It's SysAdmin Appreciation Day tomorrow (hint: this is a subtle reminder for you to think of a last-minute surprise for your favorite SysAdmin 😉), and we have prepared some content and activities involving the SysAdmin community!

To get started with the celebrations, we wanted to give you a primer on what SysAdmins do – from real SysAdmins!

Missed the first story? Read it here. This time we have Neeloj, a veteran SysAdmin who shares some details of a typical day on the job.

Can you tell us about your work?

Well, among my daily tasks I am responsible for 200+ Servers:

  • Get to work
  • Coffee
  • Monitor Emails and graphs for systems that need attention
  • Check checkmk :)
  • Checking the Vms, and making sure the backups are running and verified.
  • Deal with leftover work from yesterday
  • Research pressing issues related to the IT Field
  • Update Servers via Puppet if it's necessary
  • Lunch
  • Check some Log files
  • Work on a new project, sending any non-emergency work to tomorrow AM
  • Try not to cry 😢
  • Checking the security systems
  • Go to the GYM
  • Go home
  • Repeat

Optional: stare at hawks flying outside the window, get some fresh air. :)

How did you get into the field?

I studied computer science in Dortmund.

Can you share a ‘horror story’ that happened to you at work?

We didn’t have direct access to our servers. The clients don't want to have a VPN, so I had to find a way to solve this. I used Puppet for this to get information to Checkmk, and update the systems, so this solution was unique and it works very well. (it's really more complicated, but that gives you a brief idea :) )

What is something you would love for people outside the IT team stop/start doing?

I like to use the ticketing system (Jira). I like and want to help people to solve problems, BUT they should try to solve it via searching in Google or reading books, if they cannot go further then I'm glad to help them. In this way you will learn a lot, and not only get the solution, but you will be able to understand the problem before you solve it :)

What keeps you excited about your work?

Every day there are new challenges :), and I like that.

What do you think people in your field / who want to get into your field should start learning?

  • Mathematics :)
  • They should start earlier with programming.
  • Earn a bachelor’s degree and build tech skills, this will help you to think systematically, which is very important.
  • Take extra courses like LPIC-1 – BTW, I have done LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 :) – and many MS courses before I changed to Linux in 2012.
  • Constantly refresh your knowledge.

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