Happy Sysadmin Appreciation Day, everybody! We’d like to send out a very special thank you to all the unsung sysadmin heroes out there who keep us secure, put out tech fires, and ensure that the world keeps spinning.
I got the chance to sit down with OneLogin’s own Director of Tech Ops, Eric Solomon, to get some insight into his day-to-day that many of us probably know all too little about.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Current Role: Director of Tech Ops at OneLogin
One word that best describes how you work: Resourceful
Current mobile device: Samsung Galaxy S8
Current computer: Linux Mint on a Macbook Pro for work and Windows 10 on a custom built PC at home
A Day in the Life of a Tech Ops Lead
Eric has been at OneLogin for 18 months now in a number of different roles before ending up as the Director of Tech Ops. Before starting at OneLogin, Eric worked at notable companies including Ticketweb, Zoosk, and Twitch.
Eric explained that as Director of Tech Ops, much of his time is spent managing projects, establishing goals, and following up with team members on tasks and deadlines. Despite the fact that Eric’s primary role is as a manager, he still loves to get his hands dirty and dig into the latest technology whenever he can.
Outside of the office, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. He and his wife enjoy playing games together and are both diehard fans of sci-fi and fantasy shows like Game of Thrones and Twin Peaks.
The Origins of a Hero
I was surprised to learn that Eric didn’t study technology in college. Eric actually received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and was primarily self-taught when it comes to his tech-ops expertise. Eric told me that he messed around with computers quite a bit with his college friends, who introduced him to “this cool new operating system called Linux.”
Interestingly enough, Eric’s first job out of college was a data-entry position at a litigation support company. After the company’s Sysadmin had left, Eric used his Unix experience to take over the role and has been working in similar roles ever since.
The Best Parts of the Job
According to him, there’s nothing more gratifying than looking back and seeing how much things have improved. It’s also really exciting, he added, to see how rapidly technology is developing, and finding the best way to implement it.
“A good Sysadmin is always keeping his eyes open for the latest trends and seeing what could work for us,” Eric said. “That’s a very interesting part of what I do.”
Advice for Aspiring Admins
Toward the end of our conversation, I asked Eric if he had any tips for people interested in his line of work, or if there was anything he wished he knew sooner. He noted that he isn’t sure how much classical education exists around this stuff, but that it’s critical to have a genuine interest in the field.
“Curiosity and motivation are the two most important things,” he said. “Linux is easier to install than it’s ever been, and anyone interested should just start playing around on their own and see what areas most interest them.”
“Beyond that, I think a healthy paranoia is just part of the job. You don’t want to do anything to anger the tech gods.”
As far as things Eric wish he learned sooner, he said that there’s always something he wishes he knew. “There’s always a piece of technology that you wish that you had discovered a month ago, but the reality is that you can’t be omniscient. All you can do is learn as much as possible, read tech blogs, and find the best solution that you can to go forward with.”
I’d like to give a very special thank you to Eric for his time, as well as to all the other Sysadmins working behind the scenes who may not always get the recognition they deserve. It’s your hard work and dedication that make the rest of our jobs possible.
So from all of us at OneLogin, happy Sysadmin Appreciation Day!