10 Do's And Dont's For System Administrators

January 14, 2011
System Administrators have an unenviable job. They have to work odd hours ensuring the computers in your office run without a glitch. And people tend to think of System Administrators only when their machines start misbehaving. Obviously they have their work cut out for them.

CHIMIT (Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology) is a conference that focuses on computer-human interaction for IT workers. Recently they asked what would make the System Administrator's job a wee bit easier than usual.

And the following are the prominent answers they received from the ensuing brainstorming session -

  1. Do have a silent install option.
  2. Don't make the administrative interface a GUI.
  3. Do create an API so that system can be remotely administered.
  4. Make sure the configuration file is a text file and not a binary blob.
  5. Do include a clearly defined method to restore all user data, a single user's data, and individual items
  6. Do setup the system so that sys admins can monitor more than just, "Is it up or down?"
  7. Be forthcoming about security issues. 
  8. Do incorporate a system logging mechanism.
  9. Don't scribble all over the disk.
  10. Do publish all the documentation online.
[Source : queue.acm.org]