best friend.

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