[nSLUG] Position in System Administration at SMU

Ian Campbell ian at slu.ms
Mon Oct 5 15:29:45 ADT 2009

On Mon, Oct 05, 2009 at 03:02:00PM -0300, Eri Ramos Bastos wrote:
> What's going on? I wonder if there are not enough skilled
> professionals around, if they are too demanding or if the salaries are
> just too low to attract potential candidates.

My experience out west (which may well be completely different) so far
has shown a couple of factors...

Biggest one is that employers are demanding more and offering less.
Positions are being rewritten to cover work previously done by two or
more people. I was offered ~$15/hr for a sysadmin ("but when you're
not putting out fires you'll be coding") position with on-call.
Unsurprisingly that job has been posted and re-posted for 6 or 7
months now. Other potential employers have also talked well below
normal market wages.

In some cases they're being written with niche skill sets required and
no training available. If you require uncommon experience and you're
not willing to train otherwise promising candidates, you don't get to
complain when you can't find anyone.

Lockheed has a different problem, most of their positions require
security clearance, and not everybody can (or wants to get) cleared. A
friend of mine works there now, apparently getting in was a bit of a
pain. It's also military work, not everybody wants that sort of
environment. Bureaucracy is everywhere, but not like that ;)

... really though, I don't know. Good sysadmins aren't a dime a dozen
but neither are they unique and beautiful snowflakes. If you can't
find one in a city the size of Halifax, you are doing something
fundamentally wrong as an employer.

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