The Role and Responsibilities of the System’s Administrator

The Role and Responsibilities of the System’s Administrator

Filipe Moreira (Higher Polytechnic Institute of Gaya, Portugal) and Joel Luz (Higher Polytechnic Institute of Gaya, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4526-4.ch001
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In this chapter, the authors present an overview of the role and responsibilities of the system’s administrator. They start with giving a background description on how this activity has been changing within the last decades considering not only the roles but also how the educational background changed and the new challenges regarding high-level IT management. After this contextualization, the authors reproduce some thoughts and experiences shared by experienced IT professionals giving their vision on how the industry has been changing and what would be the future of system administrators. They advance some suggestions and tools that might help IT teams improve their daily work from the technical and organizational point of view and highlight some future points of research concerning educational paths.
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So, what is the job of a system administrator? This professional builds and manages IT infrastructures taking care of security issues, software and hardware management / deployment. It’s also common to deliver to this IT staff some development / programming roles specially on automating management roles (ie. scripting) though they are not Software Engineers (Kichel, 2003). One of the main requirements of a system’s administrator is to be versatile with a wide variety of skills. The best system administrators are often quite general, both theoretically and practically. From making or repairing wiring cable installations, installing operating systems or software applications, correcting problems and errors in the systems to developing scripts, software, planning, constructing and managing databases and also training company users, their main objective could be resumed as: to automate a large number of common tasks and increase the overall work performance in the organization.

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