Skip to main content

What's your biggest sysadmin pet peeve?

Being a sysadmin takes a lot of patience. What's the thing that tests yours?

What common headache irks you the most?

154 votes tallied
Refusing to use the ticketing system
23 votes
Not reading the documentation
15 votes
Lying about the cause of a problem
26 votes
Exaggerating the urgency or severity of an issue
48 votes
Violating security or other policies
6 votes
Shadow IT / Using unapproved outside resources
8 votes
Not trying to self-service simple problems
22 votes
Trying to self-service things users really shouldn't
6 votes

A sysadmin's job is never easy.

But sometimes, it feels like it's just a little harder than it needs to be.

We've taken great pains to build standardized processes, establish systems for nearly everything, document our work, and make everything we can consistent and automatable. Our work may be difficult, but at least we've been able to bring it under control and make it predictable.

Well, in theory. It never works out that way in practice.

No matter how well-written our documentation is, that's no guarantee it's ever going to get read. No matter how many cases our ticketing system is designed to handle, somehow it never seems to prevent the unnecessary drive-by request. No matter how much care we put in to ensure that code deployments never happen late at night or on a weekend, sometimes they always do. Something breaks, and we get the call.

Almost always, these things generate unplanned work, throw off our carefully-made plans, and cause slowdowns, missed deadlines, and, well, headaches.

To some degree, that's all just a part of the job. But that doesn't stop us from grimacing and wishing perhaps, just this once, things had gone according to plan. So we're curious: What unplanned activity irks you the most? We've listed a few common headaches we've heard above.

Topics:   Sysadmin culture  
Author’s photo

Jason Baker

Red Hat Certified Engineer. Linux desktop enthusiast. Map/geospatial nerd. Raspberry Pi tinkerer. Data analysis and visualization geek. Occasional Pythonista. More about me

Try Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Download it at no charge from the Red Hat Developer program.