New resource for IT Administrators is being built

Date February 18, 2009

I just got some exciting news yesterday. My editor, Michael Francis, just let me know about a project that he has apparently been spending a lot of time on.

The Sysadmin Network is a new social networking site designed specifically for systems administrators and the like to discuss not just technical subjects, but to really concentrate on the social aspect of being an admin.

It might sound hokey, but this is an aspect to IT administration that hasn't been touched on nearly enough. People out there feel pressure. They take abuse. Nearly everyone feels unappreciated and taken for granted, and because of the nature of our positions and personalities, we go through it in relative silence. I touched on this in my burnout post, and there aren't many days that go by that someone doesn't hit that blog entry from a google search about being tired of doing their job.

Of course, that is not to say that we are all just martyrs for our cause. There is a lot of joy in being a sysadmin, too. The feeling of accomplishment as you bring order from chaos. When you build something new and it works, and people enjoy using it, that's a tremendous feeling, and very important. I also think we all get that sort of exhilaration from learning new things, too. Learning, implementing, relearning, and reimplementing is so much of our job, and so rewarding that it probably releases endorphin in our brains like eating hot chili peppers.

I am hoping that this will be an excellent site for sysadmins to discuss topics relevant to our lives. I've already signed up to join, and I think you should too.

Sharing information is what this blog is about, and it speaks to me that the sub-title of The Sysadmin Network is "No more hiding in the server room". Band together for mutual improvement and you will grow more than you thought possible.

  • JeffHengesbach

    Thanks for the heads up Matt. Hopefully it will grow into a great community. Look for me there soon.

  • therek

    I think the issues with "social aspects of begin an admin" may partially derive from the fact that begin social is a bit too time consuming. I've joined many forums around the net and after a couple of days slowly stopped checking them. All I can find time for are a handful of mailing lists which are delivered directly to my mail account, and even those I browse more than read. Even if I'm really bored my thoughts wonder to look for something interesting to learn rather than web forum.

    It's just an afterthought.

  • Matt

    @Therek

    You make a valid point. There are lots of times that we just don't even have time to visit forums.

    I think the ones that do the best (that I've seen) let you subscribe to updates via email. I know that's the only way I manage to hold conversations on TechRepublic.

    This is a new site, and since it's for sysadmins, I'm hoping that it will grow in ways that encourage sysadmins to interact. I know Michael Francis, the guy who founded it, and if you suggest something on there, he'll absolutely check into your suggestion. If you'd rather drop the suggestion here, I can forward it to him. Like I mentioned, he's the editor of the newsletter where I have a column, so we're in touch pretty frequently.

    What kinds of things do you think would encourage people to take a part?

  • cmdln

    Looks like manual approval to join, my submission has yet to be approved.

  • Matt

    @cmdln

    Yes, it is. I think they're in need of more moderators. If I had more time, I'd volunteer. I might anyway, just as a temporary measure.

  • MAS

    Sounds like really what i was looking for lately a social community for Sysadmins.
    I think most of SA are !
    Good luck ..

  • therek

    @ Matt

    I like the blogs section. I think I would go for it if I weren't running my blog elswhere already.

    Forums are great when you're googling for answers to your current problems. They are easier to navigate than any mail archive I've seen on the web (though Gmane is pretty decent). On the other hand forums are hard to keep up with, unlike mailing lists. Even though many forums let you subscribe for an e-mail notifications for threads you've posted to, you still have to open a website to post a reply or look for new threads.

    In that light OpenSolaris have really great forums as they combine both. You can read and post messages from a website or subscribe to a mailing list and have them delivered directly to your inbox. Every message sent to a mailing list is visible through a website and each web post is delivered to your e-mail. You can choose your prefered way to communicate. I think that kind of functionality on SysAdmin Network would be pretty cool.

  • Matt

    @Therek

    Those are great ideas. I'll pass them along to the "real" site admin. :-) Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    is there anything like StackOverflow for admins?

  • Matt

    @Anonymous

    No, but there should be! I didn't know about StackOverflow until now. That's a very cool site! Thanks!