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The Heroes of Y2K

via my net friend John D. Cruz of P.I.

Y2kNews 11 January 2000
The heroes of Y2k
By Judy Backhouse

The truly crazy headed for the hills with fortified bunkers and
ammunition. The more cautious bought water and tinned food.
Even the most optimistic drew some extra cash the week before.
Everyone speculated about the outcome.

But in the IT world, we worked.

We checked code.

We corrected code.

We tested code.

We rolled dates forward and backward and forward and backward
until our nerves were paper-thin.

We upgraded hardware.

We upgraded operating systems (to cope with the new hardware).

We upgraded compilers (to cope with the new operating systems).

We modified more code (to cope with the new compilers).

And then we began the cycle again of testing and rolling forward
and testing and rolling backward.

We initiated great, complex Y2k projects.

We compiled project plans.

We filled in endless forms about the state of our Y2k projects.

We wrote monthly reports about the progress of the Y2k projects.

We went to meetings where we were told how the future of the
company depended on the Y2k project being completed in time.

We dealt with panicked business people.

We soothed troubled nerves at dinner parties.

We were asked to predict the outcome by distant cousins who
knew we were "in IT".

We became overnight experts in the working of diesel generators,
photocopiers, motor vehicles and washing machines.

And, collectively, we averted the disaster.

Like superman of old, the IT professionals of today managed to
intercept nothing less than the end of the world. In an industry
where projects run notoriously over the most pessimistic time
estimates, we met the deadline.

The clocks ticked over to the year 2000 with nothing more than
minor hitches.

And were they grateful? Did the world thank us and laud us as the
heroes we quite clearly were?


They turned around and called it "all hype".

They questioned the money spent.

We did our jobs so dam*ed well that the only question remaining
was whether there had been any need to do the job at all.

So, to all those IT people out there who slaved away at the Y2k
problems over the past few years, who endured the pressure
of fearful but helpless managers; who lost endless sleep testing
things at night because there wasn't a separate test machine; who
cancelled their December leave; who couldn't be in exotic places to
welcome the start of the new millennium; who stayed sober on
New Year's eve because they were on standby; who went to work
on the 1st and the 2nd to boot up the machines - I say put your
feet up, pat yourselves and each other on the back and go and get
some much needed sleep with a smug smile on your face.

We did it.

The IT people across the planet are heroes - even if unsung ones.
Like housework, what we do is not appreciated unless we don't do
it. But like the housewives of old we go on doing it, knowing
that it is good, honest, necessary work - and that it gives us inordinate

So, my fellow programmers, system administrators, database
administrators, operators, analysts and support staff -
congratulations on a job well done.

Ours may be the youngest profession on the planet, but this 21st
century belongs to us.


Be sure to check out the PB/PFC Y2K FAQ


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