Most employees think they are indispensable to their employers, but in fact, most employees are easily replaced. A recent legal ruling involved an IT manager who sought job security by holding “the keys to the kingdom”–the passwords to the company’s computer network that only he possessed. His plan didn’t become a fast track to climbing the corporate ladder; instead, it led to his relocation into a jail cell.
Terry Childs was principal network engineer for Department of Telecommunications and Information Services (DTIS) of the City and County of San Francisco. He apparently distrusted his co-workers and sought to make himself unfireable, so he arranged to become the only person with his network’s passwords. When he was suspended from his job, he refused to divulge the passwords so that his employer could reassume control over its network…
How to lose $172,222 a second for 45 minutesThis is probably the most painful bug report I’ve ever read, describing in glorious technicolor the steps leading to Knight Capital’s $465m trading loss due to a software bug that struck late last year, effectively bankrupting the company.
The tale has all the hallmarks of technical debt in a huge, unmaintained, bitrotten codebase the bug itself due to code that hadn’t been used for 8 years, and a really poor, undisciplined devops story.