Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Late Night, Want Not

One unpleasant aspect of the IT life is the late night element. The press, as well as popular fiction, regularly serve up tales of all-night coding sessions and the incredible, nearly impossible, hours put in to pull off a website launch. (Well, at least they did before it became decidedly uncool to celebrate geek life and the Internet boom.)

But I'm not even referring to the cool version of late nights. I'm referring to the completely mundane version, when what you are doing could be done at anytime, day or night, but you are working at midnight because that tends to be when your users aren't.

Unfortunately, the catch is that the users soon return, whether you've slept or not. Unless you a part of a large IT shop, you will mostly likely be the one answering the helpdesk call at 8 a.m. And if it is a particularly ironic day, the call will be about something you broke around 2 a.m. while you were working so hard to [choose one: improve, stabilize, upgrade, maintain, enhance, speed up] the system. Ah, sweet irony!