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Rate our experience level

#1

I created this thread for people who would like to get their skill level rated by expierenced sysadmin/devops/programmers and hr people alike.

A lot of jrs in the IT field and even senior ones often dont know how to rate their skill level because they have no one to compare them to in their direct environment.

Here is the place to post your application and get them rated or even get a word of advice where to go or what to look at in order to advance in your carrer.
It doenst matter if you are a sysadmin for x+ years or just finished school and work as part time job in a local computer store.

I hope that we get a lot of expierenced people here to rate and get wholesome advice

Since I am the one who seeked out such a thread and created it I will be the first to jump into ring.

Little Background info:
Current Age 29. Started to work in the IT field about 16 years ago as a part time job in a local pc store and never left the field since.
Started to work in a fulltime helpdesk user support job when i was about 19 and was hired as sysadmin with 22 to replace a sysadmin who was leaving half a year later.
Currently main responsibility network/firewall and voice systems on a 20k+ user enviornment.
Apart from our voice and storage systems I am capable to setup all other system from scratch and configure them as needed.

  • Networking (vlans, switching, routing, LAN, WLAN)
  • Firewall (ASA,PaloAlto)
  • Setting Up and Trouble Shooting Windows Client and Server Systems
  • Virutalisation (vSphere, Docker)
  • VPN and MPLS Troubleshooting and Setup
  • Setting Up and Trouble Shooting Linux Server Systems in general
  • Scrippting for task automation(Python, Powershell, Bash)
  • SAN and general Storage Systems
  • Trouble Shooting with Wireshark and general syslog analysis
  • Managing VoIP Systems from Avaya and Cisco
  • SD-WAN Deployment and Planing for Remote Sides
  • Generall Project Mgmt Prince2
  • Setting Up and configuring Monitoring Systems

I have no clue how to rate myself.
Am I jr or a senior sysadmin?
Am I underselling myself? I still fell like I fake it even if I can answer most questions which get fired in my direction.

Current goal is to get more into networking and become a full on network admin for Advanced WAN Services.

4 Likes

#2

You above me :slight_smile:

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#3

Sounds like a cool environment.

Personally, I don’t think this really determines junior or senior. Setting up and configuring services, while varying in skill, is really scratching the surface. When this services are no longer available, how can you handle yourself? When SHTF, are you the one that gets escalated to or are you the one that pulls in other people? Have you had to rebuild from an outage, restore from backup after ransomware or massive data destruction, fail over to secondary or replica systems, server or network? I think these unfortunate scenarios are what starts to promote a “junior” to a more “senior” level. In my opinion (and experience), things have to go bad at least once for you to gain the knowledge and experience of rebuilding/reestablishing yourself.

Don’t worry about this so much, focus on getting better. Try not to escalate and take ownership of problems that you want to solve, even if you don’t know the answer. That will level you up, regardless of your title.

I’d rather be a Junior Systems Administrator and be responsible for building pipelines, releasing software, building tools for developers and my team, handling infrastructure (server, systems, networking, storage, etc.), and rolling out upgrades than be a Senior Systems Engineer DevOps Architect VI that just builds out accounts in Jenkins and AD.

These are good skills that will allow you to expand and branch out if you want. Look into Site Reliability Engineering and see if that’s something you’re interested in. Or, focus in on a discipline and get into the architect level of your favorite workflow. Especially with:

Get some higher level CISCO or Juniper knowledge. Design and build some resilient and redundant networks. Secure and setup monitoring for them. Take your primary off line and see what the logs, alerts, and response time is.

If your 20k users lost connection or services, would you be able to handle the task? Interesting question to propose sometimes, despite the unlikeliness that all your users will go down. But, it can happen cough Citrix cough :wink:

Others can probably give you better advice, I’m the most “junior” on this site, I think :wink:

@sgtawesomesauce @BGL @Ruffalo @thro @Dynamic_Gravity @wendell @Adubs @oO.o @nx2l @Novasty

5 Likes

#4

Usually we test every bit in our system so even when we go split brain with a broken core router we can recover fast from those disaster scenarios. But i get what you are saying :slight_smile:

Thanks for taking the time :slight_smile:

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#5

I have a problem with the premise of a skill level in the first place. You can be a really good problem solver and have no experience with something, yet fumble your way through. You could also be super experienced but not very good at documenting or following a problem solving method.

The difference between a junior and a senior admin to me is just work experience… Which doesnt mean anything if you’re shit at the job. What makes someone a pro is how they handle issues, not how much experience they have under their belt.

^^^
A good leader knows the strengths and weaknesses of the people under them and utilizes that information to their advantage.

is what matters most imo.

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#6

At a glance I would probably rate you an L2, but of course would need a full interview to confirm. Not junior but not a jedi master either.

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#7

Oh lord I know the pain.

I also have a bad time when SAP goes down.

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#8

What would be missing to become a L3 in your oppinion?

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#9

Management experience, incident response, root cause analysis, and customer/external exposure.

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#10

With where I currently work, I can’t say what my skill level is really since a lot of the shit here is learn on the go, we have so many systems that while we as a team of SysAdmins manage jointly, we don’t really document to each other on how to manage them properly.

Due to that, what I currently know:

  • Microsoft AD
  • Basic Networking skills
  • Basic Linux administration
  • Windows server administration
  • Basic Cambium WAP administration (recent)
  • Basic administration of the companies software
  • ESXi Administration
  • vCenter deployment and management
  • Atlassian product administration
  • Quest KACE deployment and imaging system administration
  • Microsoft 365 Administration
  • Basic Microsoft Azure administration
  • Basic SQL Server administration
  • etc…

It is an annoying list of learning through osmosis and poking around in the span of 3.5 years.

It is getting to the point that I need to set up my own documentation server to start recording steps on how I did certains things to when I circle back to it, I won’t be lost.

I say basic, but I don’t really know what level is considered basic and intermediate.

2 Likes

#11

Three awesome tools:

Native to Windows, Steps Recorder

image

Record, add comments, create documentation, stop recording, share/save.

Native to PowerShell, Start-Transcript

Start-Transcript -Path "C:\PathYouWant\FileName.txt" -NoClobber
Do your stuff
Stop-Transcript
Open file/give file

Not so native to Linux, asciinema

https://asciinema.org/

4 Likes

#12

That’s really dope.

2 Likes

#13

I just bookmarked this post.


Something that could be useful for you
Windows Admin Center


Super in-depth remote management not horribly done.
It is basically Linux cockpit project for Windows.
Anything blurred is obviously work related.

1 Like

#14

You guys are focusing on what you know, rather than what you do. Knowledge is important, but if I see a CV where the applicant talks about how they handle incident response and customer communication to recover production environments under strict SLAs, that makes my nipples tingle.

It used to, anyway, I haven’t interviewed hardcore technical people for a couple years now. But that sort of thing was what really made a candidate stand out. Leader in a crisis, ops-focused, stability and uptime.

1 Like

#15

Ugh, SLAs. The only thing that actually motivates me to do shit for people I don’t know or care about.

You don’t talk about technical details to your potential employers because they more than likely already have so much shit to deal with, being on top of the latest technology and how it should be used is your job, the manager probably doesn’t have enough time to keep up with all of that which is probably why you’re hired.

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#16

Yeah, that’s their raison d’être.

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#17

w00t :smiley: I am flattered. Good hunting.


My skills and experience are all over the place and going to be hard to separate, but I’ll try.

AWS

  • Networking: I handle all of the networking in AWS for our team. Routing, security groups, subnets, VPCs, route tables, etc.
  • Compute: I am not in EC2 as much as I used to be, but I still handle a lot of ALB/Target Group/ELB stuff and storage/server configuration.
  • Database: RDS, mostly. Postgres and MySQL. I will performs setups and sometimes check to see if there is something crazy happening. Fortunately, we have a team full of DBAs that are infinitely smarter than I am. :smiley:

Jenkins

  • Windows: PowerShell builds to deploy .NET applications with MSBuild and MSDeploy (being phased out). Windows agents are surprisingly efficient. This is 90% for C#, Angular, and F# applications with a few Java applications.
  • Linux: Node/React and Node/Angular. Some C# using Mono, which is pretty cool to see in production. Converting to .NET Core. Mostly shell scripts or scripts using Docker.
  • Upgrades/New Nodes: I setup new nodes and upgrade existing plugins/nodes. Standard Java and Linux maintenance stuff lol.

Containerization

  • Docker: The big buzzword. Non-containerized applications are getting containerized. Lot of work, some days it is fun, others not so much. Mostly running on Linux servers. We have a Windows Kubernetes cluster which is pretty cool.
  • Kubernetes: Still learning :wink:

Automation

  • Python: Some boto3 but mostly homebrew scripts for runtime stuff. A few are done through AWS Lambda and a couple are done threw cron. Some are manually run when I need some information.
  • Ruby: Same as above, but using the AWS SDK to build CloudFormation. Some custom tools for grabbing some information (get load balancers with X tag, things like that).
  • Bash: Cron stuff and Linux maintenance. I’ve learned about coproc and subshells lately, which has been pretty cool :wink:
  • Golang: Homebrew tools, nothing terribly useful.
  • C#: Building a self service tool for the developers to deploy their own infrastructure in AWS. Long term project right now.
  • PowerShell: GOAT scripting language :wink: Useful for Jenkins on Windows and for using MSBuild without Visual Studio. Also useful for updating, monitoring, and maintaining Windows servers.

ELK

  • Configured Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Only three ES nodes, we use Logstash as a load balancer. Kibana is pretty cool, too. Been working on grok parsing tags to create visualizations. Insane stack: Python, Java, Golang, Ruby, Perl(wat), and more!
  • Used RubyDSL to build advanced queries for parsing logs with Logstash.

That summarizes most of my day to day. I’m also involved in troubleshooting application and web servers when things don’t go as planned. Mostly telling someone their code doesn’t work :grimacing: which is often not a fun conversation to have with people. I’ve been working with Mongo a lot, lately, too, which is okay. Mostly just mongoimport and show collections to confirm import lmao.

Rate me on 1 - 9999 :smiley:

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#18

Depends on the rest of the team in your environment (you might be lead in a smaller environment or junior in a big corp with a bunch of CCIE’s on the payroll or whatever) :smiley:

I’d say you’re far more senior than junior; you have a good spread of experience there across multiple technologies and experience with network diagnostic tools.

Even if you’re not “expert” in any single one of those fields i’d guess you have “enough” experience to be useful as a go between product experts in troubleshooting an issue. This is a real value in any team as all too often you have two product experts pointing the finger at one another because there’s an issue between two products. And the real issue is in the network or other infrastructure somewhere in between or whatever.

You’ve got a similar background to me it seems (started as helpdesk bitch, was a sysadmin at 23-24 under a more experienced unix guy), except i’ve got another 12 years on you which means some of the technologies on my cv are a little different (e.g., i’m guessing you’ve never dealt with frame relay or v.90 dial-in servers :D).

I’d employ you as more of a senior admin (rather than a junior) with that skillset no question. But i work in a smaller multinational business (5-10k total employees).

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#19

Oh yes for sure.

“When the shit hits the fan” is a good test. Some people, regardless of experience, panic and can make situations worse.

I’ve been through rebuilds of environments and recovery from disaster a few times before. I used to panic a lot more (as a junior) than i do now.

Panicking is the worst thing you can do. Acting quickly is the second worst thing you can do. Step back (go outside, grab a coffee or whatever), think, start calling the vendors for support (or get someone else to do it) ASAP (because they will take time to get back to you anyway) and log everything you do, ideally not doing too much (unless you’re 100% sure) before you make contact with the vendor.

If things are broken, they won’t get any more broken usually if you leave it alone. But cowboy tweaking on the fly at speed because you have management breathing down your neck can definitely make things worse. Dealing with that sort of pressure and figuring out how to deflect (or even better, get some level of reduced interim functionality up without breaking things more) until you can sort things out properly is a learned skill.

And definitely one that sorts out the men from the boys.

1 Like

#20

we are a four man team who is responsible for the infrastucture that includes everything from the network socket in the wall to the top of windows server.
In general we dont have to support the the applications on said servers but most of the time we have to help them solve complex problems and point them in the right direction.
Every one of us has a special field for what they are responsable but in general every team member has to know how to assisst the conntractor in case of a disaster.

1 Like