If you’ve been working in the technology sector for any period of time, you’re aware that computer systems administrators are one of the foundational positions for any organization taking their information management seriously.
As the technology shifts and evolves, however, it’s not always clear what skills, talents, and traits are required or would be beneficial for continued career growth as a computer systems admin.
At Providence Partners, we work with thousands of prominent technology employers across the State of Texas, while guiding and advising top-tier talent on their future career trajectory. The traits we see standing out in our most successful computer systems administrators might surprise you. Do you have these traits?
Highly Tuned Problem-Solving and Reasoning Skills
Logical thinking is essential for any computer systems administrator. “Logical thinking is the process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion. Problems or situations that involve logical thinking call for structure, for relationships between facts, and for chains of reasoning that “make sense.”
A great computer systems administrator is able to build hierarchical maps of the challenges and solutions present within a system and then prioritize each in a way that is both effective and meaningful for the stability and evolution of the system as a whole.
Good sysadmins encourage exploring and reasoning in their teams while challenging thinking. Maintaining integrity in an evolving infrastructure can and some might say should be almost philosophical in nature. Systems administration is not just about technically knowing what to do to maintain the stability of infrastructure, but at a macro level involves a great deal of thinking about thinking.
Solutions Are Only Found When the Right Questions Are Asked
Part of the philosophical stance that a seasoned computer systems administrator must take on is developing strong (and important) questions about the nature of the system at each level. Philosophers, after all, are merely systems analysts of the largest system we currently understand—reality, itself.
Complacency or stale thinking has no place for a computer systems administrator or their team. They know that when things are running perfectly, that is the time to ask the hardest questions because the capacity for actually addressing them exists in moments of seeming peace inside of a system infrastructure.
By becoming philosophical in our approach to systems, sysadmins become more valuable by assessing potentialities and probabilities before they ever arise.
Great Systems Administrators are Optimistically Pessimistic
Optimistically pessimistic may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s actually the stance that we see breeding the most success when it comes to administering large systems. Why? Because in a large infrastructure everything is relational to everything else. If one thing breaks at one level that ripples out into the entire system. It’s helpful to have a contingency plan for these breaches that can be immediately implemented, rather than having to haphazardly concoct something on the fly.
Becoming optimistically pessimistic means that strong computer systems administrators in Texas have an eye for would or could go wrong, so that they can develop solutions before anything is ever at risk. Great sysadmins know how to prepare for the worst, but are pleasantly surprised when things turn out better than expected.