Since the onset of my job, I have heard a lot of advice and basic guidelines for any new SysAds. So I am posting it here and will keep updating this post for all the system administrators like me out there.
- Never ever "try" anything into a production environment.
Always have an image of production running systems. Make all the changes on a VM with the replica of production. Check whether your changes ran successfully. Note if the changes can be rolled back.
- Document everything, and start now.
The code you write, might get messy. Something which Biju
- Keeping the servers UP and to support your users is your primary role. Never forget it.
Your organization would generally provide SLA's
- Have a deep understanding of Companies' objectives and its business needs, and propose new architecture/tech-stack/services according to this.
Your org might target a certain segment of people, keep that in mind whenever you suggest anything new. Taking up new initiatives is healthy, as long as it is fruitful for the organisation and it's customers.
- Learn Scripting and Google something before you do it
Scripting is a must for any SysAd, and I know you will grasp it within a month or two. Put in efforts to read shell code. Always Google what your script does if you haven't written it. You don't know what it could do and the potential harm that could be caused.
- Automate things
Whenever you write any script, keep in mind whether it could be used again, if yes, you should automate it. Learn to write cron and keep that under monitoring ( always ). This will save a lot of time on the long run. Good SysAd's are lazy by definition.
- Study for certs on your free time
This is probably the most under-rated point. Getting this done will be on my highest priorities and should be on yours as well. Investing in yourself, is the best thing that you can do.
- Set-up your aliases and environment and save a copy of it on git.
This saves time over SSH, values the configuration time investment that you've done previously and it is an overall good practice.
- Set up Screen Multiplexers ( Tmux / Screen )
This is something that is super amazing. I use tmux. You should always run your scripts under tmux sessions when you're SSH'd into a server. This saves a lot of hassle if your connection ends unexpectedly.
- Keep Coffee Handy
Start drinking coffee and keep asking questions.
Thanks for reading. I'll be keeping this updated and use this for my personal reference as well.