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How Google keeps system administrators in the quiet loner camp.

Shawn AndersonShawn Anderson

Simply put, Google has made system administrators even more anti-social.

I’ve been impressed with Matt Simmons (of Standalone Sysadmin fame) and his work in the IT community. Matt is on the planning committee for a League of Professional System Administrators in New Jersey (LOPSA-NJ), which is a Professional IT Community Conference (PICC).

OK, no more acronymns. I promise.

So why should we care about this since most of us aren’t in the New Brunswick area? I’ll address that, but first I want to shoot a message to those of you are are in that neck of the woods.

The conference is not vendor or platform specific so it should appeal to a wide audience.

If you’re in the area you should give serious consideration about attending. You’ll see real world solutions that sys admins are utilizing every day. Some solutions will be home grown while others will be Commerical Of The Shelf (I would have used COTS, but I remembered my earlier promise on acronymn abstinence).

If you’re not in the NJ area, never fear. You have many resources to help you find where your community hangs out. Be they official conferences or less official gathers.

And for the everyday community you have LinkedIn, Sys Admin Network, and even Server Fault.

Is LinkedIn really worth it? Isn’t it just for your friends who have recently been laid off? Ummm, no (though it’s value in finding new career paths is very high, especially for those who foster their connections BEFORE they need to polish up the ol’ resume dot doc.)

To me the value of LinkedIn lies within its Groups. There are thousands of groups, so you will likely find one that is a tight community of people who deal with what you deal with, everyday.

Sys Admin Network is another good one. I like their motto: “no more hiding in the server room”.

All of these tools have one thing in common. Community. Your management may treat you like an island, but you have a huge support network.

Google is great. If they keep giving us good information then we’ll keep using them. But it’s a starting point. We have tough jobs. We learn best when we’re under pressure. Find out how you can tap into the knowledge from other sys admins.

From now on the only people who can call us quiet loners will be our neighbors.

And that’s just the way it should be.

Follow me on Twitter @ShawnAnderson

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