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[P]
Sending UNIX admins to do a Windows Admin Job

By Carcosa in Technology
Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:00:44 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

Why is it that corporations hire UNIX people for UNIX jobs that are in fact almost exclusively Windows jobs? Are they afraid that there is going to be some huge wave of UNIX that will catch them high and dry without employees?


I've talked to numerous people to whom this has happened, and none of them have any concrete idea why. I think it may be that companies realize that they're more likely to get a truly clued tech with a UNIX admin than they are with an MCSE churned out by the certification shops; the words I've heard were "It's easier to get a UNIX admin and train him on Windows than it is to get a Windows admin and train him on UNIX." I'm interested to know what the community thinks of this phenomenon. Is subject matter of your work important to you? Do you formulate your career strategies based upon the operating systems you prefer to deal with?

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Sending UNIX admins to do a Windows Admin Job | 42 comments (26 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
-1 Tired of the Sniping (3.77 / 22) (#2)
by wesmills on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 03:25:38 PM EST

I'm getting really sick of the idea that people who work primarily on the Microsoft Windows platform are clueless drooling idiots who know nothing and that *nix admins are somehow Gods of the Computing Industry.

Yes, there is a higher quotient of morons in the Windows world, especially courtesy of the popularity of that platform, and the relatively low barrier to entry. However, I happen to do Windows administration, and hold an MCP certification, and I'm not a moron, nor are my collegues. It is entirely possible, and I see it every week, to train a Windows admin on Unix, just as the reverse is possible. It all depends on the drive of the person who you are training, and their willingness to learn.

----- Signature campaign to support K5, become a member!

Aim. Fire. (4.00 / 2) (#30)
by h2odragon on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:14:02 AM EST

Those folks who have ability and used to work primarily on Windows are guilty of most of the sinping, I think. Converts tend to be (over)zealous.

[ Parent ]
Exactly (none / 0) (#38)
by Tim C on Sat Dec 09, 2000 at 08:16:23 AM EST

I've seen that a fair amount, and not just over which OS is best/most stable/most user friendly/<insert trait here>.

Where I work (a full service web agency in the UK), we've had one or two running battles between those of us who are used to writing code "the old fashioned way", with xterms and Makefiles, etc, and a couple of IDE bigots. (After some of the comments that have been made, bigot is the only word).

The point is that the "xtermers" were perfectly happy to let everyone code in their own way, whereas the (vocal) IDE guys seemed to be obsessed with trying to get everyone to come round to their way of doing things. They simply couldn't understand why anyone would want to do it differently; they'd done it that way, and much preferred their new way of working. (Never mind the fact that the guy on my team who didn't use an IDE was just as productive as those who did...)

At the end of the day, the converts are generally only trying to help. They've found a better way to work (or live, or whatever), but can't/won't understand that other people are perfectly happy the way that they are, and don't want (or feel the need) to change.


Cheers,

Tim

(Wow, my first post to K5 :-) )

[ Parent ]
Just maybe ... (3.62 / 8) (#3)
by Bad Mojo on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 03:29:26 PM EST

This is all my opinion, of course, and isn't meant to desrespect Windows admins.

It's really hard to be any kind of computer professional today and not have basic Windows skills. That means that a UNIX admin is going to have UNIX skills, plus the ability to manage most any Windows box at a basic level. UNIX people tend to understand networking, client/server, and a lot of other skills that Windows people don't HAVE to learn to master their OS.

In MY experience, I look for Linux jobs, but I also can tolerate other OSes. And why not? Most of my UNIX jobs have involved getting something to work across platforms.


-Bad Mojo
"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!"
B. Watterson's Calvin - "Calvin & Hobbes"

This is exactly the problem (3.60 / 5) (#6)
by Carnage4Life on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 03:43:12 PM EST

It's really hard to be any kind of computer professional today and not have basic Windows skills. That means that a UNIX admin is going to have UNIX skills, plus the ability to manage most any Windows box at a basic level.

Thinking like this is the exact cause of the proliferation of incompetent Windows admins. The popular belief that
    basic windows skills = ability to administer a network




[ Parent ]
I beg to differ... (4.20 / 5) (#22)
by Bad Mojo on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:14:09 PM EST

"Thinking like this is the exact cause of the proliferation of incompetent Windows admins. The popular belief that basic windows skills = ability to administer a network"

I am a Windows admin AND a UNIX admin. I do both professionally. I know what's involved in each and frankly, being a Windows admin is a lesson in thinking INSIDE the box. It *IS* much easier for a UNIX trained individual to learn to be a Windows admin than the opposite. Learning Windows is less flexable, less robust, and basically easy in comparison to UNIX.

Now, don't take those words above to mean that I hate Windows and never want to use it. There are places and jobs where Windows is THE solution to run with. I'm not a bigot when it comes to tools. The right tool for the job is my motto.



-Bad Mojo
"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!"
B. Watterson's Calvin - "Calvin & Hobbes"

[ Parent ]
Both of you are right (3.44 / 9) (#5)
by Carcosa on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 03:40:12 PM EST

I, too, disagree with the claim that all Windows people are idiots, that's certainly not the case and I hear it a lot. However, what I'm interested in is hearing from others about their opinions on this subject, which is what I'm getting. Have you heard of instances where this has happened? It's happened twice to me despite the fact that I market myself as a UNIX administrator who's not a UNIX bigot, in other words I'm willing to work with Windows, even to a large extent... I do think that Windows abstracts some very complex issues to the point where it's possible to work with very complicated networking and systems integration issues without really understanding what's going on at lower levels. This is fine until the Windows wizard system breaks down, and then the people who do this are up that creek with a closed-source paddle. I think this may be a large part of the reason for the claims that Windows admins are idiots. I think that it's possible to be a less-clued individual and be a Windows admin but such a state of affairs would be far more obvious in the UNIX world.

Why Windows admins are idiots (4.40 / 5) (#9)
by enterfornone on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 04:01:54 PM EST

My theory. I currently work in tech support (not customer facing, taking escalations from the guys that deal with customers). I'm an MCSE but I'll admit that I'm not experienced enough for a senior admin position.

When I was last jobhunting I was asking for $40-50k (Australian), which is a lot for ISP tech support (where my experience is), but not a lot for a sys admin. Yet I was being offered senior admin positions (positions where I would be soley responsible for large networks) with just the paper and no experience.

I ended up taking the tech support job even though it was a much more junior position because it was clear that this company is willing to pay top dollar to get the best people.

The reason people think MCSEs are dumb is simple, they work for companies who don't pay enough to attract anything other than the least experienced people.



--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
I want to save most of my comment... (4.00 / 4) (#14)
by theR on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 04:21:10 PM EST

...in case this gets voted up either now or after it has been edited, but we'll see what happens when I start writing.

I do think that Windows abstracts some very complex issues to the point where it's possible to work with very complicated networking and systems integration issues without really understanding what's going on at lower levels.

Sure, Windows can do this with all the GUIs. But that is why so many average users like Windows. It is true that some Windows admins have no idea what is going on at the lower levels of the OSI model or how a network really works. Some might improve on this, some might have no desire to learn more. I am a MCSE doing systems support and network engineering. I would put my skills and knowledge up against anyone with a similar amount of experience and training. That is not a challenge, it just means I am motivated to learn as much as I can and I love what I do.

Is Windows easier to learn? For me, it definitely was at first. I have been using x86 machines since my parents replaced the VIC-20. Because of this I had experience with DOS, Windows 3.1, and Windows 95 before I ever thought of getting in the technology field. But I took my studying seriously and learned what everything meant, not just the answers to the MCSE questions.

Could I be a Unix administrator? At this point, most definitely not, my Unix knowledge is on par with a user not an administrator. Could I learn and will I learn? Definitely. I keep a list of what I need to be focused on learning, and right now it is Unix and configuring Cisco devices at the top. I want to and will learn more Unix, and I don't think it will be a problem because I don't just understand Windows, I understand networking.

I guess I'm trying to say that these things that you say Windows abstract are only abstracted if a person allows it to be. I know the majority of the command line tools and functions for NT and W2K. Just because you are using the GUI doesn't mean you shouldn't understand what is going on underneath.

I think the main reason people feel the way they do about MCSEs or Windows administrators is because, for people that don't really care and just want to make some money, Windows is the easiest route. I think it is wrong to assume that so many people are like this, though. Each individual should be judged, not the group.

To answer your question and get off this way to long convoluted rant, we have very seperate Unix and Windows adminstrators. We overlap very little except for management of the LAN, but the Unix admins have Windows PCs in addition to Unix boxes and we access the Unix boxes with Exceed or by telnet.



[ Parent ]
Why I'm an MCSE (4.66 / 3) (#19)
by enterfornone on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 07:15:20 PM EST

I think the main reason people feel the way they do about MCSEs or Windows administrators is because, for people that don't really care and just want to make some money, Windows is the easiest route. I think it is wrong to assume that so many people are like this, though. Each individual should be judged, not the group.
I think you have a good point there. There are lots of MCSEs. There are lots of entry level jobs that are looking for MCSEs. I didn't take it expecting to immediatly get a sysadmin position, I got it to get a first step into IT.

I think the problem is that 1) a lot of employers have unrealistic expectations of what MCSE means. and 2) a lot of marketing (by training compainies, not by Microsoft) is claiming that getting an MCSE will immediatly get you a super high paying senior job.

MCSE means that you understand the theory of the functions of various Microsoft server products. It doesn't claim to be anyting else but that. It does not teach you how to be a real world systems admin. That can only come from experience.

Employers need to be realistic about the sort of people they hire. If you get an MCSE with no experience then you can't expect them to be an expert. If you get a Unix admin to do Windows work, while they may have a lot of experience as a real world sysadmin (which will come in handy regardless of the OS) you will still need to give them time to learn Windows.

Ands people need to be realistic about their career goals. There's no such thing as starting at the top. But when starting at the bottom every little bit helps.



--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

Right. (3.66 / 3) (#23)
by theR on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 10:11:26 PM EST

I can't complain or disagree about anything you said. I especially agree with the part about employers being realistic.

When I got my job I had passed the four core NT exams already. My boss said he had interviewed a couple of MCSEs, too, but was impressed with the way I presented myself and how interested I seemed in the job. The exams helped, but they weren't the major factor.

Now that I have a little experience, see that I do actually understand all that theory and can apply it well to the real world, and have been given a raise and told I'm doing a great job by the people we support and my boss, I have started looking around a little to see if I can make a little more money. Why I am looking is a faily long involved story, because really I would rather stay where I am. I have gotten a few offers that were quite competitive. I have also seen, in the paper or on the job boards, companies looking for MCSEs with one to three years experience and all these qualifications but the company lists a salary that is ridiculously low. By doing this, they are either going to get a veteran with little talent or a newbie that lies on his resume.

I will not lie on my resume, but I know this happens often, and if it wasn't for company's unrealistic expectations it wouldn't happen as much. My good friend got a job with a contract company because another friend of ours helped start the company. The contract company submitted a false resume to the company buying their services, saying he had two or three years experience. My friend was coming in cold, with one certification exam and no experience. Could he do the job? Yes, he is now one of the top people among those that have been there around the same length of time. But he would not have been able to work in the position if his company had not padded his resume.



[ Parent ]
Not to start a flame war, but (3.50 / 2) (#7)
by jabber on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 03:59:51 PM EST

I suspect that your proposed logic is precisely the reason why this happens. Not that it's necessarily accurate or correct, as others have pointed out - but it's likely the reason anyways. I further suspect that this same logic is behind the requirement of a College Diploma. Again, the value of College is always a debatable issue, but given the choice...

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Useless with windows... (4.28 / 7) (#12)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 04:10:03 PM EST

More than once, I've had to explain my inability to do something in windows by explaining that I don't use it.

Some major portions of the paradigm are so alien to alien to me that at times I can be completely useless as a windows admin. OTOH, I am a Linux admin, which I'm competent at. Sometimes sending a unix admin to do a windows admin's job is a bad idea.


farq will not be coming back
a little meat, please? (3.00 / 3) (#20)
by kei on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 07:29:28 PM EST

A little substantiation of your claims might help. Hard facts, like "company X hired Y unix admins, and out of those Y, Z are now doing mostly windows administration," or anything that doesn't depend on hearsay gathered from one or two people would be nice. After all, someone else could be witnessing the exact opposite paradigm -- professionals with more windows experience learning more unix for their job. -1.
--
"[An] infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program."
- /usr/src/linux/Documentation/CodingStyle
The value of an MCSE (4.71 / 21) (#28)
by tlloh on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 05:06:44 AM EST

I'm a Windows / Linux Network Administrator. I look after my company headquarters network - we have about 60 clients running off 2 servers, and a firewall. Win2K runs our file and print services, with Linux / FreeBSD doing email, DHCP and DNS. And firewall for our dial-up (we're not a rich company).

I am an IT department of one. I look after <u>everything</u>, and also provide first-level support. Hell, you think? Sometimes - but if you do your job well, then everything runs itself. Plus, the huge bonus about this job is that my boss gives me <i>complete</i> freedom to do whatever I want with the network, so long as there's zero downtime. I haven't disappointed him so far.

On to certification:

I have my MCP and my MCSE, as well as my LPIC. I'm probably going to look at doing a CCDA in the near future. But I'm leaving my company for further studies, and we had to hire a replacement.

So we put out a job ad (two actually, response first round didn't turn out any suitable candidates). <b>I sat in on all the interviews</b>.

Our job ad basically stated we wanted "an MCSE with 1-2 years experience", "good knowledge of TCP/IP", "bright and willing to learn", "opportunity for picking up valuable skills". Now I'm more than well aware that there exist MCSEs who are complete idiots, but at the same time, I'm equally aware that there exist a truckload of Linux zealots (read idiots) who are using Linux only because it is "cool", who think that logging in as "root" gives them godly "leet" powers (sorry I don't do haxorspeak), that ping -t makes them a uberDOS "hacker", and who couldn't route their way through a subnet given the opportunity.

Point here is, it's not what you use, it's who you are. You look at the experience of the person when doing the hiring, what they've done, what were their responsibilities and <i>you grill them during the interview process</i>. If it's going to be a technical IT job like system administration, you don't allow your PHB or clueless HR staff to do the interviewing, ideally you get someone clueful, who's able to spot BS (resume padders) from a mile away, and properly assess whether the candidate has the right skills for the job or not.

Anyway, the plan here was to get a bright clueful, Windows admin with the aim of teaching him how to run our Linux services. We use Webmin, so the idea was that this couldn't possibly be too hard. S/he'd learn as s/he went along, under my supervision.

So here's a rundown of the people we interviewed (over 2 rounds):

2 MCPs
2 MCSEs
2 CNAs
1 CNE
1 HP/UX sysadmin who liked Windows
15 people with more than 2 years "NT4 experience" but no certification

The CNAs / CNE while fairly clueful as far as NDS is concerned, had no idea what a private Class C address was. Sigh. And the amazing thing here was that the CNE did not know (obvious from my quizzing) how to install an NT4 server - pressed, he admitted that the company had a service contract with a systems integrator, and they did all the setup and installation. He just "administered". Oh boy.

The 2 MCPs we interviewed were too inexperienced to be trusted with a lone gunman setup. Errr, and not entirely clueful either.

The 15 or so odd individuals who had worked with / administered NT for more than two years (a couple had 5 years experience or more) were really not much better. Many of them were running NT4 servers on FAT partitions, had no clue about NTFS or file permissions, and whose understanding of IP was limited to ping. <b>So there's something to be said about the value of certification</b>.

The phrase "I'll take an experienced administrator over a trained MCSE monkey" needs to be looked at in a different light. Of course you meant "experienced" = clueful, but job hirers need to be careful not to simply ignore the resume of the MCSE with no experience in favour of someone whose got "5 years of solid NT4 experience" under his belt. Damn resume padders. And I might mention that some of these people had CS degrees too. So much for the value of that degree. Trainable, you think? Well, my attitude is that if you've been administering servers for 5 years running them under FAT, and you think you're competent enough to run a <i>real</i> network, well you can go find someone stupid enough to hire you. (sad thing is that such stupid employers do exist - I wonder how much of the bad press given to NT admins are in fact due to morons like these who think they deserve a job and then call themselves "NT admins" - the horrors)

How were the two MCSEs themselves? Neither were clueless, but one did not have hands-on experience and lacked confidence. He was actually looking for a junior position where he could learn his way up. So I think that's another MCSE stereotype busted. The other was pretty sharp but came from a Netware 4 environment and unfortunately only knew IPX/SPX. He also wanted a comprehensive benefits scheme and full medical, which we couldn't afford.

That pretty much left the HP/UX sysadmin who "liked Windows" (as stated on his resume). He was clueful as far as Unix was concerned, but his attitude to Windows administration was ... "Oh it's all really easy, you just install Windows, click a few things here and there, and it'll run. Windows is easy. And if anything doesn't work, you just reboot." I was like, omg. This guy was administering his company Exchange server, and anytime it didn't work he'd just reboot it. I asked how often this happened and he said "about once or twice a week". The worst thing about this was he considered this "normal". "NT is like that, it's very unstable and it's not a good piece of software, you have to reboot it every two days or so".

Needless to say, he didn't get the job. But I mean, look - is this guy - this UNIX sysadmin - any better than what you people term a "trained MCSE monkey?". This guy is supposed to be clueful, knowledgeable, he's entrusted with the management of a company server, and his response to everything is "reboot", and he thinks uptimes of 2 days are normal. Hell, I've run Exchange boxes that had uptimes of over 3 months, and they go down only because I'm updating a component.

So to whoever made the comment about UNIX sysadmins being "easier to train to use Windows" well ... I don't know man. I'm sure the guy we interviewed wasn't "typical" but then again the "typical" clueful UNIX sysadmin doesn't even want to touch Windows. So much then for your topic "Hiring UNIX Admins to do a Windows Admin job".

These are just my experiences over two interview rounds over the last 2 months. A lot of the stereotypes I've found - are exactly that, stereotypes. In practice, no one seems to fit them.

I think one shouldn't automatically assume an MCSE is clueless. My experience is that someone with certification is likely to be far more clueful than someone without. And just because you're a UNIX guru doesn't necessarily mean you can administer an NT server worth a damn either. Fewer still are people who can do both.

Oh yeah, we ended up hiring a Notes r5 programmer / administrator with a couple of years experience, no MCP/MCSE, no UNIX experience but was clueful, knew his TCP/IP subnetting, pleasant and most importantly, willing to learn. And he's learning fast.

Stop judging people by stereotypes.

The Value of a unix admin. (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by gromm on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 02:40:24 PM EST

I'm glad to hear that you managed to find someone qualified to fill your position. However, it probably never occurred to you that although your HP/UX candidate was clueless about NT, it would be relatively easy to change his ways. Most good administrators take pride in their uptimes. Just the knowledge that NT _can_ have good uptimes would motivate him to try harder and to learn how to administer it properly, since obviously he's been doing it wrong up until then.

At the same time, I also know of NT-only shops that reboot their webservers every night before leaving work, so that nothing breaks overnight. Whether these people are especially professional is questionable however. :)
Deus ex frigerifero
[ Parent ]
Wait a minute here... (4.00 / 2) (#35)
by ghjm on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 05:37:35 PM EST

You're recruiting for an entry level position, and you can't afford a decent benefits package...may I presume also that you plan to pay next to nothing?

The one person you found who was "clueful" by your own definition wanted to be compensated appropriately; everyone else willing to entertain the notion of working for you was thrown out by your extensive "grilling" process. All I can say is, wow.

So you finally found someone who's looking for a lateral transfer outside his currently marketable skill set, and is therefore willing to take an unreasonably poor compensation package in order to build some experience in the new area. Hey, cool, you got something for nothing.

I know there's a long American tradition of showing a profit by externalizing costs instead of actually building value, but you don't have to revel in it like this. If your business plan calls for a full-time IT administrator, it had better show some revenues to cover the actual, market-rate cost of same. If you "can't possibly afford" the market rate for a full-time IT admin, then hey...don't have one. Get a part-timer, outsource, or do without. If it is genuinely the case that you (a) absolutely require the services of a full-time, "clueful" IT admin, and (b) absolutely cannot afford to pay what such a person would reasonably cost...then all I can say is, revisit your assumptions.

-Graham

[ Parent ]
See my answer to the other guy above (none / 0) (#40)
by tlloh on Sun Dec 10, 2000 at 08:44:56 PM EST

It's not that we were unwilling to pay market rate ... he was asking for what was considered "above market rate" - benefits like he is asking for are not considered "normal" in this country.

Sorry, I should have stated this in my original post, it is always too easy to assume everyone is from US.

[ Parent ]
Heh. (none / 0) (#41)
by simmons75 on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 06:55:25 PM EST

Worse yet, expecting someone to have extensive hands-on for an entry-level job. My only question is HOW DO YOU GET HANDS-ON IF YOU HAVE TO HAVE EXPERIENCE FOR AN ENTRY-LEVEL JOB?

I don't have NT. I can't afford NT. I don't work anywhere that uses NT. I don't want to steal NT to run NT. I, therefore, could never get an entry-level job administering NT.
poot!
So there.

[ Parent ]
Errr, what makes you think that? (none / 0) (#42)
by tlloh on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:13:47 PM EST

This is not an entry-level job. It's a job for someone who has some experienced. Don't know where you got that misconception - you're running the entire office setup on your own.

The guy we hired has 4 years experience on Notes / NT.

[ Parent ]
Benefits (none / 0) (#37)
by PresJPolk on Sat Dec 09, 2000 at 06:12:36 AM EST

How were the two MCSEs themselves? Neither were clueless, but one did not have hands-on experience and lacked confidence. He was actually looking for a junior position where he could learn his way up. So I think that's another MCSE stereotype busted. The other was pretty sharp but came from a Netware 4 environment and unfortunately only knew IPX/SPX. He also wanted a comprehensive benefits scheme and full medical, which we couldn't afford.

You don't have to know TCP/IP to get an MSCE? Wow.

Anyway, the point I want to make is this: If your organisation isn't able to give good benefits, how do you think you're going to be able to attract a good administrator?



[ Parent ]
I'm not from the US (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by tlloh on Sun Dec 10, 2000 at 08:40:27 PM EST

If you were looking at the situation from a US-centric view, then I'd agree.

I'm from Malaysia. We're just recovering from a recession. IT isn't paid as much as you think here, especially when you compare wages just south of our border, over at Singapore.

We get paid like half of what an equivalent person in Singapore would earn, and probably 1/3rd what you could earn in the US ...

And there's no shortage of IT staff here too ... because while we're heading that way, most of the country isn't high-tech yet - for example my company still relies on a lot of paper records.

So to put it this way, the job market is quite competitive here ... and the opportunities aren't too great.

Lastly, we aren't a big company (we're a private limited) and our annual IT budget (excluding salary) is only about 50k RINGGIT (that's 13,500 USD for you). Needless to say, we can't afford top-notch stuff, and realise this - in this country, it is <i>not the norm</i> to offer full medical and comprehensive benefits. You probably get a parking and handphone allowance, interest-free loans for studying and maybe a housing loan. The conditions here are different, so you need to compare apples to apples I think. We're not a bank or other financial institution.

Of course, in hindsight I should have stated all this upfront, but I was pressed for time.

And to answer your other question, you don't need to learn TCP/IP to become an NT4 MCSE - it is merely an option. Not true of Win2K MCSE - where it is compulsory. Most people who started off as CNEs and then go on to do their MCSE don't ever do TCP/IP, which was the case of that candidate.

Hope this answers your questions.

[ Parent ]
Unix vs NT (4.00 / 6) (#29)
by Dries on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 07:36:45 AM EST

Strange because due to Unix's nature, you would expect it to be more easy to find a good NT administrator than it is to find a good Unix administrator.

Why? I think because - compared to NT administrators - Unix administrators tend to seek further knowledge and try to grab the arcane and recondite workings of the Unix operating system. Therefore, I would suspect it to be easier to find an NT administrator, even though a qualified NT administrators can be hard to find as well.

But to answer your question: companies hire administrators, IT people, who can handle more then just a particular OS.

-- Dries
drop.org
-- Dries

Driving at 90 (none / 0) (#36)
by kmself on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:17:15 PM EST

By possible way of analogy. I find when I'm driving at a slow pace on a boring road, my attention wanders and alertness wanes. Picking up the pace makes things more interesting.

NT Admin is a rut you can't get out of. I'd run my own box for several years, now mostly focus on Linux and Unix. I get further, faster, in the more demanding environment in large part because I know there's more out there. Interesting environments draw interesting people.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Windows knowledge is easier... (3.33 / 3) (#31)
by retinaburn on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:10:15 AM EST

to get because most everyone encounters windows some point in their life. Sure your home box is linux, but often at work people use windows (be it 95/98/nt/3.1) and then access *nix remotely.

I imagine *nix Admins are better qualified to /learn/ windows admin because they have experienced windows, played with tcp/ip settings perhaps even ran a personal network (probably to amuse themselves at the idiocy). While Windows Admins can easily go through their life never having seen *nix, besides perhaps walking past consoles spewing out reams of sensless error messages.

If you took some native tribe that had only ever used and developed on *nix and through them onto a windows machine they would probably have a hard time getting a handle on how to do /anything/, but the same would be true if the tribe only used and developed on Windows products.

Not that either of these EVER happen ;)


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


A data point (3.80 / 5) (#32)
by darial on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 01:25:30 PM EST

As an interesting data point, I know 7 people as friends who are MCSEs. 5 of them have one or more flavors of UNIX/LINUX at home to play with.
It's worth noting that not all (not even a majority if my sample is good)of MCSEs are ignorant about the "other side".

Sending UNIX admins to do a Windows Admin Job | 42 comments (26 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
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