Upgrades and Cadpilot Night Moves


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In time for the July 4th weekend and fireworks you will notice that the cadpilot website is now noticeably quicker. We moved over to new and much improved hardware in an upgraded Cloud server farm. Oh, goody goody. Since the changeover you might click over to a big page with lots of videos and miss the page load because you blinked. It happens to me. Just sayin’.

Enjoy the site speed while it lasts. It cannot and will not last forever. Even in today’s virtual clouds Entropy is real. Eheh.

Can Upgrades Be Painless?

Ok. Computers are involved. People are involved. Real life ain’t a Terminator rerun, but we all catch the drift.

There will be some minor human pain, anguish, and frustration involved.

If you follow this blog, you are aware I am a PDCA (Plan Do Check and Act) change process management freak. Trust me. There would not be a Framework for Civil 3D without some serious PDCA discipline and practice built into our continuous development loops.

Sloth over Valor

I practice what I preach because…. I am basically a lazy wuss.
I do my personal best avoid unnecessary pain and suffering whenever and wherever possible.
The Framework for Civil 3D products are how I manage to express those hard earned benefits to our Jump Kit and Templates Only customers.

God never ceases to remind us that the plans of men are wishful thinking.

The most important point of PDCA matters in practice - Try and avoid magical thinking.

The Hubris of Our Age

The difference between hubris and pride is tragic. That much is obvious. Eheh. Forgive my classical Greek reference. I was forced to read all of Homer. That experience cannot compare with the recognition of the performance skills needed to deliver an entire epic poem from memory to a live audience. Greek and Roman Amphitheaters were a pop culture necessity. Folks do tend to binge watch.

History and People are Persistent

It is possible to Plan for the incorrect thing; Do a wrong thing in response; Check what is already consistent; and, God forbid, Act accordingly.

One of our service providers had a bad form page on their recently upgraded maintenance site.
To put things bluntly - if we entered a new IP address, the change never registered properly for all their dependent DNS server systems. The form fail obviously didn’t happen to all users. We recently moved other sites ourselves. In our case a failure of omission did happen to us.

Code can fail to write changes properly into storage systems. Typically, we write more code to check for that. Sadly, we may neglect to write more code to do something about it. Then maybe we turn off the annoying pop ups. Just sayin’

To quote Harlan Ellison of The Outer Limits fame,

“I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream”

Sadly. This scenario should sound oddly familiar for too many of us.

It took 4 calls to tech support, some serious on-hold wait time, and an entire long weekend to penetrate the noggins of the tech support bureaucracy that there was something wrong with their system.

Stranger Things. On every call tech support was told this. They were accurately told why.

The Passive Pervasive or is it The Pervasive Passive?

From the bureaucracy’s viewpoint: the problem is the complainer and the complaint itself.
The goal-  Clear the ticket from someone’s que as fast as possible with the best call satisfaction poll results.

Every tech was ubiquitously polite and apologetic and 3 out of 4 times failed to listen to their customer.

Never mind their internal call satisfaction automatic polling that hands out systemic Brownie points to staff was down for repairs all weekend. They did not seem to know. A strange new form of social justice if you ask me.

You could almost hear them work down the mandatory support checklist upon which their paychecks depend. Fine by me.

Later rather than sooner we get to crunch time.
“Do you have the power to fix my problem or not?”

This repetitive reality points to the thought that social interactions managed by mostly by computers may not be such a great idea. Computers are sequential and procedural. The real world and humans clearly are not. The sequential and procedural can be efficient but this is not necessarily effective. The conflicts that arise may have some serious and potentially dangerous consequences.

Silly me. It finally occurs to me to ask for a formal ticket number on my final call to force the issue into their internal and formal record keeping systems. Wonder of wonders now they listen. Dooh.

Systemic failures - especially my own - are the worst.

Happily, back in Civil 3D Land our cadpilot website customers never notice a thing.

We do try and plan for contingencies. Sometimes we are just plain lucky enough to get it right in spite of our best efforts. Eheh.

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