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How the Other Half Lives

February 10, 2011 15:00:00.000

One of the things that's been a real revelation to me in this job is the whole "how the other half lives" thing. What do I mean by that?

Well, back when I worked at Cincom, it was pretty easy for me to push stuff out to the web,and to access whatever I wanted to see on the web. I worked from home, on a machine I had full access to. At this new job, I'm seeing how things are for software developers in big shops:

  • Locked down, developer level access only Windows clients
  • Firewalls that block everything - streaming media, tons of blog sites, anything related to video games, and so on

Now, the blockage makes sense to the IT department - after all, you don't want your proxy server taken down when everyone wants to watch the latest viral YouTube video. On the other hand, it makes it clear to me how some of what I was doing at Cincom didn't always reach the target audience. Tutorial videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook? Blocked. Public Store Repository? Blocked. Heck, the only reason that the audio and video I hosted on the Cincom servers is accessible is because that site isn't a "known" streaming service.

Fortunately, I still have my personal machine, and once I get to working at home more often I'll be back on the public net more continuously. For people working fulltime in a large organization's office though? The wider net really only exists before and after work, and that means in between family obligations.

That's why all of the social media outreach I'm so in favor of can't be the only thing you do. At this point in time, there are still a ton of people who won't ever see it - at least during working hours.

posted by James Robertson


Re: How the Other Half Lives

[anonymous] February 10, 2011 16:45:31.868

Welcome to my life. I'm currently spending my days in one of those locked-down environments. Forget about most blogs, Twitter, Github... Even Dropbox and Evernote are blocked, and personal cellphones aren't allowed. Oddly, I can still get at my Google reader and calendar accounts. I'm guessing the firewall guys haven't figured out how to leave those open for themselves while blocking the rest of the company, yet.

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