For 1 month i crashed my slackware linux system by kernel panic and upgrades 2 times. Sometimes I think that I am not good for system administrator, although I am 16 years old..When I solve my problems in 90% i consult with other people, which means that I don't solve my problems, but they. Do you ever feel the same thoughts when you think that system administration is not fo you?

asked 13 Feb '11, 09:47

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(20 Apr '11, 14:20) rfelsburg ♦

If you play around with technology a lot, you're bound to experience lots of problems. That's perfectly normal. Searching and asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of, it's simply a progress of gaining experience.

If you take a look at this from this perspective, having lots of problems isn't necessarily bad, because you learn to solve a lot of problems yourself. The crucial point here is to try to understand the solutions people provide. Understanding is the key to solving similar problems in the future yourself.

The only case in which I would assume that system administration is not the right thing for you is, if you ask the same technical questions over and over again instead of solving them yourself. As long as that is not the case, there's nothing to worry about.

So, keep asking! :)


answered 13 Feb '11, 17:52

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Jazz ♦
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If you have only crashed a Slackware system twice, you are doing really well. I have been using Slackware since Slackware 9.0 and I have crashed it countless times.

I have been a system administrator for 25 years and I break systems every day. As they say in car racing, if you never blow an engine, you're not trying hard enough.

The ONLY way to learn anything in system administration, is to keep trying things out. And keep breaking stuff.

There are good books on system administration. The best one I have found so far, is "The Practice of System And Network Administration" by Thomas A. Limoncelli and Christine Hogan. It tells you not only how to do stuff but why. And more importantly, what not to do and why not.

"Perl for System Administration" by David N. Blank-Edelman might also be useful.

"Building Internet Firewalls" by Elizabeth D. Zwicky, Simon Cooper and D. Brent Chapman gives some good insight into networking, etc.

But you are using Slackware, which means you are already ahead of the pack. Slackware will teach you most of what you need to know.

Books are good, but breaking stuff really teaches you. Keep it up!


answered 18 May '11, 14:55

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I think all of the advice above is good. From a strictly technical point-of-view, just knowing the answer to something isn't always ideal. I've found that while it's gratifying to solve an issue and come up with an answer, many times even if it works, that solution may not always be ideal. So there's always that "is there a better, more optimal way to do this differently than I am now? If so, (and chances are there is a few different ways), which way will have the best advantages? I must weigh the pros and cons."

Sometimes the answer isn't the conclusion, but in the journey itself.

Another thing to consider is that while many techies know an answer to a given problem, it is not always the only answer.... and to add onto that, often times they don't understand the "WHY", but only the "HOW" of the problem-solution. Think of it like this......... If you learn a foreign language and you have to manually convert from that language to you native one; then you don't know that language. Sure, "Technically" you may speak it, write it, have the proper accent of it, but until you natively THINK in it without translation; you don't really know it at all. So in comparison, you can subnet all day long, memorize the cheat charts, etc, and even do it in your head - but until you truly understand the "WHY" of it, not just the "HOW", you don't really understand it at all.

Another good credo is "Am I don't things right? or am I doing the right things?" It's about focus, ya know? Often times people jump around without being methodical. I'm a big fan of following systems when it comes to troubleshooting. In the case of networking, that'd be (in part....) the OSI Model.

I started computing in 1978 at age 12 and have been using computers in my personal and business lives since then. Microsoft was a 3 year old company (1975) and Apple, a 2 year old company (1976), when I started. I've used all versions of DOS, all versions of Windows, Mac System 6-9, Mac OS X, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, Slackware, Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS, BSD, specially distros like BackTrack, I.N.S.E.R.T, F.I.R.E., NST and a ton more........ and to quote Michelangelo who on his death bed said "...and still I learn." So too still I learn every day. Don't worry about knowing it all. You can't, won't, and never will. It's good to have a great overall knowledge of computers and networking in general; but eventually you need to focus on a specialization and work that area.


answered 18 May '11, 16:42

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Ron ♦
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edited 18 May '11, 16:48

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Asked: 13 Feb '11, 09:47

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