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Saturday, August 06, 2005

To remain or not to remain.. contemplations


For some time now I've been sitting over a decision which I need to make -- Should I quit my sysadminship? No, it's not about money. SysAdminship was never about money anyway. So what is it? And am I prepared for it? These are the questions I must answer.

True that I was filled with joy when Nayani asked me (circa March, 2004) whether I wished to become the sysadmin. My joy knew no bounds then. I was always fascinated to see the smart black servers through the server room's glass doors. I was just a DigLib maintainer then and I did have a few reasons of entering into the server room, albeit only occasionally. And then it happened. I was appointed as the sysadmin (along with smr). Likewise I bequeathed the technical air around myself, which is the characteristic of anyone on this responsibility, I presume. I had long undergone the changeover from Windows to Linux. A certain degree of pride naturally infused into me as I was permitted to open and enter into the server room whenever the need be. All the servers lay there before me, which I best describe as: waiting for being commanded by my fingers. Not surprisingly, my image too underwent a changeover. My nickname changed from Ajeeb to root. A signboard bearing "System Administrator" was hung on my door.

All this was as if my complete self was getting submerged into the being of a sysadmin. As if I was getting lost behind this tag. But the job was interesting, the power addictive, , the road challenging, and I continued to tread on it. To avoid myself getting pampered and lured into misdemeanor, I had vowed to myself never to encroach upon the privacy of any person -- I needed strong determination against this temptation and I have been successful satisfactorily. A number of major changes took place in the server room management and network infrastructure and my number of hours in #111 (Server Room) had gone up, and I kinda loved it. Being on this hot seat also chanelled a lot of queries from people to me, all of them technical, and it's always fun answering them.

But all this has been there for over an year now. Things have changed. Times have changed. I have changed. Power doesn't allure in the same way now; don't know if the lack of it would hurt, though. I've learnt a lot of things in this responsible position. But the cynosure of my contemplation is -- Shouldn't I move on? I mean, being a sysadmin was good, but that's not nearly the destination. There's a long long road waiting to be traversed. In some ways, I've just now embarked upon the journey. The sysadminship load constantly mitigates my independence. Of late, there have been a number of instances when I've been irresolutely frustrated and dissatisfied with the latency of the server room activities (most of them beyond my hands), but the net result tends to reflect my efficacy too. My numerology indicates that I'm a bit stubborn; I have trouble leaving a thing once acquired. But with seasoned thoughts I know I can achieve a changeover. Does quitting sysadminship give me this changeover?

Submerged with such notions I had asked PJN sir for an advice. I was equally inclined towards both sides and all I needed was a backing from him to push me further in that direction. According to him, however, the decision is all mine. There are so many strategic developments that I'd like to see undertaken in the server room; so innumerable ways in which the process should be improved. But should I continue to get myself involved? I must lessen my load, I agree, but should I quit altogether? Should I listen to my gut feeling and quit now to avoid tumbling down the rabbit-hole? I'm looking for answers. The decision is still under contemplation.
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