Reddit Reddit reviews Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart

We found 88 Reddit comments about Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart
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88 Reddit comments about Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart:

u/Keinichn · 354 pointsr/sysadmin

>I can't go to the bathroom without missing atleast 1 phone call from someone about something breaking.

Don't worry about that. Hell, I straight up ignore my phone sometimes even when I'm right beside it. Priorities and such.

>if I need to start looking elsewhere for more pay to offset the stress

Not a bad idea. Always be cognizant of what's out there.

As others have said, bring it up professionally with your boss. His response will help sway the "should I look elsewhere" decision.

Another good suggestion is to work on time management skills. Here's a highly recommended book around here.

And you have vacation days for a reason. Use them. If you try to but they never approve it, then that's a big red flag.

u/hotstandbycoffee · 52 pointsr/networking

This book changed the way I handle my days when I was a solo engineer doing everything under the sun. Now that I'm part of a larger network engineering team, I only use a handful of the tools recommended in the book as I don't find my time to be as scarce, and I get pretty good priority communication from management.

When I was a solo engineer:

Start of day: Block off the first 30min of your day to deal with any immediate, business-critical fires that I was either called on, texted about, or emailed about. If nothing is critical and needing attention, I would evaluate my task whiteboard (broken up into Primary/Secondary/Tertiary columns). Items are assigned to Primary priority either by myself or my manager. Secondary and Tertiary priorities are up to me. If someone waiting on a task that I deemed was Secondary or Tertiary priority is upset about that, they can speak with my manager and we'll determine what is most critical to the business.

End of day: Evaluate task whiteboard and determine what, if anything, needs to be added (and to what column) so it can be re-addressed tomorrow morning. As you cross off and wipe things from the board, make sure to document your accomplishments so it's easier on you/your boss during review time.

Start of Week: Maybe block off 30min with your manager/team lead/etc. to discuss current/upcoming projects. Document any completed tasks from your taskboard and wipe some off to make space (don't leave too much space or people might think you have nothing going on!)

End of Week: Update notes on what progress (if you managed to find any time) you've made on the projects you discussed in your stand-up meeting with your manager/lead/etc. at the beginning of the week. This is so you already have your notes ready next week and can do your Start of Day 30min fire addressing/taskboard eval on Monday without scrambling.

Start of Month: Man, I don't think I ever planned anything a month ahead.

u/OSUTechie · 26 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

This book has been suggested a few times so I finally got around to reading it. I think it has some good information in it. I'm only about halfway through it, but I like it so far.

Time Management for System Administrators

Other books would be any of the social books like "How to influence people", "7 healthy habits..." Etc.

I haven't read this one yet, but It has been suggested to me if you plan to go more into management/leadership Start with Why

Other books that have I have ear marked due to being mentioned:

u/BloodOfSokar · 18 pointsr/sysadmin
u/Byzii · 15 pointsr/sysadmin
u/derpinsteins_monster · 12 pointsr/sysadmin
u/OgreMagoo · 11 pointsr/sysadmin
u/gort32 · 10 pointsr/sysadmin

The best book I've ever read on the topic. Sysadmins have a crazy combination of extremes in their job - highly-complex projects that require your complete and undivided attention mixed with the-building-is-on-fire-level immediate needs interrupting your day. This book shows you how to plan and execute your day, week, month, and quarter to help manage both sides of the job. While still going home at a reasonable hour.

u/NoyzMaker · 10 pointsr/sysadmin

Ticketing system or a shared to-do list. Something your boss can look at (or add to). Then you take that list to them and go, "Well. I have all these things as Priority 1. Which is really a P1 to deal with?" They tell you and you work on that and then just work your task list.

Ultimately it is about organization but this is a good book to read to help with some ideas on ways to manage it all: Time Management for System Administrators

u/HammerJack · 10 pointsr/sysadmin
u/Scullywag · 9 pointsr/sysadmin
  • Time Management for System Administrators

  • You have a team, use them. Rotate people through being the person to interrupt. Train your users that the person working at a certain desk, or with a big "Ask Me!" above their monitor is the person to talk to.

  • Meeting room, just you and your laptop.

  • my favorite "Excuse me, can you show me how to put a vacation rule up" - wiki that stuff
u/cold_and_jaded · 9 pointsr/sysadmin

Old but still good

Might not be a technical best practice, but is a best practice in terms of mind set on how you manage your time.

u/adam12176 · 9 pointsr/sysadmin

Please tell us more about the benefits of making someone sing and dance as related to IT. Don't worry, I'll wait for you to google some more horseshit.

You want a team building exercise, or something to bring someone out of their shell? There are a ton of them that don't involve stupid shit like this. This gave me anxiety just reading it, and I would not participate. Is this really worth losing a brand new hire? If so your company must have more money than brains.

Recommended reading: A book with literally nothing about singing and dancing in IT.

u/ProgrammingAce · 8 pointsr/sysadmin

It sounds like you have a problem organizing your projects. I'm going to recommend a book that I think will help you out. I saw it recommended in this subreddit a few weeks back, and it's really helped me.

u/cos · 8 pointsr/sysadmin

I clicked here to suggest that book, but not surprised someone already has. It's the first comprehensive book about how to do the job of system administration.

Tom's Time Management for sysadmins book is another one I recommend.

u/Antoak · 8 pointsr/sysadmin

I started in the same boat as you, but I've been doing this for a few years now. Probably worse than someone who came up in a very structured environment.

Get a orchestration mgmt system setup, like salt, puppet, chef, etc.

Get monitoring set up if you haven't already. Central logging and automatic alerting, etc. If you have time, set up visualization for logs so you can see trends, using things like splunk or elk.

Make sure you have backups, and make sure you can actually restore from backups.

These are good, and written by someone with way more experience than me: 'The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition', 'Time Management for System Administrators'

u/PoorlyShavedApe · 7 pointsr/sysadmin

Grab a copy of Time Management for system Administrators and actually read it. It took me months to make the time to read it but it is worthwhile. To start with you get instant confirmation that you are not the only person in your situation and that there is hope to improve the situation.

If management will not let you have a second person talk to them about hosted email. That would remove a chunk of the "stuff" you have to manage. Do a three and five year ROI on it just to make sure, but you are likely to come out ahead after you factor in DR, licensing, and time. Use the old Exchange install and what it took to upgrade as examples.

Even with an open floor plan you need a ticketing system and you need to believe in the system. If people complain tell them the ticketing system is so that "I can better do my job helping you."

The personal PC crap has to end. You open yourself and the company up to liability working on personal hardware.

For your bosses, have a sit-down chat about their "lottery bus" plan. That is what if you a) get hit by a bus on the way home, or b) win the lottery on the way home. For the company it doesn't matter because you're not going to be in to work the next day.

u/cheeseprocedure · 7 pointsr/sysadmin

<3 this book.

Limoncelli's other book, "Time Management for System Administrators," is also heavy on common sense but is absolutely worth a read.

u/girlgerms · 7 pointsr/sysadmin

Buy this book:

Seriously, one of the best reads ever and exceedingly helpful.

u/InvisibleTextArea · 7 pointsr/linuxadmin

I agree with what others have said and I also have a book recommendation, "Time Management for System Administrators". There's lots of good ideas and suggestions in it.

u/prodigalOne · 7 pointsr/pics

Whatever I need to stay relevant or updated. At this time I'm taking VMware cert courses from Stanly college, just to stay ahead on my own time. If you're just starting out, take Network+ to understand that realm, but there are a lot of routes you can go in. I always carry around these books though:

The Practice of Network and System Administration

Time Management for System Administrators

u/natriusaut · 6 pointsr/sysadmin

THIS. So much. I bought this and its really helpfull imho, but you should do it.
I have to keep it up. Thanks for reminding me :)

u/chilldontkill · 6 pointsr/sysadmin

>I believe I understand the science behind procrastination, but I just can't seem to apply any methods to my life.

Do you have a ticketing system? No. Then, roll a ticketing system with email pickup. OTRS or RT.

If yes, immediately put in place a SOP(standard operating procedure) company wide, that all requests with the exception if critical ops are down, that all requests go through the ticketing system. Back that up with action. With no action, unless it comes through the ticketing system.

>I am the only IT guy at a 80+ user company (which is pretty lax most of the time). Because our ERP software is terrible (Which I didn't choose and constantly argue to get rid of)

You accepted the position and all its responsibilities. Stop trying to change what is and accept that yes you have a POS ERP solution. You're fighting the wrong way. You should be asking yourself how can I make this ERP work for me, instead of fighting to get rid of it.

>I spend most of my time at work generating SQL queries for basic user requests such as order statistics and the like. It turned me into a IT zombie where I procrastinate on all my IT projects unless it's directly in my face.

Can you not automate these procedures? Perhaps scripts users can execute on their own to for order statistics and the like?

> Before I started 4 years ago, I was always reading IT books and going to college and was enjoying learning and experimenting. Now, I almost feel afraid to read about new things or refresh my knowledge because I know I've been out of touch for so long.

You are spending too much trying to figure out the same things day in and day out. You need to start using a ticketing system religiously and start documenting everything. Everything.

> This gives me constant anxiety even while at home, knowing that there are a lot of things I need to work on but haven't in months, such as fully setting up vCenter/vMotion, Configuring the PS SAN array properly, etc. Whenever I try to work on a project, I feel it requires so many prerequisites, let it be knowledge/reading manuals or running out of network ports on a switch, that I'm in a constant juggle of accomplishing nothing.

As munky9001 said you need to let go of work when you leave work. With the policy and ticketing system in place. You can then only respond to operation crit emergencies. Then, when you get in the next day all your open tickets will be in your face to remind you what to do.

> I'm wondering if anyone out there has experienced a sense of losing flow and confidence as a sysadmin and what they did to get back in the game?

Every sysadmin has. You aren't growing enough and just dealing with the same bs. You need to prioritize, organize and document.

The way I attack my ticketing queue:

  1. In the morning I check for failures and the logs. Any emergencies I handle.
  2. I then do all the tickets that do not require me to leave my seat and do not take longer than 3 mins.
  3. I then process all the other tickets in the order they came in, of course prioritizing along the way.

    I also recommend reading:

    A short version of both, at least read this.

u/J_de_Silentio · 6 pointsr/sysadmin

I don't have ADD, but I do exhibit some super mild symptoms similar symptoms sometimes (from what I understand, maybe just one symptom), so I have a few suggestions.

  • Find a comfortable place to work. I work best on my couch and at my desk. If I'm anywhere else, I often have a hard time maintaining focus (coffee shops, other offices, conference rooms, etc.). I think comfortable working spaces is one of the workarounds for ADD.

  • Stop reading shit like reddit and slash dot. You said you used to read for enjoyment, but now you can't. I've been an avid reader in adulthood and read fiction and super technical philosophy (journals and books). I've found in the past three years or so my ability focus has waned. I read somewhere that short Internet articles are to blame (or contribute to the problem). So I've stopped using reddit and other online media as much and my focus has improved (it takes time, though).

  • Th pomodoro technique works for some people to help them focus (not me).

    Also: This book might help
u/btgeekboy · 5 pointsr/sysadmin

Give this a read. Chapter 9 is titled "Stress Management" but the whole book in general will help keep your stress down.

u/Pvt-Snafu · 5 pointsr/sysadmin

This is what you need.

Also, you could try to create the stickers where you can write the critical tasks, therefore, you will know on which tasks need your focus.

u/labmansteve · 5 pointsr/sysadmin

Check out The Practice of System and Network Administration, and Time Management for Systems Administrators.

Oh, and nagios/icinga is free and totally rocks, as does spiceworks.

u/ultimape · 5 pointsr/computertechs

Oh, well in that case I think you made an excellent decision!

I've had to work with a nontechnical manager in a similar role and it was a major headache to have to constantly explain to them why x took priority over y, and why z took so long to do. Having someone who understands these things at a more direct level would have helped make it much more bearable.

If you want a leg up, have a look at time management techniques. Far too many shops act under what amounts to a cargo-cult mentality regarding how to run IT. They go through the motions, but don't understand why they do. These shops run some type of ticketing system... poorly. Their customers end up suffering.

Time management techniques, well executed triage, and an understanding of end-user expectations, is what separates the wheat from the chaff. For a good introduction on the idea, check out "Time Management for System Administrators":. Its a book, by a guy who now works at Google. He also has a great set of presentations online on his YouTube channel.

A bonus aspect of the job is that you sometimes have to deal with idiotic or frustrating customers (or aforementioned managers). The best thing I've found to deal with it is to work on reframing the situation. This basically amounts to putting yourself in their shoes and trying to be more empathetic to their position. A great mindset to take is something out of zen/meditation - being aware of your emotions in the moment can help defuse a lot of nasty situations. I'd recommend starting with this book.

u/BryceKatz · 4 pointsr/sysadmin

A few thoughts. Hopefully at least one of them will be helpful.

  • Learn How to Speak Boss. Stop reading this post and go watch this. Yes, right now. I'll wait.
  • Your job is just a job. They get your time in exchange for a paycheck. They do not get your physical and/or mental health.
  • Work you ass off for 8 hours then GTFO. Do things you love, with people you like, and don't answer the fucking phone or your work email until your return to work the next day.
  • Long weekends are your friend. You have vacation time. Use it and don't even feel bad. Don't think of 10 days as "two weeks". In a place this crazy, taking an entire week off will be utter hell coming back - assuming you'll even get an entire week off approved. Think of 10 days as "one long weekend every 6 weeks". Put the time off requests in all at once.
  • Work from home is evil. Home is your safe place to get away from work. Working from home defeats this purpose. Fight me.
  • Read Time Management for System Administrators then do what it says.
  • Document how you spend your time. Do this in addition to the ticketing system, because the ticketing system only tracks time on tickets. You have other things to do, too, and that time probably isn't visible to your supervisor.
  • Document what you do. Get in the habit of documenting EVERYTHING. Convince yourself the task isn't completed until the documentation has been updated, and do not move to the next task until the current task is done. Ignore the tendency to "document it later, when things calm down". Pro Tip: Things will NEVER calm down. Build documentation time into your project timelines.
  • There is never enough time. Ever. I don't care how many people are on your team, IT isn't about having no tickets. It's about properly managing the workload.
  • Incremental progress. You aren't going to change things in big chunks. Don't try. Read The Practice of System and Network Administration: Volume 1: DevOps and other Best Practices for Enterprise IT and do what it says - even if nobody else on the team does.
  • Automate all the things. Seriously. You have better things to do than manually perform system checks. Automate that shit. If it can't be automated, make the business case for upgrade and then automate it.
  • Sometimes it's better to ask forgiveness than ask permission. If your boss is resistant to process automation, pick a small non-critical process, document how much time it takes to do manually, then automate it anyway. Show how much time you saved by not doing this one thing manually. Repeat as necessary until you're the most productive motherfucker on the team. Then use this information to justify a pay increase.
  • Slow the fuck down. My dad used to say, "I'm always in a hurry, but I never rush." Do things as efficiently as possible, but do NOT rush. Rushing causes you to overlook critical aspects of things. Rushing makes you frazzled. Rushing makes you leave your keys on your desk & locks you out of your office. DO NOT RUSH. Things take as long as they take.
  • The phone on your desk is Satan incarnate. Don't answer it unless you absolutely must. (Y'know, like when your boss calls.) Staff will do everything they can to bypass ticketing systems. The ringer on my desk phone is turned all the way down; I can barely hear it. Our phone system integrates with email, so messages show up in my Inbox. Playing back a message from my email is less of an interruption to my workflow than actually talking to some asshat who can't be bothered to submit a ticket. Most of the time, people won't leave a message, anyway.
  • Close your email when you need to focus. Not just minimize the window. Close it completely. If desk phones are Satan, email is one of the Dukes of Hell. Just because someone emails you doesn't mean you have to read it immediately. In fact, replying as soon as a message arrives only serves to encourage users to email you directly as a bypass to the ticketing system. I check my email three times a day.

    I could go on, but most of the above is already in the two books I listed and I'd just be riffing on a theme. I'll leave you with this:

  • They can't take away what you learn. Seriously. Learn it ALL.
  • The best time to find a job is when you have one. Absolutely keep your resume updated and sign up for job alerts on your favorite job site (sent to your personal email, obviously). Take a page from actors & musicians and never stop looking for your next gig.
u/ITGuytech · 4 pointsr/sysadmin

This book helped me a lot and changed my life I strongly recommend - Time Management for System Administrators

u/jspot134 · 4 pointsr/networking

A quick and good read about managing your time. I am also a lone admin and this has helped.

Time Management for System Administrators

u/rapcat · 4 pointsr/sysadmin

I just finished this book:

Awesome read for anyone who works in IT. The book has some scenarios that I thought were unique to me but apparently are seen by many admins.

u/KurtisKiesel · 4 pointsr/sysadmin

Below is a link to "Time Management for System Administrators" by Limoncelli. Get your boy a copy of it. I have a copy on my shelf that I have highlighted. I sometimes need to read it myself when I start to slide and get a little sloppy.

I had a similar situation when I arrived at my current position. I gave the junior staffer this book. 4 years later he has shaped up and moved on to another gig where his has been working his way up a big corporate tech ladder.

u/generalonlinepersona · 3 pointsr/sysadmin

Congrats on the good technical review!
Generally soft skills are 'inter personal communication' and 'customer service'.

Answering your direct question though. . .

I think it boils down to time and prioritization. You have to take the appropriate amount of time to do things correctly, and you have to retrain yourself that you want to do things correctly (remember things), and you want to dedicate the appropriate time to meet those goals. I think empathy helps, but its not required.

Develop a discipline to cataloging things in things in whatever system you use at a corporate level. Ask for refresher training from a manager or team-lead.

For a low cost personal solution, just use a pen and paper and write down what you need to complete today. when new things come in, add to the bottom of the list. Mark through them as you complete them. I sometimes use two columns, one for work, and one for home stuff that I need to complete during the day - bills, things like that. When you keep at something like that for a little while, it helps you figure out what's important to track, what details are important to capture, and what is fluff.

For work with teams, I think digital systems are best - ticketing systems specifically, so everyone can see what others are doing, and with appropriate priorities. Details and action logs go there in case you are out, or someone needs to check status but you are busy. Hopefully you have one.

Don't let app vendors and websites trick you into thinking they have a better mousetrap and all you need to do is spend money. If you don't have the discipline, you won't use them. Some apps do make this process more friction-less, but you may spend more time playing with features than with defining your discipline and using the systems for their intended purposes.

This book may help, and may give you some different perspectives.

TL;DR: There are all kinds of tools that claim to 'do it for you' - ticketing systems, to do lists, iphone apps, but without discipline and re-prioritizing, you probably won't use them.

u/iTguy22 · 3 pointsr/sysadmin

Lot's of questions... but here we go. (Warning... you didn't say I had to self censor. Some swearing below)

  1. I was always in to electronics. I did some time as a car stereo installer as well as doing car alarms. I realized it wasn't going to pay the bills for the rest of my life (or at least not provide the kind of income I wanted) so... I decided to step it up a bit. A couple years doing basic computer work, software installs etc and I decided to go back to school (very late at almost 30).

  2. Basically the ladder - helpdesk, junior admin, tech 3, worked at a couple MSPs and got to my recent employer as lone sys admin.

  3. I'm a manager of a small IT team so for me the hardest has been picking up people skills when I haven't needed them for years. Let's be honest here most of us don't go into IT because we want to be people persons. Other than that - organize. Read Time Management for Sysadmins. But the biggest thing you can learn along the way is when to admit you're over your head on something. Don't screw it up because you're afraid of looking stupid. Admit you don't know, then research the hell out of whatever it is.

  4. Everything is a learning experience. Basic electrical I learned in car audio. Organizational skills, planning etc I learned in a job doing logistics. I don't care if you're working at Starbucks... there's something to be learned wether it's inventory management or marketing.

  5. I went to one of those over priced, spend the rest of your life paying for it technical colleges. Why? Well I needed to take classes at night. Also, the major universities offered CS courses. I want to actually learn systems administration and networking and I didn't have 4 years for theory. I needed to hit the ground running as I was already employed in the field. Most important class? Cisco CCNA. Network fundamentals are something you will use every day.

  6. RHCSA (Red Hat), MCP SharePoint. Maybe another but I can't remember. They haven't been overly huge in my career. They have been work related in one way shape or form and paid for by the company.

  7. These days being a manager... becoming a people person. Playing the politics. Keeping people happy (customer and staff). Working with high expectations on a minuscule budget. Being in the K-12 space we're broke and expected to make miracles happen. Think enterprise support on a small company budget.

  8. Technology Manager. I report to a director but I'm more technical so basically I drive the bus.

  9. Roughly 95k. I could be making more in the private sector, but I agreed to it, so I'm ok with it.

  10. No. Yes. Maybe. It all depends on the day. I'm not going to bullshit you and say IT is all roses. It's stressful day in and day out, night in and night out when you reach a certain level. When the infrastructure is your responsibility and the buck stops with you it weighs on you every day all day. It's the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about when you go to bed. So, no it's soul crushing. BUT... when it's humming along and the train is rolling it's the best job in the world. When shit is crashing down around you, everything is broken and you're the one in the fire, there's nothing like it. And if you manage to get it all back ... well you'll remember it for years to come.

  11. See #10. But ultimately management sucks. I want to be technical. I don't really want to be a people person. I want to work with the systems, the network... I could give a shit that you can't come to work today because your kid has the sniffles or you ate some bad sushi. We've got shit to do and you're holding up the bus. :)

  12. Solving problems. By far the best part of working in IT is solving weird shit.

  13. Like any other job that works in an office building. I have an office, a desk, a chair, a computer and phone that never stops ringing. And email... the emails never stop.

  14. Yes. My wife supported me going back to school, my folks were always helpful and have always been my rock. I speak to my mother at least a couple times a week and she's always my sounding board. Monetarily... no. My wife and I paid and are still paying the bills.

  15. Trick question. I would change everything. I'd be a pro hockey player. Or something badass like that. In IT... I may have changed some stuff, but so far it is working out. I'm not as far along as some of my peers from school, but I'm worlds ahead of others.

  16. The world doesn't owe you shit. You're NOT entitled to anything. I don't care who your parents are, I don't care that you've grown up with computers. Yes, work life balance is a thing. Yes, some people have it. NO, you're not going to have it in the majority of small IT shops especially if you're the sysadmin or network admin. Someone will call you at 2am to say something is broken and you damned well better be in the car 10 minutes later. Sorry, that was harsh! But, the reality of IT work beyond the help desk and desktop tech roles is the business doesn't run without you. If you want to get ahead and get promoted, start making better money, you have to commit. It means being on the verge of burnout, It means being willing to come to work at 2am because some putz in Europe can't get to the mail server. That's the job. If you don't think you can do it... go in to accounting.

  17. Systems admins are a dying breed - the really good ones will stay working, but Cloud services, MSPs and the like are making that look like a closing door. Network admins, programmers, DBAs, security... I don't see them going anywhere anytime soon. Even if you don't become a programmer - learn the basics. Powershell, etc... HTML/CSS/SQL and the like are all good skills to have and stuff you will use regularly in a lot of roles.

    Hope that helps. I'll PM you my basic info shortly.
u/maximusmgm · 3 pointsr/sysadmin

This book: Best $10 (kindle edition) you'll spend.

I've been doing the sysadmin thing for 6 years and he has taught me some very valuable skills. I wish I would have read this book years ago!

u/HaXsAwLC · 3 pointsr/programming

Limoncelli is the man! His book Time Management for System Administrators is amazing.

u/oaken_chris · 3 pointsr/sysadmin

You should buy me Time Management for System Administrators.

That might put you in my good graces and bump your VMs ahead of Bob's. Also... I'll reply to every 5th email after too.

Oh who am I kidding, I'll still spend 99% of my time on /r/aww while your boss gets mad at you because your project stalled.

u/Roland465 · 3 pointsr/msp

Time Management for System Administrators:

Personally I use a basic spiral bound notebook.

u/almostdvs · 3 pointsr/sysadmin

First, read our Wiki. It is very thorough and answers a lot of these common questions such as

day to day? The Practice of System and Network Administration
And the topical reference books listed below.

Books to help in shaping a sysadmin? The above &:
The Phoenix Project
Time Management for System Administrators

Topical Books I see mentioned often and have been very helpful to me:
Powershell in a month of lunches
Learn Python the hard way
Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook
Windows Server 2016: Inside Out

Group Policy
FreeBSD mastery:ZFS
Pro Puppet
SSH Mastery

On my docket:
FreeBSD Mastery: Advanced ZFS

Michael W. Lucas and Thomas Limoncelli are very good sysadmin writers, you can't go wrong with a topic they have chosen to write about.

Most of the *nix stuff assumes a baseline knowledge of how to use a unix-based system. I learned as I went but did pick up an old copy of Unix Visual Quickstart Guide not too long ago at a used books sale, which seems like a good starting place for someone overwhelmed with sitting at a terminal and being productive.
I notice I don't have any Virtualization books, perhaps someone else can fill in good books. Most of my knowledge regarding virtualization and network storage has been a mix of official docs, video training, and poking at it. Seems innate but it isn't.

u/Rayzen87 · 3 pointsr/sysadmin

Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart

This along with the Practice of System and Network Administration will do wonders for you.

u/xtala · 3 pointsr/sysadmin

Sounds like Time Management for System Administrators (amazon) might be for you. I've started reading it after good comments I saw here, it's decent so far.

u/AnonymooseRedditor · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

I started reading Time Management for System Admins (
and basically the author states that you have to be willing to accept some level of failure. Completely agree here!

u/norcalscan · 2 pointsr/sysadmin

Spiceworks here as well. At previous large locations the only way to get to me was through a ticket, and inventory was a custom database. At my current place where it's smaller and more relaxed, it's small enough for me to just use it more for the inventory/snmp alerts at this point and the tickets are for internal projects etc.

Because of the size, I can utilize the notepad method that Tom Limoncelli talks about in his book Time Management for System Administrators. (amazon) It's been amazing and cathartic crossing things off and using pen/paper.

Remember ticket systems cost a little in human interaction. At big places, that cost is well worth it. But at a smaller place human interaction could be more important where people can call, or walk up to you. And I can bring my entire "workload" into meetings on my notepad and the owners/directors can immediately see what's already on my plate.

u/jamandbees · 2 pointsr/sysadmin

What OS are you running your svn server on? The basic solution to people offsite accessing svn securely is https, which involves generating an ssl certificate and is fiddly. SVN has a pretty good handbook called the red bean book: The chapter covering your options is:

If I were you, I'd follow bandman614's advice: list everything adn then prioritise. The thing to think about with priorisation is: who are you blocking? Could be that a few developers are getting paid and can't work until you've got the svn setup dealt with. Could be that they're fine for now, in which case don't worry about it before backups.

I imagine your vm to hardware migration is least important, but it depends on why you need to do it: is the hardware that the vms are running on going to vanish? Or is it just to better utilise available resources? Or is it because everyone's getting network timeouts because the VMs are underpowered and running your DNS server and DHCP server, and most of your company can't work properly until they're migrated?

List, prioritise, work through the priorities. is pretty damn good.

u/Pyro919 · 2 pointsr/sysadmin

Surprised no one else has mentioned it, but the best resource that I've found on this subject is

Tom Limoncelli's - Time Management for System Administrators

Don't just read it, but actually implement his teachings and you'll be much better off.

u/Kumorigoe · 2 pointsr/sysadmin

You might start with Time Management for System Administrators.

Aside from that, start small. Create a OneNote notebook with tabs and pages for different systems and procedures. It doesn't have to be the best organized thing in the world, but at least start writing things down somewhere. You can work on organizing it later.

u/Skeletor2010 · 2 pointsr/sysadmin

Sounds awfully similar to Time Management for System Administrators by Tom Limoncelli.

u/coniferhugger · 2 pointsr/linuxadmin

Instead of buying tons of books, you might want to look at Safari Books. I have the 10-book bookshelf subscription, and it is seriously plenty. Pros, you have instant access to a massive library of tech books. Cons, you are stuck reading on your computer/tablet/phone (I did try reading a few chapters on my Kindle, but the didn't care for the experience).

Books I would suggest:

  • UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook - this is seriously a great book, that will make any admin better.
  • Time Management for Systems Administrators - has a lot of good tips for time management, but some things are a little dated.
  • The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition - This is a great read on how to be a better system administrator.

    I'm not a huge fan of training videos, but generally watch recordings from conferences. Although, I do really enjoy the format of vimcasts though.

    As for general advise, I did see someone recommend looking for an MSP. If you are looking to be a Linux SysAdmin, I wouldn't recommend this route as you are going to be supporting MS installations. Personally, I started doing help desk for a web company and moved up from there. Also, I worked hard to create my opportunities within each position. You'll have to put yourself out there and be patient, It took me 4 years to earn the official title of Systems Administrator (in a small-ish town). The key to this is finding a good Sr. SysAdmins who are willing to mentor you, and some environments/people aren't conducive to this.


    BTW, I have a B.A. in Political Science, so don't be ashamed to rock that Philosophy degree. You will see a lot of posting that are looking for a B.S. in Computer Science/Computer Engineering/Rocket Surgery, but seriously don't even worry about that. Most job postings are a list of nice to haves, and most places really only care that you have a degree.

    I've been recruited by and interviewed with some very respectable tech companies. I just usually have to explain how I got into tech with a political science degree. In an interview, having the right attitude and knowing your stuff should say more than your major in college. But, you will also run into elitist douche bags who knock your degree/doubt your abilities because you don't have a B.S. in CS/CE. If you work with these people, your work should speak for itself. Don't try and get caught up into a pissing match with them. If it is an interview (as in someone you might work for), practice interviewing never hurts.
u/coltwanger · 2 pointsr/sysadmin

Honestly, I could never find a technical solution for the non-ticket task items that really worked for me.

After reading this book I went the analog route and write down every task I do. Then, first thing the next morning I bring over tasks that are still on my list from the day before. This has been the best way to keep myself on track and not forget about my action items.

I got a nice planner with a set of planner paper that works well for me (close to what's discussed in the book). It's always open on my desk, and I always have it with me in meetings, so I never have an excuse to not log a task.

u/motodoto · 2 pointsr/sysadmin

Well I'll be the first one to give you generic information that you could have found with the search function.

You just do the needful.

Good screwdriver set.

A network tone tester in case you need to map out your network and document everything. Also functions as a basic cable tester.

A punch down tool.

An ethernet crimper.

A quick cable stripper.

A usb hard drive dock.

A notebook.

Your necessities may vary, this applies to more of a one-man shop, and there's plenty of other things you'll want to get that I don't have listed here depending on your job.

I dunno how much you should get paid.

u/slmagus · 2 pointsr/sysadmin

May I recommend time management for sysadmins. A lovely short, tongue in cheek read. Sometimes a bit dated, mentions palm pilots but the lessons still hold true.

u/spitfish · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

The best thing is to maintain a positive attitude. It's a bump in the road, not a crash.

  • Talk to your adviser to find out what's going to happen. If you get kicked out, find out what steps you have to take to get back in. Attending another school (adviser might be able to suggest one) might provide you the opportunity to stay enrolled. This will allow you to keep your health care & give you a way back to VT next semester.
  • Be open & honest with your parents about it.
  • This book might help you with your procrastination issue.
  • Stay positive. It's not the end of the world.

    Good luck!
u/flatlandinpunk17 · 2 pointsr/sysadmin

I only have recommendations on generalized books. The Practice of System and Network Administration has already been mentioned but I would also recommend TIme Management for System Administrators. Those 2 books are my "Every person that works in IT should read these" books.

u/CSMastermind · 2 pointsr/AskComputerScience

Senior Level Software Engineer Reading List

Read This First

  1. Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment


  2. Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
  3. Enterprise Integration Patterns: Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions
  4. Enterprise Patterns and MDA: Building Better Software with Archetype Patterns and UML
  5. Systemantics: How Systems Work and Especially How They Fail
  6. Rework
  7. Writing Secure Code
  8. Framework Design Guidelines: Conventions, Idioms, and Patterns for Reusable .NET Libraries

    Development Theory

  9. Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests
  10. Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications
  11. Introduction to Functional Programming
  12. Design Concepts in Programming Languages
  13. Code Reading: The Open Source Perspective
  14. Modern Operating Systems
  15. Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change
  16. The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles
  17. Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

    Philosophy of Programming

  18. Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It
  19. Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think
  20. The Elements of Programming Style
  21. A Discipline of Programming
  22. The Practice of Programming
  23. Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective
  24. Object Thinking
  25. How to Solve It by Computer
  26. 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts


  27. Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
  28. The Intentional Stance
  29. Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes In The Age Of The Machine
  30. The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
  31. The Timeless Way of Building
  32. The Soul Of A New Machine
  34. YOUTH
  35. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

    Software Engineering Skill Sets

  36. Software Tools
  37. UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language
  38. Applying UML and Patterns: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and Iterative Development
  39. Practical Parallel Programming
  40. Past, Present, Parallel: A Survey of Available Parallel Computer Systems
  41. Mastering Regular Expressions
  42. Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools
  43. Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice in C
  44. Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book
  45. The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security
  46. SOA in Practice: The Art of Distributed System Design
  47. Data Mining: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques
  48. Data Crunching: Solve Everyday Problems Using Java, Python, and more.


  49. The Psychology Of Everyday Things
  50. About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design
  51. Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty
  52. The Non-Designer's Design Book


  53. Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality
  54. Death March
  55. Showstopper! the Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft
  56. The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth
  57. The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad
  58. In the Beginning...was the Command Line

    Specialist Skills

  59. The Art of UNIX Programming
  60. Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment
  61. Programming Windows
  62. Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
  63. Starting Forth: An Introduction to the Forth Language and Operating System for Beginners and Professionals
  64. lex & yacc
  65. The TCP/IP Guide: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Internet Protocols Reference
  66. C Programming Language
  67. No Bugs!: Delivering Error Free Code in C and C++
  68. Modern C++ Design: Generic Programming and Design Patterns Applied
  69. Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C#
  70. Pragmatic Unit Testing in C# with NUnit

    DevOps Reading List

  71. Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart
  72. The Practice of Cloud System Administration: DevOps and SRE Practices for Web Services
  73. The Practice of System and Network Administration: DevOps and other Best Practices for Enterprise IT
  74. Effective DevOps: Building a Culture of Collaboration, Affinity, and Tooling at Scale
  75. DevOps: A Software Architect's Perspective
  76. The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations
  77. Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems
  78. Cloud Native Java: Designing Resilient Systems with Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, and Cloud Foundry
  79. Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation
  80. Migrating Large-Scale Services to the Cloud
u/heapspray · 1 pointr/sysadmin
u/drkSQL · 1 pointr/sysadmin

I know you asked about automation, but I can't recommend Time Management for Sysadmins enough (

I use Texter Portable to make sure I'm polite even when I don't feel like it (often) and to keep myself organized (documentation templates, etc)

u/paulexander · 1 pointr/sysadmin

Maybe it will get easier; depends on the culture where you work, and what kind of support you could get from them. Have you approached your higher ups with your concerns, or are they just part of the problem?

Yes, sometimes you get those new projects where your confidence level is high, but being in IT, I learned long ago that nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

If you want some skills to help with productivity and organizing the constant stream of distractions, I recommend two books:

Getting Things Done by David Allen
Time Management for System Administrators by Thomas Limoncelli

Both are better reads than you would think.

u/_Maragato_ · 1 pointr/sysadmin

I've just search the thread and couldn't find a pointers I think is worth mentioning:

  • have a diary, a 1 dolar notebook where you write down what you have to do and what you have done each day.

    This helps you not only to track your efforts and see what you have to do but also gives you a feeling of accomplishment on the end of each days.

    Time Management for System Administrators is also a must read IMHO with many great pointers.
u/MrsVague · 1 pointr/sysadmin

You could leave like suggested or you could talk to your supervisor. Or HR. Or someone up above you. You report to someone, right? They're responsible for you and your workload. The only way they'll hire someone else is if there's a demonstrated need to do so, they won't go looking to hire more people for funsies.

If there is too much to do for one person then document that and show that to your higher ups. If they ignore you or promise to deliver a change but never do then, sure, leave. Otherwise you may have created a new role.

Another option is to show them that you need time away from break fix to automate or address root issues to reduce your tickets. There are a couple of ways to approach this. I would start with reading Time Management for System Adminsitrators. That book has suggestions for people in your situation about how to get a break from constant interruptions.

It's not a family where you can hide your emotions forever, it's a business. Be professional and get some relief. Don't let a job affect your life outside of work like this.

u/Ping_Me_Later_Dude · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

I would skip certs for now, only because you need to get up to speed quickly.

I would check r/sysadmin and see what they think.

if you want some advice for books and such, then I suggest the following


Networking for Dummies: - You can probably get this one free from the library. I think my library has it

This will give you an over view of networking.


The Accidental SysAdmin Handbook: A Primer for Early Level IT Professionals 1st ed. Edition


Understand the concepts, processes and technologies that will aid in your professional development as a new system administrator. While every information technology culture is specific to its parent organization, there are commonalities that apply to all organizations.

The Accidental SysAdmin Handbook, Second Edition looks at those commonalities and provides a general introduction to critical aspects associated with system administration. It further acts to provide definitions and patterns for common computer terms and acronyms. 

What You Will Learn

  • Build and manage home networking and plan more complex network environments
  • Manage the network layer and service architectures as well as network support plans
  • Develop a server hardware strategy and understand the physical vs. virtual server ecosystem
  • Handle data storage, data strategies and directory services, and central account management
  • Work with DNS, DHCP, IP v4 and IP v6
  • Deploy workstations and printers
  • Manage and use antivirus and security management software
  • Build, manage and work with intranets and Internet support services

    Who This Book Is For
    It is assumed that the reader has little to no experience in a professional information technology environment. 


  1. Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart 1st Edition


    Please note - I'm not a system administrator
u/rgzzo · 1 pointr/linux4noobs

Not exactly admin documents, but this is a very good stuff imho. Maybe not for start, but as soon as you start doing all those little things and you'll have dozens of little things to do - it will help.

u/sleaze_bag_alert · 1 pointr/Metal

get off reddit and don't ask people wasting their time on a metal forum how to properly utilize their time. /s

On a more serious note, I really enjoyed this book, might not apply to you if you aren't in software engineering although I think much of it should apply to life in general:

u/BeemanIT · 1 pointr/sysadmin

Someone on a different post, posted this:

A good time management book for IT.

Secondly remind people that computers don't run on magic.....There is a science behind it as you know but people outside of IT want to think we do magic. Thirdly my manager usually say's the IT dept is the red headed step child of a company. He's been around it long enough to see all the crap that gets blamed on IT. For example I had a client who kept opening new IE windows on his computer until the ram was full and the PC got sluggish. Believe me that was a crap(like 50+) load of windows but it was difficult to teach the guy to close out of windows and not open so many.

That being said, hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Don't be afraid to move on when you need to.

u/letsgetphysITal · 1 pointr/sysadmin
u/AngryFace1986 · 1 pointr/sysadmin

This is great.

I haven't finished it yet but it seems to be great so far.

u/SystemWhisperer · 1 pointr/sysadmin

> And not to forget things

I hope you're not trying to keep it all in your head. Your head asplode. In the absence of external issue tracking, I'd likely roll all the issues (or at least the ones I've spotted) into my personal time management system so they don't get lost. If it's not written down somewhere, I will forget it. (I don't know where you are with WRT time management; for myself, I'm in the middle of trying personal Kanban against my current GTD setup, but if you're new to TM, Limoncelli's book is a good place to start.) But all that is just a temporary fix.

> because no issue tracking exists her and some people actually vocally despise and reject this idea.

The "why" here would be as interesting as the "who." If it's fellow IT teammates, I'd find out if it's opposition to performance metrics. I've long resisted using ticket metrics to judge personal performance because they're crap for that even when people aren't gaming the metrics, so you might need to get assurances that your management won't try to do that. If it's your users, perhaps they've had problems with tickets falling into a black hole never to be seen again, in which case you have some organizational issues to sort out and some trust to rebuild.

In any case, it sounds like you know the value of an issue tracking system. Hold onto that in case it takes a while to get everyone to come around on the idea.

u/ephrion · 1 pointr/cscareerquestions

A fantastic book for this sort of thing is Time Management for System Administrators. It's specifically for sysadmins but the advice is applicable to anyone that gets distracted a lot.

The best thing you can do is setup an interruption shield with a coworker. One of you handles interrupts for the first half of the day, and the other handles them for the second half.

u/bluefirecorp · 1 pointr/sysadmin
u/hakan_loob44 · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Not white papers, but if you want to be any kind of Sys. Admin The Practice of System and Network Administration and Time Management for System Administrator are musts.

u/timlepes · 1 pointr/linuxadmin

I few years ago my youngest brother got his first IT job, and he fell right into an admin role. He too is very sharp. I bought him the following books as a gift to get him started...

The Practice of System and Network Administration, SecondEdition - a few years old but has lots of fundamentals in there, still well worth reading. Hoping for a third edition someday.

Tom Limoncelli's Time Management for System Administrators

I see others have recommended this great book, and I wholehartedly agree: UNIX and Linux System Adminstration, 4th Edition. I was sad when Evi's ship was lost at sea last year. :-( You could tell she loved sailing old wooden ships... just look at the cover. A great loss; she did so much for our community.

Additionally, I will second or third anyone recommending works by Brendan Gregg. I got the Kindle version of Brendan's Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud. I really like this book. It was written to be a good foundational book for the next several years. I am planning to get a hard copy version too. While you're at it, check out these links...

Brendan Gregg:

Tom Limoncelli:

Introduce him not only to books, but online resources and communities like /r/linuxadmin :-)


u/complich8 · 1 pointr/sysadmin

Practice is great, but as far as Limoncelli books go, I think Time Management For Sysadmins is probably more important...

u/xZACHtly · 1 pointr/sysadmin
u/sesstreets · 1 pointr/webdev

Time Management for Sysadmins. It's not FOR webdevs but there's plenty of things that all 'tech' people should know in this book.

u/Anthaneezy · 0 pointsr/guns

I just picked up this book: Time Management for System Administrators. It's helped me a lot deal with the high availability that I am needed.

Sometimes you need to be available, and sometimes you need to pro-actively push stuff to the back burner.