back to article Twitter: It's the end of the sysadmin as we know it

Twitter says it's the end of the sysadmin as we know it. Speaking this morning at the annual Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, Twitter operations man John Adams warned sysadmins they won't succeed on today's intertubes unless they learn to do a bit more than system administration. Sysadmin 2.0, he said, must develop certain …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    You mean the company for Twits that's yet to show a profit? Yea, their advice is worth listening to.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Adams: "You have to use analytics. You have to grab data."

    Translation: Just keep doing the performance and scaling analysis you already were.

  3. Nexox Enigma


    How did planning for growth and expansion become 'data mining'? I thought that buzzword was reserved for crap along the lines of 'Business Intelligence," not "plot the traffic and hold up a ruler, add 10%, get the PO signed by the boss."

    I suppose if you're trying to scale something as important as Twitter, with its super-critical real-time operations, on a language as fast as Ruby and a database as scalable as MySQL, you would think that planning for growth was some new derivative of rocket science.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Directed at their own clueless sysadmins

    Twitter's message is probably directed at their own clueless sysadmins.

    Real sysadmins have been doing that forever. Making it look like this is a whole new era (oh! sysadmin 2.0) just shows how they think their little world is the universe.

  5. John Tserkezis

    Yeah, no thanks.

    I'd rather not turn our functional corporate network into yet another twitter clone.

    We prefer to actually make money rather than piss it up against the wall.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    If... then...

    IF Twitter = End_of_Sysadmins THEN



    Twiiter = making_no_sense_at_all_to_Paris

    (big ups to C64 and Qbasic for teaching me programming)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't want to follow that

    "They're also committed to open sourcing their back end"

    Well, better theirs than mine.

  8. steven W. Scott

    old is new!

    I have received a vision.... .workload management! :o

  9. Beaviz

    Very Rapid Response?

    "The other model - which pretty much describes Unicorn - is where you have one line, and when a cashier is done, it grabs the next person from that one line. This creates a very rapid response."

    Nah, that's how Primark does it. Certainly doesn't guarantee a very rapid response fro what I can tell.

  10. z0mb13e

    Ok then...

    Definitely meant for their own sys admins. After all how many of us are dealing with massive web apps?

    Proclaiming it as the way things are going to be is as stupid as insisting that all sys admins or developers have business skills.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Gosh, I wish somebody would let me get up on a stage and bleat glaringly obvious current best-practices.

  12. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Don't make fun of the kids

    It's important to note that they are making progress, rediscovering ancient truths and understanding their implications.

    In another two or three decades, they'll have grown up and understood the importance of good administration, and will be knocking on the Web 3.0 kids who will be, in turn, discovering that you need to control user authentication.

    It's a learning process, guys. Let the kids learn.

  13. DT1984

    the end of the sysadmin as we know it

    Just shows how clueless some of these companies are - and they hold a couple of million idiots personal details....

    Analyzing data is for Business Processes Management staff - not sysadmins, never was and never will be... unless they don't want it done properly???

  14. Graham Bartlett

    Hold the presses!

    Breaking news - Twitter coders have discovered the FIFO buffer! Real bleeding-edge technology at work here.

  15. dz-015

    What a wanker

    All decent sysadmins already consider this sort of anticipation to be a crucial part of their job. We don't need some arrogant pumped-up twat like this patronising us in this way.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Kids, tch!

    "A system administrator is not just a system administrator anymore. You have to use analytics. You have to grab data. You have to look at where a site is trending and where things are going so you can scale..."

    No that's the Data Analyst's job! When you grow up Mr Twatter and leave the safety of the campus, you will realise that IT in the real world moves at a snail's pace, relatively speakling, and people are very slow to adapt.

    When it's 2am on a Sunday morning and your 32 node cluster keeps crashing, all the freaking stats in the world mean nothing against a shat-hot SysAdmin who knows his kit and O/S and can trace a problem in minutes to get your Web 2.0 presence back online.

    Just f**k of back the kindergarten, eh?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Twitter = Universe

    Words almost fail me.

    So twitter, with its all to frequent fail whale, is holding itself up as a shining example of how sysadmins in the rest of the world should do the job they have already been doing for a decade.

    Bonkers seems such an understatement.

  18. Brian 62

    Stuff it

    John can go stuff it. This speaks more to the current trend by hotshot developers to look down their nose at the "lowly" sysadmins (and making ridiculous comments like this from that erroneous perception) than it does to what sysadmins actually do.

    These same people would probably be surprised to know that most sysadmins know many things about many things because that's the nature of the job... even though all you think we do is swap tapes.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitter Fail

    Comically, I have had the fail whale nearly every time I've tried to go to twitter this afternoon.

    Shows how much they know... I think they need to get a half decent SysAdmin on board STAT.

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