Looking for a Tier 1 ISP Mentor for career advice.

Jeroen van Aart jeroen at mompl.net
Wed Jan 4 21:58:41 UTC 2012

randal k wrote:
> This is a huge point. We've had a LOT of trouble finding good network
> engineers who have all of the previously mentioned "soft" attributes -

> anything, can't setup a syslog server, doesn't understand AD much less
> LDAP, etc. Imagine, an employee who can help themselves 90% of the time ...

> Finding the diamond that has strong niche skill, networking, with a broad &
> just-deep-enough sysadmin background has been very, very hard. I cannot

Raking up an older thread, but I have to comment on this.

I understand it is hard to find the right person for the job. And even 
harder to find someone who has a wide range of knowledge and "deep" 
specialised knowledge to boot.

When I was even more naive I always thought that in the world of IT most 
people knew a lot about many things, because it's not just a job but 
their hobby and passion (it is for me). So a sysadmin knows how to code 
and a coder knows how to set up a network and server etc.

Yet what I noticed is that it is very rare to find such people. In fact 
I found people in one niche being almost ignorant of other fields. Say a 
coder gets confused when /tmp fills up and being unaware of this thing 
called a "search engine" and instead will virtually cry "help my puter 
b0rked, I stuck!" and vice versa.

It looks to me it's just the nature of most people to be good at only 
one or a couple of things and be mostly ignorant about the rest. It's 
not going to change much, and we just have to accept that's how it is 
for the most part. However it can be mitigated to some extent:

 > emphasize enough the importance of cross-training. Immensely valuable.

This indeed will help a lot and is very important. Sadly though in the 
USA this kind of thing is not found to be important at all.

Besides that, it is actually quite hard to find the right job. Or, 
actually, to be even acknowledged or heard by the employer of such a 
job. As always this thing goes both ways.

Employers in the USA need to invest more in training their employees and 
learning should be an important and constant part of one's job and be 
actively encouraged. I think in this they're quite behind their Western 
European counterparts.


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