What sysadmins want

While looking for some documentation about Puppet, I stumbled upon this post on the Puppet Blog. James Turnbull, author/co-author of two books about Puppet, starts talking about our profession to introduce a conference. Nonetheless, his considerations are very interesting. …He says:

finding the right IT Operations people has perhaps become the most serious [challenge] and potentially has the most impact on improving your operations. […] Premium candidates expect challenging workplaces, cutting edge technology, excellent benefits, and a competitive salary.

The best candidates also expect companies to provide environments where they can share their skills and ideas with the wider Operations community. This includes allowing them to contribute to open source projects, publishing tools and code, and engaging with the community through social media and technical channels.

By opening up the way you work both internally and externally, companies can begin attracting the right candidates

I agree to almost 100% of it. Let me be more specific.

It is true that premium candidates expect challenging workspaces: places where you know too much about what you have to do, and you learn too little over time, stop being interesting.

Cutting-edge technology is often interesting, because it is intrinsecally unknown and there is a lot to discover; by the way, having the opportunity to learn things that are current enough, and that you don't feel you know enough, often is… well, enough šŸ™‚

Everybody has their own idea about what constitutes an "interesting benefit", so this is generally true, but… see next point.

A competitive salary… well, money is important, for sure. But let's say you get enough money to live a decent life with your family (if you have one), plus all of the good stuff above. Would you accept a double salary to get a job that is not challenging, not interesting, no benefits and no flexibility? Maybe, if you are headed to retirement, you would; otherwise, I think that the vast majority of my few readers would just say "no".

And it is true that it is a nice benefit to be able to share skills and ideas with the community outside the company; but the value of it just gets narrower if you can't do that with your colleagues in the first place. My best learning professional experience have always been those where I could team up with co-workers.

That's why I am currently trying to slip puppet a bit off my hands, but that's another story šŸ˜‰

All of the above, in my humblest opinion, of course!


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