December 17, 2008
If you’re going to work in an ISP then this one is worth a look. I particularly like the NOC team.
NOC teams tend to work in rooms designed, well, for other people. Picture a NOC (network operations centre, not non-operation cover, thank you very much Mr Cruise). It’ll have ranks of staff at terminals/PCs and (wait for it) a big main screen or two (or more), probably plasma screens, somehow defining how the network is operating. There may be a map. Possibly some kind of graphical expression of network capability (red lights, green lights, you name it). There will be hushed tones.
In reality, most of the NOCs I’ve visited have these screens and not one of the NOC staffers ever so much as glance at them. They’re eye candy for the visitors. Much like security theatre at the airport, they’re not actually delivering what they say, they’re there for the look of the thing.
Favourite NOC story: a well-known telco CEO would visit the NOC at strange times of the day, unannounced. Convinced they were being assessed pending some kind of closure the staff would put their heads down and beaver away diligently at stuff (defragging hard drives, presumably) so as to appear busy. The CEO would lounge in the captain’s chair (another NOC theatre piece – there generally isn’t time for a NOC shift supervisor to sit in The Chair and survey all before him/her) and try to engage the staff in discussion … on their favourite science fiction movies. That’s right, he was bored and wanted someone to chat to.
Bonus points for working out the title