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Day 11: Trust

Community Manager


Доверяй, но проверяй” — Suzanne Massie, circa 1984-1987

When I think on “trust,” a few things come to mind immediately.  Creating trusts between AD domains, creating a local account with which I entrust admin rights, destroying trust between co-workers, and building trust between teams.  So, realistically, I think about half as much about trust with regards to technology as I do with the people around me.  (Says something about my social skills, doesn’t it?)


I trust computers to do what I ask in the way that I ask.  This is pretty much the definition of computer programming.  In a day when you can ask Cortana, Siri, Alexa, or Google for pretty much any information in the world, it’s sometimes hard to remember that there is software behind those queries.  This is where the technology trust begins – with the algorithms and the big data analytics that they use when crunching my data.  I trust the companies with which I share information to protect my information, secure my personal data, and return me valuable services.  Most of the time, this is the case and I’m a happy camper.  Most of the companies I trust use some type of encryption to protect my information.  If they don't offer something like that, then I'm not using them.  It's just that simple.


Working with people, and trusting in people is frequently the hardest thing to do in IT.  In the past, I’ve worked at companies where it was dog-eat-dog and if you could cut someone off at the knees, you did.  This was seen to be the most advantageous thing you could do for your career.  I’m hoping that this is now more of a rarity in the workplace, but I would not be surprised if it lingered on in some places.  In those places, “trust” is a four-letter word.

Other times people trust one another to carry out a task.  Normally, this is in regards to larger projects.  I remember a time or two when I was younger, that I was asked to handle some tasks and I didn’t come through.  This was the first time that I was working on a project that extended outside my immediate team.  Failing to complete this task delayed the project.  I realized that I was the wrench in the machine – I wasn’t being helpful, I was a hindrance and people couldn’t trust me.

Fast forward a few years, and I was the project manager.  Now I had to trust other people to complete the necessary tasks to keep the project moving forward.  Thankfully, I remembered my earlier lesson and it was when I was first introduced to the phrase “trust, but verify.”

It’s a Russian proverb that was introduced to President Reagan by Suzanne Massie when he was dealing with the Soviet Union in regards to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.  In those days, the thought was to trust the opposing side to do what is stipulated, but verify it for yourself.

Long story short – if you need something done by someone else, let them do it, but make sure that it’s done.  This is my mantra whenever I run projects.  We come up with the project plan, we assign out the duties (trust), then we check with everyone about how their tasks are progressing (verify).


There’s always the alternative to not trust anyone other than yourself.  In most cases, this should be avoided whenever possible.  IT is a community, like any other, which takes input and interaction to truly prosper.  However, I think that everyone in IT has taken on every aspect of a project themselves, but hopefully it is for a small project.  I know that I’ve only done it a handful of times and in retrospect, I’d never do it the same way.  If attempt to be the lone team-member for your entire career, you will be one of those guys in the basement bemoaning about setting the building on fire.


We all have different attitudes when it comes to trust and what we trust in.

Do you trust people?

Do you trust technology?

Do you trust your gut?  Your intuition?

Or do you trust no one?

"Доверяй, но проверяй" {Doveryai, no proveryai} (trust, but verify)

Russian proverb

Or Like the psalmist do you choose where to put your trust.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD

Ps 20:7

In life the ability to trust matters.  We need to be able to trust.  We need to have people whom we can rely on.  Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto.

We need processes, systems, and tools we trust.  If you can not give solid answers with data to back it, you lose your credibilty...unless of course you are a meme on Facebook and then everyone believes you as long as you support their worldview.

Build relationships with those you can trust and be sure that you yourself are trustworthy as well.

Put into place systems and processes that your users, customers and peers can trust.

Put your trust in the right place.  Use the things we have been sharing with one another other the last few weeks.  Learn, Observe, Choose.

Day 11: Trust

If your trusted monitoring system is not configured correctly, you and your customers and your boss won’t be able to trust its services.  The good will   you’ve placed in trust with your customers may vanish. 

Along with your trust fund.

Level 11

These are words to live by...


Level 14

Trust in your knowledge

You know the way,

You'll find the problem

And save the day.

Level 11


I don’t trust words, I trust actions.

Level 12

Trust in what you know

Level 11

Trust is the hardest thing to gain but the easiest to lose.


I will always trust in God. I will always trust my Family to be there for me. I will trust the personnel that work for me to do a good job.

I am fascinated by words, their definitions and connotations, ever since I took a class in technical writing for my masters program.

An old acquaintance of mine, and IT Leader in the Dayton-Cincinnati area, posted an article recently on the subject of trust. This is the diagram that came with it:


When I look at all the things that go into creating and supporting trust it makes me realize that I am even more of an odd duck then I originally thought. I say this because in a management class I took with about 30 or more of my peers at an IT company I worked for the class topic was trust. The instructor did a survey of the class asking "who trusted people right away such that they had to loss your trust?" It was myself and one other person - just the two of us. Everyone else said trust had to be earned. I have never been in a situation where this question was raised again so I only have one data point. I could not comprehend living life without explicitly trusting others. I thought how fearful a life like that must be. To wait for a person to exhibit most if not all of the attributes shown above before you trust them could take a lot of interaction and time. For me it takes consistent failure in one or more of these to consider a person untrustworthy. But once trust is gone it is very difficult to get it back.

So I am very curious and would love to see a survey on this question: Do you trust people when you first meet them or do they have to earn your trust?

Level 10


Level 13

Trust is difficult to gain, yet easily lost.

A quote from one of my favourite movies: "Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first. Trust comes later."

Level 9

I can't remember where I heard this...... Trust is not a matter of technique, tricks or tools but of character.

Level 21

I like to trust... but verify! 

It important to be able to trust your team as a team isn't a group of people that work together, a team is a group of people that trusts each other.

"Trust, but verify." --Ronald Reagan


Level 13

Be all in or get all out.  There is no halfway

Level 13

Image result for trust quotes

Level 12

I place a lot of trust in my close friends by default. They have earned it. But just because you have my trust does not mean you will always have it. You have to continue to earn it. This applies to my co-workers as well. They need to earn my trust, and once they have it they must continue to work to keep it. I think of it as a bucket with a leak in the bottom, and you have to keep adding to it or it will run out. I have had to many situations in my younger years where people I trusted abused that trust.


Agreed, trust but verify! 

Trust with me tends to be something that is somewhat given freely, people start off being taken for their word, but I try and either pay attention to whether that trust was warranted, whether it be through experience or research.   Esp. for things I find interesting, I will trust someones words initially, but I usually want to delve further in and understand things, so I tend to do research at some point.

One thing I definitely don't trust much anymore is the mass media, if you do a little research you quite often find them trying to preach to their own agenda.   I remember once in the mid-2000's a friend of mine was pregnant and expecting her first child.  Her intent was to not smoke around the child and either do it on the front porch or inside when he was not around.  So, I went on the Internet and found a news headline that proclaimed that third-hand smoke (ie: residue left by a person smoking in a room long after they smoked) was very dangerous to children, and I thought "Great!".  But when I found the source they were citing, there was no scientific background to it, it was just a survey of people asking them if they thought third-hand smoke was dangerous, but yet the newspapers were declaring it to be a fact.

Trust, but verify!

Level 12

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

                                                                      Proverbs 3:5


Level 9

Trust is something I have learned overtime in the IT world. There was a time years ago when I wanted to do things always myself, I was faster and knew it would be done right the first time. I never wanted to trust others, heck even my counterparts that do the same work. This though will make your job and life more taxing and stressful as you pile on the work and after hours for yourself. You must learn to trust someone else to do thing for you sometimes if they are capable. Heck, how will they learn if you never allow them to?

Always be open to trust, because if you never trust someone then how can they trust you?

Level 17

Trust has been a big issue in 2016, and by all accounts it will only become bigger as we discover which sources of information were and weren't trust-worthy, but which many of us used to based our decisions. In retrospect, many of those sources will be rediculously flimsy and we'll ask ourselves why we ever thought putting our trust in them was a good idea. For other sources, it may be less clear, even though the lens of time and experience.

Not-so-thinly-veiled references to politics aside, the experiences of this year have made me think hard about the trust I place in sources of data when it comes to monitoring.

Yes, yes, "Trust but verify" is a thing. But lets be honest, when the only source of a BGP neighbor down is a syslog message, it becomes difficult NOT to trust it. What else would you work off, anyway?

Luckily, most events have more than a single method of detection. Which means we have opportunities for verification if we choose to avail ourselves of them.

This doesn't even mean we have to deal with redundant alerts. I've been speaking for a while now about making our monitoring and alert triggers more complex, in order to identify real issues rather than simplistic events which are both vague and in-actionable.

So this is my challenge to you: take a look at the events and alerts you are triggering on today. If there's another source of data, see if you can weave that input in to the current alert so that the event triggers when X *and* Y occur. One without the other may be a warning, or a lower-priority message.

But when both are present, you can trust that something worth your attention is happening, and you need to get right on it. A secondary benefit is that everyone who consumes both the monitoring data and the alerts will have greater trust in the system, and respond accordingly.

Radioteacher I find the Counterfeit Trust a very interesting concept. As I can see that very strongly in my current boss. The way he treats most folks. If you wouldn't mind sending me a message with the reference on that I would like to explore that more.

Level 11

Image result for trust no one


In this age of everything automated from mega computers to toasters we are constantly reminded to trust no one - and rightly so as a simple slip up can ruin ones life, or worse yet bring down an entire company and it's many thousands of customers.

However, on a personal level we have to have people in our lives that we can trust, whether that is friends, family or co-workers. People are social creatures and without someone to trust life is much less fulfilling.

Level 10


Level 8

The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool. - Stephen King

Level 13

I'm the same way with trust, and my experience is that I tend to be one of the few that trusts by default.  Most people seem to fall into the "make you earn it" camp.  That's kind of a chicken and egg question though, how does someone earn your trust if you never trust them enough to give them a chance?  I totally agree with you on what happens if someone lets you down too much.  Once the trust is gone you're not getting it back.

Level 12

Gary Busey: "Talking Realistically, Understanding Sacred Truth."

Level 11


Community Manager
Community Manager

I have no words to describe the awesomeness of this image except perhaps...


Level 9

Ha. I like this post. I need to trust myself to take this advice to heart.

Level 9

What happens when your trust is misplaced? If the outcome is disaster, don't rely on trust. If the outcome is a petty annoyance, trust is cheap. It's a matter of scale

Level 20


Awe and it's a duplicated almost...

Level 10


st2.png[*whispers* : except I'm really not a doctor... I'm a TECHIE]

Trust in yourself and those around you.

Level 10

Trying to learn to trust my equipment and our managed equipment. Its what keeps me up at night.

Wait, I have Orion NPM to be the one watching all night for me. Never mind. 🙂

I like the recognition of different levels of trust. I'd like to point out that machines tend to trust things they're told to trust forever unless configured to do otherwise, while people's trust can be hard to earn but incredibly easy to lose.

I have found "trust" to be a misunderstood word in IT, especially monitoring. For example, "I don't trust our monitoring." blah! blah! blah!

Critical thinking and root cause analysis would identify, more often than not, that monitoring isn't properly configured on a particular node or business process. Trust isn't the end all be all. Trust should not be confused with faith. Better yet, blind faith. Trust is inherently temporary and it can be lost quickly based on an emotional response. Many of us grizzled IT vets know not to trust our IT assets. We've been burned too many times before. But setting emotions aside and applying critical thinking and root cause analysis trust can be regained, slowly.

Level 11

This is a big word for my department! I'm working to create an environment where every user can trust in I.T. to get the job done, no matter the task or request!

Level 10






Level 10

Image result for trust quotes

Level 17

Trust is something that can be difficult to earn, but easily lost.

Level 15

I tend to tell a lot of my clients that are new to SolarWinds that the reason we spend so much time tediously aligning settings, thresholds, alerts, etc. is 100% because of "trust".

We, as humans, tend to not trust new things. This is especially relevant for engineers who may feel that a monitoring tool is a threat to their job for whatever reason.

If Day 0 hits, and SolarWinds sends out 1,000 alerts, the trust is gone and may take literal years to regain, if ever.

Suge a fragile thing, but with such immense meaning.

Level 11

Never trust by default.

Level 10

See I feel like I am in the minority here.  I typically give my trust very easily,  and then, if broken, its kinda a 3 strikes rule.  First time, I am still generally, depends on how egregiously it was broken, willing to give the benefit of the doubt that there was some sort of misunderstanding some where.  Depending on how badly trust is broken after than, I might be done with that or give other chances, cause I still want to believe the best intentions in people, until they prove to me beyond a doubt that I just can't trust them.  So I get burned a few times, but I think generally it has worked out in my favor.  That said, if I don't trust someone, I pretty much will never trust them and will always be watching out for what they are up to.


I agree Kimberly - I tend to believe and trust people at face value, I have been burnt severely however and once that trust is broken it if very hard for me to trust the person again (I like the 3 strikes analogy) Unfortunately those that have broken trust with me (many of them) have the attitude of forgive and forget - nice in theory, but trust takes time - and would expect that I just "let go" and continue on with the relationship as if nothing ever happened.

Level 9

those who trust in the lord will find new strength.

Level 9

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

Level 10

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

I choose to Trust in Him, when the going get's rough and tough.