Finding content in your job title

Lamar Owen lowen at pari.edu
Fri Apr 2 12:13:30 CDT 2010


On Friday 02 April 2010 12:25:12 pm Justin Horstman wrote:
> [Your title] does
> however answer the question of "Who is responsible for..." which I believe
> to be extremely valuable.

> Then again, I might be weird.

No, this is exactly how 'business at large' uses the idea of title.  In some 
companies, Official Title is used to determine salary (or even whether you're an 
exempt employee or not).  And the company's bylaws may invest particular 
responsibilities and privileges on particular people by title.  Secretary, for 
instance, is a particular title used in bylaws for a particular purpose for an 
officer of the company.

When troubleshooting an operational issue, which do you prefer: traceroutes 
with useful interface names (so you can locate them) or cutesy names?  Would 
you prefer (for your eyes, of course; you do run split DNS, right?) POS1/0 on 
a 7206 used for PE in the data center be called pos1-0.dc1-7206-
pe.example.com, or bhp.example.com (BHP=Big Honking Pipe)?  I know, you might 
prefer bhp.example.com for other people's eyes, but suppose you didn't name it 
that, you're new on the job, the guy who named it is not available, and you 
are having problems.  Then which is your preference?

I guess what you want your title to be depends on what your role actually is 
in the company, and whether someone outside (or someone inside who doesn't 
know you) can find you when they need to using the company's directory or a 
second or third-hand business card (yes, I've done that too, make a photocopy 
or e-copy of a business card, and then pass it along to a third-party (after 
getting card holder's permission to do so) as a contact).  Or when putting a 
card under the acrylic sheeting on the tables in a local restaurant (I've 
actually made useful connections reading the business cards on corkboards and 
under the Plexiglas at restaurants before).

We have standardized abuse, postmaster, and webmaster e-mail aliases, too, and 
that works when you see a slow brute-forcer originating from somewhere, or 
someone has blackholed someone and their BGP announcements leak, or whatever.  
It's nice to get to the right person when you don't know the person, don't 
know the company, and don't have time to get 'into' the culture.

So, I guess that your title should at least semi-adequately give your role to 
someone who is completely clueless about your role.




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