Users never mess with the system

I’m still in Vegas, and this city is crazy. But it’s funny, us people in IT have a thing or two to learn from these people in gambling business. We have all been hearing from our customers how they want their systems reliable, available, and so. Well, what I’ve been seeing here for the past two days is a highly-available 24/7 service with full redundancy and failover clustering all in place. There are roulette and blackjack tables and slot machines in every free square foot, so it’s pretty darn scalable, too. There is zero downtime, entertainment never stops, and that’s pretty much the reason I write this post now, instead of sleeping. I almost feel the music is louder by the minute, probably proportionally so to how sleepy I am. I’m too old for this sh*t.

Well, in such circumstances, I wonder how could I possibly write something useful, so allow me one more not-completely-off-topic post. A joke. An IT joke.

(Anyway, I wanted to write a decent post, but cannot manage to complete it, it is about version management, and I’ll publish it in a day or two, when I finally get home, where whole city doesn’t need to know if someone else is having fun at 3AM).

So, there was a group of psychologists who were doing a research on how people behave in certain situations, so they took a veterinarian, a mathematician and a user of information systems for testing. They brought them to a room, one by one, and in the room there was nothing but a chair and a glass horse in the middle. Vet goes inside first, they let him sit there for an hour, then take him out. When asked what he did while inside, he replied:

– I sat for a while, then I got bored, and started analyzing that horse. Since I am a vet, I know a few things about horses, so I can tell you this was a state-of-the art sculpture, anatomically perfect, so I really had fun inside analyzing it.

Mathematician goes next. An hour goes by, they take him out and ask him what he did. He says:

– Oh, I was really enjoying myself. First it was kinda boring, then I figured I could try to calculate the surface area of the horse, so I put down all those integrals to paper, and had quite fun calculating until you guys took me out.

Last, they put the user of information systems in. A minute goes by, then all of a sudden dreadful noise breaks from the room. The psychologists rush into the room, and there is the user, standing in the middle of the room with innocent look on his face, and what used to be horse is now lying down on the floor in thousands of pieces.

– What happened? – ask the psychologists.

– I don’t know – says the user – I didn’t touch a thing.


Vjeko has been writing code for living since 1995, and he has shared his knowledge and experience in presentations, articles, blogs, and elsewhere since 2002. Hopelessly curious, passionate about technology, avid language learner no matter human or computer.

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