This is the time of year when one sits back to reflect on all that has been experienced, and it is no different at Enable Sysadmin. The end of the year brings the opportunity to check out the site's top 9 most popular career articles of 2019. This is a great collection of advice and reflection focused on the sysadmin profession.
One of my favorite things about system administrators is how, as a whole, their ranks are filled with folks from a wide variety of previous experiences and backgrounds. Perhaps this is anecdotal, but it seems that most of my past coworkers came from fields unrelated to IT, as opposed to developers or other folks engaged in technology-related work. I myself went to school for music, not computers, and a majority of the folks I worked with in systems administration jobs seemed to come from other fields as well, such as former teachers, biology majors, and military veterans. The list goes on. Tyler Carrigan is one such person, and his article A sysadmin's take: How I moved from the ocean depths to Red Hat Tower is a great record of his winding journey to his current position.
IT is a relatively young profession, and system administration is not as widely taught in school as, say, programming or information systems. Likewise, traditional schooling is not necessarily as important as in other fields. Many of my coworkers skipped higher ed entirely—even senior sysadmins who now work for higher ed institutions. Taz Brown details three learning paths for new system administrators in the article Learn the technical ropes and become a sysadmin.
On-the-job learning is the norm for sysadmins, but training is a good way to grow outside of traditional education. Training is also good for exposure to new ideas, or a way to learn technologies in which few peers are skilled. Training and certification for Linux system administrators, by Ken Hess, details solid options for sysadmin training. As they learn and grow, sysadmins can rise from junior administrators to more senior positions and even management, and here again, Ken Hess has useful guidelines on the progression of a sysadmin's career in the article Sysadmin job levels: What you need to know for each.
"System administration is hard work," or so says Kevin Casey in his article What salary can a sysadmin expect to earn? The job of a system administrator can be challenging. How can stability and reliability be achieved in an industry that embodies rapid change? It is critical in this field to continue to grow and learn as the next "latest and greatest" is released, but to also approach new technology soberly and thoughtfully to ensure the security of the systems and data we promise to protect.
So, without further ado, please enjoy these and other great articles from this year-in-review.