What makes a SysAdmin ?The following was writen by James R. Ware (firstname.lastname@example.org) on the newsgroup comp.unix.admin.
- A deep streak of Masochism, very little life and the ability to wake up nice and cheery at 2am to a panicked phone call from an idiot user who has just done something stupid that is going to cost you two weeks work.
- At least a BS in Computer Science. With all the BS in this game, you'll need at least that much.
- Experience. Of course you can't get a job until you've got experience so the mere existence of systems administrators is a logical impossibility since the first one has never been hired.
- The patience of Job (for eventually you will wish to curse God and die).
- A good sense of humor - Lest the job should drive you into the SERIAL KILLER business.
- Good Communications Skills - So that you can tell a user tactfully and diplomatically that if he (or she) ever does anything as stupid as that again, that you are personally going to choke the living shit out of them.
- Good Vendor Interaction Skills - So that you can bribe your service vendors technicians so that they will actually do/perform services as advertised, on time.
- Good Networking Skills - So that you actually know that your multi-million dollar network is down and the users aren't just complaining because they haven't got the skills, training or a clue as to how to USE it.
- Salesmanship - So that you can get management to actually support your installation with needed capital for necessary training, software, hardware and diagnostic tools rather than tell you : THAT IS WHAT WE PAY YOU TO DO.
- A Severe Mental Disorder - So that you do not immediately recognize that the position of Systems Administrator is roughly equilvalent to wearing a "KICK ME, I'm Stupid" T-Shirt.
- A Secondary Job Skill - So that when you eventually BURN OUT, you won't starve. You want extra pickle on that?
As an experienced Systems Administrator, I consider these eleven attributes to essential to a competent SA. But since SA's are only a theoretical possibility (see Above), I myself can not possibly exist, nor can this news group, its corresponding members nor the Internet itself. So this entire discussion is a delusion - a logical paradox which can only exist in the Twilight Zone.
NURSE! GET MY MEDICATION.... I'm having another one of those DAMNED FITS...
Heather Garvey / email@example.com