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Adminship per job title

I am a web developer/strategist/designer/master.  Have been for 10 years now.  I have never run in to an IT guy who would not give me administrative rights on my own machine until recently.  Even when I worked for a Fortune 500 energy company I was an administrator on my own machine.

At my last job I was there for 14 months, was an extremely hardworking and trustworthy employee, and never had any issues.  My IT guy was great and he granted me access to whatever I needed whenever I needed it.  Then a new guy came and took my administrative priveledges away.  I wasn't even allowed to have admin rights to my local machine.  No matter what, he could not be convinced that I needed admin priveleges.

So I started documenting everything that I had to ask IT to do for me that I used to do for myself in an effort to demonstrate how much of my time was being wasted.  In the mean time I found another job and the whole issue became moot.

Now I am at my new job and I am running in to the same issue.  I am the first person that has ever held this position in this company (it is a huge company - global - a name you have for sure heard and probably own something from.)  In the past the websites were done by the IT staff so I guess they never realized that this job is not Do-ABLE without administrative rights.  I also think part of the problem is that, since there is no web dept in place the management has mistakenly given me the title of "Sr. Web Designer" instead of "Sr. Web Developer".

I have been searching for some sort of list on the internet that would show what job titles should have what set of admin rights, but I am not having much luck.

So my question is 2 parts.  Should I push to have the title changed?  And where can I go to get some resources proving that I should be granted admin rights on my own computer?
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Unfortunately I doubt there is anything like that out there. This is solely up to the company. Either from the IT Director or passed down from higher ups.

The only thing you need to do is justify why you need it. If it is affecting your work and not allowing you to get your job done then you need to write a letter to CIO or someone higher up and explain why you need it and how it will your productivity by not getting IT every time you need to do something.

IF you are concerned about your title just ask them if it can be changed. In the scheme of everything it is just a title so they should have no problem changing it.
kellybellyAuthor Commented:
I agree with all of that.  Still I am going to need some documentation to back me up.  Anyone have anything on what types of users need what types of permissions?  Or maybe an article on why developers should have admin rights on their machines?  I know it's basic, but with network security becoming more and more of a priority, and roles within IT and web marketing evolving, I can't be the first person who has faced this problem.
This is based on company policy. My last job they made EVERYONE local admins and my current job only about 9 people company wide are local admins.

Currently if someone needs local admin access they need to justify it to there manager/supervisor which then comes to IT, then is brought up to President for approval.

Sucks but that is how the corporate world operates... If you can't justify why you need it, no document in the world will probably change their minds.
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If you want to get it by change of job title, you should get them to add "Web application administrator"  to it.
Get it as a second job title in addition to "Web Designer",  so it seems
like you are doing more work.

Then you have a very easy reason to get local admin access to workstations
-- you need to test some things before you think of applying them to a server.

In a locked down large enterprise environment; I wouldn't give web designers local admin access over their own workstations either (merely on the basis of being web designers).

I would have a hard time giving developers that access too (on that basis alone); and I would look hard  to carve out the permissions they needed without giving them a blank check  (full admin access).

It is very possible to do so, and with the right permissioning made, developers can do what they are assigned to do, using the tools they are authorized to use, without needing full admin access.

Failing that,  I would create a separate user for the developer to use for local admin access;  i.e.  (user)admin,   just like would normally be done for most admins.

They wouldn't be allowed to login as (user)ladmin  interactively, or use that username for remote access, and it would not be domain admin,  but  while at the physical console, they could  Run programs as their admin user;

And this would be logged heavily with security auditing features and remote event collectors enabled,    with group  policy set to enforce config in such a way that they (even with local admin privs)  could not override imposed settings
such as screensaver idle lockout after 20 mins, no wallpaper, no windows firewall,
local group memberships & local userlist, etc....

Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Interesting topic.

Not having administrative rights can be a pain, that's true. But ultimately they are a terrible thing that we have become far too used to.

Realistically few tasks actually need administrative rights. In most cases it's simply that becoming Administrator is the simplest way to make up for ill-considered permission sets.

I work with a lot of developers now, and I've worked with them in the past. In my experience (as non-individual entities) developers are far from immune from getting themselves bothered by malicious software (whether trojan, virus, malware, anything).

I don't mean to imply that this position is held only by developers (or even any specific individual), it isn't. Far too many of my colleagues in the IT world are just as prone to visiting sites they shouldn't, loading unauthorised software, etc etc.

In effect, the highly restricted permission set is applied because of the lowest common denominator. That is where our risk lies and this is how we must attempt to mitigate that risk.

Administrative rights are not a terrible thing.   I don't like liked locked down corporate environments, and I don't think it's conducive to productivity to have developers work in an environment where they cannot make any changes to  their workstation  or where they don't have free reign over some development machines  (I.E.  additional computers they use to perform work aside from their
"primary" workstation).

Companies _should_ structure policies to ensure developers and other IT workers are allowed to download and install legal software to assist in development and administration, without special permission or some process -- provided the software is provided by a well-known trusted source, it is legal to use the downloaded software, they follow good security practices, and run good AV software.

I believe developers should be given authority and proper tools, like access to install images and media for the OSes in use at the site they might develop on and oversight by IT, provided they get their job done, and do not waste time messing with their system settings.

However: when corporate IT policy is lock down the workstations, the developers, and even the workstation admins should follow the same rules as everyone else.
No logging in as a user with admin rights, except briefly and performing only the needed task that requires those rights.

It is a business decision whether to favor productivity over security, and in certain businesses, security will be chosen.

When a business has made that decision;  I don't see any reason that a Web developer is special.

You simply don't need admin privileges on any workstation for web development; you (may)  need admin privileges on web servers.

It would be very different  if your workstation were being used as a test machine, and you were developing drivers for a hardware company or application software
that requires admin privileges to run.

Or if you had the task of choosing and deploying the development tools  to the developers' workstations.

In a locked down corporate environment though:  company policy will ordinarily require authorization of all software.

The people who approve the software will have responsibility for deciding how it may be deployed.

kellybellyAuthor Commented:
Mysidia - thanks for your well though out answer.  A few notes on this particular situation:

- I am using my station as a test machine (wamp server.)
- I do need to test new software, etc. in order to make decisions on website technologies going forward.

I really appreciate everyone's comments on this thread.  Extremely helpful.  Being a web developer I really disagree that web developers don't need admin rights.  Maybe I am missing something, I am not as heavily involved or technical as all of you.  But I am constantly downloading widgets, tools, whatever.  It seems that at least once every few days I need to sync up a database using some freeware tool that I never needed before, or test a new module for a specific functionality on the websites.  And I need admin priviledges to do these things.  

Mysidia's comment about making a decision between productivity and security is going to sum up the debate.  And each company had to make that on its own.

I would love to get you guys (everyone who has commented) to post your job titles.  I would love to know what point of view you are coming from.
Systems Engineer
Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Mine is a bit over the top, Senior Systems and Network Engineer. See what I mean? Ultimately another Sys Admin.

While I disagree about admin permissions being a good thing (or not a terrible thing), I do agree with the summary of the trade-off, security for productivity. That one is extremely difficult to balance :)

Web programmer, PBX Admin, Network admin,  Linux systems manager,  DNS chief,  Mail system manager.

Too many titles.
Yes, if I could write the policy for your org i'd give you the Local admin access.
If you were able to mess something up with that minimal level of access,
and I had no nets that would be sure to catch you, then it would mean I had done something terribly wrong;  because 'local access' is fictional security,  easily defeated with a simple bootdisk:  a few small tweaks (from the disk)  will break the domain membership and create a local admin user.

Yes, I have the elusive local admin access and more (broader scope than local).
But then again, my workstation only runs anything based on Windows, because I chose to have it that way,  primarily b/c it's easier to talk with Exchange that way.
If not for M$  office,   I would  most likely be 100%  Linux.

If you ran a Linux OS on hardware suitable for virtual machines [lots of memory, lots of disk space, at least dual CPU cores] and used Windows  inside a VirtualBox  VM...  you might find more flexibility in terms
of setting up test environments   (provided the needed Windows licenses
and IP addresses are available to spare, you know...).

When you are designing your own Linux desktop; I presume it self-apparent
that you have root.     Naturally,  your org's  firewall's  job is to stop anyone
from accessing your workstation from the network,  and to stop you from ssh'ing
to an unauthorized destination (for example)

Although such an elaborate setup would not be part of the standard system image, and could not easily be restored if it broke,  without a custom image.

I would imagine you can make a case for this  environment  as a web developer very easily.

Consider this case:  You need to test the web site with multiple browsers  to make sure it looks reasonable in all of them.

You can't properly have  Opera, Firefox, IE5, IE6, and IE7  installed at the same time,   in a "frozen"   standardized  manner  where it's guaranteed the browser won't break.

Plus there are Linux-specific browsers like  KHTML  or  OS X  Safari

Using a virtual machine is a very convenient way of having multiple browser versions for various versions of Windows and *IX, while keeping the development environment completely clean.

Development tools may work better in an *IX environment, you know.

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