Where are the sysadmins?

Recently I have been trying to find a sysadmin for our lab. Hopeless. Where do you find one?

Our government-dictated recruiting system is so stupid that we cannot hire the person we want. Rather, we specify the criteria that the person should meet and a panel in Madrid runs the whole selection process. A few months later, somebody turns up with a signed contract under his/her arm and you are supposed to smile and be happy with him/her for a couple of years.

To add insult to injury, the criteria that the Madrid guys would take from us are supposed to be outlined in a few paragraphs. Part of these criteria must address the university degree of the individual to be hired.

As you can imagine, the outcome of this nonsensical policy is quite random. Sometimes you get brilliant people, sometimes you get people that are severly mismatched to their position.

Oh well. I digress. So, what am I supposed to write in a few paragraphs so that the best possible sysadmins are selected? What kind of degree is logical to expect from a top sysadmin?

Wikipedia says that there’s no single path to becoming a sysadmin, and this quite matches my own experience. The good sysadmins I’ve met come from all sorts of funny backgrounds, from biology to history to commerce & economics.



2 Responses to “Where are the sysadmins?”

  1. 1 Fernando 12 August 2008 at 8:48

    I don’t think I can help you, but have you tried FP Graduates in Systems Administration? They say that the FP is the best place to go for this kind of stuff.
    Your problem is that you are searching for university degrees and, in my own experience, there is no university graduate interested in Systems Administration. Perhaps you can get one who has attended a Master in Systems Administration (The University of Deusto used to have one of those), but that’ll be all you can do.
    Good luck in your search!

  2. 2 cesargon 12 August 2008 at 15:28

    I am not constrained to university degrees: I can specify any degree I want. I have used trade school degrees before with similar random results: what people have studied seems to be quite unrelated to people’s actual skills and interests. The real problem seems to be the disconnection between the reality (i.e. I need somebody with skills such and such) and what the stupid government policies dictate (i.e. you specify selection criteria based on degrees rather than skills).

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