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View Full Version : Technology Marches Forward and Leaves Us All Behind


Miss Fatale
03-09-2011, 04:26 PM
We recently went through a software (and perhaps server?) upgrade. For the last week, the website has been buggy and unpredictable. I work online, you see, so the website is rather vital to getting my work done. And now the email system is not working. I can't get in at all. Which, again, sort of vital.

Everyone is super frustrated. I don't know the ins and outs of these decisions, but the old system was fine. The improvements, when I have been able to use them, do not make up for the hassles.

Grrr.

bainsidhe
03-10-2011, 12:08 AM
We had an upgrade on two of our primary databases over the last couple months. Not without it's glitches, but it's better now (though not perfect...never perfect). Our old software was outdated to the point where we could no longer get support for it. Too bad the "new" software isn't nearly as good or stable as the last.

wagegoth
03-10-2011, 09:09 PM
We had an upgrade on two of our primary databases over the last couple months. Not without it's glitches, but it's better now (though not perfect...never perfect). Our old software was outdated to the point where we could no longer get support for it. Too bad the "new" software isn't nearly as good or stable as the last.

It's kind of a catch-22. If the software is good and stable, then companies don't upgrade, so the software company goes out of business. Then a new company can step into the market, reverse engineer the old software, upgrade it, then deliver a crappy product, but since they're the only providers they can get away with it.

Also, with the changes to operating systems and all the bells and whistles in even the most basic products, a simply, non-buggy program is nearly impossible.

MoonCat
03-11-2011, 03:11 AM
Ha. We've had our new computer system for almost three years now. I still hate it. I will always hate it. Hatehatehatehatehatehatehatehate.

It uses two programs that communicate with each other. One of them crashes whenever it feels like it. IT still hasn't figured out why, or if they have, they either can't fix it or don't want to.

Certain functions NEVER work right. Others only work when the IT guy is standing there watching you use it. The rest of the time, it doesn't work. Yeah, I know that sounds suspicious, but when I ask, they say, "no, you're doing it right, that should work." They walk away - and next time I need that function, it DOESN'T WORK.

There are numerous ways to accomplish different functions, but we haven't been trained on most of them. The managers and the IT guy get mad when we say we're frustrated with a system that doesn't do what it should and tends to crash often. They tell us things like "you're typing too fast," or "you clicked twice instead of once." They aren't the ones sitting there with their computer locked up and a customer grousing in their ear about why it's taking so long to complete their business, while a bunch of calls are on hold.

Did I mention we're on version 13.7. something? Since May 2008.

Geek King
03-11-2011, 01:52 PM
There are numerous ways to accomplish different functions, but we haven't been trained on most of them. The managers and the IT guy get mad when we say we're frustrated with a system that doesn't do what it should and tends to crash often. They tell us things like "you're typing too fast," or "you clicked twice instead of once." They aren't the ones sitting there with their computer locked up and a customer grousing in their ear about why it's taking so long to complete their business, while a bunch of calls are on hold.
.

In general, IT doesn't know the ins and outs of how your software works--especially specialty software that isn't in wide use outside the industry. We just install the software and try to get it to work on our systems. In most places, if IT knows how to run your program, it is from exposure, not training, so we'll have some odd holes in our knowledge in some cases. Training should come from your supervisors or the program's company, unless the IT department is specifically trained in it.

Now, I know this isn't practice in most places, and IT gets it all dumped on them. I'm dealing with it now myself, as I've been slowly training myself in our local specialty program for the last couple of years. I don't get official training because my boss has to fill the one training slot (out of only four, three go to area managers) we get for the yearly training held by the creating company. Boss then passes things along when he gets back, or as he has to call them to work issues. I'm also told that issues brought up in training are met with a smile, a "We'll have to look at that", and vague promises about the next version. Ah, the joys of only having no competition in the market! :rolleyes:

Honestly, try to get ahold of the documentation for your program if you want real information on alternate ways to do something. It is quite likely that you know more about how the program works from the user P.O.V., since IT focuses on server-side and PC-side interactions.

MoonCat
03-12-2011, 01:42 AM
Geek King, the IT guy in our dept is really just a guy who has been trained on our computer systems from the user's POV. He used to do the same job I do, so he is - or should be - aware of our user requirements. When the company bought this shitty system, he was sent out of town for intensive training. Even my immediate manager knows stuff about the system that I don't. What it comes down to is that people who have to use this system day in and day out have NOT been shown probably more than half of the features that management claimed we were going to love. They only train us on new stuff every once in a while. There are tons of icons on my screen that I have no idea what they do, and I don't want to screw up my system (especially when I may get a customer on the phone at any minute and need to help them), so I don't experiment much. It's a shame, really. This system was expensive and it's not being used to its full potential.

Geek King
03-15-2011, 04:22 PM
Geek King, the IT guy in our dept is really just a guy who has been trained on our computer systems from the user's POV. He used to do the same job I do, so he is - or should be - aware of our user requirements. When the company bought this shitty system, he was sent out of town for intensive training.

Then you don't have an IT guy, just a mis-labled <your software> specialist. :p

It sounds like the real problem--and it is a problem in a lot of places today--is not enough people working so you can rotate out and get some real training. The only real answer I can give you at this point is to talk to your manager. Jot down some issues you're having on some scrap paper, organize them a bit to put things you run into often and/or are the most irritating to you. Now take the top 2-3 item to your manager and ask about fixes or work-arounds you can do. Maybe start the conversation with something like, "<Manager>, I'm having some hang-ups with the system, and was wondering if there's a work-around, or maybe a better way of doing this I haven't seen yet."

I say to take just a few issues because you don't want to to give the manager the impression that you're dumping this huge list on him/her. A few at a time will seem reasonable, then you can hit them up again later, as you determine what timing is best. This will hopefully make you look proactive in your job, without being a pest.

Good luck, in any case. :)