We asked a Cloud Manager to keep a diary of his typical week. The opportunities, the threats, the opportunities for threats, the highs, the lows and the scary things they never warn you about on training courses...
Introducing Dave Docker, cloud manager
Hello I’m Dave, and this is my cloud dairy. Sorry, d.i.ar.y. There’s a bl**dy annoying autocorrupt feature on this gadget. You don’t get that with Office 365. Still, that’s the cloud manager’s burden. We can’t give our users the best brain food until we’ve tested every dish. Just in case it poisons the users. (Or, worse still, the database, which is far more important.)
Anyway, why should you care about my app testing challenges? You’re probably wondering how on earth I ended up in our local Accident and Emergency department.
It was just a brain scan, which is a routine precaution when any patient is stretchered in with their head in their hands, burbling, dribbling and making no sense. I’m often in this state in the pub after work, but at A&E or for our American friends ER, they take these symptoms more seriously. The nurse at the MRI unit said I was the third cloud manager she’d seen on her shift.
The doctors even have a name for it now. Repetitive Face Palm injury. The Health Service is thinking of commissioning a report. Apparently, it’s a condition typical to all service providers. It’s early days yet, but scientists have now defined the cause: The harder you work to make life simpler for users, the easier they think your job is. That’s known as the Usability Paradox. Make things easy for your clients, and they take you for granted. The more you give to users, the more they want! They think they can ramp you up, and scale you down, like you’re a cloud with infinite capacity. However, many cloud managers, as we shall see, are burstable. And not in the right way.
My week started with meeting requests. Hundreds of them. All flooding into my inbox like a denial of service attack.
Everyone’s a cloud expert now and they all want “A Meeting”. I’m starting to feel nostalgic for the time when IT lived in a glass house and nobody could get in. According to legend, the Computer Department had its own language that nobody could understand and everyone was too intimidated to ask questions. Now everyone’s fluent. There’s no going back now. The cloud genie is out of the box.
My meetings have multiplied more quickly than a spawn of virtual servers. It’s a bit like when a user discovers a new function and goes mad with it. My calendar fills faster than a garden with Japanese knotweed. Couldn’t they have left me with one window open? I’m suffocating here.
Sadly, my first meeting is with HR, which gives no scope to relax and switch off. They’re all trained to be good listeners, so they’re constantly asking me my opinion. What I really need is a non-stop talker who never lets me get a word in, so I can lie back, feign interest and daydream. Someone who’ll lay down a comforting blanket of monologue so it looks like I’m working. But unfortunately that won’t happen until 4pm, when I meet the Head of Sales.
We’ve gone through the Bring Your Own Device phase. They think they can buy what they want and I’m here to pick up the pieces if it goes wrong. Now everyone wants to bring their own cloud. Even if ‘they’ don’t know their AAS from their ego.
Don’t get me wrong, Dear Diary, I like to help people. That’s why I’m in IT. We IT people are nothing if not problem solvers for others. We don’t want to direct finances, trade stocks or splice genes, we just want to help you do it more ruthlessly. My job is to save you time or save you money. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans…