Week 6 : Dell EMC

Posted on July 1, 2017

This week started off slow, and then picked up. A few things happened around the office. There was a big meeting for all of midrange. They announced 1 billion in sales, so the company was excited and got us cake, which was nice. I finally got around to going to the popcorn machine and made some delicious popcorn. All in all it was a good week.

I had more array problems, but I am now better positioned to fix them myself, which is huge for saving time. I’m nearly halfway done the internship, and I feel like I work well in a large corporation. It has good soft benefits, and I can still interact with some people on a close basis. The question I’m struggling with now, is do I apply here to come back again, or branch out and try something new?

What I did

Apart from going to an intern event Monday, I also finally got around to going to the fitness center to receive an orientation. I worked on a more complex user story, and finally got to use ‘school’ knowledge, as the work involved creating a linked list. Something I’m glad that I am comfortable and familiar with.


Today I went to an intern event where Jeremy Burton, the Chief Marking Officer of Dell spoke to interns. He talked about many things from his experience with tech companies, and his advice in marketing. In additional to this information he also took questions, and I asked one about cloud computing.

I learned that even if cloud computing sweeps up very many small companies, the provider will still need storage servers. Only the big 4 companies will be able to bypass using someone else’s enterprise storage solution. And by the numbers Dell’s revenue in the area is very small compared to the market. 74 billion to 1.5 trillion respectively. That really put into perspective for me how much room the company can continue growing.

Read your code before running it. Your compiler will catch some small mistakes, but it certainly will not catch everything. And one small mistake can cause a lot of trouble. I learned that today when I accidentally exited from a function early without setting a status code. Eventually this lead to a dual SP panic and the array I was working on went down. I had to file a ticket and you know how those go.

Always use logs. I was having trouble with an upgrade script not copying an image to a remote storage array. This was very frustrating because I would need to ask coworkers to do it for me, or out in a ticket; neither of those being favorable choices.

My mind went wild thinking of what could have gone wrong. It could be the script was outdated, permission errors, firewall issues, etc. A coworker Thomas told me to check the debug logs, and sure enough the issue was plain enough to see. The script didn’t even see the image, so it got my suspicious. It turns out when I copied and pasted the command from an email, a Unicode hyphen (−) was copied over instead of an ASCII hyphen (-). They barely look different, but the script sees them as two different things. Simple things cause big problems.

“Everyone makes mistakes” (Hannah Montana). Today at the daily scrum I brought up how I was getting weird holes in my data. James asked where I was doing the IO to. I said that I was doing it to the copy destination. Both James and John realized that they had given me a bad user story.

We laughed it off, and decided that doing the same thing to the source disks would work fine, and not all my code would go waste. After a few small modifications the user story was viable, and I was no longer getting data holes. I’m glad I brought that up, and the mistake was realized, else I would have had a lot of headaches.

Always time stamp log entries. The time is an incredibly powerful tool to have. It’s most notable use is for performance testing. When there are times it is much easier to parse, and understand logs. This is especially useful for when I’m running a large test that is taking forever. I can check the logs to ensure that it was in fact doing something recently.


The past weekend I sailed in a race we came in 5th place, and had we been a minute faster, we would have come in 3rd. It was a scenic race around Newport, and nothing beats the silence of a sailboat, no cyclic engine sounds, only flapping sails, and the sound of waves. Next week is the 4th of July week and I’m stoked, not only for the day off, but for the weekend too. My family rents a cabin every year for a week in Douglas, Massachusetts. I will be able to go there after work.

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