jejt / jmons

Engineering Tommorrow

Systems Administrators vrs Engineers


So a few years back I was doing a fair bit of sys-admining, and a fair bit of programming. I would say probably 50-50 in my time. Since then I actually went down the route of doing a lot more programming, and as little sys-admming as possible. Im a firm beliver that programmers should be forced to do *Some* systems administration so that they understand the concepts and ideas behind security and the other issues that Sys-admins have to deal with, but I also believe that programmers shouldn’t be the sysadmins of the boxe’s they deploy to.

Of course in a small organisatio, you don’t get those kinds of options – its very hard to justify the expense of a specialist sys-admin where every month is another extension on the mortgage of the CEO (or whoever your startup financial backer is).

Anyways, my problem is that on my personal server, I’m not actually very comfortable in claiming to be the sys-admin of it anymore. I havn’t got a clue whats going on with it any more. Four years of solid programming with only minimal systems-administration in the mix. So this is why, when trying to get some of my new code (in Python – you hear that – I’ve broken my “all languages beginning with P are evil” habit) to start on the server, I broke *everything*.

Thank you, goodnight.

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One response to “Systems Administrators vrs Engineers

  1. Ben Francis September 23, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Totally agree, the more programming I do, the more I try and cut down the number of boxes I have to admin. This is a good thing because apart from my good habit of obsessively documenting everything I do on boxen, I make a very poor sysadmin!

    Incidentally, I do intend to move my personal web site away from your box, it’s just taking me ages to get Drupal installed on my Krellian box and figure out how to migrate my data through several versions of the software! Case in point.

    Big w00t! for Python, I’ve been using Python heavily for about 12 months now and I’d say it’s now my first programming language. Every line I’ve written over the past three months has been reviewed by at least two very tough code reviewers so I had to learn to do things properly.

    There are still times when other languages are more appropriate, it’s not always easy to debug and some of the libraries are a bit questionable, but in general Python is sweeet. I’ve used Python in both low level embedded devices and a *hugely* scalable pipeline and it didn’t disappoint.

    So you won’t like that “point” Net thing from Microsoft then?

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