How Infrastructure Engineers are like Drug Pushers

I've found myself in a situation where I am working on basic engineering infrastructure almost all the time. Things like fixing build issues, working on Makefiles, writing tools to help developers get their job done, and keeping an automated build&test system up and running. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind it, and rather enjoy doing things that effectively makes everyone more productive. It's a unique job, a bit of the old Jack of all trades position.

But am I like a drug pusher? After an email exchange with a fellow infrastructure engineer, we came up with this list:

Drug Pusher Infrastructure Engineer
The product can be addictive The tools can be addictive
Users rarely admit we exist Developers rarely admit we exist
Users don't talk about us openly Developers don't talk about us openly
The product make most users feel good The tools make most developers feel productive
Users go nuts without the product Developers go nuts without the tools
Users would like these supplies to be free Developers expect these tools to be free
When the product doesn't work for them anymore, they expect new products that work exactly like the old products, but better When the tools don't work anymore, new tools are expected, but they must work exactly like the old tools, but better
When the users are under the influence and happy, nothing else matters When the developers are happy and everything is working fine, nothing else matters

Now if I could just figure out how to make lots of money from infrastructure tools. ;\^)

-kto

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Various blogs on JDK development procedures, including building, build infrastructure, testing, and source maintenance.

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