Jun 292013
 

Sometimes it’s useful to do a step back and think at the way you are doing your daily tasks and in general how you approach your work, if you are interested in this topic I suggest also the great book “Time management for system administrator

This was written by Jennifer Davis and first published on http://sysadvent.blogspot.it/

For most of us, the end of year brings performance appraisals and reflection on the year’s setbacks and accomplishments both professional and personal. In the glass bowl of life, I ask myself if I’ve made a difference, earned respect, have I grown from where I started the year? Technology has brought us innovation to hack our lives and measure our personal success through metrics. For example measuring sleep, weight, and activity. For example, I can see how much I slept, how fast I biked to work this morning, how often I biked, and the steps forward (or back) towards my goals. There is a dearth in tools available to measure personal work growth and effectiveness.

Being an effective system administrator requires an ability to do several (seemingly obvious but often rather fraught) things: To break down projects into actions that we understand as a part, as a whole, and can manage in a discrete period of time; explaining this roadmap to other teams; and successfully keeping implementation on schedule while being flexible enough to handle any issues that arise. The job descriptions and responsibilities of system administrators can vary greatly in scope and the corresponding degrees of difficulty and creativity necessary to succeed. Since “system administrator” alone can sometimes function as a vague catch-all for such a diversity of tasks and functions we use a variety of sometimes unwieldy names to better specify our roles and focus. Regardless of title there is a great deal of commonality in how teams we work for/with view us and depend upon our knowledge and skills. In some cases it’s a bit like being a member of a symphony in which the strings, the brass, and the wind sections cannot agree upon the tempo or even what piece to play.

At a team level, management has a vision of what the team should be doing and how it should be working. Often our work is considered a cost center, something that doesn’t produce a direct profit and is generally first in line for cuts. Management becomes focused on the bottom line to the detriment of building a strong team and an encompassing vision. Teams are put in the unfortunate position of competing for finite resources. For better or worse, the team that “markets” itself best generally comes out ahead.

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