System Administration

      On this page you'll find how I got into System Administration, why I chose Sysadmin, links to resources/additional topics that are issues in our field along with downloads that may help you complete tasks at work. Some links go to external sites, are downloads from my server, or crosslink to Reddit's /r/sysadmin sub-reddit.

      Although I did not get a degree related to System Administration, it is something I've wanted to do since graduating. I took a System Administration class in college before I graduated. After that, I took up a job as IT Instructor & System Administrator for a IT training center. At this job, I gained the basic experience necessary to move into my current role at a different company as a System Administrator.

      Being a System Administrator is a very complex job that may be demanding at times. People have to be highly skilled in technology along with being able to interface with customers, users, and executives. This is the ultimate challenge and I feel I exceed at this job with every new passing day.

      My degree is not in System Administration - it is in Applied Communication: Public Speaking, Delivering Presentations, Improv, Communication Theory, and so on. I believe it is one of the fundamental skills that has enabled me to effectively communicate complex IT processes and functions in a digestable format by providing documentation, training, and tutorials. This is where a lot of System Administrators struggle in the IT world - being unable to express themselves to their customers, peers & management. System Administration is certainly not about how some people would choose to describe it. It doesn't have to be this way.

      Working in the IT field also comes with other challenging issues: lack of women in the workplace, ethics challenges, never having enough time in the day, an unknown set of pre-existing standards, along with a constant unwritten learning requirement, either via a home lab, certifications, or gratis work provided to non-profits. It is an evolving industry and as such, we must evolve with it.
Note: I linked to both the SANS & LOPSA code of ethics above. Both are highly reputable and have a very concise code of ethics that I think all of us should follow.

      These issues & more are very important to me. In addition, it's sometimes difficult to find peers who also work in IT who you can share your knowledge with. This is why I believe it's important for people to become part of the system administrator community. Large communities like The League of Professional System Administrators fills this void. They run an awesome LOPSA-East conference every year in New Jersey full of training, talks, and people you can network with -- I highly recommend everyone go if possible.

      I am on the committe of the newly created LOPSA Recognized Professional program. This program is the first of it's kind & I am dedicated to seeing it grow. A system of high quality standards are important in recognize Professionals from fly-by-night ITT System Administrators who do continually evolve their skills, go to conferences or strive for quality in their work. I firmly believe in surroudning myself with people of similar caliber for my personal & professional growth. If you have any suggestions for this program please contact me. If you wish to join, click the link above.

      I wish DevOps would go away.

I'll never understand the craze of it & the word is something of yesteryear. I ascribe to "Operations", System Administration, System Reliability Engineer thought processes. I think SREs have unique challenges at scale. Note: is there a video of this talk? :(

      If you see a broken link on this page, or you think there's something you'd like me to add such as a link to your site, let me know!

Sysadmin Resources

      The sysadmin Subreddit is where I spend most of my time, and I am a highly active member. I do my best to stay engaged in the community and learn as much as I can from my peers. There's also a LOPSA Subreddit.

      /u/vocatus on Reddit is kind enough to put up software packages from PDQ Deploy as a torrent. I have a local mirror hosted here for you to download if you're at work and aren't able to download via torrent, or don't have the time to download such things. Please link to this page if you're going to link to the download as I'll be putting the updates and any related things here.

      I've contributed to the Sysadmin Body of Knowledge (SABOK) - it was created by Aleksey Tsalolikhin of Vertical Sysadmin. This is a living document of information for System Administrators who want to improve themself & their profession.

      The Troubleshooting Exchange blog run by a few Exchange MCM. /u/ashdrewness is a frequent contributor, along with a frequent poster to /r/ExchangeServer. Can't recommend this link enough.

     Dynamic Tele/Net Incorporated is my go to resource when I need any or networking runs performed. The company is run by Brett Diaz. He is very prompt, professional, and provides excellent results.

     Time Management for System Administrator's resource website with videos giving a general overview of the chapters and additional material. Not all of the videos are perfect, some lack sound.

     Everything Sysadmin, Tom Limoncelli's site which has additional blog posts covering a variety of system administrator topics, complete with many conversations in the comments and suggestions to improve the way we do things.

     vBeers are where vGeeks come to meet! These meetups are in a bar or some other social setting typically with food. It's a friendly atmosphere where people come to talk about mostly virtualization, but topics can range anywhere from storage technology, to the variety of solutions for a given problem. There are numerous events around the globe, check their site and check it often! (If anyone knows when the NJ vBeers will be starting back up, please contact me)