How'd you get to become a Systems Administrator? What jobs got you to where you are now? What education got you your job?

My route was of a strange type.

I ran BBSes in the early 90s. Not shit ones. Did a lot of my own modding, FIDO and uh, file trading.

Got in to credit trouble in high school. Took high school co-op. Ended up at a software company, deploying 386s. Aced that. Figured I could come in at night and leech using the Internet to support my mirror / file trading habit. Busted. There was a night shift. Night shift guys started teaching me the ropes. Underpaid me to show up at night so they could take the night off and pay me half their salary. Boss finds out. Gives me job managing overnight backups (the manual stuff) and form printer babsitting (actually a thing) and glorious server room security guard. I am best at job, probably make a lot of people rich with escalations, and I take over. Linux shows up. I am not allowed to demonstrate its early power. Job/Connections eventually pays well enough to drop Comp Sci. Be DR SME, Replace my night shift, with automation and work days. Get super bored. Be Rapid Deployment specialist, Be Windows admin (ugh), BEG TO BE UNIX ADMIN. Be Linux Evangelist again. LINUX ARRIVES BIGTIME. Be awesome. Be the guy who helps others be awesome too. Be the guy who knows when to lead and when to follow. Be lucky. Get bought. Be survivor that doesn't mind learning new things from new lord. Conquer labs like Ghandi. Acquire hardwares/cooling/configs of weaker admins. Repair them. Rebuild stacks and silos and give them back to the people. Or read them the riot act if necessary. Perform random miracles from time to time onsite, offsite, both-sites, websites. Nowadays, I replace people with very small shell scripts (as is the fashion), sometimes containers, and I don't really feel bad about that. The people I work with are either stupid smart or smartly stupid. Then I look back on what I hack I've been and wonder about my own existence... and then I try to learn something new. I also have too many pointless meetings.

Been there almost 20 years now. Not many people make it as long as I have or from the very bottom. I've done just about everything there is in IT, maybe one day I will manage the place just like my bosses joked back then. Some say why haven't I managed after all the time, and I just say I've managed, just not people Bob! Then I slap my knee and hope people will move on. I prefer project management to people management so being IT architect in most respects and having fingers in everything is what keeps me stimulated. One day, when I have no more to learn, maybe.

Just found out one of my first friends at the company is dying today. I started drawing a paycheck before I was out of highschool. When did I get so old?

/r/sysadmin Thread