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Career admin eyes of an economist

Today I had an interesting dispute with our admins, whom I decided to share. Moreover, today is Saturday - you need to relax, because the net is thin below, no technology :) I’ll say right away that I’m not an admin, but an IT manager, that is, not really a techie. Actually, I studied as an industrial economist, which is why I always look at things related to money through the prism of acquired knowledge.

They argued that it was better in terms of career and pleasure: to improve in the management of a number of systems or only one, but very deeply. It turned out that neither one nor the other point of view can be definitively correct. I'm telling you why ...


There were two admins in the polemic. The third listened (very carefully, because he, too, is worried). The topic for excitement is simple - they are “drained”. In the sense of transmitting outside the company without leaving a choice. To make it clear: our enterprise is part of a large corporation and the “head” has decided to centralize IT to the maximum, “collecting” forcibly all IT employees who are at any cost in their newly created enterprise. And this enterprise will already outsource the business of the corporation to the maximum ...
Participants in the future discussion were victims of this reform. They are transferred there. Moreover, all this would not have been interesting if one had not proved to be a corrosive and experienced Windows admin, and the second - a networker / unixoid.

Border conditions

The position of the admin administrator is simple - he has nowhere to grow, except to go deeper. He tried out all the possible applications of the Windows server, built a lot of cluster / virtual / fault tolerant / with distributed data storage and replication, and so on and so forth ... The problem is that more of the technology, he basically does not know how. Transfer to a service company - you just have to download the skill further, exploring new versions of server and system software coming out in Melkosoft. There will be no time left for something - they will take care of the disposal of the employee’s working hours.

The way turns out to be a dead end: it would grow in breadth, collecting new niche knowledge - they won't give, there is no time left; delving into complex clusters, looking for glitches and plugging holes - running in a circle, today is one version, tomorrow is another - you have to be at the forefront of information, to update knowledge. But as he was a Windows admin, he would pay so much even today, even after 10 years. In general, this is a single-profile admin.

Networker advocates multi-channel. He can do both Windows, mail servers, unixes, tsiska, multilevel DMZs to design and build, and BGP on paired 6500 rivets (who knows, he will understand), and Habr can read for days :)

He believes that it is necessary to develop like this. And what's wrong? In the labor market are looking for some one skill. And then you slowly get and show and the desired skill, and a dozen more in the load. And you ask for this upsell a small premium, Well, there is one and a half krat. Where are they, instead of one at once, ten administrators and a half of their salary will be found?

In addition, interest can be satisfied indefinitely. Today, the ekscheyndzh raised, tomorrow I assembled into a cluster, the day after tomorrow I placed replicas on the DMZ and built anti-spam with antiviruses between them ... Complicate the scheme as you like, if only the tasks were appropriate. Tired of twisting ekscheyndzh - heh, so there is a grid, tsiski. They can infinitely tyunit, obuvat rules, monitor, optimize the load, wind up the routing rules. Again tired? Mood is not so hot? Well, right now, let's do ifbes. Let's wind up the spam filter harder, rebuild the vlans in the backspace, rip the accumulated holes into the outside world in the form of rules on the firewall, and so on ... What a huge field for creativity, huh? The first admin is squared. Even in the cube, which is already there.

Answer Options

And here, then, the prospect of a transition to a service company. Vindov admin moans: again Windows, again AD with the politicians. Not only that tedious, and wages will definitely save. After all, you become a replaceable screw. Any Windows admin can. Well, at a certain level, when it has already been built and you just need to maintain, update and give users the right to ... What is the development of the screw? Threads only wear down and require lubrication from time to time ... In addition, with a certain perseverance, each pioneer will do routine work on Windows administration, satisfying his modest needs, cut himself into online games or (if he is just a nerd) use corporate hardware. for laboratory work, read in the torrent books in English. And where, I ask, go? Oh, I don't want to become a cog.

The networker smiles and frowns at the same time. He smiles with pride: he is cool, he immediately knows how much and all this “much” is above average. He has a choice of types of work - more. True, the transition conditions are such that you can still choose only one or two adjacent directions. From that and frowns. And you won’t get money for an upsell, and you don’t have enough freedom to play as usual ... And it turns out to be a cog, only more universal (as it seems to him).

Choosing the right decision

And in fact, if we reject inclinations, personal preferences, take purely career growth and monetize skills - what's better? At duda igretsom or skillful master?

Networker - the product of our post-Soviet reality. He has enough character to get beyond the limits of one specialization, but this is only because the business saves on it guys. Because our business is small. When you are large, transnational, money is already so much that you can buy specialized wear-resistant screws. For example, if you are Intel, then you can, as in a joke, buy yourself a McAffee (Intel General (tired): guys, I need a better antivirus, please buy ... Slave (after a few hours): everything is ready, chef, we bought McAffee. Gendir (interested): and which version? ... Subordinates (surprised): version?). Laughter is laughter, and our business cannot afford “role-playing” games with staff. In a sense, hire a person for only one function, winning in quality, predictability and stability of the result.

It's simple. In those markets where there is enough money, there is no competition - full state control. There, where the soup is watery, but there is a competitive environment - there is no scale, because try to push yourself outside your region, there the colonels have their children and want to eat too.

How are the competitive environment, free market, big business and admin networker related? Very simple. Right now will be a brief economic picture, not nervous to read.

The competitive environment gives several companies that grow. Free market gives maximum access to resources for growth. When there are a lot of companies on the market and they are already crowded (extensive growth due to the development of virgin lands is over), they start to survive the weaker or simply eat them. They need additional resources (technology, reaction speed, the ability to quickly change business processes, i.e. adaptation), that is, they need a foundation - IT. Here our networker is best suited - it is very inexpensive, does a lot of different things, but not always qualitatively. But armor and weapons appear quickly, and this is what business needs ...

Fighting competitors requires resources for all these weapons, and the source for their acquisition is still the same - feeding from the market. Business owners shake up marketing, pulling more and more money out of the market on the same products. Sooner or later, cunning or true, but several large players remain on the market, with a total market share of more than 50% and several dozen small ones, so that they dampen the inept economic policies of the government in general and of the world conjuncture in particular. The large ones divide the field into shares and begin to feed from it calmly (for example, banks and PPSOS; there, by the way, IT is the most developed).

During its growth, Krupnyak improved and increased its armament (IT). The history of turning a business from small to large is usually simple: a successful start - building a branch network - buying up small competitors in the regions to the limits of the feeding range - surviving those who did not sell out - that's all you are damned. This scheme breeds a bunch of admin networkers on the ground and gives a lot of creative orgasms to our main admin networker, from which it all began - he also builds an ever-growing IT machine, which is very cool.

But time comes and business becomes large and large. There is no place to grow, it is necessary to make a profit. This means that in business they begin to count money, that is, to optimize expenses as much as possible. Not only that the main and “branch” wonderful networkers are already physically unable to pull the development, and even more so, the maintenance of this entire high-tech machine, as they turn out to be expensive. After all, they still do one or two things (although they can do a thousand). These are particularly important (or interesting) cases. The “cogs” admins have already been hired for the rest, and if lucky, the ITSM has been implemented, the benefits from these investments have been received. An army was created and technology was introduced to control it.

As you know, the army is expensive. Small firms cannot afford such an army, because they can always be held behind the testicles and fed with scraps from the table ... True, the trifle lives in a very competitive environment and, competing with opponents, can greatly outperform monsters. Well, it’s good for them: a trifle wants money, so you have to keep track of who is starting to muddy the water and why, and if the type of weapon found is useful, buy a growing startup biznesik with roots. Well, this is something I went deep. We drove.

Solution subsets => one set?

So, as I said above - the networker is the product of our imperfect market. Where to go? In our country, only where competition has not yet spawned monsters and there is a demand for station wagons. In large monsters, he will inevitably have to choose: either a specialization for which he has enough strength, or a management (proselytizing subordinates and the hardening of superiors), that is, not IT at all.

A Windows administrator can also successfully integrate into a “liquid” environment (on Windows it is possible to build a medium and even (sic!) Big business, only this is very time-consuming at times) and even to preserve the remnants of dignity. He will have something to lay on the table to the employer. True, this is as long as the appetites of the business do not grow and he (inevitably) moves to a centralized management model. On that great day, the Windows Admin will become a cog and no one else. He can only sell the large-haired skill to Krupnyak, and this skill will have to be sharpened almost daily, otherwise the price of the head drops sharply.

In general, on the one hand, if a business grows - the probability of purchasing “vinits” increases, and a “multitool” decreases. On the other hand, the complexity of the systems serviced by the “cogs” grows with the growth of the business and becomes more and more an infinitely interesting field of knowledge.

It turns out that it is possible to be a mono-expert, and the “Swiss knife” is also not bad. And what do you think?

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/102301/

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