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ECRocker 07-24-2009 12:03 AM

Linux System Administrator Job - Should I Take It?
I've asked my IT co-workers. I've asked my NSA Unix Admin friend. I still can't decide, so I'm asking one last place for their opinion...

I'm an under paid, under appreciated, over worked "Help Desk Support Engineer" that does Server Admin, Network Admin, Help Desk, and everything else including Telecomm. I've only been in the industry and out of college for a year and I definitely know more than my IT director, though I never act like it. I handle 99% Windows, but I run Linux on my workstation - if you've seen my posts, I'm not the greatest at it - yet.

I was offered today a Linux System Admin job that would manage a small cluster of Linux servers and handle a small amount of Windows Server/Help desk work. The people who interviewed me explained that they aren't concerned if I'm not a Linux expert but that I could find the answer if need be. Basically the Linux side doesn't seem too demanding, so I'm thinking I could it.

What does LQo think? I've only been a heavy Linux user for the past 6 months to a year. Would a person hungry for knowledge and a year of Linux under his belt be able to mange 3 Linux servers in a cluster?
Should I care that the impression I received is that they would have hired anyone that said they could use Linux?

anomie 07-24-2009 12:19 AM

If it's a move in the direction you want to be going, and it's with what you perceive to be a stable company... take it.

XavierP 07-24-2009 04:51 AM

Exactly what Anomie said. Sounds as though they are looking for a junior admin and equally sounds like you have the skills for it - some knowledge and a willingness to learn.

sheepy 07-24-2009 05:05 AM

Do you know if the company employs other people that are Linux admins too? You could learn best practices from them. It would suck to be stuck in a situation you could not resolve and had no one else to turn to. I wouldn't let your lack of experience put you off, everyone has to start somewhere.

You should consider studying towards one of the Linux certifications, such as RHCE. (Red Hat Certified Engineer)

karamarisan 07-24-2009 05:27 AM


Originally Posted by ECRocker (Post 3618376)
The people who interviewed me explained that they aren't concerned if I'm not a Linux expert but that I could find the answer if need be.

That's what I think it hinges on. How resourceful are you? How able are you to figure out the answers to your own problems with only local documentation and a web connection? Posting in forums like this doesn't count (takes too long, if it ever produces anything at all); reading the archives counts 100%. If you're confident that you'll be able to discover the answers to whatever comes up in a reasonable period of time, this might be a good move for you.

ECRocker 07-24-2009 10:40 AM

Yeah, I've been so focused on MCSE (M$ Cert.), it's kinda crazy to think about RHCE (I didn't even know that existed) but that sounds a lot more rewarding. They would pay for the training for that certification as well.

@Sheepy: Not really, there's a programmer that uses linux to write his apps, but that's about it. That's definitely something I'm lacking in my portfolio, my current boss completely ignores any best practices, so I'm kinda lost on that front.

This might be a good opportunity to "try out" Unix Sys Admin without too much risk?

chrism01 08-07-2009 02:04 AM

Probably a bit late, but sounds like a great opportunity, as long as you don't mind a steep learning curve for a whilst.
Also sounds like you'll be able to do things your way as well, if you're the only admin.

ECRocker 08-08-2009 08:33 AM

Haha, actually I start on Monday!
I've been studying my ass off for the past 2 weeks. I found a good text book called, "Linux Administration: a Beginners Guide" - most enjoyable read since...?

I don't want to do things my way. I want to do them the RIGHT way.

shahz 08-08-2009 08:36 AM

always accept that challanges;)

Dinithion 08-09-2009 03:31 AM

Congratulation on your new job, then. How is the new job? It sounds really interesting indeed :)

ECRocker 08-10-2009 07:52 PM

A lot of equipment is old and legacy. Although with that said, it's all better managed that my last job:
  • Hard Drive Imaging
  • Centralized Software and Patch Management
  • Secure, Remote Access Tools
  • A Boss with Actual Manager Experience
  • A Centralized Tape Backup System

The guy I replaced apparently was a huge M$ basher, and did everything anti-M$. Now, I'm all about open source, but some stuff put in place that I now have to take over just doesn't make sense and is just a pain. Redoing some things, and creating a virtual test system will keep me busy for a while.

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