The “guns for kids” program

You’ve heard of “backpacks for kids” and “shoes for kids” and “hot lunches for kids”. Here is a new one for you: the “guns for kids” program. Yes, that is right. Some kids out there are not able to obtain their own guns and as a result, are unable to experience the joy and excitement that goes along with firearm ownership. Who knows the experiences that each of them might be missing-out-on. So please, reach down into your hearts and support this program.

Hold on, right there. Before you start posting angry responses to this, let me point-out that 1) This is an April fool. 2) It is a metaphor (somewhat exaggerated, of course) that I would like to discuss.

From time-to-time, I have had discussions with colleagues about [bad ideas that are headed for disaster]. When I do, it is fun to compare the bad idea to “the guns for kids program”, jokingly. It is not hard to imagine how insane and disastrous, such a program would be. Clearly it is preposterous. Even if someone is a big supporter of firearms, they agree that children should be supervised while handling these things. This is something serious and no reasonable person would argue with it.

Probably my favorite parallel to this metaphor would have to be: giving “domain admin” permissions to everyone in your organization. That is totally “the guns for kids program”, to a tee. The next best thing to this would be: giving admin privileges (on production servers) to people who really do not need them and are more likely to break stuff and not be able to fix it.

Without really knowing your company, I will go out on a limb and say that here are a few favorites who would really, really love admin permissions, but honestly are better-off by not having those permissions: 1) Your CIO. 2) The president of your company. 3) First-line support people (ie. people who are not formally trained and/or certified to manage servers). 4) Developers.

Oh my! I suppose that list would really scald some people. I know, because I have had this (exact) discussion with those people (listed above 1-4). Their responses were

  • “I haven’t broken anything recently. So why take away my power?”
  • “I don’t think I can do my job without those excessive permissions (even though, I haven’t really needed them in the past month, or so)”
  • “I am totally, like, super-responsible and stuff. I would never abuse this power. Don’t you trust me?”
  • “You don’t know what you are talking about.”
  • “Let me guess: you still get to keep your permissions. Clearly you are doing this as just a power-trip.” … “Wait, what? You lose these permissions too? ????”

Disclaimer: As I said, there are some companies that this genuinely could not work. If you are in a company of ten people or less, then maybe this does not apply to you. However, when you hire employee #21, then you need to rip-off that band-aid!

Don’t take my word for it. I’m sure you have Bing and Google. See what others have to say about it.

Also, keep in mind that there is no international law that says that you need to be sensible, just like every knowledgeable & responsible person in the world. If you want to support the “guns for kids” program, it is your choice. Just don’t be surprised when people think you are nuts for doing it.

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About Tim Golisch

I'm a geek. I do geeky things.
This entry was posted in IT Horror Stories, Professionalism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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