17 Aug

How to become a tough guy (Systems Administrator)

By – Noah Cain





500 broken computers!


That’s the number I figured when I was a tech noob!


500 computers repaired to working perfection before you could consider yourself a tough guy systems admin!


You need that many for experience! To develop leather fingertips! To learn all the motherboards and the different types of processors. The R.A.I.D. configurations and how to manipulate a 1950 into letting you only use 1 disk.


So…I got started!


Of course, along the way, you stop thinking about how to be smart and all that, about learning all the different types of laptops and desktops, tablets and smart phones…it stops being the point!


You get past the silliness of it all…past the ever changing names and hardware of technology.


But then, AFTER, you realize that is what you are! You are a systems administrator. You can fsck a machine…even a freebsd machine. You can get CPanel to work on a Debian machine, not that you would want to, but you could do it. You start to see things in a different light. You start to see computer issues as much more than just common bugs. You start to see them as imperfections in a perfect environment. You start to hate them. They glare at you and make the people needing the help think of you as the problem.

I’ll tell you, you learn a lot of things on the way to 500, but none more important than this: your systems administrator is only here to help you succeed. You should remember that they are human, they have bled for the knowledge that seemingly everyone else seems to think is very easy to learn and to master. They have forgotten more information about technology than you will most likely learn in your life. Most of them can’t change the oil in their cars, but most of them can quote every movie you have ever seen…especially ones with awesome quotes like this one from “The Knockaround Guys”.

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