Day 37: What makes a good sysadmin ?


featured sysadmin

Used interchangeably in Systems Administrator, Network & Systems Administrator, Site Reliability Engineer, etc…

Technical expertise

A good systems administrator understands operating systems, applications and services of what he administers.

There is also an important network part, that he needs be well versed in.

Also, he needs to understand databases even if at a basic level, virtualization, etc…


A sysadmin is the cool guy around.

You will see him smiling and laughing.

He needs to be; as when there is a server issue, he is the one who will fix it.

Usually, customers/bosses will come to the sysadmin with all kinds of issues.

It is important the sysadmin absorbs all that is relevant and rejects all which is not.

This helps with having a clear mind.

An unentangled mind is the most precious asset for the sysadmin.

His diagnostics must be based on facts but at the same time be led by his infallible instincts.


Sysadmins are the wonderboys of organizations.

They can find solutions to any problems.

This is the reason why most people come to them for help.

And we love helping out !


It is never enough to have acceptable performance.

The sysadmin must always be one step ahead.

Monitoring current resources and documenting the performance issues helps with that.

Once the baseline is set. We are able to improve.

Even a 10% improvement in performance is an important gain.

If we are servicing 1M customers. A 10% improvement may provide for 100K more customers.

Important to realise, finding the Root CAuse (RCA) of the issue is the thing that will help with preventing or bypassing the issue.


For the sysadmin, doing repetitive steps leads to boredom and time wasting.

The sysadmin cannot waste a minute as he may be needed anytime.

Under GNU/Linux, shell scripting skills are a crucial asset.

Under Windows, powershell is desirable as well.

Automating repetitive stuff: reduces the probability of human errors and improves on efficiency.


Sysadmin featured image

\ Codarren /

Written on February 6, 2021