There's just a week left and each day is more impressive than the last in terms of the quality of writing, the level of openness, and the creativity of ideas being shared. For those who like metrics (hey, we're all monitoring professionals, who among us DOESN'T like metrics?!?) we're currently going strong with 19,500+ views, over 123 likes/bookmarks, and 1,151 comments.


So just like I did last week as well as the week before, I wanted to share just a few of the hundreds of amazing comments from each days entry. Of course, you can find all the entries here: Word-A-Day  Challenge 2017 .


Backbone (Posted by jennebarbour Employee)

Jeremy Mayfield Expert Dec 16, 2017 2:21 PM

Backbone is something i think of when i look at life and think of where i get strength to keep going, i think of the strength a good spine can give someone to stand.  when damaged well we can see the results easily.  When intact it is the central support to our selves which allows us to move freely, stand strong and climb over our obstacles.   As proven from your story you dont need the backbone to accomplish anything you wish you need the heart to want to do something and the desire to follow through.   In Technology also you can accomplish many thinigs with skills and time, but a good backbone will allow you to more easily maneuver about the systems, monitor for weakness and report on issues with in.  A strong Backbone in the tech world is essential to be a successful business and to have success as a IT pro regardless if that backbone is made of Cisco, HP, or the people around you, or the peer groups you have joined.


L Desrosiers Dec 17, 2017 7:49 AM

IT is the backbone of the company, Unseen and unheard most of the time.


Simeon Castle Dec 18, 2017 6:19 AM

Maybe it's the phrase relating to growing a spine that's created this, but my first thought on the word backbone is to stand up for oneself. To borrow from the (second entry of the) dictionary, the backbone is "the chief support of a system or organization." In an odd way, the two are interlinked; in order to adequately support something (you, your department, your team) you have to sometimes have to take a stand, defend, and support them. I'm a long-time reader of Reddit's TalesFromTechSupport (I recommend it heartily) and sadly, an all-too common theme is one of a breakdown in the relationship between management and employee; where there's a lack of mutual support, and so there's a need for a tale to be told.


Character (Posted by tomiannelli Expert)

Ethan Beach Dec 17, 2017 12:48 PM

Do you need to be a character to succeed? What kind of character? I am in the position of a possible promotion to management and there are two of us going for the same position. I have worked hard and proven myself but I have not been very noticed. I just go to work get my stuff done UN-noticed. It is not in my character to be outgoing and in the spot light. On the other hand the other guy has been very outgoing but has not brought as much to the game as I have. I have the feeling that he has the upper hand on me and is it because of his character?  Do I need to put myself more out there and get noticed more often or will my work do that for me. When I do try I feel uncomfortable and our of character.


Peter Monaghan, CBCP, SCP, ITIL ver.3 Expert Dec 17, 2017 7:45 PM

When discussing character one would be remiss not to remember MLK's poignant quote:

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

As a civilized society this is what we strive toward, and how we define equality. In the business world character is valued but abilities/skills are valued more (If you don't believe me consider how we interview candidates). However, equality in the workplace has become a priority over all. So in the real world we can judge a person on their character, but in the business world we often overlook it. Cue the confusion. There are many of us who refuse to comprise their principles just because they are in the business world and instead maintain a strong character throughout.  Those are the ones who can look themselves in the mirror. That is who I want to be.


Olusegun Odejide Dec 18, 2017 7:20 AM

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power............ Abraham Lincoln


Fragment (Posted by allieeby)

Phillip Collins Dec 18, 2017 8:31 AM

If you think about it, nothing is ever really complete.  Everything we do is just fragments of larger projects.  When planning I always break down my goals into smaller fragments to make them easier to track and obtain.  Our days are full of fragments that make our days complete.  It's how we work with these fragments and not let them fall to the side that makes us who we are.


Simeon Castle Dec 18, 2017 10:20 AM

When I think of the word fragment, the first thing that comes to mind is when I was but a pup and enjoyed running Defragmenter and watching the blocks moving. I know, okay, I don't need you to tell me how bad that is! That was back on Windows 95 or something, it's been a while. The hardware was abysmal (a beige Compaq box my dad bought for £30 from a guy who was clearing out an office) but the experience was magical, and started me down the treacherous path of breaking making computers. It is a fragment of my life, and in and of itself is an experience. As part of the whole of my life, it's now merely represented in my desk coaster, because I've not seen another 1Gb hard drive - or any hard drive with handwriting inside the case - since. At least it's remembered fondly, and I'd hope to be remembered as fondly (if not by using part of my corpse for beverage-holding)


Kevin Small Expert Dec 18, 2017 4:20 PM

What causes a fragment? Dropping a glass? Moving data around on a hard disk? Breaking a promise? There are lots of fragments in our lives...some of our own making.  Think about what is important.

Handle fragile things with care.

Write programs to efficiently use storage.

Honor relationships.


Gateway (Posted by rschroeder Expert)

George S Dec 19, 2017 8:32 AM

A gateway is a portal into something new or different, whether in IT or life. It can act as a transition point to allow or deny access, particularly in IT. Ether way it is a sign that a change is about to happen.


C Potridge Dec 19, 2017 9:55 AM

I love the Marvel reference!  No matter how good your gatekeeper is, vigilance is required to monitor any anomalies on the network that indicate unwanted traffic has slipped past the gatekeeper.


Simeon Castle Dec 19, 2017 11:29 AM

I read this in the morning and came back to it, and I'm not sure what there is to add. Everyone loves a Marvel reference, right? A gateway is in that double-edged role, enabling access for those inside the circle and preventing access from outsiders, with a little help from some other friends... I'm technically in a position to administrate it, but it still limits me, and me peers try and prevent me from accessing it - for good reason, I'm a bit of a 'break-it-and-see' person... But I do have the capacity and, at a push, the responsibility to change it. So simultaneously, I limit it while it limits me.

Yesterday we saw the note on character aspects, and I rather soberly acknowledged that the questions that stood out were the flaws that I disliked the most. I wonder if in a way, we create a gateway of ourselves with our characters to both limit and protect ourselves.



Inheritance (Posted by jennebarbour Employee)

Zack Mutchler Expert Dec 20, 2017 8:42 AM

from a SolarWinds perspective, I would say inheritance is HUGE in our industry. from my time as a consultant/trainer, I would roughly estimate well over 80% of the recipients of professional services and training are admins who inherited their SolarWinds implementation from another admin who left the company and/or neglected their duties as the SolarWinds "guru". It's interesting to see, from the outside, how neglect can ruin an inheritance. I'm sure this echoes in life as well.


Terri Phelps Dec 20, 2017 9:26 AM

I also come from a large family.  Dad is a sarcastic joker (which we have all inherited) and the biggest "fun" between us kids is replacing the current picture in the "Daddy's favorite" picture frame with a picture of our self.  Dad has told me that he loves me best and my inheritance will be his treasured boxes of old Field and Stream magazines.  I'm sure (wink, wink), that he has NOT said this to any of my siblings....


Byron Anderson Expert Dec 20, 2017 10:29 AM

Inheritance can be a double edged sword, you can certainly inherit things you want be it tangible things, valuable things, or knowledge but you can also inherit things you don't want such as debt or bad knowledge that can lead you down the wrong path.  I think it's important that we be mindful of what we are passing down to our children and the next generation.  We want to put them in an even better position than we were in and set them up for success so they can do the same for the next.  Ultimately each generation should be setup to build on the success of the previous creating a continuous improvement process.


Noise (Posted by ams.norman)

Steven Carlson Expert Dec 21, 2017 7:21 AM

I grew up living near a highway but you tune it out so you don't even notice it anymore. When I moved closer to the city for university and work, I lived near a train station. That eventually was also tuned out that you don't notice. On flights, I take a pair of noise cancelling headphones. You don't realise how loud it actually gets until you have a pair. Also helps (slightly) to lessen the jarring of a baby crying or children screaming. I've recently moved away from the city and it is much quieter out here. Not as much traffic, no cars around at night unlike the city, etc.

And obviously in IT, I come across so many customers who have turned on lots of alerts and have a filter moving them all to a "SolarWinds" folder in their email client with the thousands of unread emails. At that point, you've lost the battle. What's the point of having an alert if you're going to ignore the emails?


Mercy K Dec 21, 2017 7:34 AM

This season is almost always synonymous with noise but then, towards the end of the year, you find many people turning down the noise slightly for introspection and afterwards, making plans to be a better version of themselves next year. And on and on the cycle goes.


Olusegun Odejide Dec 22, 2017 8:34 AM

This remind me of signal processing, a major focus is modelling different types of noise and traffic. Rayleigh, Rician, Nakagami, etc. Noise as mentioned by steshi noise can be a good thing sometime.


Object (Posted by Mark Roberts Expert)

Peter Wilson Dec 22, 2017 7:26 AM

Got to love the English language.  I've spent 50+ years learning it and still get caught out.  However, it does make it a lot easier to learn other languages (spoken and programming). Don't read on if you don't like swearing. Reminds me of a great Joey Dunlop statement (the greatest road racing motorcyclist ever).  He had broken down in a race at the Isle of Man TT and was asked what was wrong.  He replied (you will have to work it out because it is all expletives and I have hopefully and appropriately left out some of the letters)  F*** me, the F***ing F***er's F***ing F***ed.  Explained the problem perfectly.  I have it on a T-shirt.


Olusegun Odejide Dec 22, 2017 8:41 AM

The moment a person forms a theory,

his imagination sees in every object
only the traits which favor that theory.
- Thomas Jefferson



Michael Probus Expert Dec 22, 2017 9:46 AM

When I saw the title of today's post, my first thought was which spelling / definition will be used.  I was leaning toward the noun being that the words are IT based, therefore I was thinking programming. We as a society are often judged by the number and value or our objects.  Some seek to obtain such items in order to raise their social status.  Others seek to provide objects to others.  If I am being honest, I would say that I'm in the middle.  I like nice stuff, but I also like giving stuff.  Christmas is one of my favorite times of year as I enjoy the giving more than receiving.

If anyone states otherwise, then I object.  :-D



Of course, that is just the tiniest smattering of comments that caught my eye. Check out the Word-A-Day  Challenge 2017 forum to catch up on the rest. As we head into the final week, be prepared to share your thoughts on Parity, Peripheral, Platform, Utility, Initial, Recovery, Segment, Density, and Postscript!