I don’t talk much about work lately, so I decided I’ll let you know that our Network Operations Center (NOC) will work on different shifts from today. We are still 24×7, but shift changes are now one hour later. So our morning shift starts at 7:00 and goes up to 16:00. Lunch shift starts at 15:00 and goes up to midnight. And my favourite night shift starts from 23:00 and continues until 08:00. This sounds like a little bit more comfortable times, although there is no major change.
The bigger change might be is that now we have an order instead of a chaos. Before, we used to have all the engineers registering for shifts. It turned out that there are certain shifts that noone wants to take and we had to push each other to take them. This, of course, starts as a small problem and grows into a bigger one. To return everything to fair basis, we now have a script (written by yours truly) that collects preferences from all the engineers and generates a fair schedule one month ahead. It gives everyone an equal (as much as possible) number of shifts in the month, but it also tries to assign engineers to their favourite shifts (again, as much as possible). Shifts which are not liked by everyone are evenly distributed on a random basis.
This should shake things down a little bit. Engineers are still able to exchange shifts with each other if they wish, so what we have now is just a default engineer assigned to every shift. I think that should make NOC a bit more fun and a much more fair game.
As usual, time will show…