What does the system administrator neeed to understand in order to perform his duties appropriately?

What does the Linux sysadmin neeed to understand in order to perform his duties appropriately?

In my experience, the best administrators do more than just administer the systems. If you fail to understand what the users want then you will face “shadow IT” that will provide solutions to their problems. Those solutions can often bring in security issues of their own and if you’re unaware of them then the overall security of the network is hampered. So the best learn to listen to the problems that their users face and work to find solutions themselves. So in my book, the number one thing that a sysadmin needs to understand is the people they work with. When someone tells you of a frustration they have, then you focus on finding a way to make it go away and when you find a solution, you’re able to pick one that minimizes the impacts.

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Yes the sysadmin (OS doesn’t matter) understand both server hardware and software (OS and apps) running on it. He or she must also understand the needs of user. Problem solving is another important skill to a sysadmin.


The system administrator needs to understand how the computer systems are to be used by the organization who pays the sysadmin. So, if you sysadmin a Windows shop, you’ll need to know how the organization uses Windows to do business.

Do they have many employees? Then you’ll need to control access to the computers.
Do they have servers? Then you’ll need to secure those machines as much as possible.
Do they use the Internet? Then you’ll need to make sure the Internet is not using you.

After a serious interest in technology and willingness to learn the main skill of a system administrator is to be able to speak with others who may be in a position of authority civilly, constructively, and concisely.

Speak about the hard stuff you’re working on and be able to talk about what could make it better.
Speak about the vulnerabilities of the business in your eyes and how to patch those vulnerabilities.
Speak about the processes of the business and how it relates to the computers you are responsible for.

Good luck with your work.

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