So what would you say you do here?

The job of a systems administrator is very vague.  Some sysadmins are responsible for a single set of systems — a large farm of e-mail servers, for example.  Others are responsible for everything up to and including telephone lines.  Most of us lie somewhere in between, but even most sysadmins would have a hard time narrowing down what it is that we do.  Perhaps the best way to describe my job is to give a list of what I’ve worked on this week.

  • Fix the weather data web server so that the maps get updated
  • Set up a new network printer
  • Put together a price quote for a high-end Linux workstation
  • Diagnose a problem with compiled code
  • Add a new user to our main file server
  • Put together a price quote for another high-end Linux workstation
  • Setup two new MacBooks
  • Diagnose a problem with a network printer (the cable had come unpluged)
  • Make Ethernet cables
  • Replace toner in a printer
  • Install a library package so code could be compiled
  • Various updates and fixes to the department’s website
  • Tell a user how to restore the desktop switcher to Gnome

And that’s only the tickets I got.  That doesn’t even cover any self-driven tasks.  Of course, next week, I’m sure the list will be completely different.

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