Re: Hiring a part-time sysadmin?

On Sat, Jun 23, 2007 at 08:13:41PM +0200, Murray Cumming wrote:
> On Sat, 2007-06-23 at 15:43 +0200, Olav Vitters wrote:
> > On Sat, Jun 23, 2007 at 12:05:59PM +0200, Murray Cumming wrote:
> > > Meanwhile, our sysadmins seem overworked, causing understandable delays
> > > for simple requests. Now seems like a good time to pay someone so that
> > > requests for new accounts, mailing lists, bugzilla products, etc, get
> > > done almost immediately.
> > 
> > New accounts and new bugzilla products are not a sysadmin task. Although
> > of course new accounts can be done by someone who is hired (or
> > sysadmins), as long as procedures are followed.
> > 
> > Mailing list setup is broken. Hiring someone to figure it all out might
> > be a good idea; because currently I do not setup mailing lists just
> > because I do not want to figure out how.
> > 
> > I'd like to know what this person would do in daily tasks (concretely).
> > The ideal sysadmin just makes existing tasks take less amounts of work.
> I'm not so interested in the precise job title. I'd just like someone to
> do 
> a) The simple little administrative things such as accounts, bugzilla
> additions, new mailing lists, etc.

Usually the task itself is simple. The hardest part is whether to do
something or not.
E.g. Does this product really need a bugtracker? Fortunately we have a
new person for creating products on Bugzilla. All other tasks can be
done by the maintainers. Oh, except handing out editbugs+canconfirm.
There are lots of people in #bugs who can do that and they are around
more often than me.
Having someone share/takeover Bugzilla maintainership would be
appreciated (and I mean customizing perl+templates). However, nobody
seems to be interested. Did try to gather interest with blogs, etc.
Accounts is mostly learning someone not to trust things. Having more
help there would be ok.. I planned to request for more help after Mango
was enhanced. This because currently the system is a bit frustrating to
use (although much better than before).
Mailing lists is broken. After that is fixed I think the problems should
be over.
SVN stuff is more of a policy decision. A new maintainer can request
shell access. So is the SVN requested to get shell and run some exploit,
or just to just host it. For existing SVN accounts we just create it.

> b) Relatively simple installations and updates and other stuff that you
> are more capable of listing than me.

I can't of anything actually. All relatively simple things are automated
and arrive via email after the fact (rpm updates).

> c) Clever unexpected things that syadmins tend to do, if we find someone
> that wonderful, but a) and b) would be quite enough if don't.

This is actually the only thing that I feel a sysadmin should do. The
rest should be setup in a way that some team could does it (the way it
is for bugzilla + accounts).

See for an overview of outstanding things:

> Paying someone would mean that their time is reserved for this. I don't
> mind if they are partly idle because there isn't enough for them to do -
> the purpose of an employee should be to get things done, not to be busy.
> I just don't want to wait for things or have to be demanding to
> volunteers that don't have time.

So what is an acceptable delay and what not?


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