A New Look

So, I decided it was time for a change.  A new look to an old place.  A lot has changed in the last few months.  I moved a couple times, got a job, got a car, all sorts of madness.  It has been terribly exciting.


So, I’m working at iFactory as a sysadmin.  They don’t call me that but they don’t really know what it means.  You don’t either? Well, I think I can make up something convincing.  And by that I mean Wikipedia can do it for me.


“A system administrator, IT systems administrator, systems administrator, or sysadmin is a person employed to maintain and operate a computer system and/or network. System administrators may be members of an information technology (IT) or Electronics and Communication Engineering department.


The duties of a system administrator are wide-ranging, and vary widely from one organization to another. Sysadmins are usually charged with installing, supporting and maintaining servers or other computer systems, and planning for and responding to service outages and other problems. Other duties may include scripting or light programming, project management for systems-related projects, supervising or training computer operators, and being the consultant for computer problems beyond the knowledge of technical support staff. To perform his or her job well, a system administrator must demonstrate a blend of technical skills and responsibility.”


Yup.  It’s all of that and then some.  I think there is a bigger focus on the programming aspect at iFactory because my predecessors did some programming and I am doing some automation work.  Automation work, you say?  What’s that?


I won’t turn to Wikipedia for that one.  Automation is the process of taking a bunch of tasks and, through scripting or some other means, allowing them to run in a repeatable fashion.  Some of that work is through bash scripts, like the one posted for TF2, and some of is through tool like puppet or cfengine.


I, personally, use puppet.  Just like the reason I fold my towels, it’s what I grew up on.  I’m not a puppet pro but I know it well enough and I’ve seen it used in enough places to have some best practices.  Since starting a iFactory, the time spent on new server setups has decreased from a couple days to a couple hours.


The process isn’t perfect but it’s getting there.  I have a much smaller list of work still to be done than I had 6 months ago.  It’s a good feeling when you can go through a checklist of items and laugh at the estimates beside them.


So there you have it, when the world slips you a Jeffrey, look it up on Wikipedia.



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