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pjf (2464)

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I run Perl Training Australia [].

I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.

Journal of pjf (2464)

Friday July 30, 2004
11:06 PM

Working with (superhuman) people

[ #20155 ]

As I run a business, I get a lot of people telling me that if I have any work left over, that they're more than willing to take on the load in return for an additional source of income. These offers come in all three main areas of our business -- programming, sysadmin, and training. I'm very happy with this situation, it provides me with a greater range of opportunities. I like opportunities.

However, I very rarely take these individuals up on their offers, despite us often having a huge amount of work that we need to deal with. However it was only the other day when I realised why.

I tend to be very fussy and particular, and quite disinclined to hand work to anyone if I feel that I can do a better job myself. I'm even disinclined to let our accountant fill out the tax returns, instead I just mine them for knowledge.

This means that for me to offer work to another person, they need to have repeatedly demonstrated almost superhuman powers in their area of expertise. I want them to be able to do their job much better than I could possibly do it.

This isn't necessarily the best way to do business. Most of our clients don't know and probably don't care about the difference between well-written code and poorly-written code. Most of them don't even know what a sysadmin does, let alone if they're doing a good job of it.

It does, however, mean that I can sleep easily at night -- and that's worth quite a bit to me. It also means that when there's a close call, like a border-gateway machine with a completely corrupted filesystem, that I can trust the matter to be resolved effectively and efficiently. That allows me to spend the day doing more enjoyable things, like income tax. That's what happened yesterday.

Yesterday was SysAdmin Appreciation Day, and I really appreciate all the hard work that our two super-human sysadmins, Ian and Daniel have put in during the time that I've had the pleasure to be working with them. I hope to be able to get them down to a pub and buy a few rounds of drinks in the near future.

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