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  • How to become a Unix administrator?

    Do you want to become a Unix administrator? Get the best guidance from our technical experts.

    I am in IT field for the last two years and have two years of experience in Unix(Suse, Linux). But I was just working with around ten basics commands like cd, ssh, mv, cp, ping, grep etc. That's all. No networking and no administration experience. I didn't have any need to write any scripts too. I was just executing the already existing scripts. Though, I was learning the basics of scripting and I learnt about IP4 and IP6, TCP/UDP protocols and other networking basics in my college syllabus.

    So now when I go out with Unix profiles for job, I couldn't answer the questions they ask. For example, they ask like what would I do when a unix server is down. What I did was try the ping command and then informing the server team.

    And they ask few more questions like how to create a java dump thread and what is the difference between more and cat commands etc. I have no such experience. For example, I have used kill command but haven't created any java thread dump file.

    Similarly I don't have any admin experience either. I have used sudo command. Hope I have given you an idea about my knowledge in unix. Just working with around ten basic commands with their basic usage.Please guide me to pursue a career in Unix.

    Now I dont know how to Unix as my career. This is the only technology I have practical experience if I can say so. I studied other things like python and sql on my own to make them my career but couldnt succeed without practical experience.

    So now I want to make the best of what I know, which is Unix. How to make Unix my career like becoming a Unix admin.

    Currently I am in a project where my work is to install two products in various environments like Windows, Unix, AIX etc as an Application environment specialist. This involves setting up an environment like installing Oracle/DB2, Websphere/Jboss/Glassfish, using build tools like Hudson, Maven, Ant (existing customized scripts- just executing the goals).

    I am basically a big picture guy and dont want to delve into technical details. I like to work with many technologies, learn new technologies, get bored with routine works.

    I am thinking of becoming an Unix admin or similar profile job with my current experience. But not sure how to proceed.

    I am getting opportunities from BPS domains for unix support which is like technical BPO. But not sure about its scope too and it involves shifts.

    So please guide me as to how to make Unix my career?
  • Answers

    2 Answers found.
  • Well, you can become an expert in Unix system administration - you may follow the below mentioned track. Please note that it may or may not work to your advantage. Instead of suggesting a few tips on the available courses, I would point out a few practical ways to achieve your dream.

    1. Meet up the system administrators

    It has been observed that Unix System Administrators are passionate about the work they do. They will definitely be eager to talk about what and how they go about their work.

    If your office has a Unix Admin, it would be a good idea to have a close acquaintance with them and learn the practical side of Unix administration.

    2. Join the groups related to your interest

    Join the Unix groups and discussion forums. That way you can get all the information you want. If in doubt, you can definitely ask for suggestions and guidance.

    Maybe a few groups may not be helpful for the newbies. Check out a few groups and settle down on those that you are comfortable with.

    3. Go with the related websites

    There are many websites that help you learn the Unix. Certain good sites are , etc.

    You may search for better sites capable of letting you get good knowledge about Unix and Unix administration.

    Live....and Let Live!

  • You already have the working experience with Suse and Linux, which are Linux based systems. From here your approach should be getting the experience in UNIX systems configuration, maintenance and server management. Most of the enterprise these days prefer FreeBSD or similar other UNIX distro. So your focus should be in getting the experience in them.

    Here are some of skills that I can suggest you.

    1. Shell Scripting : Learn how to program shell (be it BASH shell or C-Shell) and use the terminal for administration. This way your skills can be transferable to Linux and UNIX operating system. I'd say if you are going to be in hosting industry or the mainframe then this skill is very handy. There are other skills too such as python scripting that can be good for deployment.

    2. Docker deployment : Docker deployments are popular these days. And many companies need UNIX or Linux professionals who know how to deploy them. So this skill is in demand a lot. It also pays more compared to most of the deployment jobs. There are some of the virtual image deployment jobs that also are in demand. I'll say if you know vagrant image deployment then that is a good option too.

    3. UNIX Certification You can get the UNIX certification and this will boost your credentials. The thing however here is that the certification varies depending on where you take it. For example many BSD have their own certification and also OpenGroup have their own version. Do note that some companies don't care for certification if you have experience. If you don't have experience then certification can be a good way to get some exposure.

    Technical support jobs can be really good option to get some hands on experience. Just make sure that such companies have some decent number of projects running. As that saves your time in the workplace.

    After technical support job moving into Mainframe would be a wise choice. Not only you get to learn UNIX but also you get to get into scripting to some extent. Mainframe jobs are more complex and it'll require you to view the long term. So it all depends on where you want the UNIX career to go from there.

    Most of the experience you're going to get is in the UNIX job. So I suggest starting with a company be it small or MNC to begin your career. It takes time for such career but it is definitely possible. UNIX admin is challenging job in enterprise environment so you have to work hard.

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