Why I’m not a Sysadmin anymore

I have worked as a sysadmin (mostly Unix / Linux) for most of my professional life (not right now, though), and I’ve been meaning to write a few thoughts about it for a while.

My experience is that working as a sysadmin is, to me, interesting and fulfilling on a technical level, but ultimately disappointing and frustrating on a career and personal level. Why is that?

Let’s say you’re a good, competent sysadmin, and you’ve just joined a new company. During the first few days, you get acquainted with the company, the department, the sysadmin team (if any), the network, and the servers. Soon, any technical problems the company suffers from become apparent. Maybe a particular service is too slow, there have been security problems in the past, a server or application crashes often, there is some network congestion, that server’s logs tend to fill up the entire drive and need to be deleted from time to time, and so on. Or maybe you spot a need for something the company doesn’t have: a caching proxy server, an anti-spam / anti-virus email gateway, etc..

So, you get to work on those problems. Some software upgrades here, some tuning there, some cron entries here, some scripting there, some changes to the network, and so on. In months — maybe weeks, if the company is small — all the problems are mostly solved, and everything runs smoothly. Sure, you still have to reset users’ passwords (they keep losing the Post-Its forgetting them), keep software versions up to date (at least concerning bug fixes or newfound security holes), and, since you’re not dead and therefore haven’t stopped learning, maybe you later realize how a redesign or change of some particular server or software application can make things even better.

But, for the most part… most of your job is done. In the Unix world, with a decent knowledge of scripting and a good deal of experience, you can make your servers almost administer themselves, and you will be warned (by scripts) of potential problems in advance, so that they never actually happen. So… what now?

Now, you have a problem… especially if you’re an honest person. Because managers — and this has been my experience almost everywhere I’ve been — still tend to measure an employee’s work — and worth — by how busy he looks. Many people, then, simply pretend to be busy all the time (“change your email password? OK, I’ll get back to you next Monday.”), but such an attitude may be repulsive to you (it is to me). Explaining things to your manager doesn’t really work; even if he begins to understand, his own bosses won’t, and, if some head must roll, better yours than his…

So, after solving the company’s problems, and assuming you refuse to act busy when you’re not, what next? Well, you’ll get a reputation for laziness, for not “working” all the time, when everyone else does it (even if they’re just faking it). You’ll probably get assigned, in addition to your “proper” work, all the dumb, repetitive, non-sysadmin (and therefore non-scriptable) tasks — which, since you have free time, you probably can’t refuse, or at least feel you can’t. Any raise or promotion will certainly not go to you, but to your “hard-working” co-workers, who are always so “busy” and have so much “work” that they stay at work every day after 6, that they can never do a task “right now”, but only in a week’s time, and that, even their own results are much inferior to yours, it’s you who’re not “dependable”, “dedicated”, or “competent”.

Which is why I think it’s time for a career change. :) I currently work at home, in personal projects, but I’m probably going to look for a new job soon (for the extra money, and for learning something new “on the job”), and I’m thinking of programming, probably in PHP. I love the idea of creating something, instead of just making existing things work. And of (hopefully) being measured by results, not by how busy I look. I’m not a PHP “expert” (far from it), but I learn quickly, and I love to learn — even at 32 years old. Stagnation is always bad (though it seems that’s what most people seek in a job, especially in Portugal, oddly enough — learn a couple of skills, then do exactly that for the rest of your life), and, paraphrasing Duke Leto Atreides, a person needs new experiences… and new challenges. :)

Related posts:

  1. Work: why a good sysadmin has a lot of free time
  2. Work: being productive… or keeping busy?

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82 Responses to “Why I’m not a Sysadmin anymore”

  1. I understand your opinion.
    I sufer a little bit from that where I work. Sometimes I’m really afraid that some day they say something about some non-working day. But in that spare time, I read, I learn, but some times they don’t get it.
    I have a much luck sometimes when the boss gives me some “informatization” to do. Start to replace some old plain paper forms by computer forms. I know where does this goes. Databases, PHP programing, JavaScript, and everything you just said before. Keep it all running as smooth as possible.
    I have 4 LINUX servers and 2 Windows 2000 servers to administer. It’s not so easy as it looks, but any way, I like the job.
    Take a look at some of my old POST’s regarding my (bad) SYSadmin experiences.

    Nice article yours.

  2. [...] Without further ado… Why I’m not a Sysadmin anymore. [...]

  3. Han Solo says:

    Well, I mostly agree being a unix admin with 15 years of experience….

    BUT, Your whole concept of “being done” isn’t true. There is ALWAYS something else that can be improved and made more mature in your environment.

    Real configuration mgmt, centralized syslogs, ldap/kerberos, afs, etc… there is always stuff that would be nice if you could get to it but never have the chance.

    Systems mgmt is a long term incremental effort towards mature processes and functions. There is always room for improvement, and always the need to keep up with existing at the same time.

    So, I don’t really agree with the fact that a systems admin team can ever consider themselves “done”.

    Things I like about being systems admin….

    Pay – Systems Admins (good ones) can make 100k in most large companies, much more than the dime a dozen Microsoft people in this world.

    NIX – Lets face it….unix is cool, fun and incredible to use once you learn it. A true unix systems admin has a real feel for the OS, and appreciation for the sheer power that you have to get things done compared to the black box, blue screen, wonder why thay happened, world of Windows.

    Mentoring – I love the mentoring aspect of the job, and the fact that you get to introduce new people to Unix and watch them grow from cautious (this is hard), to really loving Unix and starting to think there is nothing they can’t do.

    Scary – UNIX is big and scary and most people don’t understand it. This appearance of voodoo has a single big benefit in my mind… people keep their noses out of it. One of the things that would DRIVE ME CRAZY if I was a Windows guys is all the know-nothings always trying to tell me how to do my job just because they have a PC at home. Windows people are inundated with comities full of people who are clueless always setting “standards”, and “approved software lists”, etc… Unix people can do stuff the best way possible without idiots trying to stick their noses into the works.

    The SINGLE biggest thing that sucks about being a sys admin is exactly what you say, “no promotions, etc”…but it is not WHY YOU say it.

    The reason is not because you don’t look busy, its because lack of visibility.

    Windows guys are ALWAYS GOING in front of mgmt, and having to explain stuff and tell stories about how they “saved the day” etc.. Unix guys stuff never breaks so they never have to do that stuff. Hence, the mgmt team all knows the names and faces of the Windows guys by heart and probably has zero idea who the Unix people even are.

    Its a simple fact of IT, that people who screwup all the time get promoted, and people who dont screwup never do because mgmt does not know they exist.

    Its no wonder that IT is a ass-backwards place to work, and that mgmt is in chaos, leadership from mgmt is horrid, and people are grumpy.

    At the end of the day its only the fact that we get to
    a) Do something we like and enjoy (UNIX),
    b) get paid for it pretty well (better than joe-windows),
    c) the most part people leave us alone and let us do the best job we can do

  4. Mr Yellow says:

    Good article. However, it’s not as straightforward as you’ve made it sound. I’ve been a unix admin for many years and where I work currently, we have numerous servers, applications and websites to maintain. Our job begins when we prepare the servers and write scripts around it to keep an eye on it. However, maintaining application servers, database servers as well as keeping an eye on security is a constant day to day effort. Sure we have a couple of days here and there to relax with not much work but there are constant interaction with vendors and troubleshooting tasks that requires manual attention on the application side.

    Perhaps your job as a unix admin is to simply keep an eye on the servers…but for many unix admins their tasks vary. Some even end up mopping their bathroom floors if needed. The term “sysadmin” is not categorized to a particular set of tasks…it’s branches are large and scattered in many different direction. Therefore, what you do as a sysadmin differs from a person whose a sysadmin else where.

  5. Macz says:

    Your constant change in type styles makes the entire post sound strident and whiny in my head. You have some good points, but should consider discarding the fluff like italics, strike-throughs, and especially emoticons.

  6. TimeTraveller says:

    Why limit your job to Sysadmin stuff? If you have nothing to do, I’m sure you could impress your employer by taking up the slack by helping some of the other people in the office, even if it’s not directly related to your job. You might even find some opporunities to apply technical solutions to drudgery tasks you weren’t aware of. You need to change the scope of your thinking from “I’m here to fix my companies computers” to “I’m here to help my business succeed.” You excel at scripting? Nice, but nobody cares whether you make the server run better by excellent scripting or by belching the alphabet. All they care about is that you are helping their business succeed. Bored with being a sysadmin…look for other opportunities. Employers are looking for people who believe in the mission of the company, not technical whizzes who can’t see beyond the parameters they set for themselves or are inferred from their job description. There’s no law that says you can only do techie stuff.

  7. Jeremy says:

    I work as a software developer, and for the most part you’ll experience the same drought in CR’s, tech specs, etc. So, before you make the switch to being a “programmer”, keep in mind you’ll be doing the same waiting around (and others will take credit for your work).

  8. Jim says:

    @Han Solo:

    Where do you work, my Windows servers are never breaking? Unless it’s a hardware problem. Spread your FUD somewhere else. Oh, and by the way, I went from the UNIX world to the Windows world and it’s not so bad. I’m still writing scripts and applying the same skills when possible, just with different tools. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Maybe you are the reason you’ve been overlooked, not your tools.

  9. AJ says:

    Interesting points, and I agree with most of them.

    However, in very large organizations you will find the same sort of stilted, frustrating “approved software lists” and other nonsense on *nix systems. I have a friend that works for HP and he cannot install any software that isn’t approved in advance from the top. This almost always means a problem that was solved years ago in GNU software is not correctable for him.

    Another career option you might look into is professional services for a software company. As long as you don’t mind some travel it has benefits; once the gig is over it is on to the next challenge, you get to see some interesting places and – if you are good – you end up with wonderful references from customers. That is the best kind of reference.

    Make sure you investigate the company carefully, though. You could end up jetting all over the place solving the same problem over and over again. Boring.

    Just a thought,

    ~a

  10. antihero says:

    Managers are idiots, that’s why they are managers.

  11. POProgrammer says:

    Yeah, I’m also a Software Engineer and I don’t think this line of work is that fantastic. I’m good at it I make decent money but I see a trend. After about 10 years of experience if you don’t move on to management or some other job you more than likely to be replaced or made obsolete by incoming talent. IMO, programming has one of the lowest job security levels of all. It has become apparent to me that programming is not a life long career. Its not something you do till you are 65 and retire. It’s very hard to justify keeping around a programmer for that long, especially at a company that is always churning out new products and previous product knowledge is not that important. Company loyalty is a thing of the past and it makes no sense to keep a 100,000 dollar programmer around unless he is literally doing the work of two 50,000 dollar programmers…..which is almost never the case.

    If you want a job where you are always busy and always have new things to do, and has true job security. Go become a plumber or electrician.

    Later

  12. Michael says:

    For a minute there, I thought I was reading my own blog post that I’d never made. :)

    Skip the PHP, and go straight for PERL and Python (maybe some Ruby). Most of it will fit into what you already know. PHP isn’t a BAD language, but it tends to get you stuck in a similar, but web-based, rut that you had with Systems Administration.

    I’ve also found that it’s easier to find a job as a brand-new programmer with systems administration experience under your belt, rather than trying to start out as an entry-level programmer straight out of college.

  13. Peter says:

    I have worked as a programmer for the past 10 years, and really any job will become somewhat redundant if you’re good at what you do. I made a shift about 2 years ago however into the consulting field, with a company of about 60 employees. The one thing consulting allows you to do is to get in and get out. This gives you the ability to get in there and performing all of the fixes, tune-ups and or add-ons for a company, and then leave the day-to-day stuff to someone they have on staff…

    Just an idea!

  14. [...] in my surfing of the net, I came across this blog post. The guy (author’s name says Pedro) is mainly talking about what a System Administrator does, [...]

  15. Justin Van Winkle says:

    You’re a damn dope. The reason everyone acts busy all the time is because that IS an effective way to measure job effort for 99% of people. You happen to be smarter than your bosses boss. Good for you! You can do your entire job in 10% of your time at work. Good for you! However, this means you’re a sucker. You should realize that with your high level of skill, you are capable of managing 10 networks equal in size to yours (taking the 10% busy example).

    Now, find 3 people you respect who can freelance for you during crunch times (blaster worm, etc). Now you are ready to start selling consulting services for 60% of the cost of hiring a good admin full time. .6 * 10 = 6 times your current salary. I’m assuming you make about 80-120 thousand now, so at that point you will be making 480-700 thousand dollars a year.

    Once you are established you hire 2 of your 3 freelance guys, who are really sharp or you wouldn’t have hired them (Remember, A’s hire A’s, B’s hire C’s, and your boss probably hires F-’s. Using your A skills you should have no problem evaluating applicants, while businesses you consult for have no hope of properly evaluating unix administrators.) you hire your some of your 3 guys and let them handle all the light work on the networks you are consulting on. Since light-but-unscriptable work is probably at least 60% of what is left after your initial consulting, you can now ramp up to around 20 businesses factoring in extra overhead. 980 thousand to 1.4 million, minus 360 for salaries and payroll taxes and insurance, 620 thousand to 1.04 million dollars per year.

    I honestly don’t think you are as smart or competent as you would like to believe. If you are, feel free to make a whole lot of money and have fun showing your yacht to your old boss.

  16. [...] So, without further ado… Why I’m not a Sysadmin anymore. [...]

  17. WebmasterX says:

    If you want to make some fun PHP things for profit drop me an email sometime. I suck at all things internet but I always find the money.

  18. Willtel says:

    If your fed up with permanent sysadmin work and you have strong skills try consulting. Your get to move around often and the feeling of your work being finished never really comes, it is also usually more lucrative than settling for one company for a long period. I use the ebb and flow of work in a sysadmin role to force me to new positions and companies. I move around about every 2 years to keep from getting bored and I always get myself a raise and sometimes a week off in the process! Good luck with whatever you decide.

    So tell me, Han-Solo, why must these things always turn into Windows vs. Unix pissing match? Windows isn’t nearly as bad as you proclaim and if you think that Windows sysadmins just click and pray without actually knowing what they are doing your dead wrong. I’ve been working with Windows for about 10 years and six-figure salaries aren’t too hard to come by as long as your well rounded in your skills. I can barley change directories on a Unix box but I had no problem landing a lucrative position for the largest privately owned company in the world. At last count we have about 3600 Windows servers in production and I can’t remember the last time I said “I wonder why that happened” when dealing with my devices.

  19. Steve says:

    Yes even consulting with different customers be boring from time to time. With corporates or steady work, I think no one really cares or notices if your busy or not. Of course, provided your showing up on time and not standing around talking all day. My corporate managers gave me a flex day when things were going pretty smoothly. They really didn’t care.

    I know a sys admin (windows) who used all of his free time to write software for another company while working with us. Hush hush, two paychecks. Baching.

    Talk to your manager if your bored, they will find something to work on.

  20. sili says:

    Fuck PHP.

    No, seriously – fuck PHP

  21. Jeff says:

    Jesus Christ, people. If you mean to say ‘you are’, the proper word to use is ‘you’re’, not ‘your.’

    Asshats.

  22. Ron Burgandy says:

    I can appreciate your situation, but honestly you have no idea what you’re doing and what you’re getting into. At the newbie programmer level, you’ll be thrown into a cubicle and forced to hack on some life wasting mess of code. Sure you might be able to jump around jobs, but it will still be the same bad code everywhere you go. The crap programmers have to endure will make your button pushing sysadmin job look like a dream.

    You’ll find no creative satisfaction programming in a commercial environment, regardless of your job. Commercial environments have imperatives that are anti-creative. You mentioned needing to “look busy”, it’s no different for programmers. You won’t have time to actually think or plan what you’re doing, if you’re not tapping on that keyboard, you’re not working. If you want to do something creative, do it in your own time and learn how to live with your bad “day” job.

    Don’t be fooled by these kiddies hacking out worthless crap everyday, becoming a good programmer takes a long time. Programming looks easy, but doing it well is very difficult and takes a lot of experience. This means the people that are good won’t trust you with anything serious or cool, and you don’t want to work for the people that aren’t good (which is most of them). In your situation, you really don’t have the knowledge or experience to appreciate how little you know.

    Also, PHP is a commodity skill and you’ll be competing with younger more exploitable people for low paying jobs. It’s also a lousy language that will teach you bad habits.

    Don’t say you weren’t warned.

  23. Ben says:

    As a consultant, I have the following warnings: Consulting isn’t as easy as these guys make it sound.

    First of all, you’ll be spending at least 1/3 of your time finding business or making contacts, until you have a very wide net and people start recommending you. You’ll be spending an additional 1/3 of your time dealing with billing, contracts, and scope. That’s the polite way of saying that people are jerks when it comes to money.

    You can hire people to deal with those issues, and hire people to do basic freelance work, but once you’ve done that, you’re generally only making 2x your original salary, and have roughly a million times as many things to worry about, including competition and payroll.

    If you love crafting finely tuned systems, consulting is probably not for you. Pursue what you love. If you love starting businesses, or you would like a chance to mentor others, or even you’d like more business acumen, then go ahead and start consulting. But don’t do it because other people tell you to.

    If you’re looking to grow and learn from a sys-admin’s perspective, security is the hot new thing right now. Next will be software-as-a-service or SOA or whatever buzzword you’d like to call it, and we haven’t even seen the groundwork laid for that yet. Find new opportunities to improve the company, and any marginally competent manager will recognize that you’re showing initiative, which is one of those things they promote.

    Then again, why listen to me? I’m a competitor!
    -ben

  24. Bram says:

    Going into developmnt sure is an option, depends on your personality. If it’s right for you, more power to you. I fully recognize the first part of your post, after 15 years in this game the shine’s come off a bit for me too. However I can’t possibly see myself moving into programming. I shiver at the thought of sitting behind (the same) desk every day ‘just’ designing and coding. I know it’s nearly blasphemous to some fellow admins, but I actually like the chaos of working on 17 different projects at the same time. We’re just a small company, about 150 unix servers, but fortunately business requirements create a lot of expansion and replacement. I like the adrenaline rush of fixing a problem that’s costing half a million per hour. Heck, I even like the occasional (a week or two every couple of months) deathmarch to get some project finished. It’s during the slow times, when everything’s running smoothly and the work is finetuning the systems and tidying up the loose ends that I find myself looking surfing the job boards and only moderately motivated to do very much.

  25. [...] Why I’m not a Sysadmin anymore [...]

  26. Bill Reid says:

    I hear you. Been there done that.

    I walked into my last company which was unbelievably behind the times. I worked there for nearly 10 years getting things in shape, moving them from their antiquated XTs and MacPlus machines, ridiculously overpriced third party systems, designing custom code to run the business systems, creating their website, building the network, automating everything under the sun – and on Windows at that…, etc. Basically moved them from a dinosaur to a state of the art company.

    The next 3 years I spent trying to get them to see the big picture and move to the next stage. Year before last I faced a major hospitalization and was out for nearly 2 months. After I returned, I was asked to resign because “we did just fine without you, so obviously you’re not adding value to the company”.

    I work for myself now.

  27. MrSteel says:

    If you had extra time on work you could learn php and do a freelance stuff when you’re not bussy with regular job requests
    that’s what I am doing :)

  28. roxxe says:

    story of my life, but replace networking with .net programming :D

    atleast you can fuckup a network for fun, i just internet all day

  29. To everyone so far: thanks for the comments and the advice. I’ll try to reply to each of your comments individually, later today.

    A general note, though: some commenters on Reddit implied that they saw this post of mine as “whining” about my job / personal situation. That is not the case at all, as I’m currently not employed (it says so in the post, but apparently many people didn’t notice it)! I quit my last job (as a sysadmin) last August, and I haven’t been looking for one since then; I’ve been busy with my personal projects. To whine about my job, I’d have to have one. :) My post is, instead, a collection of thoughts about a decade or so as a sysadmin.

  30. J says:

    I have some bad news for you… you’ll be walking into a very similar situation to which you are leaving. Instead of being short of sysadmin work while the incompetents around you look busy, you’ll be short of interesting programming work while the incompetents around you look busy AND fuck up the code base and then blame you.

    Become a “systems architect” or “network architect” instead. You get paid more to do even less work and you can act like a jerk to everyone else, even the office manager. Well, that’s what ours does anyway.

    I’m in precisely the same situation you are in, except that I’m going back to system administration after a stint programming (php and perl). At least most sysadmins know what they are doing.

  31. meneame.net says:

    Por que ya no soy administrador de sistemas [inglés]…

    Siempre se ha dicho que los buenos administradores tienen más tiempo libre que los malos administradores ( http://www.thetlog.net/2005/09/12/work-why-a-good-sysadmin-has-a-lot-of-free-/ ). Irónicamente eso puede hacer que sean poco valorados en su empresa y…

  32. shawn says:

    seriously? i would take being a fixed network, and plenty of time to explore and learn other aspects and benefits for the organization over stress and working 7 days a week and 60 hours at a “big shop.”

    who wants to work that much? i’m beginning to hate sysadmin work simply because that’s ALL i do now.

    i’d be happy, again, with a small environment and 10% of my work completed and just sitting around and handling maintenance.

    go be a bike messenger or cab driver or something…

  33. logadmin says:

    I’m not agree with you, you always can do a lot improving your network or servers (yes your boss or people don’t care at all), if you have a lot free time you always can collaborate with some open source project related to your work. Anyway several times the sysadmin job is not gratyfing, I know.

    Regards.
    logadmin

  34. [...] Register « Why I’m not a Sysadmin anymore [...]

  35. David says:

    I understand what you mean, and have seen it happen.

    However, that is not the greatest career threat to sysadmins, especially UNIX admins; the problem is that business gets rid of its admins and operators and help desk and expects the remaining staff to take up new tasks.

    One place I know got rid of their system operator, their UNIX admin, and their mail admin as well – now leaving one person with jobs for four.

    Not only that, but there are companies that have no IT staff at all – but rather, pay someone to “provide” IT “staff” – usually, high salaried, no benefit working folks who are being ripped off and are without any sort of job insurance or health insurance.

    If it’s not that, then its H1B visa holders and outsourcing companies like WiPro.

    The way admins are let go doesn’t help either – layoff through ambush.

    Best be looking over your shoulder all the time – you’re liable to find a dagger in it one day.

    Another thing: someone suggested being a plumber or electrician – there is more job security in the skilled trades these days. The Wall Street Journal had an article about that very topic – the columnist suggested that plumbers and such were better off than lawyers, and had better job security and better futures to look forward to.

  36. [...] Why I’m Not A Sysadmin Anymore — comments are worth checking out. [...]

  37. [...] Why I’m not a Sysadmin anymore – thetlog.net I have worked as a sysadmin (mostly Unix / Linux) for most of my professional life (not right now, though), and I’ve been meaning to write a few thoughts about it for a while. [...]

  38. [...] essay than a blog post, but this subject comes up time and again, and since I tripped across this interesting blog post by Pedro Timóteo about why he has decided not to be a sysadmin any more, I thought now’s as good a time as any [...]

  39. John says:

    Hi folks,
    While all of this is true, i found 2 solutions two this particular problem.
    1- Buy your self interesting books, and find yourself hiding place within your work place.
    2- Go work as a consultant, you will make big $$$$ and will ALWAYS be on something new.

  40. [...] Pedro Timóteo writes: My experience is that working as a sysadmin is, to me, interesting and fulfilling on a technical level, but ultimately disappointing and frustrating on a career and personal level. [...]

  41. Ernie Oporto says:

    In my area we don’t have enough work for my official title of UNIX Administrator, so I end up doing VMWare administration and infrastructure administration short of the network cable, as well as the occassional Windows systems. There is never a shortage of work to do because there is always a project going on somewhere. If you have that much free time, study for some certifications so that you can move to the next level. Or move into IT management and get that technical lobotomy, making a happier environment for some (lucky?) IT guys below you. Or as someone above said, start a consulting company where your great IT knowledge will help you hire the right people and quickly pump out the jobs.

    If you’re ripping through fixes that quickly and there is no other work, change jobs now. There are still plenty of other places hiring talented people. Otherwise you will be stuck with operational work, making user accounts and running the same old system build scripts – at that level you are very replaceable and will be bored and atrophy quickly. If you find that you are changing jobs that often due to lack of stuff to do, then you should really shoot for consulting, where you get something new in your hands every time and have an employment expiration date. Other than that, there is always making new projects to improve efficiency. Maybe there is some better equipment your company could be using to improve efficiency. Maybe some better software to authenticate users under a single account rather than islands of passwords. Maybe pick up a new area in system administration and study to be certified in it – I find it hard to believe you are a pro in every nook and cranny of every aspect of system administration.

    Additionally, you should really slow down. What your coworkers know is that if you work at a blazing speed all the time you WILL burn out and this may be what you are feeling right now. It’s the tortoise and the hare fable at work here. Your coworkers may be stretching out their time, but in the long run they will feel healthier. Understand that only YOU will be able to look out for yourself in this area – your employer is out to wring the most work out of you for the least money and if you let them they will work you to death. Will your last words be “I wish I’d spent more time in the office”? Slow down. The job is not always satisfying – no job is ever 100% satisfaction – but less stress will make your current environment bearable. And keep in mind that in these times you are still getting a paycheck.

  42. rb says:

    work at an internet company? everyone at my shop understands that if there’s no work to do, there’s no work to do. however, we like to keep busy hacking at random stuff to improve our internal and external services. or write haikus about our lack of responsibility.

  43. [...] posted this blog entry to the Sysadmin sub-Reddit the other day (I think it was Matt), and it really spoke to me.  Now [...]

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  45. [...] essay than a blog post, but this subject comes up time and again, and since I tripped across this interesting blog post by Pedro Timóteo about why he has decided not to be a sysadmin any more, I thought now’s as good a time as any [...]

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This work by Pedro Timóteo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Portugal.