The life of a sysadmin: answering Yandex questions

8 min


The last Friday of July has arrived – System Administrator Day. Of course, there is a small amount of sarcasm in the fact that it takes place on Friday – the day when in the evening all the funniest things happen in a mysterious way like server crashes, mail crashes, entire network failure, etc. Nevertheless, it will be a holiday, despite the busy period of universal retirement, a gradual return to bored and feral offices and various new infrastructure in the arsenal.

And since it’s a holiday, Friday and summer, then it’s time to relax a little. Today we will answer Yandex’s questions – not all of them will be answered with ours.

Disclaimer. Article written by an employee RegionSoft Developer Studio under the heading “Free microphone” and did not pass any approvals. The position of the author may or may not be the same as the position of the company.

Why are sysadmins so arrogant?

The work of a system administrator in most cases is setting up a network, users, workstations and software, monitoring license purity and information security (from antiviruses and firewalls to controlling user visits to sites) in small companies. In small (and often in medium-sized) businesses, they are responsible for the entire IT infrastructure, including user incidents, business needs, telephony, mail, instant messengers and the organization of corporate Wi-Fi points. Do you think that I will write now that such a load is already a reason to become arrogant? Not.

Admins are not arrogant, admins are angry, tired and annoyed. In a complex it is very similar to arrogance, especially when he is once again forced to fix the MFP due to a jammed paper clip from a ream of papers and therefore rolls his eyes and swears softly. But there is also this:

  • the manager believes that if pirated software is published, it means that someone needs it, including him; he prefers to think about fines tomorrow;
  • employees consider themselves to be labor hackers and therefore manage to catch viruses, burn ports and carry components home;
  • the sysadmin is forced to have lunch, smoke and go to the toilet with a phone, because for not answering within 3 minutes, the accountant or manager can snitch the boss;
  • everyone thinks that the sysadmin is a slacker or, according to the generous version, someone like a computer genie who must fly into the scene of an accident at the touch of a phone button;
  • if the sysadmin is associated with development, then the blame for a delayed or overdue release will be shifted onto him – it was he who did not prepare the assembly, the test bench, and something else unknown. And no, the carelessness of the development department and the evening raid in the WoT of testers instead of regression testing of the build has nothing to do with it.

In general, you will be arrogant here. The severity and anger of the system administrator is a defensive reaction of a tired and worn person. Smile, do not meddle in his work, treat him with something tasty and you will see that he is a good guy. And there you can ask for a comfortable keyboard. Such, white and with high clicking keys.

Why do sysadmins receive little? Why do sysadmins get so little? Why do sysadmins get fewer programmers?

This is not a myth: the average office sysadmin really gets less money than a similar-level developer or programmer. This is due to the fact that, formally, the technology stack owned by the system administrator is smaller than the one used by the programmer. In addition, the work of a sysadmin often has less intellectual load than the work of a programmer. However, this only applies to “general” companies. In IT companies, the situation can be completely different, a system administrator can be much more expensive than a developer.

If you are a system administrator, do not worry about salaries, but simply study and grow: system administrators with good knowledge of network technologies, DevOps, DevSecOps and information security specialists bypass even senior developers on salaries.

Why are sysadmins thin and programmers fat?

Because programmers sit on the fifth point and code for 8-16 hours a day, and sysadmins all the time rush to work places, run to servers, work in a cool server room, and you also need to be thin to pull cables in a false ceiling. I’m kidding, of course.

In fact, it all depends on the specific person: the programmer can swing, go on a diet and have dinner with cottage cheese and banana, and the sysadmin can eat delivery from McDonald’s and beer for dinner. Then the balance will be reversed. Therefore, both sysadmins immersed in monitoring and scripts, and programmers who sit at a PC for a long time, it is better to follow a few minimum rules:

  • walking up the stairs and not using the elevator;
  • on weekends, choose active types of walks (cycling, swimming, active games);
  • take at least 3 breaks for a walk, jogging stairs or warm up;
  • do not eat any snacks on the PC, except for vegetables and fruits;
  • do not drink sweet soda and energy drinks – choose coffee, different types of tea and tonic plants for all occasions (ginseng, sagaan-dali, ginger);
  • eat on time, and not in one sitting before bed;
  • by the way, about sleep – get enough sleep.

And all why? In order not to get diabetes and atherosclerosis, which ultimately spoil the work of the brain and the body as a whole. Finally, physical activity stimulates the supply of oxygen to the brain, which makes work easier and more productive. So that.

Why don’t sysadmins like cacti?

I remember this story almost from the late 90s: our institute was automated early, computers were installed in all departments, and each computer had a cactus. Because the cactus, according to the ancient office belief, was supposed to save from radiation and electromagnetic radiation, there were still versions “from computer radiation” and “from a computer” in the world.

System administrators do not like cacti and any other flowers near the work computers of company employees for several reasons:

  • when you have to work with a monitor or keyboard, fix an employee’s laptop, it is easy to drop and break the pot with a green pet, which is sad;
  • watering flowers leads to an increased risk of watering office equipment, which, unlike cacti and spathiphyllums, does not tolerate water at all and may die;
  • earth and dust are also not the best friends of office equipment;
  • cacti, spathiphyllums and other anthuriums and zamioculcas do not protect against radiation and radiation – firstly, there is no radiation, and secondly, modern monitors are absolutely safe, and thirdly, there is no scientific evidence and even hypotheses that plants are able to protect against what -or radiation.

Flowers in the office are beautiful and pleasing to the eye. Do your best to keep them away from computers, printers and server rooms – organize your office space beautifully. The sysadmin will thank you and even water flowers in difficult times.

Why do sysadmins dislike tech support?

Because she got it. Joke. Nobody likes their worst past. Joke. Well, in every joke, as you know, there is some truth …

In general, yes, technical support from a third-party company or your own office is a separate story, for participation in which you need fiber optic nerves. When it comes to the technical support of an external company, the sysadmin, as a rule, is annoyed that young supportrs do not understand his professional wording and answer exactly according to the script. It is not often that you can find helpful support from a hoster or ISP because they quickly “grind” and update staff. Technical support staff are often unable to understand the problem and help in essence. Well, yes, business processes interfere with a bad support.

Own technical support, especially in an IT company, is most often annoying with a request to do everything for them: the client’s node has fallen, the client cannot cope with telephony, the client has no software – “Vasya, connect, you are the admin!”

To defeat the problem, you just need to delimit areas of responsibility and work strictly according to requests. Then the clients are full, and the supports are safe, and eternal glory to the system administrator.

Why don’t sysadmins like people?

If you have not understood yet, we continue the conversation. System administrators are communicators by their service need. They need to work with every colleague and do it within the bounds of decency and culture, otherwise they will be considered toxic and sent to job search sites.

They do not like it when people do not consider them to be people and demand very strange things: fix the car or phone, rinse the coffee machine, “download Photoshop to make it free for home”, issue a key for MS Office on 5 home PCs, set up business processes in CRM, write a “simple application” to automate advertising in Yandex.Direct. If the system administrator suddenly does not want to do this, he, of course, is enemy number one.

They do not like to be portrayed as their boyfriend and are actively friends with them, so that at the end of the month they ask to clean the logs of online stores, which took 80% of all traffic and about the same working time. This kind of friendship is more insulting than pleasing.

Sysadmins do not tolerate being considered idlers, because it is not obvious to office colleagues that besides running around offices and setting up the Internet, the sysadmin is engaged in monitoring the network and devices, working with documents and regulations, user settings, configuring telephony and office software, etc. What little things!

Sysadmins hate it when users meddle in their work, comment on actions and lie about the causes of the incident. A sysadmin, he is like a doctor – he needs to tell the truth and not interfere. Then the work will be done much faster.

These are the kind of people that sysadmins don’t like. And they really love simple and cool guys in the company – and in general the system administrator is the soul of the company, if the company is good. And how many tales they have in store!

Why will sysadmins not be in demand soon?

This, of course, is a lie and a provocation. The profession of a system administrator is changing: it is being automated, becoming more universal, and affecting related areas. But it does not disappear. Moreover, the IT infrastructure is now changing dramatically: business is being automated, IoT (Internet of Things) is being developed and implemented, new technologies of security, virtual reality, work on loaded systems, etc. are gradually being introduced. And everywhere, absolutely everywhere, engineers and system administrators are needed who will manage this fleet of hardware, software and networks.

Certain skills may be unclaimed, which, for example, replace robots and scripts, but the profession itself will be in demand for a very long time – and, as we could see, the transition to remote control and back clearly demonstrated this to us.

So sysadmins will be cooler, stronger and more expensive. In general, you will not wait.

Blitz

The tambourine is the system administrator’s mascot. When hitting a tambourine, all problems are solved: from a cable wound on a chair leg to working with highly loaded systems. Windows does not work without a tambourine at all.

Every IT specialist needs mathematics. It helps to think logically, to consider the system as a whole in engineering, allows to solve some problems of network administration. In general, a useful thing – I recommend it.

Python is a cool programming language, you can write smart scripts in it to manage your IT infrastructure and work with operating systems (mostly UNIX). And everything that is controlled by a script makes life easier.

Programming is needed for the same purposes. You can also cut a side project and go into development one day. An understanding of programming also helps to get to know more about the principles of computing machines.

Physics – but how the current shies away! But seriously, elementary knowledge of physics helps to work with networks, with electricity, with insulation, with optics, with communications, etc. For my taste, it’s even cooler than mathematics.

SQL is mostly needed by database administrators, but basic knowledge will not be bypassed as a system administrator: SQL helps to configure and manage backups (you do backups, right?). Again, this is a significant plus in employment and growth prospects.

And this is more a set of memes – google it

Why do you need to know about how sysadmins store passwords? Store safely.

So the answers to the questions are pretty simple and obvious. Therefore, I wish users to treat sysadmins as real pros and great helpers, not to deceive them and not try to seem like a computer genius.

System administrators can only wish reliable networks, trouble-free IT infrastructure, not very cunning users who understand the bosses in the replacement fund, always cool technical support, stable connection and a cool ticket system.

For the connection and the working script!


By the way, suddenly you are a sysadmin (or not) and you have been assigned the task of finding a cool CRM system. If anything, we are introducing our RegionSoft CRM completely remotely for 14 years, so write, call, tell, present and implement honestly, without cheats and hidden payments. I answer.


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