back to article Are YOU The One? Become a guru of your chosen sysadmin path

Systems administrators are system administrators, right? Not really. Once upon a time systems admins were jack of all trades and (perhaps) master of them all. Most of the IT-related functions were performed by an administrator and if some new technology came along they adapted and learnt the new package or system. However, as …

  1. Dave Watts

    Interesting dissonance between the breakneck speed of change in IT and the glacial pace of changes in IT...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      @Dave Watts

      It probably has some bearing on the frequency or Total Inability To Support Usual Performance. What needs to be done right now will only get done eventually after all the processes get completed.

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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Going a bit off topic I'm afraid, but curious - as a freelancer, how do you go about getting work with big companies?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        While there certainly are free-lancers who've got a good range of skills and are able to take a global view, there are also loads who talk the talk but are full of BS. Equally there are some employees who've got the experience and know how to take a global view.

        I haven't seen much evidence to suggest that employment status makes a big difference in that.

        On the other hand I have seen many occurrences of free-lancers coming in and repeating what the internal staff have been saying for years, only to be believed just because their free-lance.

        I've been on both sides of that one!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And then there's the auditors

    Once you've fought your way through the twisty maze of agreements/sign-offs/done the job up pop the dark clerks.

    Insert every swear word/curse/blasphemy/etc. you can think of here...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The worst of both worlds...

    ...being the one man band at an SME which is bought by a larger company. Your local managers (normal bods, not IT people) expect you to deliver the same service as before but the new owners insist on you following all the complexities their procedures introduce, and you have to work out which helpdesk to ring for which part of the system as often a team introduces a policy that borks another part of the system and its a nightmare getting anyone else to see the overall picture.

  5. Christoph

    Non ex transverso sed deorsum

  6. Keith Langmead

    Moving "Up"

    Some interesting points but I find it somewhat insulting and condescending that you (and to be fair others as well) refer to it as a move UP, as if by narrowing your field of expertise to a single area (at the expense of all others) that it somehow makes you better and more important. Granted, in the long run specialists may tend to have greater potential for earning more than generalists, but I'd suggest that's more about that individual focusing on becoming the best in that field, than their speciality simply conferring that on them.

    Let's stick with calling it what it really is, a move across. I imagine there are plenty of us generalists that would consider your description of workplace politics, paperwork, red tape and loss of autonomy as a move DOWN!

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Moving "Up"

      I believe you are spot on. But the logic behind this isn't logical. In the academic world you move by getting advanced degrees and each move is more specialized. Sadly, a generalist who has a world view of things and knows that if Team "A" do "X", then something will crash for Team "B" is out of favor because they can point the finger, affix the blame, and solve the problem. The specialist lose out on that glory. It's business politics at it's best (or worst) and comes from the worlds of academia and government. I'm usually surprised that business work at all sometimes.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge

    I scrolled too fast

    and thought the the title ready sys admin sociopath.

    Ahhh yes, Friday and a pint!

  8. the_stone

    As a generalist in a small shop I look with horror on the notion that I would subsume my ability to serve the users by making knowledge of what to do and when to do it contingent upon a bureaucrat's say so.

  9. InfiniteApathy

    Well that confirms my long held suspicions.

    Worked in SMB for a long time and what I should look for is a start up.

    Incredibly allergic to red tape.

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  11. Sgt_Oddball

    the grass is always 0,255,0

    I've worked for smb all of my I.T. Life and found trying to get into more specialised roles nigh on impossible (a dba who understands. Net? Preposterous! Helpdesk who can develop? Devils work, network admin who can build a server blindfolded? Madness!) but then in my last firm they started to put more and more processes in place resulting in so much work by committee that trying to get creative or do the right thing (rather than patch up the problem for another month or so) became a lesson in frustration.

    I think I prefer being a master of my own domain these days.

  12. Bill M

    Last year the keyboard on my laptop stopped working and with the red tape and procedures it took 4 months to sort it. So for the 4 months I carried around an external keyboard in a plastic bag.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Made the change

    I have gradually moved from 12 -> 30 -> 600 -> 200,000 -> 400,000+ people companies.

    The article describes the changes bang on. Seems to be a gradient to the bureaucracy proportional with the size.

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