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It is my opinion that you can't be a great SA and a great coder.
Why not? Is there some great piece of IT folklore out there that the skills for one preclude the other? In my opinion, this is like the other great myth of the corporate world - that you can't be good at IT and a good manager. I have encountered several exceptions to this, and I recommend looking for and supporting any boss who is skilled in both areas. You need a manager like this to help you fight any battles over infrastructure.

Coming back to sysadmins. I have been a Unix and VMS sysadmin, I have also been a developer, support person, business analyst and tester. Perhaps it is because I have been a sysadmin that I can appreciate the role, and I tend to make my sysadmin colleagues' lives easier for them (I am currently assigned as a developer and application support person).

Having experience as a sysadmin gives you insight into a number of programming and design issues, for example:

  • Security
  • System performance
  • Portability
In my opinion, someone who has not been on the sharp end of these issues as a sysadmin will fail to grasp the consequences of what they are programming, and will write code that fails one or more of these criteria.

My $0.02


In reply to Re: Beginning Perl for system admins by rinceWind
in thread Beginning Perl for system admins by jjohnson

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