Developers Club geek daily blog

1 year ago
Work as "IT astronaut": as we, engineers, visit bears and seals

"Devil. Start the astronaut" — the phrase with which our most difficult departures begin. I remember, for last Christmas approximately so we also went to repair ABHM of one public institution. The machine froze, and the data-center from it was heated. From that, we will repair or not, depended as elderly people over all country will spend New Year (with pension or without). Rescued, but work was still that. Then it was calculated and added. Pension.

Since then we are also called astronauts because we work in the block heater. At least a half of departures is at most an hour on picking and week somewhere where instead of Habr only bears. And even money costs nothing.

About astronauts

So it turned out that now all KROK knows us how group of astronauts. We have two "spetsnaz" exit commands for especially complex challenges – at colleagues on the heavy X command servers, and we have "astronauts". X command more across Moscow goes and on the center of the country — nevertheless heavy iron is poked unlike more here, than beyond Arctic Circle. And remote control almost always solves if only not to configure firewalls. Network sales managers so in general somehow managed to coordinate operation on connection about 50 points beyond the Urals at the enterprises by forces of local engineers. And there specifics such – it was necessary to make a gap on an input in an Internet channel and to connect a new piece of iron. As soon as the gap appeared – even telephony does not work. Therefore if did not write the instruction in a clear simple language – you will go to visit to bears. Then it turned out.

And we leave on prevention, different repair of an inzhenerka server, data-centers and the different accompanying infrastructure things more often. Far off not to fulfill refrigerators and the UPS therefore everyone is in 4-5 cities in a month a minimum. The country we know backwards features of the airports, dining rooms for personnel, any nychka, arrangements of sockets-zaryadok in different public buildings – too.

About my work

I will begin with myself and how in general work is arranged. At colleagues it is arranged in the same way, maybe, parts differ.

My name is Roman Karpov. Profile education at me — the electrician on trade and refrigerating appliances, the second the highest — the leading ventilation systems engineer and conditioning. In command of 5 years. Began the technician, before worked in protection of Rosatom (more precisely in PSF). Did at a position of the commander of department of a fire brigade military service, was going to go to a military college of the Ministry of Emergency Situations. At that time education was not in general, only very loud mat and fighting expansion. By the way, still I keep within the standard: with a ladder attack — on the 4th floor from 35 meters in 42 seconds.

Trial period I had 2 months – understood nothing, sat, read documentation on the equipment, went with the senior companions on departures across Moscow. The first fighting independent departure was to St. Petersburg — it was necessary to make the TsODa service, there were difficulties with conditioning. The temperature-controlled valve failed, replacement was required, plus was a complex of works on introduction of a conditioning system to operation there. Day four left. Everything was clear, clear, the main thing — to take and make hands, to agree with people that helped.

It was the last departure without surprises. The next 5 years surprises were every day. There is a lot of departures. For example, in 20 days I visited Rostov-on-Don, Chita, Ulan-Ude, Surgut, Naberezhnye Chelny. Between Chita and Ulan-Ude there were couple of days off, went with colleagues to Baikal, long ago there was a wish. Then again arbayten.

Work as "IT astronaut": as we, engineers, visit bears and seals
We with Pavel Stepanov drove it in Ulan-Ude recently. There it is beautiful even on the road.

Specifics of work of command – it is necessary to be able to jump and run at any time. Constantly someone in watch. There are service contracts and accidents. Service contracts are when in limited time it is necessary to go round N objects and to make there THAT, repairs, prevention and so on. We are able to do it, probably, best of all in the country. Why and that for this purpose it is necessary – a bit later when we tell about the Hot Key and delivery of materials there. So far I will tell about requests.

So, I as the leading engineer of the direction make the diagram of departures, I bring it to command and I plan the time. For example, 20 days of month — prevention over the country (on November 2-7 — Chita and Ulan-Ude; On November 9-13 — Surgut; 16–17 — Rostov-on-Don; 19–21 — Naberezhnye Chelny; 23–27 quietly worked in Moscow). I stay almost every weekend at home: business trips are short, for 2–3 days usually (if airplanes are in a radius of 400 kilometers from the serviced object). Colleagues have a similar diagram, the only moment, for example, if the spouse is pregnant, then we try not to send the person further Moscow area, well and so on. Or when the person only returned from Perm, according to the new request the one who was in Moscow yesterday, but not he from the airplane aboard the plane will go. Though, of course, sometimes it is necessary and to do so when accidents happen at the same time somewhere in different places.


In a duty shift we are engaged in the current office work and we wait for requests. We study documentation, we potter with reports, we sort - we collect interesting nodes, we solder something killed rare, we train people. Statistically accidents have to be distributed evenly according to the diagram, but in practice it far not so. Usually breakdowns happen in couples, and at once in two different ends of the country. And not on Monday morning, no. The request in the morning of Monday is a holiday. Usually the alarm begins at 23:00 on Friday.

Further – attempt to understand remotely what happened whether it is necessary to go. At X command and network sales managers a frequent problem – power off or problems in the trunk therefore they leave on business approximately in a third of cases. We have 90% of accidents – a question directly to us, and all on business.

"By" looks so – on January 3 at 9 in the morning Pasha left on object. Asks where fault. Protection shows in the monitor: here, speak, it was switched off after alarm and does not join. The pasha moved a mouse – the monitor turned on. The security guard continues: and what then password?. Generally, they were unclear whom to call there, all only lowed – here they to us and put tikt.

So, request. To the request it is assigned responsible. For example, I. If there is SLA in days (most often is), it is necessary to look that with the ticket. For the farthest and important runs sometimes we hold already purchased open tickets, but it is necessary just to order more often. If the office works, the command of selection of resources can help if is not present — the order usually becomes already in a taxi to the airport. Still a warehouse — urgent at us in the building, and big with rare things — in Khimki, the specialist can bring from there that it is necessary in the airport. But it is isolated cases, most often — 12 kilograms of tools, the notebook — and forward.

If on site operators do not run circles with shouts "everything was gone" (but only in a word) — doozhivlyay the equipment. We, in difference, besides, from X command, can do anything. In server park replacement only with modules, and we solder, we bring together one of another (really — often we sort noncritical systems and nonconventionally we use their component parts for repair in the cities where quickly not to get parts). To us practically any of vendors (behind two exceptions, in particular, when the customer purchased the ZIP from vendor) cannot dictate the terms on repair and support — from a guarantee for our actions systems are not removed. If we waited for specialists of vendors in an inzhenerka, country plants would stand.

Work as "IT astronaut": as we, engineers, visit bears and seals
Remained a photo from my first object

My diagram is usually known (approximately if there are no major accidents) for the week ahead — there is no sense further to plan. It is possible, but as shows experience, it is not necessary. You will plan so few weeks — then surely something happens. It is almost a sign, nobody is farther than week from exit does not plan. And still it is better to buy the return tickets in the last day — from the same opera.

Year is not painted, quarter too. Devil. Right now, while I write, the request came. In Nizhny Novgorod the cooling system is not started. All thanks, we went to work.

Here somehow so. Work exit — the house, a family, normally I am in time. There are no children yet. Will be — I will pass to office, to go across Moscow and St. Petersburg (there are such options).


Usually long departures are about a week. In Khabarovsk I was with the colleague two weeks. Difficult. Hung by a thread DPC of large bank on cooling (summer). The risk was big that processes will rise. On site — very difficult leak of freon from a circuit, it was necessary to look for them and to eliminate. History is such: the chiller was monoblock with the condenser of air cooling and the evaporator of water cooling with a frikuling. 4 compressors, 2 circuits, in the both 407th multicomponent. And it is such freon that on regulations it perezapravlyatsya only by all amount because differently shares of components will debalance. Process: the machine stops, freon from system is evacuated in the capacity (in the atmosphere it is impossible). Further under excessive pressure the system is filled with method of dry nitrogen to the recommended values and there is a work on search of places of leaks. We go, we look at pipes — we perform detailed inspection of nodes with use of specifics. Leaks are defined. Then nitrogen from system is evacuated. Pipes are soldered. Now it is necessary to check how closed leaks, that is tightness on regulations. Again check by nitrogen under pressure. Maintains terms of the standard and pressure loss is not present – means, it is hermetic. The statement is drawn up and vised. Again nitrogen is pitted. Then the system is vacuumized and again filling with freon and compressor oil in case of loss of amount becomes. Then machines come to operation again.

In general, Seryoga at us of the guru, somehow saved all courts, but about it it is impossible to tell so far. Still it had a long departure on the fire warning of the 22-storey building, it was necessary to integrate it with all systems. For example, with evacuation elevators, the notification and about ten more subsystems. And still among themselves these subsystems to make friends. It then had three weeks of a separation from a family and the dining room. Speaks, the second was given especially hard.

Communication it depends. Somewhere it is normal, somewhere not. For example in Magadan Wi-Fi was through cash desk of hotel – printed the password on a tape for 1 hour or on two. And such picture in all hotels of the city – that is in both. Is still local 3G, but he all the same jumps via the satellite therefore everywhere we try through Wi-Fi. Though in the same Surgut it was simpler to distribute from mobile — quicker and more productively than from a local network. Sim cards at us corporate, are paid by the company. But not everywhere our operators catch therefore sometimes we take, reserve. For example, in Noyabrsk there was no network in hotel, and corporate MTS was bad. Local speak, MEGA well works — purchased on site a sim card and perfectly serfit all business trip for 200 rubles.

If with itself there is a notebook, then in general we are capable to be connected also to the local closed networks with a technical traffic if it is absolutely bad with communication.

Cleaning of others jambs

Sergey appeared at us on a threshold in 2006. Graduated from the Voronezh state Polytechnic University on radio engineering. Worked in regional clinical hospital, serviced KT and MPT. Then was engaged in safety in Voronezh. It was necessary to move on family circumstances to Moscow, began to watch what companies in the market are on its profile. Suddenly learned that many people on intellectual buildings are required (it is just an inzhenerka on a joint from IT). Arrived to us, had interview, got to our command in the 2007th.

Seryoga often gets objects where it is necessary "to smooth out" behind other command. Usually as – the contractor works, promises the moon also commissioning just in time. Perhaps we have such specifics, but "just in time", it seems to me, the professional myth. For few weeks before delivery (or in general in 2-3 days) the customer guesses that if there is no infrastructure physically, then, probably, will not manage to hand over. Also call us. Here all words are remembered, both about "astronauts", and about "special troops" and what only good you do not learn about yourself. In 80% of cases we solve, but happens and so that the customer is surprised:
— Three days passed! Why it is not ready?
And we sit and we think – really why we three together did not build the absent buildings?

Or here still an example, we completed after official start there. There were somehow works on commissioning of systems – there 10 people in 9 months gave rise to nothing in time. They handed over object because when the fire inspector came — the customer proved that all exactly, having shown army sharpness. Put the fighter on a roof, he monitored in the field-glass what the inspector does, and on a handheld transceiver reported to "the Soviet automatic equipment" — other fighters in panel board what to include. As a result they turned on one of pumps, and forgot to switch off. Water filled a roof, and then began to spill on the street. There the center, cafes, all affairs — the people began to panic and google about a rainy season.

Far East

Pavel came to us in 2007 after army. Then we just recruited trainees, he also settled. Speaks, I remember, recognized words, a subject my professional gave a manual some, it seems, and what the equipment is — in 5 years of university nobody even close showed it to me. After a trial period the first "fighting" business trip — went with it to Rostov to start shop. The airport integrated two runs, and on site it became clear that our baggage was forgotten to be submerged (all who went by the second plane). And we had a tool there. The customer speaks — the main thing, reached, we will give everything. Also gave. The baggage was taken away only in the evening, but already not strongly it was useful – fulfilled what is.

The most remembered business trips — Magadan and Khabarovsk. On Friday arrived in office, on Monday departed to Khabarovsk. Difference of 8 and 7 hours. In flights — 9 hours there. Then 8 more hours. Work identical — the conditioner, the UPS, the diesel. It is necessary prevention for TsODa and server.

When you fly from the Far East, days increase for 6-8 hours. At 5 in the morning rose, at 5 in the morning arrived to Moscow. But it is still well, usually run such – at 3 o'clock in the afternoon took off, in Moscow for 3 o'clock in the afternoon too. If does not carry – accident, and it is necessary to go to office. Or on the contrary, when from Moscow you take off there in the evening, in the morning on site. Did not sleep normally, and morning, it is necessary to work again.

Pasch's anniversary noted in Novokuznetsk on object. There it was necessary to change the equipment, the customer told that he was brought at last (hurrah!), but it turned out that he was guided by the report of transport company that it "will be tomorrow". Waited for a week more. All night long he was awoken with calls with congratulations.

By the way, about frosts. I somehow got the frostiest day in Kemerovo when was whether-42, whether-43. I knew what will be cold, but did not represent that it is real MOROZNO. After this case we agreed with service of selection of resources, to us bought new Bavaria jackets, warm. With them it is simpler, before it was necessary to hook still "vshivnik".

Undertook – do to result

The pasha (another) firmly entered into command after proved that "There are no tasks impracticable", and he will resolve an issue to a victory. This trait of character is very important for the engineer.

At me, for example, on departure was so — literally last month, opening of new big shop in Surgut. It is necessary to rise by 10 meters to put some communications. And there is no ladder. Took and rented a pikaniska — a lifting gear. At this time temperature outside already reached to-20. Come, begin to heat the diesel, speak – "climb". Я:
— Men, you drive hydraulics, a pomyorzl, probably.
— Well, everything is normal, give work.
— You start, lift and lower, we will look.
Precisely, reaches the middle – the hose tears off. Everything, the tragedy to wait for the repairman. It was necessary to them on site and to repair a pikaniska, and on shopping center to work. Pasha has not so bright stories, but idea, think, is clear.

In general, Pasha worked as the technologist of assembly and welding production at one of the defense enterprises. Dealt with big welding and not only welding machines and units. When for the first time got — the outlook turned over as the workplace can look. After huge workshop 3 pensioners (not the best years were, the end of the 90th) worked at this enterprise such dark where, normal engineering command with the modern tool – it for it was as toy store.

To us looked for work hardly. "We need young frames, but go somewhere accumulate experience".

The pasha was still marked out that left on object where the electricity was not, and all BP died. It was necessary to drag batteries, and to it only just plaster was removed. Worked on an equal basis with local, repaired everything.

And to the first business trip he went for Baikal, to Aldan, but it is already best of all in baizes we will tell.

Here about whom I told:
Work as "IT astronaut": as we, engineers, visit bears and seals
Our command: Seryoga Zolotaryov, Pavel Alexandrov, Pavel Stepanov, I am (Roman Karpov), Anton Tymoshenko and our head Alexey Vorobyyov. It left earlier, already almost ceased. We in comparison with it by experience — still young.

About Anton and Alexey did not tell, they it is better. They about our baizes still will write.

This article is a translation of the original post at
If you have any questions regarding the material covered in the article above, please, contact the original author of the post.
If you have any complaints about this article or you want this article to be deleted, please, drop an email here:

We believe that the knowledge, which is available at the most popular Russian IT blog, should be accessed by everyone, even though it is poorly translated.
Shared knowledge makes the world better.
Best wishes.

comments powered by Disqus