Derick St-Hilaire

Hello there! My name is Derick St-Hilaire, and I’m the Salesforce Administrator here at Devolutions. I’m one of the more experienced employees here at Devolutions, and it has been amazing to see the company and community grow over the years. My primary responsibilities include managing our Salesforce platform, and working closely with our strategic partners and customers. I also oversee the management of Devolutions Force, which is our VIP Advocate Community. Academically, I have a bachelor’s degree in marketing. When I’m not working, I enjoy camping, walking my dog, playing video games, and I’m a huge movie fan — including the Star Wars franchise of course. If you would like to join Devolutions Force, or if you wish to get in touch, then you are welcome to contact me directly at dsthilaire@devolutions.net.

October Poll Results: What’s Your Scariest IT Story?

Another Halloween has passed, but some terrifying events stay with us for many years — including those we’ve experience in the IT world.

That was the topic of October’s poll question, which asked: What’s your scariest IT story?

There were many great responses, and ALL of them could certainly provide the basis of a Stephen King book, or another installment in the Chucky horror movie franchise — maybe something along the lines of “Chucky Burns Down the Server Room.”

Which IT stories were the most terrifying? Well, naturally, there is no scientifically objective way to answer this. We don’t have a “Scare-O-Meter” around here to measure the freakiness of each story. **Nevertheless, here are a few stories** that I found particularly chilling:

From Richard Faulkner: For a physically scary story, I was working with the local power company a long time ago accomplishing a software migration from GroupWise to Exchange 2000. (Yes, it was that long ago.) Since they could not get their Tivoli deployment working correctly, we had to go machine to machine and run a series of uninstalls and installs. Of course, this had to be done after hours. I was at one of their large maintenance and install centers, and I found myself out in the large warehouse that housed the transformers and telephone poles at about 3:30 AM. I was in the middle of the routine, fighting to stay awake (since clicking next, next, next, finish isn't exactly riveting), when all of a sudden, I felt claws grab the side of my thigh! I almost jumped out of the chair! I looked over and there was the barn cat they kept in the warehouse to keep the mice away. Needless to say, my heart rate finally calmed after about 10 minutes, and I did not have any trouble staying awake for the rest of the work night.

From Ron: Let me be the first to tell my scariest moment in IT...Many years ago I had to dismantle the server room of a subsidiary we had closed. Under the floor there were a lot of cables and I didn't feel like pulling them one by one and roll them up tightly. Since they weren’t being reused,I used a wire cutter to quickly cut them up and throw them away. But then...BAM!!! Turns out that I cut a 360V power cable, which still had current voltage on it! Needless to say, it scared the living sh*t out of me, hahahaha!

From Igor Svetek: Report admin left the company. When deleting his account, I deleted 20+ production reports needed for operation...no backup...

From Joe Clark: Exchange server on premise for a customer 20ish years ago...There was a power problem with brownouts & spikes, despite multiple UPS swaps & electricians...Every single time there was lightning, I would get in my car and drive to their office as fast as I could, praying I could make it to perform an orderly shutdown before doom struck. This lasted for 3 months in the spring. There were lots of storms while it was going on — so much fear and sweat...and so little time. Can I make it before it happens? Looks like I’m going to be here for 12+ hours sorting this out. There were at least 5 times that I didn't make it on time...

And I must make a special mention of a couple stories that were both scary AND gruesome:

From !BRNDMG: Once a client had several server hardware outtakes due to increasing heat in the server room. Some of the hardware was under a maintenance contract by us. So we checked the site and told the customer he had to cool the hardware better or we would nullify the contract due to breach of it. The customer found a solution: It was a hospital and they got cool air from the pathology... Good thing servers don’t have noses...And I was happy that I was not the technician serving this customer =D

From Wontollaz: Exchange server had an issue in the DB storage. After entering the data center I opened the rack, removed the chassis, and several hundred cockroaches jumped out...damn real and disgusting.

I encourage everyone to read all of the scary stories — there are almost two dozen of them. You’ll soon be echoing words from The Blair Witch Project: “I’m scared to close my eyes; I’m scared to open them!” (Just kidding — they’re scary, but they aren’t THAT scary!)

The Winners Are…

First off, you’re all winners for conquering your fears in the IT world. Take a bow and give yourself a pat on the back.

Now, let’s reveal the two lucky poll participants who were randomly selected to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Congratulations to Benjamin Crill and Joe Clark! Please email me at dsthilaire@devolutions.net to claim your prize.

Thanks again to everyone that participated in the October poll. Please stay tuned for November’s poll, which we promise will be 100% terror-free.

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