TTFM!

RTFM, i.e. Read(ing) The Fucking Manual, doesn’t seem to be enough. One needs to trust the manual, too. – “Oh. Thanks. That’s exactly what the manual says. It seemed too simple, so I tried a different approach.” That’s one of the dumbest reactions to user developer support, ever.

  1. Yes. Why make it simple if you can make it complicated? If you make it simple, customers may not trust your skills…
    So make it complicated and everyone’s satisfied.
    I recently was hired to support an administrator in solving a problem with an email server (outgoing emails were not sent). We worked on the problem for five hours (analyzing firewall logs and the network traffic, configuring and testing) and were still not able to solve it. When leaving him, he told me that he was very glad that I did’t fix the problem in just five minutes, because otherwise his boss would probably have thought of replacing the admin…

  2. True. And wise. (Though besides the point of this story.)

    Just make sure your boss doesn’t see any need to replace you for not fixing the problem in five minutes ;-)

  3. Actually fixing a problem in system administration rarely takes very long, in my experience. Finding out what the problem is, now, that is usually the hard part.

    A developer who does RTFM and then doesn’t at least try an easy solution should be bitchslapped.

  4. The ability to read, to understand, and then to follow directions is a key skill, not only for admins. (It might also be a key to finding the error in my second post today.)

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