[Off-topic] Sysadmins (was Re: can some one help a newbie?)

Cameron Laird claird at starbase.neosoft.com
Sun Aug 22 14:28:56 EDT 1999

In article <7pp2fk$7ul at dfw-ixnews9.ix.netcom.com>,
Aahz Maruch <aahz at netcom.com> wrote:
>In article <935273107snz at vision25.demon.co.uk>,
>Phil Hunt <philh at vision25.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>In article <7pmv4j$gtt at dfw-ixnews14.ix.netcom.com>
>>           aahz at netcom.com "Aahz Maruch" writes:
>>> In article <935227166snz at vision25.demon.co.uk>,
>>> Phil Hunt <philh at vision25.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>>>In article <7pkke6$lut at dfw-ixnews6.ix.netcom.com>
>>>>           aahz at netcom.com "Aahz Maruch" writes:
>>>>> Overall, if your background is as a sysadmin using shell scripts, grep,
>>>>> awk, sed, and so on, you'll find Perl a bit easier.
>>>>I've used all these, and find Python easier than Perl. Perl would
>>>>probably be easier than Python for 1-liners, if I could remember
>>>>the syntax.
>>> Note that I'm specifically assuming a sysadmin with little actual
>>> programming experience.
>>The idea that a company would employ someone, who can't really code,
>>as a sysadmin is IMO frightening. Unless they don't care whether
>>their computer system works, of course.
>I guess I'm missing something, because the prospect doesn't "frighten"
>me.  There are a lot of activities for which a little bit of programming
>goes a long way, but I've seen a lot of people capable of doing that who
>really are not programmers in any sense of the word that you and I would
>use.  That's precisely a large part of why Perl has been so successful;
>it lends itself readily to the kind of "cookbook" programming that
>sysadmins do.
Right.  There's probably some deep way to understand
all this that I haven't yet grasped.  Most of what I
know is that I have several friends and acquaintances
who like being system administrators, and they're
good at it, but claim to want no part of programming
(or at least not on the job).  The closest I've come
to integrating this is to think of high-performance
mechanics, who *really* like tuning vehicles as they
should be, but have little interest in personally
driving or flying them.  Those are categories that
feel homologous to me.

Cameron Laird           http://starbase.neosoft.com/~claird/home.html
claird at NeoSoft.com      +1 281 996 8546 FAX

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