Why I’m not a Sysadmin anymore

Pedro Timóteo has posted a small rant on his blog:

I have worked as a sysadmin (mostly Unix / Linux) for most of my professional life (not right now, though), and I’ve been meaning to write a few thoughts about it for a while.

My experience is that working as a sysadmin is, to me, interesting and fulfilling on a technical level, but ultimately disappointing and frustrating on a career and personal level. Why is that?

My thoughts –

This is true if you work for a small shop.

But if you work for a big shop (>=5000 servers) then you don’t get disappointed at all. For example my team is responsible for running apps 24x7x365 days. My job is not writing cutting edge software or network engineering. Generally we get product from our development team, we run scalability testing, make changes to our cluster and fine tune system for the app. We configure all servers and deploy our app. Next comes the maintenance and troubleshooting. If there is a downtime, we are called upon to fix the problems. Trust me everyday I see new challenges 🙂

Why I’m not a Sysadmin anymore [Via Adminspotting]

What do you think? Please add your thoughts in the comments!

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🐧 4 comments so far... add one
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4 comments… add one
  • ricc Apr 30, 2007 @ 4:50

    Blessed are you who get to maintain >5000 servers 24x7x365. Many sysadmins are not very lucky like you( I am one of them).

    Hope I get to work in such a facility?. Then only I can say whether it is fulfilling or not.

    Let me tell you, I really am disappointed with my work right now.


  • wadboy Apr 30, 2007 @ 12:12

    Being an admin, of any sort, is largely a thankless and un-fulfilling occupation.

    I’ve been doing this for 11 years now, at multiple place, with varying sizes of installs (40 to 2000+) and I can tell you that the most important thing I’ve learned is this:

    You shovel the same pile everywhere you go; the only variables are the shovel, the barn, and the pile of sh*t.

  • LinuxRider Apr 30, 2007 @ 14:01

    My advice – if you are not satisfied with your current job or workplace change – move to companies such as Google / Yahoo; btw check out Google’s culture czar article

    Just my 2cents

    PS: you should leave your present job only after you find a new one 😉

  • Matthew Jul 28, 2008 @ 12:21

    I can understand the frustration, I’m a system admin for a school district and you are either the hero or a zero on any given day. If you can fix their problem right away they love you, but if it takes a while or they want to do something that is against policy and you tell them no you are not worthy of being the stuff on the bottom of their shoe.

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