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is a system admin's life easier?

 
Greenhorn
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java and web development is very fast paced with new apis and tools coming out every month. it's tough to keep up and it would be great to go home and not have to study or do tutorials.

this makes me wonder about our system admin. he does backups, applies patches, creates accounts, configures servers, etc. as a developer, you need to have system admin knowledge to get anything done. why not take a break and enjoy life a little and take an easier career? paged at 2am because a system crashed? people constantly interrupting you.

system admin seems to have the right money/life/work balance.
 
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Nobu:

I was an SA manager for many years.

I showed your note to my wife and she laughed and laughed.

Take your SA to lunch and ask him/her about the all night conference calls, the poorly documented system software that shows up on Wednesday and must be ready for the developers by Friday, and the users who all think they are on a mission from G-d and must be serviced this minute.

Remember that if you make a mistake, you take down one application. An SA who makes a mistake affects a dozen systems, all of which lose a month of development time because of a one day outage.

With that said, if you like systems software, go for it. I found it endlessly fascinating, it stretched my abilities to the limit, and when it's done right, you can be justly proud of the people you helped, some of whom appreciate it.

Mike
 
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This might be an interesting thread to incite some flames! Within the IT industry, what career paths do we consider to be the most challenging? Which do we respect most? My list would look something like-

1. Software Architect
2. Programmer
3. Database Engineer
4. Business/Systems Analyst
5. Sys/Ops admin
6. QA Engineer
[ September 17, 2004: Message edited by: Fletcher Estes ]
 
Mike Gershman
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So how long have you been a System Architect?


 
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Originally posted by Fletcher Estes:
This might be an interesting thread to incite some flames! Within the IT industry, what career paths do we consider to be the most challenging? Which do we respect most? My list would look something like-

1. Software Architect
2. Programmer
3. Database Engineer
4. Business/Systems Analyst
5. Sys/Ops admin
6. QA Engineer

[ September 17, 2004: Message edited by: Fletcher Estes ]



IMHO, the value or relevance of job titles does not apply to the IT industry. For instance what does a "Web Programmer", "Web Developer" tell you ? ... nothing except that he uses some web-oriented scripting/programming languages...that ranges anywhere from simple HTML coding to JSP/Servlets and more.

Now consider an engineering company dealing with Electrical Fixtures. The guy who does the basic installation work is called "Electrical Technician" and the guy who designed the fixture would atleast be an "Electrical Engineer I".

The word "Engineer" from the beginning has been used very loosely in the software industry. I've known people with BA degrees working as "Software Engineers". But I can't find a single employee without an Engineering degree working as a "Electrical/Civil/Mechanical Engineer".

Software industry has a long way to go in fixing standards and titles (if they should be taken seriously) have to be fixed too.

Unless I know the duties of the job neither would I apply for one nor would I hire anyone (based only on his past titles).
 
Derek Grey
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Originally posted by nobu taku:
java and web development is very fast paced with new apis and tools coming out every month. it's tough to keep up and it would be great to go home and not have to study or do tutorials.

this makes me wonder about our system admin. he does backups, applies patches, creates accounts, configures servers, etc. as a developer, you need to have system admin knowledge to get anything done. why not take a break and enjoy life a little and take an easier career? paged at 2am because a system crashed? people constantly interrupting you.

system admin seems to have the right money/life/work balance.



I'll admit...5 years ago my thinking was just like yours. But like Mike said...it ain't all so rosy for the sys admin fellas. A friend of mine almost got fired for not reporting to duty at 3AM on a saturday. Poor guy had a tough week ... he was so tired that he couldn't hear his pager beeping.

Also, don't forget that if something goes wrong the developers would be on the sys. admins. throat.

One terrific advantage is that unlike developers you'd have plenty of job security...and hell no ... its not low pay ...atleast not in every situation.
 
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