} 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.
} 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.