Yep, That’s About How It Works   Leave a comment

Phil had a post that led to Jessica and her site made the blogroll.  I like this one quite a bit:

Engineering Yourself Out Of A Job

Engineering Yourself Out Of A Job

This is, in fact, the right way to do my job.  Make it easily reproducible, make it easily understandable.  In systems administration, about 90% of what you do (after you’ve done the setup correctly) can be maintained by someone who makes half of what you make.  Of course, really competent systems administrators are really, really rare… and as such the setup you start out with at a new job is hardly ever done correctly.  Fixing broken setups requires a high skill level.  Making migrations from one working setup to another requires pretty high skill, and in the IT business this is something you pretty much have to do once every 3-5 years.

The problem I see is the “C”.  Too often I see people who are actually good at my job come into an organization, fix it (pouring in long hours and enough frustration to cause early heart failure), and six months after everything is working smoothly circumstances lead to their departure and entropy starts to set it.

Systems administration is a thankless job.  My friend Erich once called systems administration “the plumber of the 21st century”… I used to think he was right, but I now realize that one of the fundamental differences between the plumber and the sysadmin is that the plumber comes to the rescue when you are experiencing misfortune, and the sysadmin is the guy who is putting in rules you don’t like, telling you that you can’t use your iPhone with the corporate Exchange server, and is obviously at fault when something breaks.  Oh, and often when you go looking for him he’s surfing the web!  If your plumbing breaks, you’re grateful to the plumber when he fixes it.  If your IT infrastructure breaks, you’re angry with your sysadmin until he fixes it.

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Posted November 6, 2008 by padraic2112 in tech, work

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