System Administration Rules to Live By

I’ve had a variation of these running around for a while. Tweaks may come and go with trends, but the concepts are the same.

  1. When they say “Go Big!” they don’t mean it.
  2. Start with optimistic scripts. Finish them defensively.
  3. Assume your audience knows nothing.
  4. Suspend disbelief – It’ll work.
  5. Self documenting isn’t.
  6. Track your work – If it’s not in JIRA (or Trello) it didn’t happen.
  7. Celebrate “Big Wins” – They don’t last long and are soon forgotten.
  8. If everything is a top priority, nothing is. Don’t stress about it.
  9. Don’t Panic. This is probably fixable.
  10. Fail fast. If something doesn’t work, dump it or be stuck with it forever.
  11. Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.
  12. Productive Teams Eschew Enterprise Solutions – because they suck.
  13. Make it work, doesn’t mean fix it – it just means, MAKE IT WORK!

And a few truths about automated services

  1. If it runs, it must log status
  2. If it logs, it must be rotated
  3. Logs must be reviewed by something
  4. If it runs, it must have an SLA
  5. If it runs, it must be alerted when it misses SLA

About Grease Monkey

30+ Years of IT Geekiness, Linux Fanboy and Open Source patriot.
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