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Re: Learning ***** as a second language

by jhourcle (Prior)
on Aug 12, 2005 at 12:33 UTC ( #483264=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Learning ***** as a second language

You didn't mention what type of system administrator you are, or what languages you may know other than Perl, but from the mention of grep/awk/sed, I'll assume you maintain some form of posix system.

If you're maintaining 'older' systems (any OS that doesn't ship w/ perl by default), I'd highly recommend that you learn to script in the appropriate shell for your system. Although they're all a little bit different, learning the syntax differences between ksh/csh/bash/etc. can be useful -- even if not because you're writing your own scripts, to debug other people's scripts that screw up when you go to install them on your system.

Sometimes, perl can be overkill for quick scripts ... unix shell has branching, loops, procedures, etc, and can do a whole lot more than people use it for. I typically have my cron jobs call shell scripts, which set up the environment, and then pass off to perl or whatever else.

C can also be very useful ... learn what the various compiler errors mean, even if you never write a C program in your life, as you don't want to be in the situation where you're told to install something, only to find out that it has a dozen dependancies, which are spewing errors.

If you're also a windows sysadmin, then I'd probably move to learn VB, even with the horrors I have from my year of VBA programming. (functions, or objects... pick one ... what the hell is up with with 'DoCmd' object?).

As there are lots of different types of system administrators, I'd suggest you look at what it is that you do, and determine where you seem to be taking longer on tasks than you feel is appropriate ... from that, you can get indications of what sort of things you feel you can make improvements on, and give you a hint as to what sort of things you need to learn.

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