Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
11th Systems Administration Conference (LISA '97)

Turning the Corner: Upgrading Yourself from ``System Clerk'' to ``System Advocate''

Tom Limoncelli
Lucent Bell Labs - Murray Hill, NJ


Two (of the many) types of System Administrators are identified: The ``System Clerk'' simply performs clerical tasks as she is told to do them (creating accounts, installing software) while the System Advocate proactively works with users to develop and evolve the environment.

Transitioning from Clerk to Advocate involves a change of attitude and ``making time'' for advocacy. Ways to develop more ``spare'' time for pro-active work are also spotlighted. I also explain ways to avoid the ``system administrator visibility paradox'': nobody notices the system administrator on days when things are working well.

  • View the full text of this paper in HTML form and PDF form.

  • If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.

  • To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 12 April 2002 aw
Technical Program
Conference Index