Sysadmin is a calling, not a profession

This July, system administrators and their colleagues around the world will be celebrating the 20th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day - an event created to show appreciation for the hard work of sysadmins and other IT workers. We sat down with two of Compass Plus’ dedicated sysadmins to try and lift the curtain on what hides behind this mysterious title.

  • Morgan Cox, System Administrator
  • Ivan Kirtyanov, System Administrator

A lot of non-IT people don’t really know what your job is. What exactly does a system administrator do?

MC: System administrators are responsible for the maintenance of our server landscape, updating, designing and optimising systems to improve performance and security, automating tasks and troubleshooting issues.

IK: We are in charge of the deployment and maintenance of new software, operating systems, servers and workstations. We are also there if colleagues have any other IT-related questions.

What made you pursue this career path?

MC: I have always had an interest in computing. After completing my degree in history/philosophy, I learned programming languages and how to build webpages. Shortly after leaving university, I got a job as a web designer at a local publishing company, where I predominantly worked with the Linux operating system. Later on, this experience helped me land a Linux support role in a different company. After a few years, I progressed to a System Administrator position.

IK: Initially I joined the company as an IT Support engineer. Over time, my colleagues inspired me deepen my IT knowledge and I was able to progress to a System Administrator position.

What do you find most exciting about your position?

MC: I find keeping up with technological developments and security flaws the most interesting part of the role.

IK: Learning about new complicated systems and deploying them.

What’s your favourite memory, working as a System Administrator, at Compass Plus?

MC: The piece of work I am most proud of is creating and implementing our MFA (multi-factor authentication) system bundled with a user management system, which was needed for PCI compliance.

IK: I had an opportunity to work on a project in Compass Plus Processing Centre Great Britain which was a very useful and interesting experience.

What is the best career advice you have ever been given?

MC: Do something that excites you.

If you weren’t a System Administrator, what other career would you have?

MC: I think I would still work in IT, but probably as a web designer/developer.

IK: I have always wanted to work in this field.


Are you planning to celebrate System Administrator Day this year?

MC: I may go out and celebrate with my colleagues!

IK: I might go to a local System Administrator meeting after work.