When it comes to system administration and particularly security, there can be a lot of stress involved at times. Do you find yourself in tough situations and what do you do to handle them?
System administration, by its nature, is stressful. BOFH stories aside, a great deal of expectation falls on the shoulders of the person in charge of making sure everything works. As a sysadmin, if anything goes wrong, it is your fault. That holds true for me as well. In all cases, I try to maintain a sense of humour. If you can keep your head while everyone around you is panicking, that air of calmness will spread somewhat. Confidence instills confidence. If you are at your wits end, don't be afraid to ask for help. We're all in this together.
And remember, the best way to avoid stress is to avoid the stressful situations in the first place. Get to know your systems and your network. Stay on top of it. Knowledge is power. Learn all that you can, script what can be scripted and schedule everything imaginable with cron jobs (where possible). If it isn't broken, people won't be complaining and you can build up that reputation "as a miracle worker" (as Scotty might say).
What's the most careless act in system administration you've ever seen?
(insert sound of laughter here) I don't even know where to begin. I've been in offices where people have their passwords stuck to their monitors because it's easier than remembering. As bad as that is, I think this next one probably rates as the worst. A company (that shall remain nameless) spent a small fortune on a high capacity, enterprise backup solution. That doesn't sound so bad except that they just assumed (presumably because it was so expensive) that the configuration and hence, the backups, should not be verified or tested. After three months of running this solution, the inevitable happened. I leave the rest to your imagination.
What direction do you think the Linux community will take in 2003? What direction would you like to see Linux go?
What is most interesting about the Linux community is that there really is a "Linux community". I believe that the community will continue to do what it has always done -- code, develop, and work to extend the capabilities of the Linux operating system so that the question of whether Linux will ever dominate the OS world won't be a question, but accepted fact.
As for Linux itself, I believe that in 2003, Linux will make serious inroads onto the desktop, both at home and in the office. The average, non-techie user will be running Linux; your brother and sister, your parents, your grandparents... Those of us who are the "Linux experts" had better prepare ourselves because we are going to hear a lot about it "outside the community".
What advice would you give to new Linux users?
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