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Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Wanna get in on the first page and say to any newcomers that SH/SC is a really great resource for figuring out your illustrious career in IT. In aggregate, I've learned more about how to advance myself in the field here than any other single place. This thread will be full of some very sharp, experienced and insightful posters that you should really listen to.

Compared to four years ago, I'm making roughly 3x as much in total compensation, working on much more interesting and challenging projects, and--maybe most importantly for my sanity--I'm on-call about one week every two months instead of literally 24/7/365. I attribute most of that to this forum prodding me to get out of my rut/Stockholm Syndrome, poke my head up and see what was out there. Spoiler: what's out there is almost certainly way better than what you're doing right now.

Thanks to everyone who has made this a great and frank place for IT discussion. Let's keep it going.

Docjowles fucked around with this message at 08:19 on Aug 24, 2013

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Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



FFStudios posted:

If the minimum wage ends up getting raised, is it fair to ask that my pay get raised in accord with the amount it was raised by?

Unless you're within a buck or two of minimum wage to begin with (and if you are making $9 an hour in IT, holy gently caress, get out), my gut says this would not have good results. Either you're in a low wage position where the main goal is keeping costs down, and management will come back with "you already make more than that. Nope!" Or you're well paid and asking for another 75c an hour would be silly. Your time would be better spent arguing for a major pay raise than a 0.5% hike, or updating the resume and jumping ship.

Docjowles fucked around with this message at 05:44 on Aug 25, 2013

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



FFStudios posted:

I'm making $10.15/hour :unsmith:

Goondolences. Sorry, maybe you're more entry level than I was assuming. I've been there too and when I asked for a similar minimum wage bump was basically told to get hosed, so that colors my perception. Maybe your employer is less of a shitlord than some in my past. What's your job title and usual duties? $10 an hour seems super low but maybe not if you're grinding it out at Geek Squad or something. If that's the case and you want to move deeper into the IT field, I'd point you to the Home Lab and IT Certification threads here in SH/SC as a good next step.

joe944 posted:

System Administrator - Operations

This is a good post. Maybe also make mention of on-call as a fact of life for anyone in ops. But with the caveat that there's good on-call (rotation among a team, NOC guys taking the brunt of off-hours crap if you're really lucky and/or work for a larger org) and lovely, exploitative on-call (you are responsible for everything personally 24/7. vacation? lol!).

Docjowles fucked around with this message at 06:22 on Aug 25, 2013

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



FFStudios posted:

This is what I originally thought, but I figured it was worth it to ask because I know nothing about this kind of stuff. I figured that if anything, it would be decent real world experience.

Yeah, sorry I definitely misread the situation. Did not expect you to still be in your teens :) I support what the others have said in that case, go ahead and ask for the raise but don't be shocked if it's shot down. Just don't get stuck in the rut of working that type of job forever. It's not a HUGE leap from what you're doing right now to entry level helldesk work and that could easily be a 50%++ pay increase once you're ready to move on.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



The terrible, non-standard titles in IT are definitely a pet peeve of mine. I see "Network Administrator" used as a synonym for System Administrator fairly often. Especially in small shops which is extra hilarious because the network consists of a Linksys router and maybe an unmanaged 100mbit switch. Not much to administrate there.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



GreenNight posted:

The biggest peeve of mine is that she is working for an insurance company but heaven forbid they offer insurance to their loving contractors.

If insurance companies actually paid out claims that would seriously cramp their profits :v:

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



To change gears (:iiaca:), now that I have a commute again I am suddenly all-in on podcasts. I just came across WHOIS and it's pretty decent. The premise is to interview people who have been successful in IT and rather than technical topics, focus on things like what got them into the field, advice for newcomers, how to advance beyond entry level and where they see their industry going. So far he's been interviewing people who are decidedly still in the trenches, as opposed to the CEO of Google or something, so it's very down to earth advice a lot of posters here could probably relate to.

The first episode is a little lovely because he's just doing a test run, but if you give it through episode 3 I think you'll be glad you did.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Join me and Moey in CO. It owns out here :smugdog:

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



MC Fruit Stripe posted:

Real talk. How do you deal with motivation issues?

I know what knowledge I want, and I know what to study to get there. I have shelves upon shelves of books on the latest and greatest technologies that interest me. I can't seem to get myself to read anything. I want to, but I don't.

Ironically tonight I decided to finally start working on my Red Hat certs in ernest. Spent like an hour building up a VM in VirtualBox that I was gonna use in turn to host some KVM-based VM's. lol, nope. VirtualBox, RHEL and KVM don't work together, you can't nest them like that. Guess I have to find a spare physical machine, so much for my surge of motivation :effort:

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



evol262 posted:

VMware player will actually do this (if you want a free solution). VBox doesn't do nested virt at all.

Cheers, I'll check that out later this week. Thanks!

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



NZAmoeba posted:

My answer for the DNS question would go like this:

Which I would consider a pretty good answer, because I show what I do know, and more importantly know what I don't know, and freely admit it, but with some knowledge of what they might be, and how I came to those conclusions.

It'd depend a lot on the nature of the position, but I'd consider that an outstanding answer for any kind of helpdesk job and minimum acceptable for a junior admin. Beyond that point you're going to be the guy that has to create those "weird" NS and MX and PTR and SPF records that all the junior guys hand-wave away, but which will still totally break everything if you gently caress them up :) I've posted this 10 times before but I feel like DNS is really, really poorly understood by people for how important (and to be honest, easy) it is.

Agree that admitting what you don't know is a million times better than trying to bullshit.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



evol262 posted:

VMware player will actually do this (if you want a free solution). VBox doesn't do nested virt at all.

This does seem to have worked. Thanks again. Cross-posted to the home lab thread.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



MC Fruit Stripe posted:

Nah I was deliberately avoiding whitepapers because those have been through an editing process (ie, EMC's not publishing any whitepapers that don't make them looking amazing). I'm looking for more of straight from the horse's mouth. HackerNews might be a great resource, though.

Yeah the first thing that comes to mind is company blogs. As evol says a lot of what's out there tends to come from the (web) startup space and may or may not be applicable to you. Some to start with might include Highscalability.com, Netflix's Tech Blog and Etsy's Code as Craft.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Was it someone here that recommended the Ship Show podcast? I'm through episode 3 and there is so much incredibly dumb poo poo being said about DevOps that I want to throw my iPod out the window. Clearly no one on the show has any god damned idea what it means, but that doesn't stop them from ranting on and on about what makes a good DevOps engineer or how to hire for your DevOps team or how there is no difference between a "DevOps guy" and a "build engineer". It's like a million nails on a million chalkboards. They seem to be equating the term with "Technical Lead" or something. One guy once or twice tried to point out that it's a company culture and not a job title, but he kept getting shouted down.

Some lightly paraphrased quotes:

"A DevOps guy doesn't ignore those compiler warnings the dev team always glosses over."

"A DevOps guy knows how to change the registry key to fix the bug no one else can handle"

"A DevOps guy might write code in the morning and rack a server in the afternoon"

"I don't buy this DevOps fad. It seems like a DevOps guy is just a build engineer with a flashy title"

:commissar: :negative: :smithicide:

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



QPZIL posted:

DevOps is a method of interrelation between two area of information technology :psyduck:

I mean it's literally in the name, how the hell

It's a show about build and release engineering, so I get that they want to present things through that lens. But they seem to have just heard the word on The Twitters or something and decided it means "a really awesome build engineer who knows everything and rules... like us :smuggo:"

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Are you someplace with super low cost of living? $29k seems absurdly bad for any sort of IT work, even entry level.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Tab8715 posted:

On the same subject - what's the biggest raise or salary jump anyone has received?

10k

Biggest for me so far has been 25k in straight salary increase after changing jobs, probably closer to 30 factoring in better benefits and bonus. Sounds like a lot, but that amount was easily available because (thanks to this forum!) I realized I was making like 50% less than the average salary for a sysadmin in my area and YOTJ'd the gently caress out of there. I had gotten complacent and just assumed I was being paid something resembling market rate :saddowns: I didn't go from "comfortable to loving loaded", just kinda broke to doing well.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



skooma512 posted:

I doubt you'll be touching much upcoming software . Business is a very slow adopter of things. We still use IE8 everywhere because nobody wants to pay the vendors for the new poo poo or it just doesn't work on new stuff deal with it.

You'll be seeing XP machines in the wild for the next decade. Hell, at my client there is a Windows 98 machine still in use. It's loving them over because they suddenly need to get reports off it but it's off the main VLAN and no external media works anymore. They're leaving thousands on the table.

I think this is a pretty broad generalization to make. Certainly some businesses, especially large ones, are glacially slow to update software. And they may have a good reason, like a core product the business depends on is developed by shitlords and only supported on Win XP with Java 1.4 despite costing millions of dollars. But there are others that treat well-run IT and operations as a competitive advantage rather than just a cost center to be downsized as much as possible.

This is my answer to a lot of IT questions, but I try to follow a wide swathe of blogs, podcasts and Twitter accounts to keep up to date on trends in the industry. I am not aware of a single print magazine that's worth reading these days; it's not the 90's. Anything that ends up in a print mag is months to years behind and written as a 1 page puff piece for the CIO to read on the crapper.

If you can elaborate at all on what your company does, and what sort of tech you're hoping to take advantage of strategically, maybe we can recommend some more specific resources for you.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Cardboard Fox posted:

Yet, every time I do research on google, all I hear about is IT dudes using Ghost, Acronis, Clonezilla, and even some new thing called Project Fog. Should I just stick with WDS or am I better off trying to learn a third party software if there is a greater chance that I'll be using it?

A lot of IT dudes are in small shops that can't justify shelling out for SCCM goodness, and/or bad at their jobs. Just Google "Scott Alan Miller". Learn WDS / MDT / SCCM if you can, that will be far more valuable and if you can figure that out you can sure as poo poo learn Ghost or Clonezilla. Especially in your first job an employer will likely be bowled over that you understand how and why to image systems at all, regardless of what specific imaging tech you're proficient in.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



bull3964 posted:

Ahh, peace.

You poor, naive bastard.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



I was just giving him a hard time; surely something else lovely will come up and make his life miserable. I mean, this is IT ;) I've actually never had the misfortune to use totally god-awful load balancers. Old job had Coyote Point's that were ancient and very EOL but never skipped a beat (thank god since I'm not sure we could have gotten support) and the new place actually has money so we're moving from various lovely things to the aforementioned F5's which appear to own. They're handling many gigabits of traffic without breaking a sweat.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



God drat, Morales. Have you considered YOTJing? Your recent posts make your company sound pretty miserable.

App13 posted:

That being said, should I apply for a typical help-desk job to get into the environment a little more, apply for a sysadmin job and hope I don't fail horribly, or say "gently caress it" and just get my bachelors degree and try again in a few years?

Helpdesk is going to be beneath you. You already have admin experience, resetting passwords and clearing paper jams is not going to teach you something new. "poo poo is broke, figure it out" is how most sysadmins get started, anyway. To me it sounds like you're plenty qualified to start applying for Windows admin jobs. Also (and sorry, as a civilian I am really ignorant of how they work) presumably you have some level of security clearance? With that and your Sec+ you should be able to move to the DC/Virginia area and start pulling down fat stacks at a government contractor.

The Bachelor's is up to you. I'd never discourage anyone from pursuing a degree if it's what they want, and if it's financially viable. But it's not mandatory in IT like many other fields. It will get you past HR at some companies, but just as many give no fucks if you have a BS as long as you have the experience to do your job. Like the other poster said, are you eligible for the new GI Bill? That would certainly make school more attractive. But sliding into a clearance-required contracting gig and making ~6 figures right out of the gate is attractive, too.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Yeah I agree with pretty much everything evol wrote, except government where I have no experience. What you've posted strikes me as biased and can be distilled down to "everywhere is loving miserable to work, except startups, cause you might get sweet IPO cash". It's hard to generalize an entire industry into a couple paragraphs and I get that, please don't take this as me making GBS threads on you, but I'm not sure that distillation is doing your readers any favors. There are great small businesses/startups to work for, and great enterprises. There are also many terrible examples of both. In particular, claiming that Enterprise is the one where you will have no shot at spending a big budget is a bit of a wtf. Sure, you'll always want more, but the enterprise is where you get to play on the million dollar SAN or 40 gigabit switch. Small business is more apt to be the realm of backing up to a QNAP filled with 2 WD Greens and daisy chained 4 port D-Links.

I'd also add that in a small shop you're likely to be on-call 24/7 which can be pretty terrible for your mental health and social life. It's a big part of why I left that world.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



I'm so glad I moved to operations and don't do office IT anymore. That photo is giving me so many flashbacks, from the awful cabling to the drive dock backup.

I can't knock storing spare equipment in the server room, though; it's usually the only lockable location that only IT has access to. Unless the point is that they're ancient poo poo that should just go in the dumpster, in which case yeah that's flashback #3 for me.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Bob Morales posted:

We have two fairly large, lockable storerooms. One is full of stuff like old Xeon servers, P3 desktops, piles of broken laptops, rubbermaid bins of serial cables....

Yeah that sounds familiar. Last place I worked had tubs of poo poo dating back to the start of the company in the late 90's, complete with floppy disks, IDE cables, null modem cables, dead 73GB SCSI drives...

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



theperminator posted:

Yeah now all you have left to do is answer endless calls from Dell asking when you're sending the failed drive back, even though you've already done so.

I think you mean endless phone surveys asking you to rate the quality of service on your recent interaction with Dell's support team.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



How often and how quickly do they need access to the data? Amazon S3 plus Glacier is another option if you have minimal budget to build out a decent physical infrastructure. Glacier costs literally a penny per gigabyte for storage. You can even mail them a drive to jumpstart the import so you don't have to upload 5 TB over your lovely office T1 connection.

Granted the cloud is dropping in popularity lately thanks to Ed Snowden but I thought I'd throw it out there for completeness.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Is there no chance of a counter offer, either on straight salary or other benefits?

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009





Congrats to both of you!

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Misogynist posted:

I report to a developer.

I take it back. Goondolences :ohdear:

Just giving you poo poo

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



The Third Man posted:

Diverting from job chat for a moment, what websites/blogs do you guys follow regularly? I check slashdot/ars/news.ycombinator.com daily, but I'm looking to add a few more good sites into my rotation.

What sort of content are you looking for? From your post history it looks like your main interest is getting into networking?

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



The Third Man posted:

Personally yeah, I'm trying to learn more about linux and networking, but I always like seeing what other people read as it usually leads me to a really interesting site I never would have found otherwise.

routenull0 linked the network-specific ones I was gonna provide :) Here's some more linkdumps, mostly about sysadmin in general, linux, cloud computing, ~~DevOps~~ and web operations which are my own personal interests and job responsibilities.

Etsy's Code as Craft blog
Kitchen Soap, John Allspaw's blog
Planet DevOps, an aggregator site
SANS ISC, security announcements and discussion
Standalone Sysadmin
Netflix Techblog
Cloudflare blog
Everything Sysadmin, Tom Limoncelli's blog
/r/sysadmin

edit: Also yeah, Twitter. Don't have time to linkdump that but those sites should have some good jumping off points for people to follow if you like the content of the sites.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



psydude posted:

Apparently I've been tasked with running our SharePoint site. Kill me now.

I thought you were doing something less terrible, like shipping out to Afghanistan?

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Tab8715 posted:

I today was my last day is my company is freaking out

They're freaking out because you are speaking in tongues or some poo poo :ssh:

Edit: and goondolences, psydude. Just when you thought getting deployed couldn't suck any worse...

Docjowles fucked around with this message at 23:54 on Oct 4, 2013

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



H.R. Paperstacks posted:

CF, If I didn't know you any better, I would assume you were a girl. You seem to have this mapped out "life" like girls to with theirs, in their pretty little ribbon diary.

Their perfect story-tale wedding, their Ken-doll husband, and 2 kids with the white picket fence house.

Is this a real post

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



H.R. Paperstacks posted:

So mapping out your life like it is some movie script is a good thing?

Married by 30
Kids by 35

I am glad I am no where near that high strung and uptight.

It was more the impressive display of sexism I was responding to.

Misogynist posted:

Here is where a guy who literally has the handle Misogynist calls you out on being a sexist rear end

There's been a lot of good ones, but this may be the best Misogynist post :drat:

Docjowles fucked around with this message at 02:02 on Oct 6, 2013

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



In stark contrast to IT where it's a meaningless indicator because everyone is just a raging alcoholic across the board :guinness:

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



I think that has more to do with 7 being Good Enough than 8 being a total catastrophe. There's no reason to make a big push to upgrade to 8 when 7 is rock solid and basically does everything you need just fine.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



three posted:

I think touch screen interfaces are dumb for work. They're excellent for consuming information/personal usage, but I'd rather shoot myself than try to do actual work on one.

In timely related news, Why Is the Fox News Room Full of Absurdly Giant iPads? Hope that was worth however many millions it cost.

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Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



underlig's a longtime SH/SC poster and mostly has confidence issues, a la Corvettefisher 1.0. IIRC he worked for a boss who literally would go days without speaking to him or even acknowledging that he was there (in a 3 person company) and forced him to sit in a broken chair that caused him physical pain. He finally YOTJ'd out after tolerating that bullshit for far too long.

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