Conflicts between Developers and the IT Department

October 26, 2014 — Leave a comment

Many customers I have seen in the past are affected by a conflict between Developers and some IT Department.

In most situations, this was caused by the need for the IT Department to impose restrictions in what the Developers could do, to simplify their management activities and limit the consequences of improper behavior of the Applications on what is already hosted in the same environment. Developers hardly participate in defining those restrictions: they mainly are subject to them; sometimes this lead to big issues because those restrictions give into the way of the Developers’ job without being really understood by them.

The net result of this situation is that Developers try to get control of their own Applications as much as possible, against any will of the IT Department. It’s all too common in these scenarios for Developers to try and trick the IT Department, for example to gain direct control to the Application logs. What is more important than to act rapidly when a critical business process fails badly? When this happens, Developers simply cannot afford to ask the IT Department for each single piece of information needed to discover what happens, and therefore if the IT Department does not allow direct access to data and to the systems, they consider opening doors to get to that data nonetheless. This is only an example of how Developers try to find a way to achieve their goal by exploiting the holes in the IT Department guard, without thinking to the consequences. In a sense, this is like hacking your own system adding back doors.  Not a very smart thing to do, isn’t it? Particularly if you consider that the bad people could benefit of those back doors as well.

At the end of the day, each side has its own reasons and considers them more relevant than the other’s, but both do a bad service to their Company when they do not team up since the very start of the project, to define how the Application should behave to be a good citizen of the hosting environment, and at the same time to be able to satisfy all its requirements. It is way better to talk openly from the start, instead of starting (or continuing) a cold war that ultimately benefits only who attacks your systems and applications.

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