atlanta jazz transit cities design

22 June 2004

Sysadmins have so many important roles, but I was thinking
about one that doesn't get much mention: we seem to be the
holders of a company's memory

I get numerous calls (as do my co-workers) of the type:
  • Why was this done? (even when it was done by a different division
    5 years ago)
  • Where was this originally? (database, dmz, webserver, whatever --
    again whether we had anything to do with it or not)
  • Do we use this anymore? (when it doesn't even run on a machine we manage)

Why the heck is that? I actually do enjoy getting some of these
questions: it gets me calling people I haven't talked to for a while,
going through old notes, old invoices, etc.

I'm thinking the nature of running a number of unices over the years
requires that we're good at stuffing random bits of arcana efficiently
in our bald, little craniums. Certainly since 2000 many of us have stayed
where we landed when the tech-boom busted so we've been around a while
and have worked directly with lots of other employees that have moved
on or changed positions or just don't remember things as well.

It just amuses me the number of phone calls I get or over-hear
co-workers getting that seem to come out of left field.

The sysadmin as company historian