How to be a good system administrator; 9 useful qualities

Are you a system administrator or are you considering becoming one? The first thing you should know is that it’s not an easy profession, but you shouldn’t be discouraged if you really want to do it.

The system administrator is a key figure in any company that uses a certain degree of technology. In this article we are going to see some ideas about what a good system administrator should be like, proposed by the administrators themselves (no one better than them to tell us which are some very valuable qualities in the profession, don’t you think?). Let’s start:

Being curious and eager to learn

Although in any discipline it is important to have the desire to continue learning day by day, in those related to computer science, this quality becomes essential. The world of IT is constantly evolving, we all know it. That is why it is essential that in a profession, such as systems administration, which is usually multidisciplinary, curiosity and the desire to know are necessary qualities in a good professional.

Having judgment

Good judgment is another very valuable quality for a sysadmin. The system administrator occupies an important place in the company and must therefore always act with a high sense of responsibility. In other words: the experiments, better just with coke and mentos. It’s one thing to be curious about learning, and another to experiment in a work environment.

Being responsible and prudent

Generally, the security of both company data and devices will usually be the responsibility of the system administrator, and that is not a small responsibility. Some faulty security can lead to real disasters, such as data loss or information theft. A simple -but evil- virus, for example, can cause great damage to the company. Therefore, a good system administrator should be professional and cautious in their actions and give security all the attention it deserves. Otherwise, major problems can arise…

Being organized and document the work done

Another good habit of a good sysadmin. Are you an orderly person? Do you plan and document the steps you are taking? Way to go!

Planning your work will help you, among other things, to maximize your time and to analyze your work well and prevent potential problems (as well as to foresee possible solutions if they still arise).

Documenting it well will also be very useful. For example, you will be able to create a documentary base that will help you to solve the setbacks that can happen again. Remember that the hard drive in your brain doesn’t have an infinite capacity, and it will do you good to have a written description of how you solved a problem in the past. In addition, this will also be of great use to the people who take your place – for example, if you are on holiday – and to the people you’re in charge of.

Knowing how to work with other people

Another of the qualities that a good system administrator should have is knowing how to deal with other people. It should be borne in mind that, very often, the sysadmin will have to work with people who don’t have a similar technical background to their own, and therefore must know how to adapt the technical language to people who don’t master it. Sometimes that means you have to be patient…

Being flexible

The system administration profession has a very broad field of activity. The sysadmin will have to deal with all kinds of problems and be able to handle all sorts of different environments, often in different workplaces. And, as we said, you will have to work with all kinds of people, who will often have training that has nothing to do with yours. Do you want to be a good system administrator? Remember what the Japanese proverb says, the bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.

Being ethical

Often, the system administrator will have access to highly sensitive data from both companies and individuals. Are you planning to sell them to the competition? Besides being unethical, you are likely to have legal problems… Have you ended up in bad terms with your company?Keep your tongue in check. Talking bad about others is a very ugly habbit, and it can also bring you trouble.

Taking care of details

It is another of those qualities that always come in handy in any discipline, but has special importance in a profession such as systems administration. A good sysadmin will always keep their eyes peeled for small details. They can be the difference between a good job and a botched job, and it’s also likely to save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Being passionate about your work

Finally, we leave the most essential quality. Are you passionate about systems administration? Without a doubt, this is the first step towards becoming a great professional in the industry. If you’re accompanied by your appreciation for your work, it will be much easier to go far, so if you enjoy the benefits of this quality, we can only congratulate you.

These are some of the qualities that system administrators themselves consider that a sysadmin must have to be a good professional, but surely you know some more. Do you want to share them with us? You have a comment box to do it right at the end of this article. But, before you start writing like crazy, one more thing…

As you will know -and if you don’t know it, we’re here to tell you- one of the tasks that a system administration usually performs is monitoring.

If you are a professional system administrator, it is likely that you already know Pandora FMS. Pandora FMS is a flexible monitoring software, capable of monitoring devices, infrastructures, applications, services and business processes.

Did this pique your curiosity? Do you want to know more about Pandora FMS? Go over here:

Or maybe you prefer to ask us some questions about Pandora FMS. You can do this by using the contact form found right here:

The Pandora FMS team will be happy to assist you.