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How to become not just good, but the best system administrator

Many system administrators complain of low income, monotonous work, lack of prospects. These are not beginners, but experienced specialists – it means that it’s not only knowledge and skills. The fact that, in addition to technical skills, you need a sysadmin for perfection, we consider in this article.

Soft skills
Technical skills are abilities that confirm qualifications, provide opportunities for career growth. However, more and more recruiters pay attention to the so-called “soft” skills. These include: the ability to maintain communication, teamwork, understanding and adhering to the norms of professional ethics, pronounced personal qualities, creative thinking.

According to Beyond, soft skills are more valuable to employers than technical skills. As a percentage – 56/44 in favor of the first. Only 40% of companies are associated with applicants, in the summary of which only hard skills are indicated – “hard” skills that can be clearly demonstrated.

But back to the IT-sphere. There is an opinion that the system administrator is a self-contained person who does not like to communicate with people. Of course, this is not the case, but this postulate did not appear by chance. The lack of elementary correctness and rudeness towards clients, unwillingness to keep in touch with the staff – all this negatively affects the career of a system administrator. I reinforce the facts by example. The sysadmin was assigned the task of setting up the server, completed it in time, but did not tell the relevant official about it. As a result – a hitch in the work of the information system of the company and a minus in karma to the guilty employee.

Responsibility for decisions made
The system administrator is an IT specialist who supports the operation of software and computer equipment and is responsible for the information security of the company.

He should not just solve the problem, but think for the future. The fewer tasks performed “here and now”, the better. The information system and the network should work without failures, the equipment should not break as long as possible.

To realize this, the sysadmin needs to constantly monitor the state of networks, hardware, software operation, troubleshoot numerous problems, attacks, threats, as well as explore new IT trends and develop ways to implement them.

If unpleasant situations occur due to the fault of the system administrator, he should honestly admit it, and not “turn the arrows” on to other employees.

Critical thinking in problem solving
The system administrator is known in situations where it is necessary to quickly and efficiently fix the problem. In such cases, some admins panic, take hasty steps. As a result, this further aggravates the situation. Others do the opposite – they find the root cause of the problem, understand it and solve it. The first belong to the category of mediocre system administrators, the second to the professionals.

The ability to see the problem through comes with experience. This is the ability of the sysadmin to recognize situations that he has already encountered, to use old solutions for new tasks, improving them over and over again. Experienced system administrators are flexible: they know when the previously applied solution is 100% suitable for eliminating the current problem, and when it needs to be optimized.

The ability to think critically provides an opportunity to analyze the problem, and not just get rid of it “until the next time.”

Positive attitude to work
Imagine the situation. We got into a small office and want to ask that gloomy uncle over how he became a system administrator. The answer can be predicted with an accuracy of up to 90%: first, training, then – working days, full of monotony and routine. He was tired of all this, of course, but there is no possibility to change anything in life.

Next we head to a large company. We need the head of the IT department, asking him the same question. We are met by a pleasant young man, with a smile says that he started off like everyone else – from studying: he finished IT courses, read many books, attended various industry events, talked with colleagues … and continues to do it now.

The moral of this example is this: if you go to system administration with selfish motives, it will not work. In addition to the financial aspect, it is necessary to look for positive aspects in the work. You can, for example, select one niche of system administration and sharpen knowledge specifically in this area. It is important to be in the IT community, constantly pumping themselves.

The feeling that “I do this for a reason” is the highest incentive that encourages action, initiative, reinventing the wheel. Hence, perseverance, dedication, responsibility – all those qualities that help the sysadmin to leave the mediocrity zone and move into the category of leading experts.

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