May 10, 2011
I don't have kids, which for whatever reason, makes me hyper-aware that people who do always seem to talk about their kids. Like, a lot. It's "Bobby did this", or "Janie said that", or whatever. On a scientific, detached level, I understand. You're proud of your offspring, and you want to discuss that with people. I get that. Heck, I've met most of my coworkers' kids, and I like them, so I don't mind hearing about them. But I've noticed that parents never really get tired of talking about them, and could probably do it for days straight. I've never really had that inclination.
replacement successor (my coworkers keep correcting me, despite my continued efforts) started today, and we began what I can only assume is a multiweek endeavor to have me teach him everything about the existing network.
I originally looked at this as sort of a necessary evil; something to get done so that the real work (by him) could get done later...but after a day, I may have to mentally change my tune. As it turns out, I'm way, way more annoying that even the most talkative parent with the most precocious child could ever be.
Since I'm essentially being paid to talk about my network to someone who is being paid to listen, I have no disincentives to stop, slow, or even hesitate. I'm in the middle of an hour long description of the file server architecture and you show interest in the previous attempts at cluster config? Heck yeah I'll spend another 20 minutes telling you in-depth how bad it sucked! Do I know what the run rate is on the filesystem growth for the user directories? Nope, lets find out! Oh, you want to hear about the Nagios config? Terrific! But lets pick up lunch first, because this is going to take a while. No, it's cool, I'll walk you through the basics on the elevator
Seriously, I talked about my infrastructure for four hours straight today. I have no excuse. I could probably have doubled that and not broken a sweat or gotten tired of hearing myself talk about our setup.
In th end, it all serves a purpose, and it's for the best that I pass on as much information as possible. Today was mostly an introduction to the general infrastructure layout, how the networks are arranged, and generally speaking, how the business of the company is conducted.
I'm working on "lesson plans", for lack of a better term, which will provide a structured path by which we can concentrate on a deep dive in a particular subject, and I can explain, from stem to stern, how the service or topic works. If I do it in the right order, the later lessons can build on earlier ones, and there's a better chance for retention.
I have less than a month to transfer everything I know about the infrastructure to my successor. This would all be much easier if we had one of those Matrix-style jacks in our heads.