Basic Guide for New System Administrators

In 2012, I played partly the role of a system administrator and I learned some important things (especially during the sleepless nights and long hours of waiting and reading). I have very little experience with this kind of work, but I want to share with you what I learned especially to those who are just beginning system administration.

1. Have common sense.

This is one of the most important things that everyone should have. You don’t want to be called an idiot by your boss, right? Therefore, be aware of your job. Have a clear judgment of things. If you don’t know what to do, ask (either Google or your co-employees).

2. Be familiar with the system you’re working on.

You may work on several big enterprise systems. You cannot be an expert with all of those even if you devote all your life on them, but be familiar at least. Always know all the basic stuff.

3. Always keep track of what you do.

You don’t want to search and search again if you forgot important things, especially if you are following a very long procedure that you are not familiar of.

4. Record all the errors and unexpected incidents you encountered.

One of the most frustrating moments is when you encounter an error out of nowhere. Good thing if you find a solution for that, and if you do, record it. What is the complete description of the error? What do you think is the cause of the error? What are the steps that you did to correct that error?

5. Always perform backup.

Storage devices are not immortal. Always have a backup of your important files, at least.

6. Make clean documentations.

Documentations play a crucial part in the IT industry. They contain the detailed description of the system you’re working on such as how it was implemented and who were the people implemented it. These documentations will also be the basis of your co-workers and future employees (if you will ever be resigning).

7. Exercise.

Everyone needs it. If you want to die earlier, don’t do it.