Two years ago, I started as a contractor at SGI, herding unix machines and with the general guideline of “do cool things and train the rest of the team on sendmail, when you have time”. I was hired into a group of five sysadmins, one “monitoring” guy, two “remote access” folks, one security guy and a manager.
Since that time I have:
deployed a spam appliance
trained people on spam
deployed a dhcp management interface and 4 dhcp servers
trained people on dhcp
taken over “monitoring” (read: nagios and munin) from the “monitoring guy” when he left
trained people on monitoring
seen two sysadmins get laid off
got converted from contract to perm right near a layoff, hard to do
taken over design/architecture roles when 4 designers left within a couple months
seen our manager leave and not get replaced
taken over “remote access” when the last remote access person left (a @!*&load of busy-work)
Basically, I’ve done everything I can think of to do except for training people on sendmail :)
Now, today, two more sysadmins were laid off. That means of our original group of 10 we are left with one sysadmin, and one security guy. (Thank goodness he is a good sysadmin too, I just have to show him where the tools are). I am, by default, the shaman: the inheritor of a rich, 15+ year oral history of how we got to this point, and I’ve only been here 2 years. Winning at this version of musical chairs is not fun.
This looks like the beginning of the end, for me. I still have a couple things I want to accomplish in the next 3-4 months, so that I can say I did them, but if I continue to get piled with busywork with 0 need for creativity and 0 opportunity to change things for the better, I’ll probably leave close to the end of the year whether or not I accomplished the things I wanted to do.
The next big thing? I’m not sure, but hopefully it will involve killing spammers and perl coding.