Only a couple days late24 Jan 2009
Okay, so the other thing I was going to do was blog regularly. And now it's three days later.
But I've been meaning to mention another aspect of the new job as well. When, previous to working here, I'd thought about what I'd like my next job to be like, it was pretty consistent:
- Less desktop support (ideally, asymptotically approaching zero)
- More Unix server work
- Bigger place
The last point needs a bit of expansion. See, my first job in IT was on the helpdesk of a small ISP. There were three of us on helpdesk, one webmaster, one sysadmin, one database guy, one secretary and one manager; I got some mentoring from the sysadmin (who split his time betwen us and a sister company), but not lots. My second was at a startup company; the guy who hired me was a good mentor, and then after a while after he left I got to hire a junior and be a mentor to him. The job I just left was pretty much just me, though I'm lucky enough to have other people I could talk to; UBC's a big place, but I was in a small department.
So my next job was going to be bigger (as in a bigger installation — maybe a whole data centre, even) and have more people — because I really, really wanted to hang out with my peers and learn from them. I envied the people I'd met at LISA in 2006 who were part of a team, who had people to teach and people to learn from.
Well, at this job it's...just me. Sort of; the folks I've been working with for the last six months (one lab out of the five that make up the centre) are pretty technical. They know way more about Java and MySQL and web development and how the latest CPUs from Intel compare with AMD than I do. But I'm the sysadmin. There might be another in the future, but there isn't now.
But! But, there are two sysadmins on the floor above me who work in another department. For various reasons, we're going to be working closely for the forseeable future. On Friday, I went up to talk with them about how that was going to work out.
They knew stuff I didn't know -- no surprise there -- but it turned out I could show them a trick or two as well. We swapped war stories, discussed our very different backgrounds (saved for another entry), and just shot the shit. It was wonderful.
It's weird, because I'm an introvert, and not very socially apt. (Or ept. As in "opposite of inept".) But it's really, really nice to get together with people who like being a sysadmin the way I do.
(This entry brought to you by the number i, the letter Ve, and my youngest son's 90-minute nap.)