Is it a steep learning curve to become a sysadmin?

21 replies
Recently I started learning how to code and develop web applications. I am really devoted to this so I am learning very fast. I still have a long way to go but I also have come a long way in the last couple of months.

My goal is to keep learning and be an expert in web development by the end of this year. I am pretty sure I will achieve that.

I also have this other crazy idea that I will learn how to be a good sysadmin. I want to know everything there is to know about running a server and a hosting company. I have not started learning this yet and I am wondering if I will be taking on more than I can handle. I have no idea how difficult it is learn the sysadmin stuff.


Has anyone learned, from scratch, everything about hosting? (I am talking about the technical aspects, not the business aspect) If so, please let me know how difficult it is and where I can find a good tutorial.
#curve #hosting #learning #progamming #server administration #steep #sysadmin
  • Profile picture of the author jhr57
    Here is link to free training for just about everything dealing with sysadmin.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael71
    Originally Posted by Joe Ray View Post

    Recently I started learning how to code and develop web applications. I am really devoted to this so I am learning very fast. I still have a long way to go but I also have come a long way in the last couple of months.

    My goal is to keep learning and be an expert in web development by the end of this year. I am pretty sure I will achieve that.

    I also have this other crazy idea that I will learn how to be a good sysadmin. I want to know everything there is to know about running a server and a hosting company. I have not started learning this yet and I am wondering if I will be taking on more than I can handle. I have no idea how difficult it is learn the sysadmin stuff.


    Has anyone learned, from scratch, everything about hosting? (I am talking about the technical aspects, not the business aspect) If so, please let me know how difficult it is and where I can find a good tutorial.
    ROFL

    I am sorry but you can not learn HTML/CSS/jQuery/PHP in several month and expect your code to be perfect...

    It is an ongoing process. Same with "SysAdmin"... what you mean is running a dedicated linux server and selling some hosting packages... has nothing to do with System Administrator.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Ray
      Originally Posted by Michael71 View Post

      ROFL

      I am sorry but you can not learn HTML/CSS/jQuery/PHP in several month and expect your code to be perfect...

      It is an ongoing process. Same with "SysAdmin"... what you mean is running a dedicated linux server and selling some hosting packages... has nothing to do with System Administrator.
      Thanks for your feedback Michael. I think you misunderstood my post.

      I didn't say anywhere in my post that my code is perfect or that my code will be perfect in several months. I have been learning to code for a couple of months and I said, I want to be an "expert in web development by the end of this year". (That's a total learning time of about 8 months). Yes, I will be an expert in web development by the end of this year. Here is the meaning of the word expert:"a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area."

      Regarding the "SysAdmin": I am running an unmanaged dedicated server already and I could sell hosting packages if I wanted to but I wouldn't do that until I fully understand all the technical aspects that server. This is the reason I am considering learning this stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael71
    To be honest, to run a server and selling hosting packages you do not need to know that much regarding the server.

    You need to know the management software in this case... I am using ISPConfig 3 on my servers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Ray
      Originally Posted by Michael71 View Post

      To be honest, to run a server and selling hosting packages you do not need to know that much regarding the server.

      You need to know the management software in this case... I am using ISPConfig 3 on my servers.
      Thanks. So how long did it take you to fully understand it and use comfortably? I have directadmin installed but I only use it for basic stuff I haven't really tried to learned it yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author kpmedia
    Q: Is it a steep learning curve to become a sysadmin?
    A: Yes, very.

    You're not "good" until you have several years experience. Anyone that thinks otherwise is green and naive. Such a person is a accident waiting to happen. -- Exploits, hacks, spam, etc.

    You MUST keep on top of things too -- weekly at minimum. Otherwise you risk being a victim of the latest whatever-it-is-bad-thing.

    You're not going to be an expert in anything in 8 months.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Ray
      Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post

      Q:

      You're not going to be an expert in anything in 8 months.
      There are a couple of things wrong with that statement:

      1. You can not make this statement about me, simply because you don't know me.
      2. You are using the term "anything", which makes you lose credibility.

      I am sure I can be an expert in "something" in 8 months.

      In any case, are you talking about coding or sysadmin?
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  • Profile picture of the author kpmedia
    I don't care if you're Albert Einstein reincarnated.
    You're not going to be an expert at servers in 8 months. Not happening.

    You'll just end up the next horror story, I guess. Some people have to learn the hard way.


    EDIT: End of the year is 6 months, not 8 months.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Ray
      Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post

      I don't care if you're Albert Einstein reincarnated.
      You're not going to be an expert at servers in 8 months. Not happening.

      You'll just end up the next horror story, I guess. Some people have to learn the hard way.
      I never said I will be an "expert at servers in 8 months". If you are going to insult someone 3 X in 1 thread, you should probably first read the OP more carefully.

      I help you out, this is what I wrote: "my goal is to keep learning and be an expert in web development by the end of this year." web development, not servers.

      Here is your 3 insulting comments:

      1. You called me:"green and naive"
      2. You called me "such a person is a accident waiting to happen"
      3. and this is your third comment: "You'll just end up the next horror story"

      I never met you, never did any business with you, I have no idea who you are and you have no idea who I am, so I don't appreciate these type of comments.

      Therefore, I am going to ask you to stay away from my threads. This forum is full of good, positive, helpful, encouraging and supportive people.

      I don't need this type of energy in my life so back off!
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  • Profile picture of the author kingjpm
    I guess it all depends on what you want to learn. These days they have server management software that helps out. For example, Web Host Manager. Learning console command line will greatly increase your skills. For Linux/Unix based operating system, I recommend some of these helpful commands

    find / | grep "php.ini", top, kill (pid), chmod, chown, vim, tail /var/log/mysqld.log -n 100, history, mkdir, /etc/init.d/httpd restart, wget

    learn how to update and install software too, big help

    these depend on your file system and flavor of Linux/Unix of course
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Ray
      Originally Posted by kingjpm View Post

      I guess it all depends on what you want to learn. These days they have server management software that helps out. For example, Web Host Manager. Learning console command line will greatly increase your skills. For Linux/Unix based operating system, I recommend some of these helpful commands

      find / | grep "php.ini", top, kill (pid), chmod, chown, vim, tail /var/log/mysqld.log -n 100, history, mkdir, /etc/init.d/httpd restart, wget

      learn how to update and install software too, big help

      these depend on your file system and flavor of Linux/Unix of course
      How long you think it will take to learn all this from scratch?
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      • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
        Originally Posted by Joe Ray View Post

        How long you think it will take to learn all this from scratch?
        Years.

        Go to the library and pick up a book on Linux Administration.

        A. It's going to take time.

        B. Using WHM or other control panels DOES NOT make a "systems admin" Merely being able to point & click doesn't mean jack, it just shows you can point and click.

        C. Do you already understand the OSI model? Understand networking, various protocols, methods etc? If not, you'll need it.

        D. Security - do you have any security knowledge? No, I don't mean configuring some junk Wordpress "security" plugin.

        E. Troubleshooting skills? What do you do when something breaks? Sure, following someones guide if OK but do you really know what is being done?

        F. ..........

        G. ..........

        H. ..........

        I. ..........

        The list of tasks goes on & on.

        It's not something you're going to learn in a short period of time. Most competent administrators have been doing it for years, and will be the first to tell you they're not "experts". Things change, always & each time something changes you have to change with it.

        When it comes to web hosting, or really anything else - (since you mentioned web hosting) cPanel + WHM, DirectAdmin, ISPConfig etc are merely 1/4 of what needs to be done & maintained.
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  • Profile picture of the author Yvon Boulianne
    yes that's right, i'v been doing computer works for 30+ years and i know nothing, this field is infinite

    Still after a couples of month/years you can have fun and find your way around wathever happend !!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Ray
      Originally Posted by Yvon Boulianne View Post

      yes that's right, i'v been doing computer works for 30+ years and i know nothing, this field is infinite

      Still after a couples of month/years you can have fun and find your way around wathever happend !!!
      Yes, I agree! The internet and computers are infinite potentiality. Just like life, you can never stop learning. For me the highest level is having fun and enjoying the infinite creativity.

      However, before you can enjoy the game, you have to learn the rules of that game.

      This is what I am talking about when I say I want to be an expert in web development. Becoming an expert means knowing the rules and entering the game. Nothing more! Then I have to keep practicing, learning non-stop while enjoying the process . This is the nature of creativity, the most powerful source of energy.

      Now, when it comes to learning Linux Administration, I am not so enthusiastic. This is why I asked in this thread if this will be a steep learning curve or not.

      I want to develop web applications. That's what I enjoy. This is why I thought I might consider learning about the sysadmin aspects so when I start experimenting with SaaS, then I can totally control the server environment as well, but if its too difficult, then its just a waste of my time. Sounds like it would be better to go with a managed hosting account.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Stewart
    What makes a good sysadmin is experience. Experience often comes from fixing broken things, and going through trials and tribulations. It is not always fun! Trust me!
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Ray
      Originally Posted by Jason Stewart View Post

      What makes a good sysadmin is experience. Experience often comes from fixing broken things, and going through trials and tribulations. It is not always fun! Trust me!
      Thanks. It doesn't sound like fun, unless you enjoy "fixing broken things".
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      • Profile picture of the author Yvon Boulianne
        Originally Posted by Joe Ray View Post

        Thanks. It doesn't sound like fun, unless you enjoy "fixing broken things".
        Yes that`s only for "special" peoples but i can assure you that finding the missing module after 2 days of searching in linux dependency is a very "Ahaaaa" momments
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  • Profile picture of the author wayfarer
    If you enjoy coding I recommend you definitely focus on that. I'm a firm believer however that it's important for most every programmer to know his or her way around the system used for deployment. It will make your capability much more well rounded.

    I recommend just starting with the Unix command-line, since you seem headed in that direction system-wise. Once you understand that the Unix command line is actually a programming language (Bash), it will make your task that much easier.
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    • Profile picture of the author kingjpm
      Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post

      If you enjoy coding I recommend you definitely focus on that. I'm a firm believer however that it's important for most every programmer to know his or her way around the system used for deployment. It will make your capability much more well rounded.

      I recommend just starting with the Unix command-line, since you seem headed in that direction system-wise. Once you understand that the Unix command line is actually a programming language (Bash), it will make your task that much easier.
      Shell scripts and Cron Jobs help automate server tasks. Like backing up a database daily. Great to know this too.
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  • Profile picture of the author funtoosh
    To be a good sysadmin just reading is not enough, you will need to experience it all, as it's a lot different in real world then what you read in books, you will face issues which are not documented in any book

    I've over 12 years of experience running a hosting company and i started it alone without any staff, though i sold it out in March 2014 for a good price, i would say it has a very very steep learning curve, but if you enjoy it, it won't be difficult
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