How Being a SysAdmin Is Like Being the Village Sage


Wild weather. Roaming raiders. Building walls. And one person with a little bit more knowledge than the rest trying to keep the village safe.

Let’s face it. From the bronze age to the digital age, things haven’t changed that much. Our threats have just gone from physical to digital.

Here’s how being a SysAdmin is like being the village sage.

People Mistake You For A Magician

It’s Magic!: ‘You’re a SysAdmin, Harry.’

You’ve spent years pouring over texts of learning. When you try and convey this knowledge to others, they cock their head and look confused. When you apply your knowledge, they reduce what you do to ‘magic’.

Dire Omens of Doom

Due to your unique knowledge, you can see threats before they happen. But while they are obvious to you, they aren’t obvious to everyone else. You bring your ominous portends to the village leaders (Management), but they dismiss you as a crazy person.

Your credibility is temporarily restored when the next flood hits your village in the rainy season, and they wonder how you knew that would happen.

Grouchiness and Beards Are Expected

Sysadmins and sages are both expected to have beards.
Hairy Business? Some cultures believe a SysAdmin’s powers are IN their beard.

The classical depiction of a village sage is a grouchy guy with a beard who knows things. The same is true of sysadmins. It’s a myth, of course: there are awesome female SysAdmins out there, completely sans beard.

The Go-To Person

Whenever someone has a problem, they come to you to solve it. You’re expected to have the magical fix to everything. When you do fix it, you’re either A) thanked profusely or B) just expected to do it because you’re the village sage—there’s no in-between.

Some of the problems will not even be in your area or the solution will be painfully obvious (at least to you). But they come to you. After all, you’re the village sage!

Educating Villagers

A sage sysadmin warns about hackers
Old School: Primitive Hackers (They Literally Hacked)

You’re tasked with informing the villagers about threats and how to deal with them. Some of them listen, others shrug and assume things will work out for the best because you’re around. Trying to make them understand the threat of barbarian attacks (malware) before it actually happens is an uphill battle.

The Cold, Dark Cave

You have a domain in which you perform most of your magic, and it is a cold place isolated from the rest of the village. It is filled with glittering lights and most of the villagers are banned from stepping within. It is covered with vines (cables) and is the seat of your power.

Master of Cloud

People believe you control the mystical realm where knowledge is kept, high in the sky. You commune with it on a regular basis. People have no idea how this happens, it just does.

Looking For Some Sagely Advice?

Mr Miyagi, Master of I.T.: He was great at catching bugs.

As any good sage knows, the best strategy in any age is a contingency plan. Back up your servers with BackupAssist and make sure no harm can come to the locals. They may think it’s magic, but it’s just really good backup software!

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