Sysadmin Audio Series #1 — Working At A Small Company

I’ve received a lot of requests over the last few months to create some audio content. This is for those times where you want to get some sysadmin training on the train, in the car, or in other commute-related settings where you can’t be staring at a YouTube video the whole time.

So…I just uploaded the first in a series of “What It’s Like To…” audio. This is a 20-minute track where I talk about what it’s like to be a sysadmin at a small (non-tech-focused) company. This is an incredibly common first sysadmin job where you move from doing user-support-heavy work to infrastructure-heavy work.

On the audio track, I discuss a variety of important topics about working as a system administrator at a small company:

  • How I got started — my background, the interview process, etc.
  • Attributes that you need for success (patience, etc.)
  • Common Tasks (technical and non-technical)
  • Conflicts and common obstacles
  • A bit on salary negotiation and how to think about money
  • Required knowledge and skills
  • Common career paths

Enjoy, and let me know if this is useful!



In future episodes, I’ll do “what it’s like” for several other job roles, like:

  • DevOps at a startup
  • Linux Sysadmin at a larger company
  • System Engineering/Architecture at a large company
  • Programmer at a startup
  • Front-end developer
  • Linux Cluster Admin
  • Network Engineer


Some of these will be interviews with other professionals, since I don’t have first-hand experience with all of this stuff. Yet.

The referenced article: Don’t Call Yourself a Programmer.

3 replies
  1. Rob says:

    Wonderful post. I’m super stoked that you’re finally getting out audio content now. Thanks for branching out, man. Keep it up!

  2. Juan V. says:

    This is very enlightening. Communication skills plays an enormous role along side having the technical skills. Thank you Dave, very much appreciated.

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