Monthly Archives: March 2014

Linux administrators’ Expertise Levels

This is my list of levels of expertise in systems’ engineering, linux/unix administration and generally in the field of IT where I happen to make my living. Take with a pinch of salt and a shot of tequila.

  • Tinkerers do not care about downtime, they will watch a movie instead.
  • Amateurs think that by moving to AWS they will have no downtime.
  • Beginners can handle downtime with a dash of panic.
  • Seasoned Engineers handle downtime just fine.
  • Experts have a gut feeling for it and when it will happen.
  • Masters can tell you what will fail why and when, before you even realize there is a problem.
  • Zen Grand Masters avoid all this _sh.t_ completely and opt for a beach instead.

Oddly enough tinkerers and Zen masters follow the same path and the term Expert does not appear in the original Hacker’s Dictionary .

Cook me up some intellect please

Knowledge here, knowledge there, big data everywhere, no stop let’s watch a cooking show on TV for a break.

Cooking as done by master chefs and grand gourmands is a very interesting occupation. They take ordinary ingredients most of time like tomatoes and oregano and create food, interesting food to eat. Sometimes they combine uncommon ingredients in unknown to this day ways over substrates of known ordinary ingredients to sculpt culinary experiences. Do you see the difference?

Data , big, small intermediate is no more than one’s ordinary ingredients. Let’s call that knowledge. One can do a lot of things with ordinary knowledge, cook up a better spagheti or a better baked beans dish with healthy side efects to boot.

What distinguishes this kind of cooking from gourmet cooking is a few megatons of restless intellect, a need to create, change , alter, leapforg or down right mutate the known sturdy facts. That kind of need is not present in traditional recipes neither in knowledge bases nor big data collections.

That kind of mental itch and output is uncommon and we call it talent but it is not part of a divine providence, it can be grown, cultivated if you wish with common ordinary means: Just watch a cooking show and start thinking of your common ordinary knowledge as tomatoes and potatoes. They are essential in creating your food but not enough to catapult you to stardom. Look for uncommon recipes, novel ingredients, astounding combinations, iconoclastic approaches. Immerse into divergence, surprise yourself in the way you view your data through a flour sieve but don’t use your ordinary super market provided cereal flours. Watch the masters do an ordinary thing, prepare sustenance in extraordinary imaginative ways.

If one can create a sustained intellectual gourmet kitchen in one’s organization then that organization has a chance in this current amazingly volatile new age for mental gourmands.