Yabba dabba doo!

Sorry to tell you, but the automation works better.

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Fish is being onboarded as a software engineer and has to download the code repository and start building it. But in checking the setup guide, he can’t find any instructions on what user credentials to use to log in. This seems like something he should be able to figure out, so he trolls through multiple document systems (internal websites, Google documents and wikis) until he finds an old document that says to use his username as both username and password for version control access. That’s easy enough — but it doesn’t work. Fish gets a message saying his account wasn’t found or the password didn’t match.

Time to submit a help desk ticket. And the explanation is simple. IT had neglected to run the script that created an account for fish in the version control system. Ten minutes after submitting the ticket, fish is in at last.

Three days later, though, he can’t connect again. Fish files another help desk ticket. This time, the support person sheepishly comes by a few minutes later. He explains that the script simply appends “username:username” to the end of a plaintext file on the server. When fish had submitted his ticket three days earlier, this support guy had opted to do this manually rather than run the script. Unfortunately, he neglected to add a new blank line after fish’s entry. When the next person was onboarded, a different support person simply ran the script and it appended that new person’s information to the end of fish’s row.

In other words, when the script was run for the new hire, fish’s username and password went from “fflintstone:fflintstone” to “fflintstonebrubble:brubble.”

Notes fish, “I would have had no way of knowing my new password without knowing who the next arrival was.” But once again, the fix is easy. The support guy adds a line between the two entries, and fish is good to go again.

Says fish: “I just hope that he made sure to leave a blank line after the new person so they didn’t hit the same issue later!”

Onboard your true tale of IT life with Sharky. Send it to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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