Do you recognize this scenario: Friday late afternoon and everybody is getting ready to leave the office. A client calls who would like to have some changes made. Yes, we will try to help as much as we can. But here is why at Fusix, Friday is Read-Only Friday.
It almost sounds like an Urban Dictionary entry, but it is actually not. Read-Only Friday is a term that popped up a couple of years ago among systems administrators all over the world and derived from the login modes on network equipment: Read-Only and Read-Write. What it basically means, is that systems administrators shouldn’t do make major – or indeed any – changes on a Friday. And not just because they would like to go home early and enjoy the weekend. It has all to do with those little complications you can easily overlook.
As we all know, a change in settings can have major implications and can trigger mass interruptions or even a breakdown of the entire network. We all know what we’re doing and it shouldn’t happen, but sometimes the odds are against you and it still does. Then it is all hence on deck and you try to fix it. This sort of problem at least is a clear one.
But sometimes a change can leave smaller, more subtle problems. The ones you do not immediately detect. Especially not if traffic is already low or the system is running on minimal capacity. If that happens on a Friday afternoon, the subtle problem could linger over the whole weekend, causing minor issues for you clients. With many companies running on skeleton crews in the weekend, chances are that the problem, even if clients report it, doesn’t even get acknowledged in time. And that is something you never want, right?
This is why I am a firm believer in Read Only Fridays. Yes, there will be situations when you need to change something immediately well, yes, we will do that. But if the change is not necessary, better wait until the next Monday (or any other Read-Write day). A day when everybody is available to make sure that even if something subtle happens, it can be fixed as soon as possible!