2 Feb 2005
(updated 2 Feb 2005 at 04:51 UTC) »
Yesterday we hired someone to run our Beowulf cluster, Web servers, database
server, and Web sites. He seems like a nice, smart, enthusiastic person
and apparently came highly recommended. He's replacing someone who knows
our system inside & out and has been working for us for several years.
One catch (or is it five catches?): he has
- no experience with database administration; he's used Access and SQLserver, but never adminned one.
- no experience with Linux sysadminning.
- no experience with Python (all of our code is written in Python).
- no experience with database-backed Web programming, although he has
written CGI scripts in Perl.
He also has no biology background. Since this was the reason given to
me for firing our old admin (who came to the job with all of the above
computer skills, just no biology), clearly I was lied to about that.
Oh, and I'm the only person in the lab who currently has more than two
of the above 5 skills. And I'm hoping to defend & leave soon. I certainly
don't want to support our computer system or train someone new.
It is unclear to me what is really going on, but I have four
hypotheses. (My fifth hypothesis is that it's all a big April Fool's
joke, but I asked someone else & was reassured. So either they got
the whole lab involved or...)
My hypotheses are:
- He's really, really cheap. (Doubtful - I don't think we were paying
the last guy that much more than me, and I'm a graduate student.)
- They just wanted a new person and didn't think about it at all.
- They wanted a new person before I left, and wanted me to train him,
and wanted to maneuver me into this situation.
- They just wanted a new person, and thought this guy fit the bill
I think the last one is the most frightening for the future of the lab,
because it implies active cluelessness.
Oh, and I also heard that my software (90% of our current system) was
"idiosyncratic". Well, yes, it is. Unfortunately I don't think they
were talking about my particular software development choices, I think
they meant "it's not shrinkwrapped, so it's weird and unsupportable".
I guess I should feel glad that my advisor is helping to push me out
the door by making the lab an unpleasant place to be.
p.s. ranting over. My apologies.
p.p.s. one more thing, actually. I wasn't consulted on the firing or
the hiring, and upon asking about why we hired someone with no
experience, I was told that he had lots of experience and I didn't
know what I was talking about. ERGHHHHHH.