(More) System (and less) Administration

I started out in IT as a developer working on financial systems using VBA, after a very short period of trying to do flexible string manipulation I stumbled on to Perl, Regular Expressions and the Win32::OLE module; I was hooked. About a year later I had the chance to work at a mostly Perl shop (at the tail end of the dotcom boom) and I was exposed to Unix systems, thats when things got interesting for me.

In my last few jobs I’ve worked as a Systems Administrator rather than a coder (I still write bits and pieces but nothing truly huge anymore) and I have to say I enjoy it, the work is diverse, you get to meet a lot of people (both internal and vendors) and it’s often satisfying. So what am I posting about?

In my last few jobs I’ve noticed a disturbing trend concerning my average daily tasks, a bit of support, some tweaking and tuning and then paperwork. Shit-loads of it. While I’ve always been involved in licensing, documentation and similar as my experience increases I seem to be moving further and further away from the parts of the job I actually look forward to, solving problems. It’s weird to think about how this works, I don’t know any systems people that think “I love to fill out forms”, it’s always been a necessary evil, not the main focus. So where am I going with this? Well by writing it down I’ve had to think through what’s annoying me about it and I have some ideas on how to reduce the paperwork; with automation and technology of course ;)