Tips on finding Senior IT/System Admin/Release Engineer

The only absolutely requirements I've found for system administrators is that, yes, they must be good developers (otherwise they're operators, not administrators), and this will sound really weird, but they *must* be lazy.

I don't mean that you want to hire a person who will sit around and do anything. But *do* mean that if you see a "system administrator" do the same thing twice in a row, show that person the door immediately.

You want to hire the person who realizes, in advance, that it'll need to be done twice, and automates it.

At first, it will seem inefficient...but it won't seem that way for long. :slight_smile:

} Tom Mornini wrote:
} > The only absolutely requirements I've found for system administrators
} > is that, yes, they must be good developers (otherwise they're
} > operators, not administrators), and this will sound really weird, but
} > they *must* be lazy.
} >
} > I don't mean that you want to hire a person who will sit around and
} > do anything. But *do* mean that if you see a "system administrator"
} > do the same thing twice in a row, show that person the door immediately.
} >
} > You want to hire the person who realizes, in advance, that it'll need
} > to be done twice, and automates it.
} >
} > At first, it will seem inefficient...but it won't seem that way for
} > long. :slight_smile:
}
} Show them the door immediately? Isn't that really drastic? Nobody knows
} everything and when time was/is of the essence I did repetitive tasks
} rather than taking hours to days to research and educate myself about
} some tool/program that would do it for me. If you have a sysadmin who
} may need some further education on becoming more efficient or learning a
} new program, seems that'd be more worthwhile.
}
} But I agree with what you say -- anybody that finds themself doing the
} same thing again and again needs to find a way to automate it. That's
} the difference between craftsmen and laborers.

I think Tom Mornini expressed it a little bit unclearly. It isn't that the
sysadmin should never do the same thing twice because it is inefficient.
The buzzword is "repeatable." Everything the sysadmin does, from setting up
a dev/test/prod box to creating a new developer account to configuring
firewall rules, should be a repeatable process. This is why Capistrano is
so valuable, for example; you put all the necessary actions in a recipe so
that the deployment process can be repeated as needed. A repeatable process
is a dependable process, and reduces the opportunity for human error.

} Joe
--Greg

That's a good clarification of an advantage of what I've said.

But, it is a bit more than that as well. I've seem some *extremely* knowledgeable and sophisticated system administrators that revel in 20 open SSH sessions, all su'd to root, typing commands faster than the wind. The problem isn't even a question of "what if they make a mistake" and some of them are so good that the repeatability is nearly machine like (though never quite as good).

The problem is that once that process gets in place early, it just never goes away. Need another system administrator? Who's doing the interviewing for sysadmin skills? You'll end up with an army of smart people typing root commands all day, and loving it.

But the business' bottom line will *not* love it. :frowning: